The massive sixth season of Outback Opal Hunters must be seen to be believed. Opal fever is at an all-time high, the risks are real, and the brutal Australian outback is as unforgiving as ever. But, when they get it right, there’s nothing quite like the rewards. With more crews than ever before, this is without a doubt the biggest season on record, and for one crew, it’s life-changing when they unearth a mother lode of opal in one day – worth over one million dollars!
This season we follow 10 opal-hungry teams across three states on their daily battle to find a fortune. There’s old favourites, new faces, new locations, and a whole lot of blood, sweat and tears. Returning to the fold is The Bushmen – Rod Manning & Les Walsh (Sheepyards, NSW); The Cheals – father and sons Chris, Oscar and Rory Cheal, with family friend Farren Lamb (Lightning Ridge, NSW); The Young Guns – Jaymin Sullivan, Noah McDonough and James ‘JC’ Caruana (White Cliffs, NSW); Pete Cooke & Sam Westra (Lightning Ridge, NSW); The Boulder Boys – Aaron Grotjahn & Ron Selig (Opalton, QLD); as well as The Blacklighters – Paul Coon, Mark I’Anson and John Nassar (Coober Pedy, SA) who made their debut last season.
The Tunnel Rats – Bayden Pearse and his partner Elisa Grobe – are back this season from their new base in Grawin NSW, along with long-time favourite Col Duff who’s joined a new crew in Opalton QLD – The Geran Gang – with Greg and Margie Geran, and Stoney Cain. Brother and sister team, Isaac and Sofia Andreou, along with Sofia’s partner Chris Daff are The Opal Whisperers, a rookie crew returning to their spiritual home on the Yowah opal fields in rural Queensland. We also meet solo miner Greg Scully aka The Bishop who, when he’s not mining, is Coober Pedy’s resident Bishop in the Christian Orthodox Church.
At the start of this season, Rod is forced to sink a shaft on a new claim by himself when Les suffers another injury. Will the granite-hard earth finally bring good luck to The Bushmen? Despite early mechanical troubles, The Blacklighters realise a long-held dream with the purchase of an excavator that gives them access to the virgin ground on their claim and increases the chance of striking it rich. For The Cheals, it’s a race against wild weather as a storm threatens to bog their tip truck full of promising opal dirt. In their new mine, The Young Guns find opalised skin shells left behind by an inland sea millions of years ago, but what is it worth?
Could the lucky streak continue for Pete & Sam after their $120,000 find last season? Will The Boulder Boys have to ship out of their ‘Badlands’ claim? Meanwhile, an accident throws The Geran Gang’s plans to move to Middleton into uncertainty. The Bishop, an opal mining man of God, and his dog Rocko get lost in a subterranean maze beneath the opal fields of Coober Pedy on a quest to find enough opal to build a Mission in town.
There’s a lot at stake for The Opal Whisperers to meet their season target, but with the help of opal mining legend Rod Griffin, the rookies hope to create a profitable business themselves to carry on their family’s opal legacy in search of the rare Koroit Nut. The Tunnel Rats get off to a bad start when they find their claim underwater after torrential downpours. Later, they take a crash course in cutting and polishing from the opal mining legend and Outback Opal Hunters alumni Kelly Tishler, aka. the Opal Queen.
With 90 percent of the world’s opal found in the Australian outback, and worth up to 500 times more than gold, opal is a prized gem, and this season, one crew’s million-dollar dreams are realised.
Outback Opal Hunters is produced by Prospero Productions for Discovery with assistance of the State Government of Western Australia, Screenwest and Lotterywest. To date, the series has entertained audiences in more than 100 countries and territories, including the US and the UK
The unmissable new season starts Thursday 4 February at 8:30pm on Discovery.