Australia's Hidden Oasis: Coober Pedy Unveiled!

Australia beckons with more than just its popular attractions; it holds a secret allure in the opal-rich landscapes of Coober Pedy, a destination rarely explored by tour groups. Venture beyond the well-trodden path and discover the unique charm that makes independent travel in Australia truly unforgettable.

Coober Pedy Town
(Image from

Unveiling Coober Pedy: A Martian-like Marvel

Australia beckons with more than just its popular attractions; it holds a secret allure in the opal-rich landscapes of Coober Pedy, a destination rarely explored by tour groups. Venture beyond the well-trodden path and discover the unique charm that makes independent travel in Australia truly unforgettable.

Navigating the Road Less Traveled

  1. Self-Drive Adventure

    • Embark on a 9-hour road trip from Adelaide along Stuart Highway, unlocking the freedom to explore at your pace. Driving through the expansive and flat landscapes, adorned with the occasional wildlife encounter, adds a layer of excitement. Remember, the vast stretches may lack SOS signals, so pre-download maps from Google Maps for a seamless journey.
  2.  Skyward Bound: Possibly the Smallest Plane

    • Opt for the unique experience of a daily flight from Adelaide to Coober Pedy, offered by the town's petite airport. While the flight accommodates around twenty passengers, ensure you arrange a shuttle bus service with your hotel, as public transport from the airport to the city center is unavailable.

    • Coober Pedy Airport
    • (Photograph from Michelle Yuen)
  3.  Budget-Friendly Bus Odyssey

    • For the economical traveler, a nightly 11-hour bus journey awaits. With prices ranging from AUD 230 to 236, this adventure offers amenities like small lights, USB charging ports, extendable seats, and a restroom. Be prepared for a test of endurance, but the nocturnal journey might reward you with glimpses of starlit skies. Secure your tickets through [Greyhound Australia].

Exploring the Enchantment of Coober Pedy

Coober Pedy has a permanent population of only 1566 people. However, in this town with less than two thousand residents, there are facilities such as an airport, hospital, school, post office, museum, church, hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, offices, and jewelry stores, among others.

Kanku Breakaways & Dog Fence: Nature's Canvas

Marvel at the breathtaking views of Kanku Breakaways & Dog Fence, where soft land and mountain ranges adorned with seashell fossils create a mesmerizing landscape. The world's longest dog fence, spanning over 5000 kilometers, offers a glimpse of Mars-like scenery with its orange-red soil and barren hills.
Kanku Breakaways & Dog Fence
(Photograph from Michelle Yuen)

Umoona Opal Mine & Museum: Delving into History

Address: 14 Hutchison St, Coober Pedy SA 5723, Australia
Phone: +61886725288
Immerse yourself in the history of local Indigenous people and opals at Umoona Opal Mine & Museum. Paid tours provide in-depth insights into opal formation, mining processes, and the 1920s mining lifestyle. Free access to parts of the museum allows for a self-guided exploration. For details, visit [Umoona Opal Mine Tours]
Umoona Opal Mine & Museum
(Image from Umoona Opal Mine)

360 Big Winch: Sunset Spectacle

Address: Italian Club Rd, Coober Pedy SA 5723, Australia
Witness the magic of Coober Pedy's sunset from the 360 Big Winch viewing platform. The orange-red twilight against the clear skies sets the stage for a memorable dining experience at the 360 Big Winch restaurant, weather permitting. For more details, visit [360 Big Winch]
360 Big Winch
4. Serbian Orthodox Church: Unique Underground Charm
Address: Potch Gully Rd, Coober Pedy SA 5723, Australia
Phone: +61886723048
Open hours: 24hrs
Explore the underground Serbian Orthodox Church, a distinctive attraction where the entire structure lies beneath the surface. This hidden gem adds a cultural touch to your Coober Pedy experience.
Serbian Orthodox Church
(Image from Tripadvisor)
5. Old Timer’s Mine: Authentic Mining Adventure
Address: 2190 Crowders Gully Rd, Coober Pedy SA 5723, Australia
Phone: +61886725555
Venture into the abandoned Old Timer’s Mine, equipped with a safety helmet for an authentic mining experience. Navigate dark, narrow tunnels, try your hand at noodling for opals, and explore the underground museum showcasing various mining tools. 
(Image from
***Important Safety Notice for Exploration!
  • In Coober Pedy, whether in the town center or the outskirts, it's all red dirt. Wearing white shoes is not advisable as they can easily get dirty.
  • When venturing beyond the town center to the mining area, exercise caution and pay close attention to your footing. Numerous unfilled holes dot the landscape. You don't want to know how deep it is. Miners frequently drill these small holes to assess the presence of opals. They employ sizable drills to extract samples and determine the opal content below the surface.
Coober Pedy Holes
(Photograph from Michelle)
Unveiling Culinary Gems in the Desert: Coober Pedy's Unexpected Food Delights!
Coober Pedy, surprisingly, has delicious food even in the desert! Here are some recommendations:

