Located 850 kilometers north of Adelaide on the Stuart Highway, the town of Coober Pedy is astonishing for anyone who comes to it for the first time.
On the surface, the town looks quite deserted, with few people, like a deserted town for a long time. A vast area of no trees on the side of the Stuart Range turtle with a few sparse houses, several inns, restaurants, police stations, schools, hospitals.
However, that is actually only half the town. The other half of the local people live and live below the ground. Where there are large caves, tunnels where town residents build houses, hotels, restaurants, bars, churches …
Warning signs appear at various locations of the town
Coober Pedy was founded in 1915, when a 14-year-old boy discovered a large reserve of opal, also known as a cat’s eye pearl during a gold trip with his father’s search team. Over the next few years, hundreds of people flocked here to exploit, search and discover life on the ground quite difficult.
Summer, temperatures often exceed 40 degrees Celsius, warmth rarely exceed 20%, and skies are usually cloudless.
To escape the scorching heat here, locals began to live underground. The first houses in Coober Pedy were built in the pits left by opal diggers.
An underground house in Coober Pedy
Fully furnished house in Coober Pedy
A bookstore underground
Later, people built more modern houses, located deep underground with full amenities including living room, kitchen, wardrobe, bar, tunnel. The rooms are cleverly designed to keep the right temperature.
Visitors to the town of Coober Pedy are not surprised by the hundreds of cylindrical blocks protruding from the ground. These are the chimneys and ventilation shafts of the underground house. The main material inside the houses in Coober Pedy is beautiful colored sandstone that brings warmth, elegance and stability to the house.
In many locations around town, signs are put up to warn tourists about the dangers of walking unattended on the ground.
The scene below the ground in Coober Pedy
Coober Pedy was originally called the Opal Fields in the Stuart Range, named after John McDouall Stuart, the first European explorer in the area in 1858. By 1920, it changed its name to Coober Pedy, originating from the local Aboriginal language word means ‘white man’s hole’.
Today, Coober Pedy is the top gem-quality opal mining site, which is also the producer of large quantities of white opal in the world.