“A hole of the white man” could be a loose translation of the aboriginal name “kupa-piti”, from which the name of the town, Coober Pedy, originates. It is also called the “capital of opals” because of the large quantities of this precious stone, which is mined here. However, it could also be called a “mysterious underground town”. Most houses there have been built underground.
The town of Coober Pedy is located in South Australia, 846 km north of Adelaide. The town was founded in 1915, when large deposits of precious opals were discovered there. First miners moved in the town one year after this luxurious discovery. However, the life conditions in this area were far from ideal and thus the new residents had to adjust to the harsh local conditions.
The temperatures at Coober Pedy are harsh. During the summer, they can exceed 40 °C, while the average night temperature is approximately 30 °C. The people who wanted to stay had to seek shelter from the heat in the slopes of the nearby hills and so they had built autumn cave houses there. That is how the unique town of Coober Pedy was founded.
Despite the fact that the town is deprived of a beautiful architecture, it offers a view of really luxurious and unique interiors. The caves are often furnished relatively luxuriously. They can sometimes house even 3 bedrooms, a lounge, spacious bathroom and fully functional kitchen.
Coober Pedy, no matter how strange impression it may give you, is a town with all necessary services for its inhabitants and visitors. That is why you can find here even underground churches, such as the St. Paul’s and St. Elijah churches, which were also dug into a hillside, as was the local hotel, which offers luxurious accommodation without windows. Many people can find these spaces too small or depressing at first. However, if you visit them, you will see how happy you will be for them in the local heat. On top of it, such a visit is a unique opportunity to experience something you will not find anywhere else.
Coober Pedy and its attractive scenery is not only a sought-after tourist location, but also a great place for making movies. The movie Opal Dream was filmed in the town and movies, scenes of which were also filmed in and around the town, include Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Red Planet or Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.