We thought is was funny that Coober Pedy means “white man down a hole” in the local aboriginal language. It’s the prefect name really for a place where people live underground to keep cool in the scorching summers and warm in the cold winter winds. Opals were found here in 1915 but living “underground” it is believed started when the soldiers coming back from WW1 rushed to the Opal fields to try their luck. They were used to living in dugouts in the battle fields of France and found this to work very well here in this desert environment. The rock (sandstone) is very stable and you could turn your old mine into a house once you were finished mining it! M
In the afternoon we went out to the Breakaways. They are a colourful and beautiful escarpment and a 70km round trip from Coober Pedy. The best part of the area really. We drove out past old and current opal mines north of Coober Pedy to get there.