For some travellers Coober Pedy is just an ugly, dusty place in the middle of nowhere. However, many visitors are fascinated by this unique opal mining town in Outback South Australia.
To quote from a song written by John Williamson, you've arrived...
"In a dusty lean-to town with a dusty digger's face,
Where you can find an opal if you can stand the pace,
Where you can be a miner no matter what your race,
Where you can dig a hole and live and die without a trace."
Coober Pedy is an Aboriginal name that means "white men in a hole". The name perfectly describes the fact that about 80 % of the residents live underground to escape from the heat in summer, and the cold nights in winter.
You can reach Coober Pedy on the sealed Stuart Highway. Coming from Alice Springs (690 km), or even Darwin (2210 km), in the north, or from Port Augusta (535 km) and Adelaide (845 km) in the south, either way it is a long drive.
Want to do some Outback tracks while you are in this part of the world? No problem. There are two routes from Coober Pedy to join the famous Oodnadatta Track. It's about 165 km to William Creek on a track that crosses the world's largest cattle station, Anna Creek. Another option is to go from Coober Pedy to Oodnadatta via Mt. Barry, 195 km. Both tracks are rather lonely, and only suitable in dry weather conditions.
I also recommend a trip to the Painted Desert and the Arckaringa Hills. Take the track to Oodnadatta for the first 143 km, and then turn left towards Arckaringa and Cadney homestead on the Stuart Highway.
This is a nice detour from the highway, to see stunning Outback scenery, when you are travelling north from the Australian opal capital.
After all these activities, are you're looking for a place to relax? Now you really have the choice to "live like a miner" - that means underground! The locals know how to live convenient in this parched land, and they offer this unusual experience to their visitors as well. Hey, you can even camp underground in the opal capital of the world.
No worries, if the thought of staying in a "cave" doesn't appeal to you, Coober Pedy also offers you a bed in a place above the ground.
Use the search box below to check for the best rates and see what is available.
It is definitely worth to discover the surroundings of Coober Pedy.
The colourful Breakaways are only a short drive to the north, while the dog fence and the desolate Moon Plain are located east of the town.