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

  • Golf Club
    The Coober Pedy Opal Fields Golf Club has been offering a unique course for golfers since 1976.  The course ...
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  • 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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  • Underground Living In “Dugouts”
    It is believed that the soldiers who returned from the trenches of France during the First World War introduced t...
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  • Oasis Tours
    Oasis Town & Mine Tours  and Sunset Breakaways Tours run daily and are approx. 3 hours, Town & Mine ...
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  • Tom's Working Mine
    Tom's Working Opal Mine has been around since '1988'.  1 hour tour with an experienced tour guid...
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  • Arid Area Tours
    Arid Areas Tours offers small group and personalized tours of Coober Pedy and surrounding areas...
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  • Coober Pedy Races & Gymkhana
    The Coober Pedy Racing Club was started up in 1969 with the aim of bringing together town and station people &nda...
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  • Coober Pedy Opal Festival
    The Coober Pedy Opal Festival, fondly known as the Opal Festival, is the largest community event in Coober Pedy a...
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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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  • District Council of Coober Pedy
    The council provides services to the Coober Pedy district...
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  • Coober Pedy Pharmacy
    A friendly local pharmacy located in the city centre for local and visitors convenience. Open weekdays 9am to 5p...
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  • SUPERMARKET: Carter's Coober Pedy IGA Supermarket
    A Member of the Carter's Retail Group across SA. Trading Hours: 8am – 7pm Monday – Saturday 9a...
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  • Attractions
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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