Flinders Ranges and Outback Visitor Guide : 2013 Flinders Ranges and Outback Visitor Guide
42 The Breakaways, Coober Pedy flindersoutback.com | explorer’s way COOBER PEDY 254 kilometres from Glendambo map reference B4, page 53 If you’re looking for something completely different, an experience you can’t get in a big city, Coober Pedy is one place you must add to your bucket list. Where else in the world do residents live underground? Where else in the hot Australian desert do the temperatures stay constant and where else can you ‘noodle’ for exquisitely coloured opal? Watch out, opal- fever might catch you in this laid-back, quirky Outback town! The people of Coober Pedy are as colourful as the opals that made the town famous. Ask any local about legendary opal finds, their eyes will twinkle and the stories will flow. Half the residents live underground in dugouts to escape hot temperatures in summer and stay cosy through winter – underground houses remain a constant 24°C all year long. Only in Coober Pedy will you find underground churches and art galleries, as well as a golf course without a blade of grass. With its frontier feel and strange lunar-like landscape, Coober Pedy and surrounds have featured in numerous films, including Fire in the Stone, Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, Ground Zero, Until the End of the World, Stark, Pitch Black and Red Planet. Today, around 3000 people of all different nationalities call Coober Pedy home. Each year many tourists from all over the world come to marvel at the underground secrets of this individual, modern Outback frontier town. There’s a great range of accommodation available from hotels, backpackers, bed and breakfasts and caravan parks with cabins and powered and unpowered sites. Visitors wanting to buy opal can choose from a number of opal retailers around town. Attractions Noodling for Opal Try your hand at noodling, searching for pieces of opal in the mounds of dirt left behind from drilling shafts. There is a safe area in town that has been set aside for you to give noodling a go. More serious opal hunters need a permit from the local Department of Primary Industries and Regions SA office – the Visitor Information Centre can direct you there. There are also various operators in town that offer a range of comprehensive tours of the town and opal mines – they’re well worth it if you want to know more about opal fever. The Breakaways Reserve Sunset at the Breakaways Reserve is one of the most memorable experiences you can have under the Outback sky. A 30 minute drive (34 kilometres north) from town unearths spectacular flat-topped, colourful mounds that have risen from the desert floor. This striking landscape formed over millions of years is the perfect place to watch a stunning desert sunset. Moon Plain Ever wanted to visit the Moon? Well you can pretend you’ve been once you’ve visited the vast expanse of rocky plain, called Moon Plain, which looks just like the Moon, located 16 kilometres north of Coober Pedy. This landscape is rich in fossil deposits and evidence of the inland sea that covered this country 120 million years ago. Its unusual appearance has provided the backdrop for many Hollywood movies. This is a protected landscape with very soft soils, so make sure you stay on the marked roads. Dog Fence The longest fence in the world, the Dog Fence, stretches 5300 kilometres from Queensland to the Great Australian Bight in far western South Australia. It separates the rich sheep growing areas in the south from the dingoes of central Australia. It’s located less than 16 kilometres north of Coober Pedy and you can follow it on the round trip to the Breakaways.
Flinders Ranges and Outback Visitor Guide
2014 Flinders Ranges and Outback Visitor Guide