Coober Pedy - Cities, Towns and Localities
the 1st of February, 1915, when opal was first discovered here, Coober Pedy has
been supplying the world with the majority of gem quality opals.
Today, the uniqueness of Coober Pedy and its surround, make it a popular
tourist destination. One of the mainstay attractions in
Coober Pedy is the unique style of underground accommodation and authentic underground homes,
as well as the
museums, opal shops, opal mines, churches, galleries etc.
Following are some
of the attractions to be seen in Coober Pedy and surrounding region.
|Coober Pedy Attractions
The Breakaways Reserve
25 km from Cooper Pedy, is the breath-taking ancient landscape.
• Located about 15 km north-east of Coober Pedy is the
longest continual construction in the world, ‘The Dog Fence’, stretching
some 5,400 kms. The fence starts east of Surfer’s Paradise in Queensland
and winds it way north of Ceduna in the Great Australian Bight and is two
and a half times longer than the Great Wall of China.
It all started
when farmers built vermin fences to protect their livestock from the
dingoes (the Australian native dogs). However, this did not work due to
the maintenance involved, so one long continuous fence was built. After
the World War II, in 1946, a single-line dog fence was established.
There are mainly cattle on the north side of the fence, as cattle
graziers are able to handle the dingoes to a certain degree. On the
south side is a predominately sheep livestock. The main problems that
the dog fence faces, are from the camels that can trample the fence,
allow the dingoes through.
Note: Did you know that the ‘rabbit-proof fence’ referred to in the
movie of the same name, is actually the ‘dog fence’. However the ‘rabbit-proof
fence’ refers to an 800 km fence built in Western Queensland in the late 1880s
in an attempt to prevent the rapidly expanding rabbit population from spreading
further north. Part of the fence ran north from the South Australian-Queensland
border 20 km west of Eyre Creek to a point 240 km north of Poeppel Corner in
the Simpson Desert. It of course failed to stop the rabbits from spreading and
now lays half buried by sand, marking part of the Queensland park’s eastern
The Catacomb Church
• Catacomb Rd (behind Hospital Hill), COOBER
PEDY SA 5723 • Ph: 08 8672 5038
• Developed from an old dugout, it was
opened as an underground Anglican church in 1977. It has been cut out of
sandstone in the shape of a cross.
The Mail Run
• The Mail Run travels over diverse country,
including gibber plains, red sand hills, and 120 million year old
The run passes through Oodnadatta, which thrived when the
transcontinental railway reached there in 1891. The town also became
famous for its teams of Afghan cameleers who loaded mail, freight and
travellers for transportation north, such as to Alice Springs. The run
then heads south, through William Creek and it’s legendary bush pub. You
can also check out the Dingo Cafe with its memorabilia and old photos of
the region. This railway town is known for having Australia’s first
solar powered telephone and is smaller than it’s nearest neighbour Anna
Creek, the world’s largest cattle station.
The route takes you through the world’s longest man-made structure,
the Dingo Fence. You will see the old Ghan Railway Line whilst
travelling up the famous Oodnadatta Track, which follows the old
Aboriginal trading route, the foot steps of explorer John McDouall
Stuart, and the historic Overland Telegraph Line. Click here for
• Located in some of the most spectacular
breakaway country, that has evolved from the ancient inland sea. This
area has eroded away over time, and combined with the leaching of
minerals from the soil, to create a magical place of changing colours.
Mine & Museum
• Crowders Gully Rd, COOBER PEDY SA 5723 • Ph: 08 8672 5555
• Visit the Old Timers Mine and Museum.
Explore an historic 1916 opal mine, see natural seams of opal and fossils, wlak
through original underground homes, underground gift shop, opal jewellery,
noodle the pit.
Opal Mine & Museum
• Lot 14 Hutchison St, COOBER PEDY SA 5723 •
Ph: 08 8672 5288 • Email: online form
• Guided tours through the
Aboriginal Interpretive Centre, underground home and our real opal mine.
Large display of opal jewellery, black opals, specimens and souvenirs.
• Water is a precious commodity in Cooper Pedy. In the past, water was
shipped in. Today the town water comes from an underground source 24 km
north of the town, pumped through an underground pipeline to the water
works where it is treated by reverse osmosis and pumped through a
reticulated town water supply system.
This treatment process is
expensive and consequently water costs between $3-$5 per 1,000 litres,
unlike the major city, where cost is less than a dollar per 1,000 litre.
There is a 24 hour, coin-operated
water service for visitors and locals. Cost at the time of photo (17
October 2003) was 20 cents per 30 litres.
John McDouall Stuart Monument
• Located near the Stuart Highway,
3 km south of Coober Pedy, the monument commemorates the achievements
of the explorer John McDouall Stuart.