Things to See and Do
Near Coober Pedy, South Australia, Australia
There is nowhere on earth like Coober Pedy. Our unique desert landscape grows the most beautiful and precious opals in the world. It forges stunning sunsets; nurtures resourceful and colourful characters; builds homes under the ground and inspires a creative town filled with shops and art galleries. One Australia's most ethnically diverse communities, the population of 3,500 comprises some 45 nationalities.…
There is nowhere on earth like Coober Pedy. Our unique desert landscape grows the most beautiful and precious opals in the world. It forges stunning sunsets; nurtures resourceful and colourful characters; builds homes under the ground and inspires a creative town filled with shops and art galleries. One Australia's most ethnically diverse communities, the population of 3,500 comprises some 45 nationalities. A strong adherence to cultural backgrounds and values of each nationality creates a town with a distinctive ethnic flair in a stunning outback Australian landscape. A visit to Coober Pedy is a must for every traveller. It is a unique place in the true meaning of the word.
Featured Things to See and Do
Distance is calculated point-to-point. If landmarks, waterways or rivers are nearby, the distance may be further by road.
Stuart Range Outback Bus Tours
Our comprehensive Coober Pedy tour includes- the Breakaways, Dingo Fence, Opal fields, Moon plains, Opal mine and museum, underground Home, underground Church and town area. Tours leave early afternoon daily in the high season and fill up quickly, so we suggest booking in advance to avoid disappointment. As a bonus with all bookings you receive 10% discount on our fabulous Nostimo Pizza. Takeaway, indoor or alfresco dining available, open 5pm-9.30pm daily.
Located within our park, the Nostimo Pizza & Restaurant was established by John and Maria Athanasiadis when they emigrated to Coober Pedy from Greece in the 1970's. Our pizzas are renowned in Coober Pedy and enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. Guests on our bus tours also receive a 10% discount on pizzas. Open seasonally.
With 80% of the world's opals found in Coober Pedy, it's not hard to see why it's known as the "Opal Capital of the World". Gaea Gems is the jewellery shop located in the reception building of Stuart Range Outback Resort. Here you can find unique opal pieces, aboriginal art, the perfect gift, and souvenirs to attach your memories to. BIG4 memberships entitle you to a 10% discount.
Coober Pedy Visitor Information Centre
The District Council of Coober Pedy and the Coober Pedy Visitor Information Centre welcomes visitors to our unique town. There is nowhere else in the world like it. The Visitor Information Centre is within the administration complex of the Council Chambers. The centre provides detailed information on local attractions, a booking service for local tours and accommodation as well as information on areas throughout South Australia and the Northern Territory. Location: Hutchison Street Coober Pedy, South Australia
Umoona Opal Mine and Museum
The Umoona Opal Mine and Museum contains an original opal mine, underground house, Aboriginal interpretive centre, panoramic theatre, historic displays, opal retailing shop and showroom, Aboriginal art and crafts. Guided tours conducted four times daily. Winner of four SA Tourism Awards.
Visit one or all of Coober Pedy's underground places of worship. The Serbian Orthodox Chruch is included on our Outback Bus Tour which leaves daily from BIG4 Stuart Range Outback Resort during the high season. The other churches include: St Peter and Paul Catholic Church The Catacomb Church Revival Fellowship
The Dog Fence
The Dog Fence is the longest continual construction in the world. Stretching some 5,300km, it begins east of Surfer's Paradise in Queensland and ends up north of Ceduna in the Great Australian Bite. It was originally built to protect the sheep country in the south from the Dingo (native Australian dog) in the north. This icon of the outback is located approximately 15km north-east of Coober Pedy. You can visit the Dog Fence as part of our Stuart Range Outback Bus Tour, departing BIG4 Stuart Range every afternoon in the high season. See all the highlights of Coober Pedy with a local guide on this 5 hour tour.
The unique Moon Plains in Coober Pedy are a must visit when driving through the South Australian outback. Used for the set of many movies, the moon like landscape will make you feel like you're on a different planet
The Breakaways are a spectacular example of beauty only to be found in the Australian outback. With a rich Aboriginal and European history along with rich flora and fauna, the area is not only beautiful but also fascinating. See the stunning Breakaways as part of our Stuart Range Outback Bus Tour, departing BIG4 Stuart Range every afternoon in the high season. See all the highlights of Coober Pedy with a local guide on this 5 hour tour.
