Opals are Australia's national gemstone. They come in a range of colours, from very pale milk opal to black opal - but share one common point, the brilliant flashes of light they produce.
The owner of Colour Flash Opals in Cobargo has a mine in the opal fields at Lightning Ridge, NSW. So he very sensibly spends the summers near the beach in his shop (an old house) at Cobargo and the winters at 'The Ridge'. If you are visiting Cobargo while he's there, we would agree that his opals are available at prices somewhat lower than are found in most places. He also produces handcrafted gold and silver jewellery.
But don't just wander in, look and leave - have a chat and you'll find the owner is very happy to talk about opals and to give good advice: even if you don't finish up buying. After 25 years in the business, he has plenty of excellent knowledge.
The address is 8 Bermagui Rd, Cobargo - on your right just before meeting the Princes Highway.
Cobargo is somewhat less busy now than some years ago, when it grew as an important intersection. Since then the banks have closed, the roads have developed, and now the work is mostly carried out by craftspeople and by shops selling their wares. (Photo 2) If the anklebiters are becoming a little restless in the car, there also is a very good play area at the bottom of the hill.
It is a pleasant little village, well worth a stop for a coffee and a browse. We were quite taken by the railway carriage built into the coffee shop 'the Wattleton Junction Train Stop'.(Photo 3) We also were very taken by the lady from the local pre-school cake stand in the street, who impulsively dived in front of us (the only tourists in sight at the time), waved her arms, and said Stop, you have to buy one, then dissolved into absolute embarrassment. In gales of laughter from everyone, we purchased a cake which was very good and cost only $5A.
Central Tilba is an interesting National Trust listed village, less than 30 minutes drive from Bermagui, via Wallaga Lake. It is tucked under the shoulder of Mt Dromedary.