This outback opal-mining town is unique in that much of it is built underground. Many of Coober Pedy’s homes and other facilities such as churches and a backpackers hostel have been built underground to escape the summer heat, which sometimes reaches 50°C.
Coober Pedy is the source of 80% of the world’s opals. If you want to buy opals you may get a better deal here than in the big cities, although the shops here do a roaring business with passing tourist coaches so it would be best to avoid the busy times if you want to save money.
There are thousands of abandoned mine shafts around Coober Pedy so in the interests of your safety it is a good idea to avoid wandering around the outskirts of town alone.
The town’s unique setting has been used as the film-set for several films including Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Mad Max III.