Lake Eyre Basin
Lake Eyre is, on the rare occasion that it fills, the largest salt lake in Australia. Weather the lake has water or not mainly depends on the annual monsoon and how much rainfall it brings. 2016 has been a wet year and the lake is currently filled. This rare sight can be experienced from the air by flights departing from Coober Pedy with Wrights Air. Book yours now!
Underground Living, Shopping and Praying
Soldiers, returning from the trenches of France after World War I, are believed to have introduced the idea of living underground in warm summer days and cool winter desert nights. Regardless of the outside temperature, the underground temperature remains between 23-25ºC. Today more than 50% of Coober Pedy’s population (3,500) live underground in “dugouts”. There are underground shops, houses, art galleries and even four underground churches. Some underground spread to more than 450 sq metres.
Buying Australia's Best Opals
Coober Pedy shops have more opal on display than anywhere else in the world. You will find different types of opal from all around Australia so all you need to do is shop around for your special choice. All reputable shops will guarantee their opals in writing. Some shops also offer opal cutting demonstrations.
Wind Turbine Generator
The winds of the outback also generate our power. The Nordex Wind Turbine Generator was installed in 1991 and features a 30m high steel tower. The generators has an output of about 200KW, which services about 4% of the town’s power supply.
Noodling and Mining for your Own Opals
A designated opal noodling area is open to the public. Details from the Department of Mines & Energy. If you are not on a pegged claim and do not use a pick, shovel or any digging device then a permit is not required. Trespassers on claims can be fined. If you wish to mine in any way using tools, machinery or explosives, a precious stones prospecting a permit must be obtained from the Mines & Energy office.
Underground Art Gallery
A display mine with Aboriginal artifacts, art, didgeridoos and opal jewellery.
Coober Pedy Drive-In Cinema
Enjoy this unique cinematic experience reliving one of Australia's most popular past-times of the 50's and 60's. Drive your own car in or walk-in to catch the latest movies. Every Saturday gates open at 8pm and movie starts at 8:30pm summertime and gates open at 7pm and movie starts at 7:30pm during winter. Food and beverages are available at the canteen.
This eclectic dugout features unique sculptures, painting, graffiti and displays of women’s underwear, became a tourist site and a set used in movies.
Boot Hill Cemetary
Here you can view a range of quirky and interesting headstones from the 1970's onwards. One of the favourites is Mr Karl Bratz 18 gallon beer keg with the inscription "Have a drink on me"
Big Winch Lookout
For scenic views over the town, head to the Big Winch. Standing 8 metres tall this icon was originally built in the 1970 and rebuilt in 1986 after is was destroyed by fire.
Coober Pedy Opal Fields Golf Club
Open since 1976, this 18 hole, par-72 unique course is everything you might expect in an outback desert location, including a distinct lack of "greens". Golfers tee off using a piece of artificial grass and instead of the usual putting green, you will find oiled down sand that is raked smooth.
Coober Pedy Renewable Hybrid Project
Marvel at the wind turbines, part of the off-grid energy project. Combining solar, wind and battery storage with the existing diesel power station, it aims to reduce the diesel usage by 70% through the 20 year life of the project.
John McDouall Stuart monument
The famous inland explorer John McDouall Stuart (1815-1866), helped pioneer the main route from Port August to Darwin, now know as the Stuart Highway. Visit this monument commemorating his accomplishments.
The Coober Pedy Opal Fields are pitted with abandoned prospecting drill holes up to 30m deep. Estimated over 1,500,000 open shafts. Please beware and adhere to the following warnings. 1. It is illegal to go on a pegged claim without the miner’s permission. 2. Beware of machinery in operation. 3. Do not go onto the opal fields at night. 4. Watch where you walk and do not walk backwards, especially when taking photographs.
Centenary Mosaic Garden
The mosaic garden in front of the Lions rotunda was created by members of the Coober Pedy Mosaic Group. The Seventh stone at the entrance features a mosaic of the centenary logo. A sign tells about the people who made the mosaics and their stories. The area is paved with over 100 personalised pavers, featuring the names of people who once lived in Coober Pedy and those who still do.
Coober Pedy Opal Festival
from 21 June, 2019 to 23 June, 2019
One of the biggest highlights on the Coober Pedy calendar, including live music, great food and a fantastic street parade!