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

  • Underground Living In “Dugouts”
    It is believed that the soldiers who returned from the trenches of France during the First World War introduced t...
    Read More
  • 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 ...
    Read More
  • Golf Club
    The Coober Pedy Opal Fields Golf Club has been offering a unique course for golfers since 1976.  The course ...
    Read More
  • Desert Cave Tours
    ...
    Read More
  • Quest Opal Mine (Down & Dirty Tour)
    Dig for opal and try your luck....
    Read More
  • Riba's Underground Tours
    An on-site Opal mine tour is the highlight of your stay at Riba's. It is offered every evening for guests an...
    Read More
  • Coober Pedy Opal Festival
    The Coober Pedy Opal Festival, fondly known as the Opal Festival, is the largest community event in Coober Pedy a...
    Read More
  • Harmony Day Celebration
    Harmony Day is a day of cultural respect for everyone who calls Australia home – from the traditional owner...
    Read More
  • 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...
    Read More
  • SERVICE STATION: Shell Roadhouse Coober Pedy
    Shell Roadhouse Coober Pedy. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week...
    Read More
  • EATERY: John's Pizza Bar
    Open 7 days, 10am to 10pm...
    Read More
  • Mike Maylin Construction Pty Ltd
    Contractor and builder...
    Read More
  • Attractions
  • Tours
  • Events
  • Services

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