25 Unique Things to Do in Coober Pedy in 2024: Australia’s Quirkiest Town

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Article written by: Rebecca
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Looking for things to do in Coober Pedy, Australia? After a recent trip to this intriguing underground town, here’s how I recommend spending a few days in one of Australia’s quirkiest towns.

Deep in the heart of the South Australian Outback, Coober Pedy is one of Australia’s quirkiest and most intriguing towns.

Known as Opal City – Coober Pedy produces the largest amount of opal in the world by mass – it’s a boom-and-bust town that’s been built off the back of opal mining and, more recently, tourists keen to have a look at this interesting place.

After spending a few days in Coober Pedy, this remarkable town left a mark on me. It’s not your typical Australian destination, possessing a bizarre charm that’s unlike any other place I’ve visited. You either love it or you hate it. I was definitely the former.

From underground homes to eccentric residents to landscapes fit for a Hollywood film, this is one place that should be on your list as you travel through Australia.

So, if you’ve got a few days and you’re looking for something very different, here’s my guide to the best things to do in Coober Pedy, along with some handy tips for visiting.

Landscape view of the Kanku-Breakaways Conservation Park in Coober Pedy, South Australia, a key attraction in Coober Pedy. Shows a red and orange landscape with mountains in the distance and a cloudy sky

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Why you should visit Coober Pedy

So, is Coober Pedy worth visiting?

From me, it’s a resounding yes!

It’s a dusty town that may not be much to look at, but Coober Pedy offers a unique blend of history, culture and quirkiness that you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere in Australia – or even the world.

This Australian underground town sits on the traditional land of the Antakirinja Matu-Yankunytjatjara people, who have a rich history dating back thousands of years.

More recent history centres on mining. Opal was first discovered here in 1915, and since then, the town has become the world’s leading supplier of this precious gemstone. Over 100 years later, the impact of the opal boom is still very much apparent, with the local landscape dotted with mounds of excavated earth.

All this has been done in one of the harshest climates, with temperatures often reaching above 45°C (113°F) in the summer months. To escape the scorching Outback heat, many of the 3,500 residents have built their homes underground, along with churches, hotels and restaurants – where else in the world can you see that?

For me, one of the most fascinating things about the town is that it demonstrates how human endeavour and persistence can transform a landscape and birth a community that thrives against the odds.

Trust me, once you step foot in this extraordinary town, you’ll understand why it’s an essential addition to any traveller’s Australia bucket list!

Fun fact: Coober Pedy comes from kupa-piti, which means ‘white man’s hole’ in the local Aboriginal language, a reference to the underground mines and homes

The best things to do in Coober Pedy

Here’s everything we did and recommend doing in Coober Pedy.

Watch! The best things to do in Coober Pedy video

1. Explore the Old Timers Mine

Old Timers Mine sign showing the location of the mine - one of the best things to do in Coober Pedy - which is built into a hill. Cars are parked out the front of the mine.

To understand Coober Pedy’s opal mining history, start with a visit to the Old Timers Museum.

The museum is in an original opal mine that dates back to 1916, and here you can see the inner workings of a mine, along with an original underground home and a collection of historical artefacts gathered over decades.

You can even purchase opal jewellery once you’re done exploring the museum.

Grab a miner’s hard hat and take a self-guided tour through the exhibits, which explain how miners find and dig for opal. The tour starts in the “ballroom” and from there you can explore the various caverns, “meeting” miners (they’re mannequins) from the past who tell you about the conditions they worked in.

A man in black is silhouetted in one of the holes in the Old Timers Mine, the light is glowing a warm orange

It was really interesting to see. But opal mining is not a job I’ll be taking on any time soon! Those cramped conditions aren’t for me.

The Old Timers Mine is open 7 days a week, from 9am to 5pm (last tours at 4.30pm). The entry fee is $15 for adults.

2. Visit the Umoona Museum

The other mining museum in town is the Umoona Museum. Also located in an original opal mine dating back to the 1920s, it’s another great place to learn about the history of Coober Pedy, including Aboriginal history. (Umoona is the First Nations name for Coober Pedy, and means “long life”.)

It’s free to wander through the museum yourself, or you can join a guided tour if you want more in-depth insight.

The tour includes a 20-minute “The Story of Opal” documentary as well as explanations about the different types of opals.

