Our Place

History


For thousands of years Aboriginal people walked across this area.

In the desert environment, these people were nomadic hunters and gatherers who travelled constantly in search of food and water supplies as well as to attend traditional ceremonies.
In January 1915, the New Colorado Prospecting Syndicate, consisting of Jim Hutchison and his 14 year old son William, PJ Winch and M McKenzie had unsuccessfully been searching for gold south of Coober Pedy. The men had set up camp and were searching for water when young Willie found pieces of opal on the surface of the ground. This was on the 1st February 1915 and 8 days later the first opal claim was pegged.
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. In 1920 it was re-named Coober Pedy, an anglicised version of Aboriginal words "kupa piti", commonly assumed to mean "white man in a hole".

 

Experience Coober Pedy

  • Noodling and Mining
    Noodling area open to the public. Check with the Department of Mines & Energy on areas to noodle. If you are ...
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  • Opal Fossils of South Australia; Origin Energy Fossil Gallery stage one
    Called the Opal Fossils of South Australia, the gallery shows the mighty marine reptiles that roamed in the cold ...
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  • Wind Turbine Generator
    Situated next to the Power Supply Plant which is the largest diesel fired station in Australia. Installed in 1991...
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  • BIG4 Stuart Range Outback Tours
    Our air-conditioned Coober Pedy Bus Tours are a hassle free informative introduction to our town and the nearby B...
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  • Noble Tours Australia Pty Ltd
    Travel Coober Pedy and the Painted Desert with the professionals. Modern and well equipped vehicle with informati...
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  • Umoona Opal Mine
    Learn about mining and living underground in Coober Pedy with our informative tour and experienced guides. Visit ...
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  • The Great Breakaways Marathon
    The GREAT Breakaways Marathon travels from the Breakaways, along the Dog Fence, down Kempe Road (road to Oodnadat...
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  • Harmony Day Celebration
    Harmony Day is a day of cultural respect for everyone who calls Australia home – from the traditional owner...
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  • Coober Pedy Gem Trade Show
    The Coober Pedy Gem Trade Show is a Great Outback Show held in the Opal Capital of the World and provides the opp...
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  • SERVICE STATION: Shell Roadhouse Coober Pedy
    Shell Roadhouse Coober Pedy. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week...
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  • Westpac Banking Corporation
    Westpac Bank is Australia's First Bank with a range of innovative financial packages to suit your needs. ...
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  • Regional Development Australia, Far North
    The RDAFN provides economic development services to the communities of northern South Australia....
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The opal capital of the world

Around 150 million years ago, Coober Pedy was covered by ocean - and when the water receded, the sandy silica minerals from the seabed flowed into the rocky cracks and cavities and solidified over time into multi-coloured gem-stone - opal. Explore the opal capital!

Travel Information