Coober Pedy

Trip Start Sep 04, 2007
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Trip End May 28, 2008


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Saturday, April 5, 2008

We had yet another early morning start to pack up our swags and then headed up to the viewing area for sunrise over Uluru. We were quite far away so it wasn't as impressive as being up close to the rock. We then got back on the bus for the long drive south to Coober Pedy. This town is one of the hottest places in Australia with summer temperatures reaching 50C! The reason people live here though is because it is the Opal capital of the world. Opals was discovered in 1915 and since then people had flocked here to dig and find their fortune. As a solution to the heat problem most people live underground where temperatures are a constant and more pleasant 20C. The added benefit is that if you dig a new room in your house you may find millions of dollars worth of opals! The area surrounding Coober Pedy has some impressive and unusual landscapes. Films such as Mad Max and Pitch Black were filmed here, and a few bits of sets are lying around the town.

We visited an underground pub in the evening and spent the night sleeping underground in a dormitory. It was the best night sleep I had had in a while (I'll trade my swag for a bunk bed anyday!). In the morning we went on a tour of an underground house / opal mine. We were told many stores about the local people blowing up cars, the local newspaper building and even the police station! Unlike in Bolivia you need a license to buy explosives here...

Again we had a long driving afternoon down to Port Germein. We killed the time playing bingo and Celebrity Heads. The next morning we had a lie in and I helped cook pancakes for a late breakfast. We visited Port Germein's claim to fame.... the longest wooden jetty in the southern hemisphere! At 1532m it took a while to walk all the way to the end. Next we headed to Mount Remarkable National Park and went for a walk to spot some native wildlife. We saw trapdoor spiders, wallabies, emus, and some weird lizard type creatures. In the afternoon we headed down to Adelaide where my tour ended. I had a great time on the tour and I definitely recommend a trip to Uluru & the Red Centre.
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