Tours of the Umoona Opal Mine & Museum cost $14 for adults and are held at 10am, 2pm and 4pm daily.

3. Snap a pic at the Welcome to Coober Pedy sign

A white landcruiser towing a camper trailer is parked by the Welcome to Coober Pedy sign - a must-do in Coober Pedy. The sign is black with a truck on top

No visit to Coober Pedy is complete without a visit to the iconic Welcome to Coober Pedy sign.

Located just off the Stuart Highway, you can’t miss it when you’re coming into Coober Pedy from the south. Grab a photo here as a memento of your time in this town.

There’s also another sign next to it, “Opal City”, which is also great for a selfie when you arrive!

The best time for a photo here is at sunset or sunrise – the desert gets some magical light.

4. Photograph the Coober Pedy sign

The Coober Pedy sign - in the design of the Hollywood sign - sits on top of an orange-red coloured hill. Shack-style buildings are in the foreground

Speaking of signs, make sure you also stop by for a snap of the Coober Pedy sign, which sits on a hill above the main street. In the style of the famous Hollywood sign, it’s nicely framed at sunset.

The sign itself is on public land, but you can get a great photo from Hutchinson Street, near the rotunda.

5. Check out The Big Winch

This is the place to be at sunset, when you can get stunning views from the lookout.

As the name suggests, there’s a big winch here (we Aussies like our oversized things!). It’s great for a photo opp, but there’s also a bar and cafe and a fancy cinema that shows a cinematic journey along Australia’s famous Explorer’s Way and the beauty of the Australian Outback.

6. Go into Faye’s Underground Home

The inside of Faye's Underground Home in Coober Pedy shows a bar in the underground house. The design is 70s style. The home is one of the beset Coober Pedy attractions to visit in the town.
The bar in Faye’s house – she had some pretty wild parties here!

Alongside opals, Coober Pedy is famous for its subterranean universe, with a labyrinth of underground homes designed to protect residents from the scorching summer heat. During the summer months, the temperature in Coober Pedy can hit 45°C during the day, so people started building their homes into the hills and underground to stay cool.

There are a few different homes open to the public, but my favourite is Faye’s Underground House and Mine.

Faye Nayler was the first woman to own and operate a mine in Coober Pedy, and she built this home with her fortunes. Along with two friends, it took her eight years to dig out the home with picks and shovels.

The home has a fabulous 70s vibe and one room has something completely unexpected – I won’t ruin the surprise, you have to go there and see it for yourself!

Tours of the home are $20 per person (cash or card) and also include a visit to Faye’s mine. Located underneath her home, it’s here where she discovered the opals that would make her a millionaire.

A woman in black walks hunched over to avoid hitting her head in a mineshaft in Coober Pedy

Caroline, the lady who ran our tour, is also a miner, so gave us some great insight into life working in the town.

Pro tip: If you turn up and the door’s closed, just ring the bell or wait a bit – the tour guide will be in the middle of a tour and will come get you for the next tour.

7. Have a look at the Serbian Orthodox Church

The inside of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Coober Pedy shows an ornately carved room built into a hill. A woman admires the leadlight features in the front of the church hall

It’s not only houses that are built underground in Coober Pedy. Places of worship have also been dug out of the earth.

The most beautiful underground church in Coober Pedy is the Serbian Orthodox Church. This is a must-see landmark in Coober Pedy, I think, located just a short drive out of the main street of town.

Built in 1993 by local Serbian families who wanted to create a place of worship for the town’s growing Serbian community, the church is entirely underground.

You’ll see this church featured in many of the town’s postcards – and rightly so, as the intricate frescoes and colourful leadlight windows make it a gorgeous place to visit. The ceiling is ornately carved and the lacquer painted over it makes it seem to glow golden.

Entry is with a $5 donation (drop it in the box on your way in. And please do – we saw so many people just ignoring the sign and walking in without paying!).

8. Step inside St Peter & Paul Church

A man stands in front of the altar at the St Peter & Paul Church in Coober Pedy. It's one of the must-visit underground churches in Coober Pedy

Right on the main street of Coober Pedy, you’ll find another underground church, the St Peter & Paul Church.

While it’s not as elaborate as the Serbian Orthodox Church, it’s still worth a visit because this is the first purpose-built underground Catholic Church of its type in the world. Mass services are still held here.