1. Big Winch 360 Cafe
Address: Italian Club Rd, Coober Pedy SA 5723, Australia
Phone: +61417902224
Enjoy spectacular views at Big Winch 360 Cafe. It's advisable to make a reservation, especially during evenings when it tends to get crowded. Try their succulent grilled pork ribs and lamb leg. They also occasionally offer rice dishes; ask if they have garlic prawn rice or curry options.
(Image from
2. Ampol Outback Bar And Grill
Address: 454 Hutchison St, Coober Pedy SA 5723, Australia
Phone: +61886723250
Website: Ampol Outback Bar And Grill 
Located next to the gas station, this restaurant highly recommends the Pork Chop. The aromatic and tender pork chop paired with velvety mashed potatoes creates a delightful combination that elevates the flavors.
(Image from
3. John's Pizza Bar & Restaurant
Address: 1/24 Hutchison St, Coober Pedy SA 5723, Australia
When it comes to pizza, John's Pizza Bar & Restaurant is a must-try. Located right off the main street, though not always bustling, it remains a favorite for takeout. For a taste favored by miners, this is the place to be.
(Image from
 Menu for John's Pizza Bar & Restaurant in Coober Pedy SA
Address: St Nicholas St, Coober Pedy SA 5723, Australia
Phone: +61886725110
Website: Greek Community Club Coober Pedy
Every Friday, the Greek Community Club hosts a BBQ buffet, priced at $25 AUD for adults and $10 AUD for children, excluding beverages. Starting from 6 PM, the atmosphere is warm and inviting, with miners gathering around tables, enjoying drinks and conversations. To experience the local vibe, the Greek Community Club is an excellent choice. 

    Unique Lodgings in Coober Pedy: Where History Meets Comfort

    Exploring the captivating town of Coober Pedy goes beyond its Martian landscapes; it extends to the underground accommodations that offer a one-of-a-kind experience. Discover the charm of staying within caves, where the traces of excavation adorn the walls, revealing hidden treasures like gypsum and opals. Here are some exceptional choices for your stay in this unique Australian destination:

    Comfort Inn

    Address: Crowders Gully Rd, Coober Pedy SA 5723, Australia
    Phone: +61886725777
    Website: Comfort Inn
    Comfort Inn, part of the quality-assured chain motels in Australia, redefines comfort by nestling within caves. The hotel preserves the marks of excavation on its walls, creating an authentic ambiance. Notably, the stable hot water supply adds to the allure, ensuring a cozy experience on chilly desert nights. The hotel features a lounge area, reading corner, dining area, and rooms equipped with TV, microwave, and kettle, all encapsulated within the cave surroundings.
    Comfort Inn Coober Pedy

      Desert Cave Hotel

      Address: 1 Hutchison St, Coober Pedy SA 5723, Australia

      Phone: +61886725688

      As the sole 4-star hotel in Coober Pedy, Desert Cave Hotel stands as a beacon of luxury. Offering a museum, restaurant, and swimming pool, it provides a comprehensive experience. The hotel's roots trace back to Umberto Coro, a mining and hotel industry enthusiast, who tragically lost his life in 1986. His legacy lives on through his son Robert and the dedicated staff, who conquered the harsh desert conditions to open the hotel in 1988.
      (Image from
      Lookout Cave Underground Motel
      Address: Lot 1138 Catacomb Road, 5723 Coober Pedy, Australia
      Phone: +61886725118
      Despite not experiencing a stay here, Lookout Cave Underground Motel intrigues with its exquisite cave construction on a small hill. Adorned in a tribal style, this "underground" establishment, though situated on a small hill, captures the essence of Coober Pedy's "high-rise" accommodations.
      Lookout Cave Underground Motel
      1. Opal Inn Hotel Motel Caravan Park

        Address: 1 Hutchison St, Coober Pedy SA 5723, Australia
        Phone: +618867250541
        Website: Opal Inn Hotel Motel Caravan Park

        For a classic motel experience with a stable hot water supply, consider Opal Inn Hotel Motel Caravan Park. Popular among opal buyers, this establishment offers camping trailer sites as an alternative to cave accommodations. With competitive prices and reliable wifi, it caters to those seeking comfort without the cave experience.

      (Image from

      Cave Camping

      Discover the unique concept of cave camping, an option introduced through MillMilk's exploration of Coober Pedy. The Wilson family, featured in a MillMilk interview, opens their caves for this distinctive camping experience. MillMilk's knack for uncovering hidden gems makes this unconventional stay a memorable part of your Coober Pedy adventure.
      Watch the video: 

        Weathering the Elements

        Coober Pedy experiences a desert climate, with hot summers and cool winters. Summer temperatures can soar above 40 degrees Celsius, necessitating hydration and sun protection. Winters bring milder daytime temperatures, requiring layers for cooler evenings.
        Coober Pedy Breakaways Sunset
        (Photograph by Michelle)

        In Conclusion

        Coober Pedy, with its otherworldly landscapes and subterranean lifestyle, beckons to those seeking an unconventional Australian adventure. Whether driving, flying, or taking the bus, the journey to this hidden oasis is a rewarding endeavor. Explore the Mars-like terrain, delve into opal mining history, and relish the charm of underground living. With its captivating views, rich history, and distinctive accommodations, Coober Pedy promises an indelible experience for independent travelers. Embrace the opportunity to uncover this extraordinary destination that transcends the ordinary tourist trail. Happy travels!
        Coober Pedy Welcome Sign
        (Photograph by Michelle)

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