Come and discover Coober Pedy, the place where dreams become reality.
Coober Pedy is a small town in South Australia that is famous for its opal-mines and for its unique style of underground living. Coober Pedy has some of the most unique attractions never to be found elsewhere in the world. And, they’re not all underground!
Coober Pedy is one of the most original and special towns in Australia. For thousands of years nomadic Aboriginal people walked across this area. In 1915 Jim Hutchison and his 14year old sun William had unsuccessfully been searching for gold in Coober Pedy, when suddenly the little Jim found pieces of opal in the river. That was the start of the Coober Pedy opal-mines.
Coober Pedy was originally known as ‘the Stuart Range Opal Field’ named after John Stuart, who was the first European explorer of Coober Pedy in 1858. In 1920 it got a new name ‘Coober Pedy’, what was deduced from the Aboriginal word ‘kupa piti’ what would mean ‘white man in a hole’.
Coober Pedy is probably best known for its unique style of underground living,’ dug-outs’ like the natives call it. When the Trans Continental Railway was completed a few of the workers established themselves in Coober Pedy, followed by some soldiers who returned from World War 1. There was no water on the surface so they had to dig deep holes. Later on the people would use these holes as their homes. Now Coober Pedy has underground water-tank at its disposal.
Coober Pedy has a semi desert climate, the days are mild to warm (16°-20°C) but the nights are cold. From April to October the weather is very nice. Between November and March the temperature rises up and can reach until 45°C in the shade. It doesn’t often rain in Coober Pedy; they often have problems with dryness there.
Attractions that are certainly interesting to visit in Coober Pedy.
Coober Pedy has a magnificent view and a few of the most unique attractions in the whole world. Except the different opal-mines, opal-museums, and opal-art shops you also have a magnificent underground bar and gaming room.
Coober Pedy gives the possibility to golf lovers to practise their favourite sport in the ‘Opal Fields Golf Club’, voted in the top 10 of the most unique courses in the world. It is situated 3.5km north of the town centre.
Coober Pedy also has a drive-in cinema. The ‘Coober Pedy Open Air Outback Cinema’ is owned by the Council. They play 4 movies every month.
Coober Pedy is famous for its dugouts like it has been said before. You can even visit some underground homes that are decorated in the modern style. These are located on the
Naylor Place, just off Main Street.
Coober Pedy makes it even possible to visit dugouts, like they were maid in the previous century using picks and shovels. It needed a lot of work.
Coober Pedy also knows a lot of legends, like the story about Crocodile Harry. That’s a man who still lives in one of these old dugouts. His walls are covered with addresses of girls that he claims to have seduced. He declares to be Arvid von Blumentals, a Latvian Baron who was forced to leave his country after World War II. He says that he was a crocodile hunter in the North of Australia before he came to Coober Pedy. There he worked as an opal-miner for a long time.
He says that in Coober Pedy he worked as an opal-miner for a long time before he became a sort of hermit.
We could say that it’s only a legend, but it’s interesting to know that Roger Jose, the Hermit of Borroloola (somewhere in North Australia) who lived in an old tank until his death in 1963, sold all his possessions (just before he died, of course) to a crocodile hunter with the name Harry Blumental. Could it be possible that the story of this man would be true?
Come and discover the secrets of the legend and the dugout of Crocodile Harry
Coober Pedy offers you a lot more to explore, because in Coober Pedy that dreams becomes reality.
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