You may have to scramble around in the dark to turn on the lights when you arrive, as we did! Drop a gold coin donation in the box as your entry fee.

9. Visit the Catacomb Church

While more humble than the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Catacomb Church is still a remarkable underground structure. Dug out in the 1970s, the church is carved into the sandstone.

It’s still used for Sunday services, but visitors are welcome to explore at any other time – it’s open 24 hours!

It’s a beautiful place to sit still and be silent – and escape the heat of the day.

10. Visit Crocodile Harry’s Underground Nest and Dugout

One of the quirkiest things to do in Coober Pedy has to be visiting Crocodile Harry’s.

Built by Latvian-born Arvid Blumenthal, this place is filled with artwork, graffiti, a mountain of random old objects, a tonne of women’s undies and bras as well as various items left by visitors. It’s a mish-mash of eccentric stuff and quite a curious and intriguing place. You could spend quite some here looking through all the graffiti and knick-knacks.

Blumenthal – nicknamed Crocodile Harry – was quite the character. A former soldier, he came to Australia and hunted crocodiles for more than a decade before settling in Coober Pedy. He was apparently quite the womaniser and perhaps also the inspiration for Crocodile Dundee! There are a few photos of him on the wall holding up the crocs he caught.

The entry fee was $7 when we visited. There was no one there to collect it when we were there, but there is an honesty box you can put your money into.

Roaming the property is the hugest dog I’ve ever seen – but he was a gentle giant so don’t be nervous. But he did give us a fright when he came up behind us!

A woman in black jacket and jeans pats a large brown dog in Crocodile Harry's in Coober Pedy.
The huge dog at Crocodile Harry’s – but he was a gentle giant!

11. Marvel at Kanku-Breakaways Conservation Park

A man and woman - both in black jackets and jeans - look over the Kanku-Breakways Conservation Park in Coober Pedy

Often shortened to The Breakaways, the Kanku-Breakaways Conservation Park is a short drive from Coober Pedy and a beautiful spot to visit at sunset. The entire park is now back in the hand of the traditional owners.

The ochre-coloured plains and grand silence of the surrounding landscape are a stunning reminder of the raw beauty that exists within Australia’s heartland. There are a couple of lookout spots that are perfect to take in the immensity of the land.

Covering almost 15,000 square metres, as you drive through this area you’ll find it hard to believe that it was all under the ocean around 100 million years ago. These hills broke away from the Stuart Range a long, long time ago – hence the name “The Breakaways”.

You can easily drive out here (the road is unsealed but fine for 2WD), but we decided to take a tour with Noble Tours and were happy we did. Our guide, James, provided tonnes of interesting information about the Breakaways (and about Coober Pedy more broadly) that we wouldn’t have learned on our own.

Landscape view of the Kanku-Breakaways Conservation Park in Coober Pedy, South Australia, a key attraction in Coober Pedy. Shows a red and orange landscape with mountains in the distance and a cloudy sky

There’s an entry fee of $11 per vehicle. You can’t pay this at the entry to the park, so you’ll need to pick up a permit online or buy one from the Coober Pedy Visitor Information Centre or Underground Books.

No camping is allowed anywhere in the Breakaways Conservation Park.

12. Check out the Dog Fence

A wood and wire fence stretches down a barren landscape. The fence is the dog or dingo fence in Coober Pedy, an interesting attraction in Coober Pedy

The Dog Fence, also known as the Dingo Fence, is a barrier that runs through the Australian Outback for nearly 5,600km. It’s the longest fence in the world.

Sure, it may just be a fence that looks like any other fence, but it’s hugely important in this part of the world.

The fence runs just north of Coober Pedy and serves to protect domestic animals and wildlife in the area. It’s designed to keep out wild dogs, particularly dingoes, which can be a threat to livestock.

Of course, this also means that dingoes aren’t around to keep down feral animals like cats and foxes, and the fence also stops native animal migration, so the fence is a bit topical.

Make sure you listen out for the sirens along the road where the cow grids are – the dog fence even has motion detectors in this area.

13. See the Moon Plain

A series of hills emerge from the red, orange and white earth in Coober Pedy, South Australia

The Moon Plain, located just outside of Coober Pedy, gets its name from its lunar-like landscape and terrain.

