There’s something about life in Yowah that brings an influx of winter residents and visitors.
Historically a mining area for opals—the Yowah opal nut in particular—Yowah has an appealing shanty-town atmosphere. You can do some fossicking for opals (buy your licence at the Yowah General Store), have a tour with ‘the bird lady’, try to sink a ball on one of the stony browns (well, you can’t call them greens) at the 18-hole golf course, get a great view of the landscape from The Bluff (especially at sunset) and wind down at the thermal bore baths. There is also a game of bingo going at the Rural Transaction Centre on Friday mornings during tourist season. The Rural Transaction Centre is open on weekdays from 10.00am to 5.00pm The centre has tourist information and a library which is open three days a week. Here you can also hire gear for fossicking. The centre also houses the Yowah Café. The local caravan park is the Centre for everything else, and is open every day from 7.00am to 7.00pm.
Other activities in Yowah are the opal markets, which are run on Sundays from 1.00pm next to the town hall, indoor bowls on Wednesday afternoons, and Tuesday morning is craft day. Visitors are also welcome to join the locals for Friday morning bingo at 10.00am.
The Yowah Artesian Bore Baths Spa is open every day. Here you can relax and enjoy the two pools, with one being warmer than the other. A disability hoist makes the pools accessible to all.
There is no pub in town but the bar is open on barbecue nights. Once a month on a Saturday night during tourist season the Yowah town committee (YOMCSI) runs a barbecue at the community hall. Visitors are very welcome to enjoy the community hospitality and yarn with the locals!
A Unique Shopping Experience
One of the appealing aspects of Yowah is its shopping style. There are so many little shops hidden in among houses and sheds. You can just wander around town following signs (or flags) on gates to little retail outlets in and among the houses. It’s all a bit higgledy piggledy which just adds to the fun and sense of adventure. You could spend the whole day walking around town gift shopping and find yourself in a bus, the back of a shed, a room in a house and in a train carriage as you browse among opals, jewellery, carved wood, paintings and pottery. And then there’s the cattle you see walking through the place from time to time, along with kangaroos and emus. If you keep your head down while walking around town, you may be lucky enough to come across some opal!
Yowah Opal Festival
For opal enthusiasts and those just wishing to browse, Yowah’s annual opal festival will be held this year on July 19-21. Enjoy two days of stalls with opals, jewellery and other goods in the local hall. And in true keeping with a festival, there will be live entertainment on the Friday and Saturday evenings, along with food stalls and a licenced bar throughout the three days. For those arriving a few days before the festival, there will be an arts and crafts festival held on the weekend prior, with plenty of local craftsmanship on display.
Cunnamulla Fella Centre
Phone (within Australia) 07 4655 8470
Artesian Waters Caravan Park
The Artesian Waters Caravan Park also has its version of the bore bath for the exclusive enjoyment of their guests. Normal baths sit in quaint little roofless beach houses so you can lie back and enjoy a view of the stars while
you soak in the mineral-rich water!
The park has six motel rooms, sites for caravans and an unpowered camping area. The open air restaurant is open during the tourist season on Thursday nights for a two course meal. This is also duck race night, when 100 little plastic ducks are released into the bore drain and ‘raced’ to raise money for the RFDS. The race raises more than $4,000 a year, and last year’s proceeds went towards the purchase of a new electric physio table, along with a large contribution towards a patient transport vehicle. Previous years has seen over $10,000 spent at the airfield.
Three nights a week there is billy tea and damper at happy hour around the fire at the camp kitchen.
The caravan park sells unleaded and diesel fuel, does gas refills and is also the location with the locals! As well as the usual supply of food, fossickers licenses are available from the store and it is also the local post office.