Put It On Your “Tank List”

Were you born in Australia the 1930’s to the 1950’s? Then you’ve been around long enough to have heard some fascinating tales about Australia’s opal mining towns.  Legendary towns like Coober Pedy (SA) and Lightning Ridge (NSW).

These days, with the explosion in home-grown travel, and the dramatic improvement in roads that crisscross the Aussie landscape, it’s those tales that are inspiring more and more travelers to add the opal fields to their “bucket list”.

But just what is a “bucket list” and how did it derive that name?

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According to WikiHow.com, a bucket list is ‘a list of things to do before kicking the proverbial bucket,‘ … viz: “a bucket list for a terminally ill patient”, and has its origins in the good old Aussie “slanguage” … to ‘kick the bucket’ … viz: “to die”.

And in the opal fields, “bucket is a word that creeps into conversations quite a bit. Out there it has quite a different connotation however.

For city folk, the idiom “it’s just a drop in the bucket is a rather flippant way of saying; ‘a very small or inconsequential amount compared to what was expected’.

From an opal miner, it’s more likely to be a grim comment that has cost him (or her) a lot of money and loss of sweat.

You see, to us, buckets are mostly associated with water. Not so to opal miners. When they talk “bucket” they usually have in mind big excavation equipment.

But talk to them about water, and they’ll be thinking tanks or tankers.  From the 1,000 litre caged containers you see on the back of utes – all the way up to 5,000 litre house tanks. Even 32,000 litre stainless water trucks. Water is almost as precious as the opal itself in the parched outback.

So here’s a great travel tip …

When ticking off opal fields on your  “tank list”, add one you may never have heard of before … the Grawin Fields.

By telling you about this one, we hope to whet your adventurous spirit and curiosity the way ours was when Neville Cooling contacted us.

Who contacted us?

NEVILLE COOLING … he owns the GRAWIN GENERAL STORE … where, by the way, you will find the cheapest bottled gas anywhere in the opal fields … refills or swaps.

Even cheaper than Lightning Ridge. That’s the truth!

We promise you … if you want to experience life the way it really was in the rough and tough early days of opal mining, start planning your visit to The Grawin right here.


30/08/19 – Christine Oram wrote

You and Barbara do a wonderful job with your gas bottle refill site. We are full-time travellers and have saved a lot using it. Thank you.