The area is made up of rocky hillocks, claypans and desert vegetation, and is popular with photographers and filmmakers.

The Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome movie was filmed here, and it makes an appearance in several other films and TV shows, including Red Planet and Amazing Race Australia.

When we were in Coober Pedy, a show had just wrapped up filming – “Stars on Mars”, narrated by William Shatner.

14. Take a tour of Tom’s Working Opal Mine

Dirty hard hats are stacked up on a shelf. The hard hats have handwritten names on the front. Mining is one of the key tourist attractions in Coober Pedy, South Australia

Visiting Tom’s Working Opal Mine in Coober Pedy is a must-do for any traveller to the area. The mine is the only working underground opal mine you can visit in town.

On the tour, you’ll learn all about opal mining and the stories of miners, and you’ll even be able to try your hand at finding a gemstone yourself. You can take whatever you find home with you as a little souvenir.

Guided tours take 1.5 hours and cost $28 for adults, $14 for kids up to 17 (free 6 and under) or $75 for a family. Tours run at 10am and 1.30pm during the peak season from April to October. 

Self-guided tours can be done at your leisure between 9am and 4pm, and include a map, mining helmet and black light. Adult tickets cost $15, kids are $8 and families are $40.

15. Go Noodling

A red and white sign shows the dangers of unmarked mineshafts in Coober Pedy, with instructions not to run or walk backwards.

Noodling, or opal hunting, is one of the most popular things to do in Coober Pedy.

Go hunting through the mounds of sand and dirt in the hope of finding pieces of opal that were missed. People get lucky all the time finding small pieces.

The best place to go noodling is Tom’s Working Opal Mine. Here, you’ll be able to search for opal in the same conditions the miners still use today.

You can also try your luck in any of the public dry claypans around the town.

You don’t need a permit if you’re not on a pegged claim and not using a pick, shovel or any digging device. Be very careful where you noodle – trespassing is treated very seriously here!

If you decide to go noodling further afield, then be very, very careful. There are around 2 million shafts in the Coober Pedy area, and they’re dangerous – people have been known to fall in. You won’t be found quickly out here!

And if you do find an opal, the stores in town can help polish and shape it into something special.

16. Shop for opals

A white opal store is framed by a tree in Coober Pedy. Shopping for opals is one of the most popular things. todo in Coober Pedy, South Australia

If you don’t get lucky finding your own opal, then there are several opal stores in town. An opal is an excellent souvenir to take home as a reminder of this quirky town.

We were given a few recommendations from a local:

  • The Big Miner – look for the big copper miner statue, and enjoy having a haggle here
  • Opalios – the owner has a great sense of humour

Both stores are owned and run by Greek families who’ve lived in Coober Pedy since the 1960s.

17. Pat a joey at Josephine’s Gallery and Kangaroo Orphanage

One of the most heart-warming places to visit in Coober Pedy is Josephine’s Gallery and Kangaroo Orphanage.

This amazing place cares for orphaned joeys. Many of these joeys have been found in the pouches of mama kangaroos who’ve been hit by cars or trucks.

The owners take calls at all hours of the day to rescue injured wildlife and dedicate their days to caring for them. They’re amazing people!

There’s a daily feeding at 12pm, which you can enter for $10. You’ll need to email or call the owners to register ahead of time. See the business card in the photo below for the contact details.

While you’re waiting to see the animals, take a look around the beautiful gallery, which has a stunning range of Aboriginal art.

A business card shows the address, phone number and email address for Josephine's Gallery, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Coober Pedy, South Australia

18. Catch a flick at the Coober Pedy Drive-in Theatre

If you’re in Coober Pedy on a Saturday night, then a can’t-miss is the Coober Pedy Drive-in Theatre – the only drive-in cinema in South Australia.

Enjoy a flick under the stars at this open-air cinema. There’s a huge screen and you can buy snacks and drinks at the canteen.

It’s a bargain too – $20 for a car of up to 7 people!

Unfortunately we missed out on this because we weren’t in Coober Pedy over the weekend, but I’d love to time a trip to coincide with the cinema.

19. Have a hit at the Coober Pedy Opal Fields Golf Club

A sign says "keep off the grass" in front of the grassless golf course in Coober Pedy

The Coober Pedy Opal Fields Golf Club is one of the most unique things to do in Coober Pedy.

Where else in the world do you have the chance to find an opal while you’re hitting a round?

