About Us


Image of Herman in his mining days

Herman's mining days

Herman has been in Australia for over 50 years now. He left the Black Forest in Germany as a "10 dollar migrant", to experience the lifestyle of outback Australia. He was required to stay in Australia for 2 years, but 50 years later he knows that he is not going to budge.

He has been in Lightning Ridge for 40 years now, spending many years underground digging for the lovely opal. He is convinced that this is a good way to spend your life. You have total freedom from conventionality and pressures. You can quite simply decide the pace of your working life or your free time.

Herman found a sport he became quite good at, namely a non-energetic competition sport. The Olympic Pistol target shooting. No running or jumping required, only standing still.

He was NSW State Pistol Team Manager, Senior Vice President of the NSW Amateur Pistol Association, and then a member of the Australian squad for the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, after having placed 4th overall in Rapid Fire at the then National Championships. He finished up at the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984 as Armory Marshal at the Shooting. The day after the Olympics, on the flight home, he fell in love with, of all people, the beautiful flight attendant on Continental Airlines, Sandy from Lubbock, Texas, USA.

Image of Sandy on the commuter train

Sandy on the train

After a very short courtship, lasting a total of 28 days over a 5 month period, Sandy arrived in Lightning Ridge. Naturally, in fear and trepidation. She did not really know Herman, did not at all know Lightning Ridge, and knew very little about Australia.

Sandy has been in Lightning Ridge 25 years now, still wondering just how long a "whirlwind romance" can last.

Herman and Sandy built the Opal Cave from ground up, and opened the Shop on Easter Saturday 1988. Herman is a Charter member Rotarian, a Paul Harris Fellow, and was Chairman of the 2002 Rotary District Conference. Rotary meets every Monday at 7pm at the Bowling Club. Freemasons meet every second Friday of the month at the RAOB Temple in Morilla Street.

Herman will be forever grateful to Sandy, Lightning Ridge and all the people who live there for having made his life worth living.

USA TV SHOPPING CHANNEL

15 years and 8000 hours live on a USA national television shopping channel.

Herman and Sandy Kreller spent over 15 years commuting to America to promote OPAL, Lightning Ridge, and the OPAL INDUSTRY, on a National Television Shopping Channel in the USA.

This was all worthwhile as it gave them the opportunity to explain to an audience of many millions of households in America about life in the outback and the advantages of living on the Opal Fields.

They were marketing all types of Australian Opal, but with special emphasis on the Lightning Ridge Black Opal.

About 30 percent of our turn-over is repeat business, speaking for the quality of not only the product sold, but also the staff on hand to look after our visitors.

We feel that making a good impression on tourists will help, not only the Opal Cave, but the whole region.

Image of Sandy and Herman in front of the Opal cave

Sandy and Herman in front of the Opal Cave

Image of Sandy and Herman

Sandy and Herman