Coober Pedy Tour

Return to Places of Interest

14:38 June 16th
Let's start with the Golf Club. Someone has a sense of humour.

When you play here you can rent a patch of grass to carry around with you to slip under your ball each time it lands so you can claim to have played the whole course on grass.

This golf club has reciprocal membership rights with St. Andrews, Scotland, the home of golf.

15:01 June 16th
Outside town in an active mining area we see a close up of the mining holes that cover every centimetre of the landscape like holes in the surface of a crumpet. They can be tens of metres deep. You simply don't walk around outside town without great care.

Tunnels go under the tracks too.

15:04 June 16th
One of the vacuum trucks in operation. Somewhere, perhaps 80 metres below there is one miner at work

Thar she blows.

15:14 June 16th
This area has been mined once by open cut. Now the owner has an air-conditioned shipping container set up with an ultraviolet light and he spends all day sifting buckets of sand looking for the opal that was missed.

15:29 June 16th
Fifteen minutes away to the east is a stunning site. This is the cliff edge of a prehistoric inland sea. In every direction, whatever the play of the sunlight, the pigmentation of the landscape is remarkable.

In Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, this butte was the place to find a cock in a frock on a rock.

15:42 June 16th
The driver of the minibus takes us to the ocean floor...

...and out over the Moon Plains...

...to the Dog Fence which stretches across three states to the north, west...

...south and east.

16:58 June 16th
Back in the centre of Coober Pedy, underneath the winch photographed at sunset yesterday, is an underground mine which has been converted to a museum and house. Let's explore the house first.

The only natural light comes through the front door which leads out of the side of the hill. This is typical of homes throughout Coober Pedy.

You definitely need torches stored in cubbyholes in every room in case the town's massive diesel generators fail.

17:09 June 16th
Parts of the original mine have been left untouched.

This one was dug by hand (and gelignite) by one miner who entered down the shaft on the winch above. He eventually went off his head and believed that if he left his mine someone would steal it. Townsfolk eventually had to keep him alive by winching food down to him.

And this is what it was all about. The entire moon-mound landscape was created by the search for this crystallised, mineralised water - opal.

18:04 June 16th
Entering the Serbian Orthodox Church.

This building has only been carved for a few years but it is already on the national heritage list.

This is the baptism area above the main worship area.

The Parish Hall and Serbian Club is next door.

Is this Slobodan Milosevic in a place of honour?