G’Day, today we leave the Northern Territory crossing the state border into South Australia with a rough plan to make Coober Pedy. Coober Pedy is a famous outback town in the middle of absolute no where. Why is it famous? Well the town is a Opal mining town and its hot, so hot that some of the residents actually live in underground homes, yep real underground homes called “Dug Outs”.
As we arrive in Coober Pedy you start to see this strange looking scenery, there are little mounds of dirt scattered across the country side, these are piles of dirt that have been sifted looking for Opals. We see a sign for “Toms Working Opal Mine Tours” and we just had to see this. We had no idea about opal mining or what we were getting ourselves into.
The first thing we noticed as we entered the mine that it was nice and cool. In the Kombi it has been getting super hot and you have no escape from the heat or the flies. Down here, underground it was like it had air conditioning and there were no flies!!! We meet our tour guide Georgen a german opal miner and Coober Pedy character. We donned our hardhats and started the walk into the mine.
The tour is in a underground opal mine, that is still working to this day, Georgen works there as a miner and even showed us some opal he was mining at the time. He showed us the technique that he has worked out for him self. He even gave us a go at mining. It was hilarious to see a YouTuber attempt to use power tools. I don’t think there would be any tour any where else in Australia that would be like this one.
After we finished the tour Georgen actually invited us back to his house to have a look at a real Underground home. It was incredible to see a “real” underground home, not something prepared for tourist, a real home. Georgen explained how he dug the house out using mining equipment. The home is completely “Off The Grid” as well which is pretty cool. They have a small Diesel Generator out the front with some solar panels. They charge batteries around the house which they use to power the house appliences. The less appliences they have the less power they need to produce, its a very interesting way of life. A very “back to basic’s” way of living. Very unique to Coober Pedy.
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One Life, One Search,