688 kilometres south of Alice Springs, after crossing into South Australia, we reached the isolated mining town of Coober Pedy. Coober Pedy owes its existence to the one thing of value that is abundant out in this desert, Opals, discovered in 1915 by Wille Hutchison. For tens of kilometres before the town small and large piles of rocks start to appear either side of the highway, trenches, pits and holes can be spied. The spoil and remnants of searches for these precious stones.
Coober Pedy is renowned for its below-ground residences, called "dugouts", which are built due to the scorching daytime heat. The name Coober Pedy comes from the local Aboriginal term kupa-piti, which means "white man's hole"!
The border at last, we cross into our second Aussie state
Farewell NT and thanks for all the memories
Our shadow tracking us as the evening shadows grow
What strange moles are these?
A typical Coober Pedy house, constant cool temperatures inside but not much of a view
Unfortunately most of the mines that did tours were closed
But you could noodle for free at this one - noodling is the term used to search for opals in the spoil tips of mines, a licence for which is normally required. Professional Noodlers can make a good living from reworking these spool heaps
Sarah going jewellery shopping
South Australia contains many huge lakes, most however are caustic and completely dry up for years at a time leaving these huge salt pans
We meet the Ghan railway once more with its huge freight trains
And on and on and on...only 800 odd kilometres to Adelaide