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PH: 08 8672 5324

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Catacomb Road

Coober Pedy

Coober Pedy

Coober Pedy is situated in the South Australian Outback, 850km North of Adelaide and 690km South of Alice Springs. The town owes its existence to 14-year old William Hutchison who found the first pieces of opal at Coober Pedy in 1915, whilst looking for water during a gold prospecting trip. The name Coober Pedy derives from the Aboriginal words 'kupa piti', commonly assumed to mean 'white man in a hole'. The town is world renowned for its precious opal – and also for its unique method of living underground in 'dugouts'.

Coober Pedy looks different from anything you would have seen: it is still very much a mining town but with a touch of modern living standards, and surrounded by endless mullock heaps (spoil from opal mines) spread over a large area of mining fields. The town's population is estimated to be around 3000, with more than 40 nationalities and a diversity of ethnical communities being represented. Many of the residents came here with the intention of spending a few days or weeks – and they haven't left since. Coober Pedy is recognised as the largest producer of opal in the world. In recent years, however, the tourism industry has also become an important part of the town's economy – in particular with the interest in underground living – with travellers heading North and South on the highway, or crossing the deserts to the East and the West.

Tourist attractions

At The Underground Motel, we can help you with information on the attractions of Coober Pedy and its surrounding area, and we are happy to arrange tour bookings on your behalf. Explore on your own, or join one of the highly recommended town tours. Visit one of the underground churches, browse through underground shops, go to a museum and learn about the history of the town, take part in a guided tour through a modern-day working mine – or try your own luck by noodling (fossicking opal) through a mullock heap. Drive out to the magnificent Breakaways, over the Moon Plain and alongside the dog fence and take in the beauty of this arid land which has been the backdrop of many world-famous movies.

If you have more time to spend: book a Mail Run tour visiting some of the largest stations in Australia, or a day trip to the Painted Desert, or drive out to Oodnadatta with some of the most spectacular scenery and landscapes you will ever see. To the South East is William Creek with its famous pub, and Lake Eyre, a salt lake covering 8500 square kilometers. And should you feel like taking off: it can all be seen from the air by taking a chartered flight.

However long or short your stay: there will be something for you to discover

Catacomb Road

PO Box 375

Coober Pedy SA 5723

Phone 08 8672 5324 (international:  +61 8 8672 5324)

Fax 08 8672 5911 (international:  +61 8 8672 5911)