With no grass in sight, the 18-hole course is made up of sand and the tee-offs are made of fake grass. In the warmer months, golf is played at night with the use of glow-in-the-dark golf balls.

The golf club has reciprocal rights with St Andrew’s Golf Club in Scotland – although the rights only exist during January and February (ie. winter in Scotland and the hottest months in Coober Pedy!).

Even if you’re not a golfer, it’s worth stopping by to have a giggle at the “Keep off the grass” signs. Sunsets are gorgeous out here.

20. Check out the Pitch Black spaceship

A spaceship sits in the dirt on the main street of Coober Pedy. The spaceship is a prop from the film Pitch Black, which was filmed in Coober Pedy

Wandering down the main street of Coober Pedy, you may wonder why there’s a crashed spaceship there.

It’s actually from the movie “Pitch Black” starring Vin Diesel, which was filmed in Coober Pedy.

After the filming was completed, the spaceship was gifted to the town.

The spaceship is now a popular photo spot for tourists and a symbol of the town’s filmmaking history. In addition to Pitch Black, the town has also been featured in films like Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Red Planet and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

It’s out the front of the Umoona Opal Mine & Museum.

21. Take a scenic flight

While Coober Pedy is fascinating from the ground, it’s even more breathtaking from the air. Wrightsair can show you a bird’s-eye view of the unique landscape and opal mines.

They’ve got a range of different tours, but most go over Coober Pedy, Lake Eyre and the Painted Hills.

It’s a splurge, for sure, but you’ll get to see beautiful scenery that you can’t access on foot or by car.

22. Drink underground at the Desert Cave Hotel

There are few places in the world where you can have a drink underground, and the place to do it in Coober Pedy is at the Desert Cave Hotel.

The Desert Cave Hotel is the only fully underground hotel in the world, and all of its rooms and other facilities are carved out of the sandstone rocks.

Enjoy a relaxing drink in the underground bar or have a hit at pool.

23. Walk the Coober Pedy Heritage Trail

While it’s easy to meander about the town without a plan, it’s better to follow the Coober Pedy Heritage Trail to learn about the town at some key landmarks.

There are 12 stops on the trail, covering everything from the town’s first cemetery to the churches I’ve already talked about to the John McDouall Stuart Monument.

Pick up a map from the Coober Pedy Visitor Information Centre or your accommodation.

24. Join the mail run

To truly get a sense of just how remote this area is, join an Outback Mail Run tour.

It’s exactly as it says – join a real Aussie Post mailman as he delivers the mail to the Outback towns of Oodnadatta and William Creek and remote cattle stations.

Tours run every Monday and Thursday and cover more than 600km of Outback roads. Lunch is at the famous Pink Roadhouse, and there’s even a stop for a beer at William Creek Hotel.

It’s a unique way to explore the landscape and learn about the history and people of the region.

Unfortunately I didn’t get time to do this Coober Pedy tour, but it would be such a different and unique way to see this area.

25. Photograph the Painted Desert

The Painted Desert is a remarkable natural wonder about 2.5 hours from Coober Pedy.

This area of the Outback is famous for its stunning red and orange hues. The ever-changing landscape is a photographer’s dream, with rolling hills, rock formations and a vast array of colours that seem to change with the light.

Take a guided tour or drive out there yourself.

Sunset is the best time to visit – but do be careful driving on the road after dark, as there’s a lot of wildlife around. Arckaringa Homestead has camping facilities and basic accommodation if you’d prefer to stay the night out there.

Map of the best things to do in Coober Pedy

As you can see from this map I’ve created, all of the best Coober Pedy attractions are pretty close to each other, so you can easily get between them.

Where is Coober Pedy?

Coober Pedy is located in the heart of Australia’s Outback, in the northern region of South Australia. It’s around 846 kilometres north of Adelaide and about 688 kilometres south of Alice Springs, and it’s the perfect stopover if you’re traversing the Stuart Highway on your way to or from spectacular Uluru.

It’s remote out here – as you can see from the following table which shows driving distances and times from the major capital cities and nearby towns.

