Coober Pedy, Australia Puts the “Down Under” in “Down Under”

November 12, 2009 at 7:32 pm | Posted in Australia, Oceania | Leave a comment
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by Tripatini staff

There are of course plenty of cool and even crazy reasons to visit this great continent of a country. But for unusual, it may be hard to beat this Outback town some 480 miles northwest of Adelaide and 585 miles south of Alice Springs (and accessible by road, train, and even air). Coober Pedy’s not just the “Opal Capital of Australia,” but really takes the expression “down under” literally. Local blokes and sheilas have turned former mining tunnels into homes, galleries, museums, a church (above left)– and er, digs, such as Radeka Underground Backpackers, run by bearded, central-casting-minerish-looking Martin Smith (rooms here start at A$60/US$50) and fancier establishments like the Desert Cave Hotel (from A$218/US$185). The town itself is a fun hang, its population of 3,500 livened up by a multinational bunch here to plumb the various depths, tour the opal fields, party in joints like Crocodile Harry’s Underground Nest, and explore surrounding locales like Oodnadatta and Coward Springs. You might just say that C-P really, well, rocks. More info: www.Radeka Downunder.com.au, www.OpalCapitalOfTheWorld.com.au, DesertCave.com.au.

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