Coober Pedy Underground
Get under the surface
Experience life in the outback town of Coober Pedy, famous for its fabulous opals and bizarre underground homes. For generations, miners have dug into the white and orange rock to extract the valuable, sparkling stone. Why waste a good hole? The tunnels and chambers they dug were cool and dark, perfect to escape from the desert sun. These days, Coober Pedy is home to several thousand people, many of them still dig for opal and a few of them still live underground.
Guided tours of the town will take you into an underground museum, art galleries, churches and shops. Make sure you stay in one of the underground hotels and try underground life for yourself, it’s very unusual!
Mining, movies and mail men
Visit the opal fields to see one of the world’s strangest views. Join tours of local mines to see how they work. Get the chance to “noodle” (fossick) for your own opal treasure with operations like Down ‘n’ Dirty. You can buy opals in many outlets.
There are some amazing natural landscapes outside the town (some of them used as locations in films like Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome and Red Planet) including the Painted Desert, the colourful Breakaways and the Moon Plain. Star Gazing Tours go to the Moon Plain; it’s an eerie place and the stars are brilliant.
If you want to get further into the outback, join the Outback Mail Run Tour; a one-day trip out of Coober Pedy to deliver the mail! Drive to Anna Creek, the world’s largest cattle station (it’s the size of Belgium), to see the dog fence (the world’s largest manmade structure) and follow part of the Old Ghan Railway line. Meet the people of the outback, hear their stories and don’t forget to drop off their mail!
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Here’s how you can go underground in Coober Pedy. Discover a world beneath the surface.
What you should see while you’re in Coober Pedy. Here are some ideas…