CityDistance to Coober Pedy (kms)Time to drive
Adelaide848 kms (526 miles)9 hours
Brisbane2,469 kms (1,534 miles)26 hours
Darwin2,183 kms (1,356 miles)23 hours
Melbourne1,572 kms (976 miles)17 hours
Perth2,493 kms (1,549 miles)28 hours
Sydney2,088 kms (1,297 miles)22 hours
Port Augusta540 kms (336 miles)6 hours
Alice Springs688 kms (428 miles)7 hours

How to get to Coober Pedy

Getting to Coober Pedy is an adventure in itself!

By road

Most people will end up in Coober Pedy by car as they drive the Stuart Highway. The table in the previous section shows how far it is from the main cities and towns.

The Stuart Highway is sealed all the way to Coober Pedy from Adelaide and Darwin.

Mobile phone service is hit and miss, but there’s always coverage in towns and around roadhouses.

From Port Augusta to Coober Pedy, you can stop for the night at Spud’s Roadhouse in Pimba or the Glendambo Roadhouse. We stayed at Spud’s for a $5 donation. There are showers, good pub food at the roadhouse and fuel. The campground is a basic gravel pit but it’s fenced in. It can be noisy with the road trains passing at night. Get in around 3pm or 4pm as the camping area starts to fill up.

From Alice Springs to Coober Pedy, you’ve got the Erldunda Roadhouse and the Kulgera Roadhouse (both in the Northern Territory) or Cadney Park Homestead and Marla Travellers Rest (both in South Australia). All have fuel. We really like the Erldunda Roadhouse (we stayed there previously on our Central Australia road trip) because the sites are nice, there’s unpowered overflow sites and the pub is good.

WikiCamps has more rest stop options (including free camps), and PetrolSpy is the best app for checking the cheapest fuel.

By plane

If long drives aren’t your thing, don’t worry, you can still reach Coober Pedy by air.

The town has a small airport that’s serviced by Regional Express (Rex). Flights to Coober Pedy are available from Adelaide, taking around 2 hours.

Upon arrival, you can rent a car in Coober Pedy.

By bus

Greyhound buses also run the Stuart Highway, so you can jump on a bus to Coober Pedy from Adelaide and Alice Springs, among other locations.

It’s a longer trip compared to driving or flying, taking approximately 11 hours from Adelaide and around 9 hours from Alice Springs. Buses run once daily from both cities (the Adelaide to Coober Pedy service is an overnighter).

By tour

Prefer to have someone else do all the organising? There are a couple of multi-day tours that include Coober Pedy on the itinerary:

Accommodation in Coober Pedy

Wondering where to stay in Coober Pedy? Here are some options for hotels as well as for caravanners and campers.

Hotels in Coober Pedy

A must-do in Coober Pedy is to stay in an underground hotel. Two excellent options are:

  • Desert Cave Hotel: great-sized rooms with access to the hotel’s bar and restaurant (make sure you choose an underground room as they also have aboveground rooms)
  • Comfort Inn Coober Pedy Experience: originally a working wine, the rooms in this motel have kitchenettes which are handy

Caravan parks and camping in Coober Pedy

We stayed at the Big4 Stuart Range Outback Resort. There’s a mix of caravan sites and cabins at this caravan park, and a pool, BBQ facilities and playground. It is on the Stuart Highway so there can be some noise at night as the road trains go by, but it’s not too bad.

I do not recommend the Opal Inn – it’s run down and unsafe. We booked in there but immediately left.

Stay in the world’s only underground campground at Riba’s Underground Campground. Set up your tent underground – this used to be a mine.

Looking for free camping in Coober Pedy? There’s a free camp next to the Old Timers Museum. They do ask for a donation so they can eventually gravel the area.

A barren and dusty open area has a handful of cars, caravans and motorhomes parked around in, including an old unused wagon in the foreground. This is the free camping site in Coober Pedy.
The free camp next to the Old Timers Mine

Where to eat in Coober Pedy

For a small town, there are some good places to eat in Coober Pedy.

My recommendations for restaurants in Coober Pedy are:

  • The Big Winch 360 – the “fanciest” place in town, this is a great spot for sunset views. There’s good food (salads, pasta and typical cafe food) and a decent wine list
  • The Outback Bar & Grill – meat-oriented menu with lots of lamb, chicken and beef. It’s a licensed venue
  • John’s Pizza – claims to have the best pizzas in Australia… I’d say they’re pretty good for the Outback!
  • The Greek Club – if you’re in Coober Pedy on a Friday night, make sure to head to the Greek Club. A plate of amazing home-cooked food will set you back $20, and the atmosphere is super fun

Essential Services in Coober Pedy

Coober Pedy may be small, but it has what you need for your stay.

