Opal Capital Of The World

Coober Pedy lays claim to being the Opal capital of the world and with over 70 fields certainly has the largest Opal mining area in the world.

It’s a strange landscape to drive into – more like a moonscape – with mounds from diggings dotting the earth’s surface. I think of those mounds representing the highs and lows of the Opal miners life … and that’s only what we can see on the surface!

Coober Pedy mine diggings

As well as being famous for its opal Coober Pedy is also known for its underground houses. As the summer temperatures can soar above 50 degrees Celsius everyone has dug their homes into the hillsides where the inside temperature is constantly around 21 degrees Celsius all year round. There are hotels, restaurants, churches and shops underground too! No good if you have a fear of underground places like my travelling buddy Dave!

Bedroom in Faye’s Underground Home
Underground Hotel Coober Pedy
The awe inspiring Serbian Church carved out underground.
Air vents to provide ventilation to the underground homes.

I’ve had some outstanding views from my motorhome on this trip but I’d have to say this one is not the most inspiring! Despite scouring the heap of dirt in front of me I didn’t see any colours peeping through – no opal fortune for me here!

But how many times in your life do you camp at an Opal mine? Especially one that offers showers and toilets! And with your friends!

Photo by Ed Sainsbury

I saved my money in Coober Pedy and resisted the temptation to go on any tours as I had been here in 2015 and visited most of the main attractions then including doing the legendary mail run out to William Creek and Oodnadatta, visiting the largest cattle station in the world at Anna Creek Station. I wrote this blog about it back then.

I did indulge in a delicious dinner of creamy garlic prawns at The Big Winch hilltop venue that also offered a 360 deg movie experience of the area and interviews with some of the local characters. Well worth it!

The Big Winch
View from The Big Winch

We stayed 3 nights in Coober Pedy at Riba’s Underground Mine that also offered an underground camping experience if you wanted. I preferred to stay on the surface😊

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