Aus sa coober pedy large sign
Aus sa coober pedy toms working opal mine
Aus sa coober pedy mullock heaps
Aus sa coober pedy old timers mine
Aus sa coober pedy large sign
Aus sa coober pedy toms working opal mine
Aus sa coober pedy mullock heaps
Aus sa coober pedy old timers mine
The opal capital of the world

Coober Pedy

Uncover an Australian town filled with quirkiness in the sun-baked outback of South Australia. Marvel at moon-like landscapes, old mine shafts and underground buildings. Filled with history, incredible outback sunsets, friendly locals and opal mines - Coober Pedy is waiting to be explored.

Where should you visit in Coober Pedy?

Visit a range of opal mines in Coober Pedy
© Tomoki Watanabe Unsplash
Discover all of the colours of the outback
© Ka Z Kapture Z

Welcome to the Outback

This iconic outback town is located off the Stuart Highway, 846 kilometres north of Adelaide. Covering an area of 77.8 square kilometres, the town of Coober Pedy is approximately 107 years old. However, around 150 million years ago this quirky Australian town was covered by the ocean.

How did it all begin?

As the water from the sea receded, the changes in the climate caused the lowering of the underground water tables. Silica solutions were deposited in the ground and millions of years later, the silica solutions formed into opal.

Home to the Kokatha Aboriginal people

For thousands of years, the Aboriginal people of Australia lived in this fascinating region. The Antakirinja Yunkunytjatjara people lived in a desert environment and were nomadic hunters and gatherers. In June 1975, the Coober Pedy Aboriginal Community adopted the name 'Umoona,' which means 'long life.'

Travel at a relaxed pace
© South Australian Tourism Commission
Coober Pedy is filled with many surprises!
© South Australian Tourism Commission

The Breakaways

Covering approximately 15,000 hectares of arid landscapes is the Kanku-Break­aways Conservation Park. Located approximately 25 kilometres north of Coober Pedy. The land is owned by Antakir­in­ja Matu-Yankun­yt­jat­jara Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion. The cost to enter the park is approximately $11AUD per vehicle.

Admire unique flora and fauna

Here you can discover a variety of natural wonders including 60 species of flora. Spot unique wildlife such as red kangaroos, echidna and a large collection of birds. The Painted Desert is found within the Breakaways and dates back over 80 million years.

Take a trip to the moon

Be sure to also visit the Moon Plain, a moon-like landscape that has appeared in many movies such as Mad Max (1981) and Priscilla Queen of the Desert (1994). With an area that covers 1500 square kilometres, this lunar landscape features a vast expanse of rocky plains that are quite unusual anywhere else.

Explore Kanku-Breakaways
© South Australian Tourism Commission
Watch the sunset at the Breakaways
© South Australian Tourism Commission

Opal mining

Are you ready to explore the opal capital? Over 100 years ago, a group of men named the New Colorado Prospecting Syndicate were searching for gold around Coober Pedy. On February 1st 1915, one of them found pieces of surface opal. This marked the beginning of opal mining in Coober Pedy.

Did you know?

Australia has 95% of the world’s supply of commercial opal and the largest percentage still comes from the 70 opal fields around Coober Pedy. To get better acquainted, the Umoona Opal Mine and Museum is a must-visit during your stay in Coober Pedy.

Stop by the Umoona Opal Mine Museum
© FROSAT Singing Bowl Media
Take a photo with the opal beetle!
© South Australian Tourism Commission

Things to do and see

Whether you would like to experience a grass-less golf course, visit kangaroos at the Kangaroo Orphanage or admire art at Josephine's Gallery, there is plenty to do in this part of the world. Fossick for your own opals, take a tour of Faye's Underground Home or play pool at the Desert Cave Hotel. Visit the Old Timer's Mine or stop by an underground Serbian Orthodox Church.

Are you searching for a 4WD adventure?

Conquer the Oodnadatta Track which begins at Marree and travels roughly northwest for approximately 620 kilometres through the small town of Oodnadatta. It then loops back to the Stuart Highway at MarlaWilliam Creek. Along the way, stop at William Creek, Australia’s largest lake - Lake Eyre and follow the historic route of the old Ghan Railway.

Visit the Big Winch Lookout
© Elise Cook
Enjoy views over Coober Pedy from the Big Winch
© South Australian Tourism Commission

How to get there?

Coober Pedy can be reached by rail on board the famous Ghan route from Adelaide to Alice Springs. By car from Adelaide, the trip will take approximately eight to ten hours along the Stuart Highway or six to eight hours if you are travelling from Alice Springs. It is recommended to stay at least 3 days to really experience this special part of South Australia.

The Stuart Highway is is one of Australia's major highways
© Tourism Australia
Conquer the 2720 kilometre long Stuart Highway
© TravelEssence


Make your trip extra special by experiencing a unique stay from our extensive collection of hand-selected accommodations in Coober Pedy and beyond. Your travel specialist will match you with accommodation that suits your wants and needs. A journey where your accommodation is an experience in itself.

Experience an underground bed and breakfast
© heidi who photos
Spend the night in an underground hotel
© South Australian Tourism Commission

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At TravelEssence, we specialise in crafting custom-made holidays that take you off the beaten path and create memories to last a lifetime. We believe in connecting with the heart and soul of a place, introducing you to the locals who call it home. Engage in conversations with fascinating individuals who will share their stories, traditions, and way of life, leaving an indelible mark on your journey.