Tuesday the 9th September we travelled the Savannah Way from…
Coober Pedy is 846 Kms north of Adelaide on the Stuart Highway. Driving into town you would think you were on another planet with all the white mounds on either side of the road its very barren and hot. The opal fields are pitted with abandoned prospecting drill holes up to 30m deep. Its not a large town and a lot of the homes and businesses are underground to escape the heat of the day. We stayed at The Oasis Tourist Park and our camp site was a covered area to help keep the van cool.
There’s Art Gallerys, Museums, underground churches, lots of Opal shops and underground pub and lots of great eateries. The town is sometimes referred to as the “opal capital of the world” because of the quantity of precious opals that are mined there. The name “Coober Pedy” comes from the local Aboriginal term kupa-piti, which means “white man’s hole”.
Opal was found in Coober Pedy on 1 February 1915; since then the town has been supplying most of the world’s gem-quality opal. Coober Pedy today relies as much on tourism as the opal mining industry to provide the community with employment and sustainability. Coober Pedy has over seventy opal fields and is the largest opal mining area in the world.