Coober Pedy is world-famous for its vast opal mining fields and cave-dwelling population. Due to a barren Outback landscape, it’s a favourite film location for apocalyptic dramas, such as “Mad Max III” and “Pitch Black”, but also has opal mining, underground dining and a kangaroo orphanage.
Things to do in Coober Pedy
Coober Pedy offers numerous ways to experience opals. Head over to Tom’s Working Opal Mine to witness a working excavation site and try your hand at “noodling and specking” for opals. At Old Timers Mine, roam through a labyrinth of historic underground mining tunnels and view mining equipment demonstrations.
Josephine's Gallery & Kangaroo Orphanage is a fascinating three-in-one experience, beginning with feeding orphaned baby kangaroos. The Aboriginal art gallery features Indigenous paintings, and you can buy didgeridoos and opal jewellery. Lucky Strike Opal Mine lies beneath it all, giving a full look at opal mining, from open cutting to tunnelling, drilling and mining by hand.
A subterranean community of churches, cafes, homes and hotels thrives in the cool underground depths of Coober Pedy, away from the searing heat. Check out Catacomb Church and the detailed rock-wall carvings at Serbian Orthodox Church. You can browse small opal shops for opal-cutting demonstrations and exquisite opal jewellery.
Dining in Coober Pedy ranges from the Outback Bar & Grill to the trendy rooftop Umbertos Restaurant serving Orroroo kangaroo and South Australian wines. You can also enjoy live music and pasta at Italo-Australian Miners Club.
Getting around Coober Pedy
Coober Pedy lies more than 800 kilometres from Adelaide and almost 700 kilometres from Alice Springs, with train services connecting the cities. Walking is the most convenient way to explore the compact streets.