We arrived in Coober Pedy, the opal mining capital of the world on Tuesday staying at Stuart Range Caravan Park. Apart from opal mining, Coober Pedy is famous for its underground homes and Churches called ‘dugouts’ as well as the movies Mad Max 3, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Red Planet & Pitch Black being filmed in the area. The underground trend was started by the early opal miners who had no natural materials to build structures with as there are no trees in the area and wanted a way to escape the scorching sun and heat. This trend has continued to this day and over half the population still lives in dugouts. We planned on staying two nights at the caravan park and one night at a bed and breakfast for the novelty of sleeping underground.
Whilst staying at the caravan park we checked out the town, had some drinks in an underground bar, dinner at the famous Desert Cave Hotel, pizza at Yanni’s pizza bar (famous locally for his pizzas). We enjoyed a half day bus tour. We visited some opal mines, a museum, an underground church and the breakaways. The Serbian Orthodox Underground Chruch was impressive and beautiful with it’s large area, high roof, stained glass and rock carvings. It’s a big tourist attraction in Coober Pedy. It’s the largest underground church in Coober Pedy. The tour explained it used to be a busy church, a place for local Serbians to worship and get together. These days that tradition has mostly gone. Definitely worth visiting the Serbian Orthodox Church when you’re in Coober Pedy.
After spending our second night at the caravan park we checked into local bed and breakfast and headed for Crocodile Harry’s, a dugout a few kilometers out of town. Crocodile Harry’s deserves a post all of its own plus there are way too many photos!