Andamooka Dukes Bottlehouse Motel & Andamooka Opal Showroom
Dukes Accommodation Establishment was opened by Rudi and Inge Duke in 1967 as a Guesthouse in the main street of Andamooka. Rudi came to the Opal Field in 1962 to try and make his fortune in opal mining, but got lonely and bought wife Inge, and kids, Nick (13) and Margot (9) to the field in 1964. Both Rudi and Inge worked hard with other partners in the mining game but the luck was not with them. In 1967 they purchased a small shed and decided to try and supplement their lack of income by providing accommodation to the odd visitor that braved the track to visit the field. At that time no other accommodation was available in the settlement.
Despite the isolation and the shocking condition of the ‘old road’ the Guesthouse became a popular spot, initially with Gem and Mineral Clubs, and particularly with aviators from the eastern states. (They could avoid the road).
From a couple of rooms in the old tin shack, the place eventually grew to a ramshackle building housing 11 bedrooms, 28 beds with share toilet and shower facilities. Due to necessity, it was built mostly out of chipboard, corrugated iron and recycled timber. Luckily in those ‘good old days’ people came to experience the outback and so didn’t mind roughing it a little. Bucket showers (tread up your own water), hard water, generators off at 11pm, hot nights, cold nights, flies & dust, kerosene fridges that didn’t always keep the beer cold, were all part and parcel of that wealth of wonderment that is the lure of the Outback. And if the rain kept you here but the food supplies out, well all the better!! The hospitality shown by the unique array of local identities would always keep one bemused.
As the Guesthouse also had a fairly large recreation room the locals were also able to partake of the Dukes’ hospitality and good German cooking on special occasions.