Water is a precious resource in Coober Pedy. If you’re travelling by caravan or campervan, like we were, you can pay for potable water from the dispenser next to the Coober Pedy Visitor Information Centre. It’s $1 for 30 litres.

The IGA on Hutchinson Street has a variety of goods, from fresh produce to household items.

If you’re travelling by car and need to refuel, there are three petrol stations in Coober Pedy: Mobil, Shell and Ampol, all on the main street. Check an app like PetrolSpy before you fill up to find the cheapest fuel. The Mobil (Perry’s) has a good convenience store.

Finally, for any tourist information or assistance, the Coober Pedy Visitor Information Centre is your go-to place. It’s at 773 Hutchison Street and the friendly staff can help you make bookings and give advice. They’ve got tips for beyond Coober Pedy as well.

A sign behind a glass display case warns patrons not to bring explosives into the theatre. The sign is in Coober Pedy in the Old Timers Mine, one of the must-visit places to see in Coober Pedy.

What to do in Coober Pedy: Final thoughts

Coober Pedy is known as one of the quirkiest towns in Australia and it certainly lives up to its reputation. I absolutely loved it here and found it so interesting and unlike anywhere else I’ve ever been.

Whether you’re looking for a unique outback experience, an educational adventure or a relaxing getaway, there are plenty of things to do in Coober Pedy. Come and check out its eccentricity for yourself!

Things to do in Coober Pedy: Frequently asked questions

When is the best time to visit Coober Pedy?

The weather in Coober Pedy can be incredibly harsh. The best time to visit Coober Pedy is during the Australian winter (May to August). During this time, the temperatures are more bearable.

It’s unlikely to rain during these months – although we did get caught in a major storm front passing through the whole of Australia when we were in Coober Pedy! Rain turns everything into a mud pit.

In the summer months, Coober Pedy can reach scorching temperatures, sometimes exceeding 40 degrees Celsius. There’s no shade in this treeless town! This is heat that can make you pass out, so avoid these months.

How many days do you need in Coober Pedy?

You can get a great feel for Coober Pedy in two to three days.

Is Coober Pedy good to visit with kids?

Absolutely! There are plenty of things to do in Coober Pedy with kids. They’ll be fascinated by the unique underground homes and churches, and the mining museums are fun for all ages. We even saw a family using the Old Timers Mine as an opportunity to home-school their kids! More fun kids’ activities in Coober Pedy are “noodling” to search for opals, and Josephine’s Gallery and Kangaroo Orphanage is also always a winner with children.

Is Coober Pedy safe to visit?

Yes, Coober Pedy is a safe place to visit. Tourist crime is low. The locals may be quirky but they’re friendly and there’s a police station in town. As in any town, always use common sense and stay aware of your surroundings. One thing to always be aware of is the threat of mines in Coober Pedy – with more than 2 million mineshafts in the area, people do fall in.

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Have you ever been to Coober Pedy? What did you think of the town?


Related posts

Before you go… you might like these other Australian road trip articles:

AUSTRALIA TRIP ESSENTIALS

  • Book your flight to Australia online with Skyscanner. I like this site because it shows me which dates are cheaper.
  • Find a great hotel in Australia. Check prices on Booking.com and Expedia online.
  • Check out the huge range of day tours throughout Australia on GetYourGuide or Viator. There’s something for everyone.
  • A copy of the Lonely Planet guide to Australia will be handy.
  • One thing I always purchase is travel insurance! Travel Insurance Master allows you to compare across multiple policy providers, while SafetyWing is great for long-term travellers and digital nomads.
  • Pack sunscreen (look for SPF50 or higher), a hat and sunglasses because the sun is hot!

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Save this guide to the most fun things to do in Coober Pedy to Pinterest so you can plan your trip later!

About REBECCA

I'm a travel junkie who started dreaming about seeing the world from a very young age. I've visited more than 40 countries and have a Master of International Sustainable Tourism Management. A former expat, I've lived in Australia, Papua New Guinea, Argentina and the United States. I share travel resources, tips and stories based on my personal experiences, and my goal is to make travel planning just that bit easier.

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