Blogs from Coober Pedy, South Australia, Australia, Oceania

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Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Coober Pedy June 28th 2022

We topped our tank water supply, $1 for 40L, plus brought another 15L from IGA, just-in-case! We visited a few Coober Pedy attractions: Big Winch 360, Old Timer’s Mine, Opal Jewellery (none purchased), Comfort Inn, Coober Pedy views, Coober Pedy Hill Sign and roamed the streets, just looking. Personally, having been raised in a small outback mining town, I had had enough and just wanted to be on my way. We hit the William Creek Road, which only a few weeks ago was closed, being impassable due to the recent rain having caused havoc with the track, turning it into a mud quagmire. We hoped for the best and found for the most parts a fast hard track. Apart from a few brief sections it passes through a totally flat, treeless, dry plain (desert). We stopped ... read more
Cuppa leaning on a tree
The Sign
Vents for underground home

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Coober Pedy June 26th 2022

1 500 000 … that’s, One Million Five Hundred Thousand … that’s how many opal shafts have been dug since opal mining began in and around Coober Pedy. Advice, don’t get drunk and wander off. Coober Pedy means, “White Man in a Hole”. The area has over 70 fields, the largest opal mining area in the world producing 85% of the world’s opals. Its surrounds look moon-like (not that I’ve visited the moon … yet) with the landscape dotted with shafts and mullock heaps. CP lies on the edge of the erosional scarp of the Stuart Ranges, on beds of sand and siltstone 30m deep, topped with a stony, treeless desert. Due to the regions very low rainfall, a modern water desalination plant using reverse osmosis process, produces frsh drinking water for all … however … ... read more
The Dog Fence

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Coober Pedy September 8th 2020

When planning this trip, there were two key places I wanted to visit and everything else was added while joining the dots. The first is the Flinders Ranges, which will be the final stage of my visit to South Australia. The other was Goog’s Track. Goog’s Track runs north from Ceduna up to the Trans-Australia railway through remote country. Described as a mini-Simpson Desert, it crosses approximately 360 sand dunes as it passes the salt lake named after the first white man to set foot on it, Goog’s Lake, and Mount Finke. While it is not a long distance - the track itself goes for about 150km – you need to be self-sufficient as the distance between services is about 350km and there is essentially no water along the way. On Friday morning I stopped for ... read more
Mount Finke casts its shadow
Me and my car
Airing down

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Coober Pedy June 14th 2019

As we were driving along the Stuart Highway towards Coober Pedy, we were constantly amazed at the changing landscape. Silly me I've forgotten the gadget that downloads my big cameras photos to my iPad so I'll need to post them later. I'd booked us into the Lookout Cave Underground Motel. Our room was fantastic but way too modem to give us a appreciation of what it was really like living underground.the fan had to be on 24/7 to circulate the air and keep the room cool as it was a constant 25 degrees underground. I did get a bit concerned when every morning there'd be chips off the wall on the floor and bedhead. Unfortunately we didn't find any opal. We did the mail run tour our first day. The tour is run by a local ... read more
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Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Coober Pedy June 12th 2019

We set out on Tuesday, June 11th. Fletcher had to renew his drivers' licence before we went so once that was done we were off! Our first destination was Woomera. We have been all over the world, but the north of our own state is unknown to us! We had packed the car with all we needed for a long trip including extra water and food and a box of talking books and other CDs to keep us interested in the long stretches of driving ahead. We headed north, travelling past Port Wakefield and our first stop was Port Pirie. Neither of us had been here for a long time , so we drove into the town and went for a stroll around the main strip. Not incredibly exciting, but we found a Cafe Primo and ... read more
Wreckage of the Us rocket
Mines Coober Pedy
In Coober Pedy

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Coober Pedy September 30th 2018

Coober Pedy (Aboriginal for "White man burrows") Due to the winds I delayed my departure about an hour from the Ayers Rock resort. It was cooler but windy for the first hour or so of my ride out of Uluru back to the main road (152 miles). Once I hit the Stuart highway, I had a 304 mile trek down to Coober Pedy. Note: the Stuart highway runs from the top of the country starting in Darwin in the North to Adelaide in the south. I caught Stuart Highway at Tennant Creek and will ride about 2/3 of the length of the road by the time I reach Adelaide. The winds died down and the last leg of the ride was relaxing. About a 100 miles from Coober Pedy I entered the state of South Australia. ... read more
Opal mine shafts outside of town
Winner of the most unusual looking hotel entrance  Lookout Cave Coober Pedy
Entrance to Lookout Cave Hotel Coober Pedy

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Coober Pedy February 15th 2018

The drive from Kings Canyon to Coober Pedy was again proof that none of our plans go without a hitch. As we were driving we noticed the temperature gauge was getting very close to hot we decided to pull over and check the radiator liquid. The engine is under the passenger side chair so after pulling over and moving the chair we were able to see the radiator. Laurent took off the radiator cover. There was a strange noise coming from it and I realised what was going to happen. I yelled at Laurent to put the cover back quickly and move away but it was too late. Water and green liquid erupted like a volcano, hitting the ceiling, and most of the front of the van. We had opened it too soon. After filling up ... read more
Port Augusta
The water tower
We left the Northern Territory

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Coober Pedy November 13th 2017

Well, here we are. It’s 5 am and we just got off the bus in Coober Pedy. There’s a Shell station across the road that’s open, at least the store and the bathroom, not the restaurant. So we sit on the outdoor chairs and wait for sunrise. Ferdy had called the owners of the Lookout Cave Underground Motel yesterday, which we had booked and paid for, and they had said they would pick us up after 8 am. You see, there are no taxis or local buses here and things don't open too early. We met two other Canadian women on the bus, both retired. Both volunteer in Australia, one as a teacher, the other as a house sitter. They get to travel a lot. We spend some time with them waiting for 8 am. When ... read more
Sunrise
Desert Cave Mall
Catacomb Anglican Church.

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Coober Pedy June 20th 2017

Geo: -29.0123, 134.755 With a short drive to Coober Pedy we arrived at the Oasis Caravan Park about 10.30. This is a nice park at the end of the main street well away from the main highway. Clean and quiet. Checking in we were told that someone was still on our site until midday so we had to wait. This delighted Jen & Nat as it would be the 1st time they had set up before us. With no coffee coming I decided to clean the van as it was filthy after our night free camping at Matheson's Bore. Finally, just after 12 pm we could set up the van and decided to visit the bakery for lunch. Just as well we didn't want a cake as they charged $5-6 for a donut/small slice of cake. ... read more
The Breakaways
The Breakaways
The Breakaways

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Coober Pedy June 1st 2017

Hi again, day 14 and we have commenced our Southbound journey. We slept overnight in a converted underground mine. No windows, no natural lights, 17 meters underground and no noise. Well we all slept in, even me. I stirred at 7.30am. This is unheard of. The lack of noise and natural light is unnatural but I could get used to. Anyhow everyone had a great sleep. We had breakfast at the hotel underground. The grandchildren had a ball, at least we didn't have to worry about the walls being damaged. We headed off for our drive to Port Augusta. First we stopped at the "Welcome Coober Pedy" sign and took some mandatory tourist shots. We had 535 km to drive and by 9am we were on the road. The road was uneventful, and we stopped quite ... read more
hotel / Mine entrance
Sandstone decorating
The sandstone mining lounge outside our rooms




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