Coober Pedy Travel GuideEdit This The best resource for sights, hotels, restaurants, bars, what to do and see
To take a good look at the scenery, you can visit Breakaway Reserve (permits can be obtained from the tourist office or Underground Books), about 35 km north of Coober Pedy. It's a colourful area of mesa hills and rock formations pretty accesible to convenional vehicles despite the mainly unsealed roads.
Inside Cooper Pedy you can learn everything there is to know about opals from several opal-related sights. You can first get orientated in the Umoona Opal Mine & Museum (Hutchison Street), which houses information on opal mining, an actual opal mine, several old and modern dugout homes and Aboriginal displays. Then you can try your luck at the Jeweller's Shop, an opal field in the north-east of town, where you can fossick through the waste dumps for opal yourself. If that doesn't work out, you can buy some from one of the many opal outlets around town. Several other tours of mines, both discarded and working, can be taken.
One of the most bizarre features of Cooper Pedy is the abundance of dugout homes. Originally, these used to be worked out mines that were then used as shelters against the climate. These days they are usually cut out especially to serve as residences. You can visit several of these homes. The most eccentric is probably the one a couple of km down Seventeen Mile Road belonging to Crocodile Harry, a Latvian baron who emigrated to Australia and spent 13 hunting crocodiles.