• PDF
  • Print
  • E-mail


Information Galleries
Underground Display Home
Opal Jewellery and Souvenirs
Historical Opal Mine Tour
Open seven Days
An original opal mine dating back to 1916. The old time miners had backfilled the shafts, hiding the mine below. Who knows why they never returned to dig out the opal still waiting. It wasn´t untill 1968 that the hidden mine was accidentally discovered when an underground home extension broke through, revealing much precious opal which is still there for you to see today.

Map of the lower level in The Old Timers Mine.
  1. Vertical seam of opal which was found when the shop entrance was dug in 1987.
  2. Miners hats. You must wear one of these in case you bump your head
  3. Jim O´Neill the first opal miner in Coober Pedy.
  4. When this post hole was dug, precious opal was found.
  5. Back filled drive. Waste dirt is shovelled into a disused drive to save pulling it to the surface.
  6. Level of dirt that was removed in 1987.
  7. George Burford, an old time miner.
  8. Back filled shaft. We put the wire barrier to stop dirt falling down.
  9. Cavern. A miner has crawled in here to gouge out opal.
  10. Opal trace. A sign that the miner has reached the "opal level" which might lead to precious opal.
  11. Ben Mohr.
  12. Photo opportunity. The photographer should go to the other side of the hole in the wall.
  13. Pocket of potch and colour. A miner found this opal years ago and must have intended to come back. He never did.
  14. Ed Colley. If the opal seam looked promising, the floor would be dug away so that the opal could be worked from the drive.
  15. Hand dug shaft. A hand operated windlass sat on top.
  1. Minnie Berrington. This display shows the problems the miner had getting rid of the "mullock" (dirt).
  2. Peep holes where the drives have broken into each other.
  3. Carl Wills on his way down to work. See how the hand and foot holes have been dug into the sides of the shaft.
  4. Opalized seashells left behind in an ancient sea bed. Look up to see them behind the protective glass panel.
  5. Bob Trow explains how dirt was carted to the surface.
  6. Authentic 1918 cowhide bucket found in this mine when the waste dirt was cleaned out.
  7. Windsock. This goes all the way up the shaft and opens out on the surface. With the aid of two poles it catches the breeze and helps ventilate the mine.
  8. Bull holes made by a plug or half plug of gelignite explosive.
  9. This hand dug shaft is smaller as it was dug by a man smaller than Carl Wills(see 18).
  10. Mick O´Reilly shows how holes for explosives were drilled by hand.
  11. Miners tools. Compare the mine wall dug with these old tools, with the wall along the ramp which was dug with a modern tunnelling machine.
Apart from the novelty of putting on a hard hat, it is a very practical safety requirement for anyone going underground in any mine. Families are especially welcome, as the mine , having no open shafts or mining equipment in operation, is safe for children. The tour takes approximately 35 minutes to complete.
Map of the upper level in The Old Timers Mine.
  1. Ramps to upper level.
  2. Opal trace and emergency exit.
  3. Large seam of grey opal, accidently found when this room was dug.
  4. Telecom display looked on by Charlie Crowder .
  5. Ron´s Gallery. The Old Timers Mine was Ron´s dream.
  6. Mineral specimens, insects and snakes.
  7. Drive in theatre display.
  8. Pioneer´s Gallery. Royal Flying Doctor display. Willie Hutchison with the first opal.Sandstone sculptures cut into sandstone walls.
  9. Boat shaped shaft. Each miner had his own style of sinking a shaft.
  1. Original 1918 dugout.
  2. 1918 opal safe carved out beneath the bed. Jacob Santing, the mail driver.
  3. Wall safe which could hold a million dollars worth of opal.
  4. Underground display home.
  5. Cheryl´s bedroom. When this room was dug the old mine was discovered.
  6. Bill Oliver´s post office.
  7. Opalized sea shells.
  8. Large seam of vertical opal.(see 1)
  9. Collection of old tools and mining gear.
  10. Horizontal pocket of crystal opal.

After your mine tour enjoy the experience of underground shopping.
The Old Timers Mine has an extensive range of opal,
opal jewellery and locally made souvenirs. There is also a huge
selection of rock and opal specimens.

Buy our range on line at our sister site:

Coobers Weather



Winner 2008

Winner 2008

Old Timers Mine Contact

Trevor Berry
Old Timers Mine
ABN 60 769 754 688
Berryd Opals
ABN 35 015 925 246
Bus Hrs 61 08 86725555
Aft Hrs 61 08 86723802
PO Box 711 Coober Pedy
South Australia 5723

Tourism Accreditation

Facebook FanBox

Facebook Fanbox 1.5.x.0