Coober Pedy is known as the opal capital of the world because of the quantity of precious opals that are mined there.

It is renowned for below ground residences, called "dugouts", due to the scorching daytime heat. The name 'Coober Pedy' comes from the local Aboriginal term kupa-piti, which means 'Whiteman’s hole', a waterhole.

Coober Pedy is probably one of the last of Australia’s the wild west towns. and is the launching spot to Oodnadatta.

The first explorer to pass near the site of Coober Pedy was Scottish born John McDouall Stuart in 1858, but the town was not established until after 1915, when opal was discovered by Willie Hutchison. Miners first moved in around about 1916. By 1999, there were more than 250,000 mine shaft entrances in the area and a law discouraged large-scale mining by allowing each prospector a 165-square-foot (15.3 m2) claim.

The harsh summer desert temperatures mean that many residents prefer to live in caves bored into the hillsides ("dugouts"); they remain  a constant temperature, whereas surface living needs air-conditioning, especially during the summer months, when temperatures often exceed 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).

Underground construction continues to this day.

The Anglican and Catholic Churches are underground. Both very impressive.

The Museum is also underground.

The War Memorial is currently being upgraded.

One pub is underground and the other the air conditioned variety.

The signs around the town are attractions in their own right.

Coober Pedy is a dusty opal mining town that gives justice to the claim of being the world capitol of opal mining. Allow a min of two days to get the best out of the place.

Heritage diary


Fireplace Dump Station
General Store Bottled Gas
Internet Caravan
Camping 4WD
Kitchen Facilities Disabled access
Laundry Toilets
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Meals Airport
Pets Allowed   Boat Ramp
Telephone Picnic Area
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Stream Water   Walking tracks
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Hang Gliding Golf Course