They are the world's toughest treasure hunters, endeavouring to strike it rich on their quest for the ultimate Queen of Gems: Opal. In the new series Outback Opal Hunters, Discovery Channel follows crews of fearless opal miners on their mission to unearth a fortune in some of Australia's harshest and remote landscapes.
Launching Thursday 8 February at 8.30pm, this eight-part treasure hunt heads across Australia to Lightning Ridge (NSW), Opalton (QLD), and opal mecca, Coober Pedy (SA) where the stakes are very real, as these crews risk it all in their pursuit for these precious stones. Outback Opal Hunters is a rollercoaster of hope and heartbreak as we delve deep inside the world of opal mining to find out just what it is that has our crews hooked on the hunt.
For The Rookies, Justin Lang and Daniel Becker, their passion for striking it rich is matched equally by their love of opal and opal mining. Relatively new to the game, the pair are hungry to learn as much as they can about the industry and position themselves as serious opal miners in Coober Pedy.
At Lightning Ridge, The Opal Queen, Kelly Tishler is a third-generation opal miner and one of only a few women who are actively mining in Australia. Her passion for opal is palpable and fuelled by an undeniable determination to succeed. A proud mum of three, Kelly has the added financial pressure of raising a family on her shoulders - so giving up is not an option.
Operating out of Opalton, Col's Crew, is led by veteran Col Duff, who quit his job as a telecommunications technician in 1990 to become a full-time miner and considers opal mining the ultimate treasure hunt. His technical background has allowed him and his crew, Aaron Grotjahn and Greg Geran, to take the opal detective quest to new heights, bringing drones into the mix.
Keeping it in the family, Peter and Mick Cooke, aka The Bros, have mined together for over twenty years. Based out of Lightning Ridge, the brothers have invested a lot of money into their machinery and running costs, so need an opal find to get a return on their investment.
Worldwide demand has soared and opal prices have rocketed, making it one of the most valuable gemstones in market. A single stone can be worth millions of dollars and over 90% of it comes from just one place on the planet: the remote Australian Outback. Hidden beneath our desert plains lies a hidden bounty, 30 million years in the making, just waiting to be discovered.
Pushing their bodies and bank accounts to the limit, the crews of Outback Opal Hunters tunnel through the scorched ground, battle relentless heat, face deadly snakes and spiders - prepared to pay the ultimate price, hunting the ultimate reward: a fortune in Opal. Join the hunt!