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Coober Pedy - Cities, Towns and Localities
Since 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
About 25 km from Cooper Pedy, is the breath-taking ancient landscape.
The Dog FenceThe Dog Fence
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 border.

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 in-land seabeds.

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 tour details...

Painted Desert
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.
Old Timers 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.
Umoona 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.
24 hour, coin-operated water service signage.Water
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.

24 hour, coin-operated water serviceThis 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.


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