Blogs from Coober Pedy, South Australia, Australia, Oceania

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Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Coober Pedy March 4th 2015

Hello family, Friends and bloggers, After a rubbish night sleep outside in my swag (Neil slept sound as he had the large double swag and loves it outside), we all woke at 4.30am to leave by 5.30am after rolling up swags, getting dressed and having our normal standard breakfast. We were walking around the 10.6km perimeter of Uluru this morning before 6am. The sun came up on the east side about 6.15am. The views were amazing, we had our whole last 3 day itinerary changed as the weather was too hot to do the walk on the first day so we have been playing chase since then!!! We completed the walk by 8am (good going even with this annoying Ozzy girl who was slow as a snail). We hit the rode by 8.30am for a 9 ... read more
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Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Coober Pedy October 8th 2014

Yesterday was still a Southerly wind, although a bit lighter and a top of 240C expected. We decided to have a rest day and catch up with the housework, which we both did together. Barry then had a rest while I went into the sunshine and sorted the opal dirt Stella had given me yesterday. I found quite a few tiny chips of colour and a couple of larger stones with a small touch of colour hiding in it. Nothing usable as gems but pretty and fun to have found myself Today the wind is still going to be a headwind today but not very strong. Barry has decided we can’t stay here forever and is anxious to move on towards Woomera. We went to the public dump point in Coober Pedy to get rid of ... read more
Lake Hart at Sunset
A Treeless Plain Along the Stuart Highway
A Red-backed Kingfisher

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Coober Pedy October 6th 2014

The wind today started as a strong Northerly then at about 10.45am swung around to the South. At 11.42am we had a really fierce gust, which Barry checked on his phone and found was 70kph. It raised even more dust than we’d been having for the last few days causing clouds of red dirt to pour down the road behind us and almost completely hiding the hills at the edge of town, which could see clearly – usually! The pigeons that normally come down foraging had to stay on the ground, or they were being blown sideways and getting nowhere fast. We stayed in the van until the worst of the dust storm was over and then went to fill up the ute at the cheapest place in to. It was originallwn, we were told, Opal ... read more
The Dust Storm, Coober Pedy
Faye's Underground House
Faye's Underground House Pool

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Coober Pedy October 5th 2014

We were up at 6am and out by 7am today as we wanted to see the Breakaways while the early morning sun was still on them. We approached from Cottonbush Creek Road, not the way we’d come during the tour, and we found out why – as the sun was in our faces and not illuminating the rock faces at the first two lookouts. The third one was much better and showed some wonderful colours, including the Two Dogs (otherwise known as the Castle). They are one white mound sitting next to one yellow mound with a pointed brown cone nearby, which is their owner in Aboriginal stories. We then followed the track down onto the plain at the bottom of the formations where we could see the back of them in full sun and really ... read more
The Castle or Papa (Two Dogs)
Layer upon Layer
Old Timers Opal Mine

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Coober Pedy October 4th 2014

We left Cadney Homestead at 9.40am and hit the road for Coober Pedy – corrugated as it was. The council also repaired the bitumen on both sides to smooth out the surface. It looked very odd as the two sides were covered in green pebbles and the centre still had the original brown colour stones and the white lines had been left, too. This meant that the road was brightly colourful and the white lines really stood out. One Rest Area we went into was already occupied with a motorbike rider in full leather kit. I chatted with him and found out that the T-shirted riders I’d seen yesterday were taking part in a race to Uluru from anywhere around Australia. Each rider had sponsors who paid a small amount for each of the kilometres they ... read more
Wild Flowers on the Way to Coober Pedy
Our first  Glimpse of Opal Mines
Coober Pedy

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Coober Pedy July 8th 2014

Desert Ship Territory Log Day 5 We started the day with an organised tour which I felt was a waste of money as the tour guide told us everything I had read in the tourist bureau yesterday and all the places we went to we could have gone to ourselves. One thing I did notice and was verified by our ex Opal Miner, tour guide, who looked about 85, had a German accent and walked with an unmistakable miner's stoop, was that the population of about 2000 was represented by 45 different nationalities. So far I have not come across one Australian. In this respect, Coober Pedy is so full of juxtapositions on so many levels. Where do I start. So Australian and so multicultural all simultaneously. I don't think there is a designated dump here ... read more
Coober Pedy Golf Course
Front Yard in Coober Pedy
Underground Serbian Orthodox Church

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Coober Pedy July 7th 2014

Desert Ship Territory Day 4 Log This morning afforded us a bit of a sleep in without the routine of having to pack up and leave. We enjoyed our new digs and the novelty of living underground for a few days. There were a heap of grey nomads with a difference staying here. They were all on their motor bikes zooming around the desert. If you ask me they should be tucked up at home watching ABC documentaries. Our first stop was the town lookout, The Big Winch, but it was closed and some how we ended up in the neighbour's place. In this quirky place nothing is very well sign posted and when it is, it's just hand painted signs. Now this guy was a real 'old timer' Chinese character. With his deeply lined face, ... read more
My Hong Kong Tries to Sell Us Opals
"Space" Junk in Main Street
The Public Noodle Patch

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Coober Pedy July 6th 2014

Desert Ship Territory Log Day 3. We were on the road by 9.00am after a quick stop at Foodland for a few supplies. After about an hour on the Eyre Highway we turned off to hit the gravel for some hard core 4WD time. Well not as hard core as Googs Track which is even more of a short cut (the sand dunes put me off going that way). By taking the 270km gravel route via Kingoonia we were going to save 400km off our time. Do you think alarm bells should have rung when I booked our accommodation in Coober Pedy over the phone, when the lady asked where we were travelling from and when I answered "Ceduna", there was an awkward silence and she responds with "I've never heard of that before"? There was ... read more
Stretching our legs on the track from Eyre to Stuart Hwy
4WD Track from Eyre Hwy to Stuart Hwy
Sturt Desert Pea

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Coober Pedy May 13th 2014

For those who are new to this blog if you double click on the first photograph you will get all the photos in a slide show. We headed off from Island Lagoon lookout and headed off into Woomera after having to tighten up a jubilee clip on our water lines, this involved removing part of the bash plating underneath. Water seems to be our nemesis. We wanted some tomatoes and bread so headed off to the supermarket where tomatoes were cheaper than buying them in Clare! $4.10 kg, invested in three and some fresh spinach leaves. Tomatoes on our sandwiches for lunch. Woomera is such a clean and tidy town. Not a thing out of place. We wandered around the outdoor display of rockets and weapons which were developed and launched during the stations heyday. Visited ... read more
Rocket
Graham and a rocket
Rockets 2

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Coober Pedy May 4th 2014

Dear Fellow Travellers Finally we’ve set off and our adventure is under way, first stop Coober Pedy. This tiny town oozes charm and personality and if I didn’t know any better I would have thought it was a ghost town with the only visible signs of life along the main street but that is why Coober Pedy is special. Even though it is only a 9 hour drive up the highway being here feels like I’m on a completely different planet (coincidently Coober Pedy has been used in a couple of si-fi movies as another planet). Literally dirt, like no grass anywhere and over 1 million opal mines/holes dug in the area, Coober Pedy is definitely as unique as they come. We spilt our only day between visiting dugouts, wandering the main street and opal shopping. ... read more
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