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Coober Pedy

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Coober Pedy - Cities, Towns and Localities

A green oasis in Cooper Pedy.

Since the 1st of February, 1915, when opal was first discovered here, Coober Pedy has been supplying the world with the majority of gem quality opals. Today, the uniqueness of Coober Pedy and its surround, make it a popular tourist destination. One of the mainstay attractions in Coober Pedy is the unique style of underground accommodation, and authentic underground homes, as well as the museums, opal shops, opal mines, churches, galleries etc.

‘Coober Pedy’ was originally known as the ‘Stuart Range Opal Field’, named after John McDouall Stuart, who in 1858 was the first European explorer in the area. Then in 1920 it was re-named to ‘Coober Pedy’, based on the Aboriginal words of ‘kupa piti’, which is translated as meaning ‘white man in a hole’.

Aboriginal history
Aboriginal people have walked and lived across this area for thousands of years. Because of the desert environment, they led mainly a nomadic hunters and gatherers existence, travelling constantly in search of food and water, as well as attending their traditional ceremonies. In June 1975, the Coober Pedy Aboriginal Community adopted the name ‘Umoona’, meaning long life and named after the ‘Umoona’ or mulga tree, a common tree in the area.

How to get there
Coober Pedy is located about 846 km north of Adelaide and 685 km south of Alice Springs. You can get there by road using car, or coach, by air with Regional Express Airlines operating services to and from Adelaide, and by train. The Ghan train stops about 40 km west of Coober Pedy to allow passengers to disembark, however you need to arrange transport from the rail siding to Coober Pedy.

Between March and November the weather is usually very pleasant, typical of a semi-desert climate, where the days are warm, but the desert nights are cold. From December to February the weather warms up and summer temperatures range from 35°C in the shade, with the occasional dust storms. The annual rainfall is about 175 mm per annum.

Check out our listing of Coober Pedy accommodation. In addition to our listed online travel guide information, contact the local tourism visitor centre for your destination for more attractions, tours, local maps and other information.

Information Centre icon

Coober Pedy Visitor Information Centre
Lot 773 Hutchison Street
Freecall: 1800 637 076 (within Australia)
Ph: 08 8672 4617
Mon - Fri 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Sat / Sun / Public Holidays 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday
Hours may vary, contact visitor centre

Town map of Cooper Pedy available from the above site.

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