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

  • The Breakaways
    The Kanku-Breakaways Conservation Park covers almost 15,000 hectares featuring majestic arid scenery. There ar...
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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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  • 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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  • Josephine's Gallery
    Discover the unique aboriginal art and local artifacts. Visit our Kangaroo Orphanage. Feeding times 12:00pm &...
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Coober Pedy Regional Times
    The Coober Pedy Regional Times is a free independent newspaper established in 1982 by the dedicated voluntee...
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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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  • 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