Blogs from Coober Pedy, South Australia, Australia, Oceania

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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

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Coober Pedy May 24th 2017

Hi everyone, big day today so i apologise now for writing so much. Today was a day of mixed speeds. We had a very slow morning. No hurry to get up. Plenty of time to shower, go for a walk to the local servo for coffees and no hurry to come back. Laying in the sun was the order of the morning. I kept blocking the sun from Tracey and she was not happy. Such a great morning. Half the park checked out and they were predominatly large vans and their work horses ( Xavier was happy because he is seeing lots of Rangers). Not seeing many Hi Lux's pulling vans. We had a very light lunch. Tracey is still complaining that she has not been able to find any cream buns. Boy she is annoying ... read more
Tour Bus
Entrance to a new dug out
Walking inside the unfinished dug out

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Coober Pedy May 23rd 2017

Day 5 - The Red Centre - Oodnadatta to Coober Pedy Today we drive from Oodnadatta to Coober Pedy. This is only a 190km trip which will take about two hours based on our previous two days driving style, remembering Xavier is still in the lead car. We were hoping that the roads won't be as rough as they were the day before. We were lucky. Not too many corrugations and not a lot of rocks on the road. At the beginning of the trip we went past some terrain that was so barren not even the local sparse vegetation would grow. The land was littered with dark pebble type rocks. No chance even the local wildlife would survive here. It is also important to note that some of these rocks were littering the road. This ... read more
A moonscape terrain
Entrance to an underground Opal shop
Inside the Opal shop

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Coober Pedy May 9th 2017

The kiwis were up early and got away just ahead of us. I started the Land Cruiser and the message “Oil Maintenance Required” came up on the dashboard. Now if I was in Sydney I’d happily drive with an assortment of these messages over a few months admiring new ones as they appear (eg Fuel Filter Replacement Required), however at Halligan Bay it just didn’t seem the same. Also it seemed unlikely that there was a Toyota dealer at William Creek. There was no option but to head off. I checked the oil at William Creek (all good) and went into the pub for a coffee. The kiwis were there (not surprising as kiwis are basically everywhere). For some reason we got into a conversation about some part that had fallen off their camper trailer on ... read more

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Coober Pedy May 6th 2017

It’s not called the Nullabor out here, but it should be in my view. I have never seen such a “treeless” landscape, even when I drove the Nullabor on my way to the West a couple of years ago. I’m in opal country again … but Coober Pedy is a very tidy “opal” town by comparison to others I’ve seen. Perhaps it’s just that it is more commercial given that it sits on the one and only highway running from south to north right through the center of this sunburnt land. Or perhaps it is that the scale of the mining taking place is much grander … out here they use some pretty hefty machinery. Long gone are the days of the shovel and pick axe, although that is the way it was done ‘back in ... read more
Power lines
Stuart Highway towards Coober Pedy
Shawl in the sky

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Coober Pedy November 18th 2016

Wed and Thursday, 16 & 17 November 2016 The name of the town was approved by the Geographical Names Board on 13 May 1982 and was derived from the Glendambo Homestead. Glendambo is a comprehensive roadside stopping point with a caravan park, a hotel-motel, a licensed restaurant, roadhouse and general store. The hotel was certainly worth stopping for as it has extensive memorabilia from the wool industry. It was then onto Coober Pedy, the town which is sometimes referred to as the "opal capital of the world" because of the quantity of precious opals that are mined there. Coober Pedy is renowned for its below-ground residences, called "dugouts", which are built in this fashion due to the scorching daytime heat. The name "Coober Pedy" comes from the local Aboriginal term kupa-piti, which means "boys’ waterhole" or ... read more
142 Harts Lake (5)
141 Pimba (2)
141 Pimba (1)

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Coober Pedy June 25th 2016

Grey Nomads are retired Australians who cash in their super cheques, buy humongous caravans complete with a satellite dish and bike racks and then go travelling to warmer climes for the winter. The Stuart Highway from Port Augusta towards Darwin is packed with them, all heading out at sunrise, pulling in to the next caravan park in time for afternoon tea and a chat with friends from the road. Every evening there are one or two other tiny AVans, like Lina, tucked unobtrusively into corners, and people always greet us courteously, but they know that we are not serious enough, not real Grey Nomads. Two months to travel the 3000 kilometers from Adelaide to Darwin seems like a lot of leisurely time. Plenty of time to visit all those famous Oz icons, check out the National ... read more
Sharing the roads
Caravan Park
Comparing Sizes

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Coober Pedy November 13th 2015

Thursday 12 November continued We arrived at Coober Pedy bus station and were very pleased to see that the hotel shuttle was there waiting for us. Pat had asked if this was possible in the booking process, but we weren't sure if it would happen. Turns out that the town centre area isn't that big and everything is only 5 minutes away. That said our arrival greeting and journey to the hotel was very helpful and informative. Just in case you don't know by now the town is the Opal mining centre of the world, and Pat likes Opals. There are small and large spoil heaps for mile after mile of the drive in to town. After plenty of information was given to us about the hotel and opal mining, we were taken to our room. ... read more

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Coober Pedy November 12th 2015

Thursday 12 November After a great day yesterday at Uluru and surroundings, we had set the alarm for 8 am to get ready for our journey to Coober Pedy. Pat had stayed on the coach yesterday during the walks as she is not quite up to full strength yet, but was pleased we had managed to get to see Uluru and a sunset. There were at least ten coaches at the designated area at sunset, so several hundred people, mostly from the tour company AAT, in our huddles around the respective bbq's and the obligatory glass of champagne - not for me of course. Forgot to mention one of the things we saw yesterday was a herd of wild camels, about 15 of them. Our visit to the Bath Street Medical Centre on Tuesday to see ... read more
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