Coober Pedy

Find out why everything happens underground in the world's opal capital. There's a relaxed and friendly vibe in Coober Pedy, where 3,500 residents from over 45 different countries have literally gone underground to avoid the searing outback heat. Most people work in the opal fields but their quirky underground community - complete with a church, hotels and a grassless golf course - has made tourism the second biggest industry. Coober Pedy
Coober Pedy
Site Requires Javascript - turn on javascript!
Find out why everything happens underground in the world’s opal capital.

There's a relaxed and friendly vibe in Coober Pedy, where 3,500 residents from over 45 different countries have literally gone underground to avoid the searing outback heat.  Most people work in the opal fields but their quirky underground community - complete with a church, hotels and a grassless golf course - has made tourism the second biggest industry.

Discovered in 1913 by 14-year-old Willie Hutchison, Coober Pedy takes its name from the Aboriginal word kupa (uninitiated man or white man) and piti (hole). Today its 70 fields cover almost 5,000 square kilometres and produce most of the world's opals.

The Breakaways, Coober Pedy, SA. © SATC

The Breakaways, Coober Pedy, SA

This is the place to ‘noodle' - or fossick - for opals, meet people from across the world in their dugout homes and visit an underground art gallery. Don a hard-hat and explore Coober Pedy's history in an abandoned mine that is now a museum. Or relive the days of pick-and-shovel mining in the labyrinth-like passageways, where seams of opal are still in the walls.

When you venture above ground, tour the area's awesome apocalyptic landscapes and see part of Dog Fence. Measuring more than 5,000km, it was built to protect farm animals from dingos, Australia's wild dogs. Don't forget to look up at the outback sky at night, blazing with stars brighter than opals.

More Holiday Ideas

See what else there is near here to inspire your holiday planning.

Flinders Ranges

Flinders Ranges

Flinders Ranges

Lift your soul in South Australia's timeless Flinders Ranges and outback, home to Wilpena Pound and the underground opal town of Coober Pedy. Star gaze, see rare native wildlife, and uncover Aboriginal and pastoral history. For an adventure, drive the South Australian Loop from Adelaide, hike the Heysen trail or 4WD to the Simpson Desert and mostly arid Lake Eyre. - See more at: http://tour-aus-author.haylix.net/content/australia/en/places/flinders-ranges.html#sthash.Djdb0CeF.dpuf

View more information

Add to your dream trip
Lake Eyre

Lake Eyre

Lake Eyre

Lake Eyre, in the Lake Eyre National Park around 700 kilometres north of Adelaide, is an extraordinary oasis in the harsh South Australian outback. The Lake Eyre Basin covers an astonishing 1 million square kilometres and crosses the borders of South Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland.

View more information

Add to your dream trip
Adelaide

Adelaide

Adelaide

Soak up Adelaide's colonial elegance in the spacious green parklands, bustling Adelaide Central Markets and the museums and libraries of North Terrace. Swim with dolphins in Glenelg, explore Hahndorf and other picturesque villages in the Adelaide Hills, and wind between world-class wineries in the nearby Barossa and Clare Valley. Visit for international events such as the Santos Tour Down Under.

View more information

Add to your dream trip
South Australian Loop

South Australian Loop

South Australian Loop

Take in fine food and wine in the Barossa and Clare Valleys, explore the rugged Flinders Ranges and meet wildlife galore on Kangaroo Island. Taste wine made by Jesuit priests in Sevenhill, climb the huge natural amphitheatre of Wilpena Pound and visit the historic copper-mining town of Burra. Swim, surf, snorkel and bushwalk along the Fleurieu Peninsula before getting up close to penguins in Penneshaw and a colony of sea lion at Seal Rocks on Kangaroo Island. This scenic drive takes in South Australia's most famous attractions on two smaller loops through the elegant capital of Adelaide.

View more information

Add to your dream trip