Lookout Cave Motel
Lot 1141 McKenzie Close, P.O. Box 79, Coober Pedy, 5723, Australia
More about Coober Pedy
Some of the miles of mullock heaps
Tellos in his mine
Life beneath the soil
Riba's on the south side
Best accomadation in Coober Pedy????
Hey everyone!! I am going to be in Coober Pedy in about 4 or 5 days and was hoping someone could pass along their #1 place to stay!! We want to definitly stay underground, not too expensive (no more than $150/night) and just unique??? Any ideas??
Re: Best accomadation in Coober Pedy????
Hi Kylie. I remember one of my good vt mates Anne12 travelled up through the centre of Australia so I looked up her page here -
Also, check out the other pages on Coober Pedy here on vt. There's nothing like first hand advice from all our friends here on vt :o)
Have fun!! Cheers, Ann.
Re: Best accomadation in Coober Pedy????
Many years ago I stayed with friends in Coober Pedy who lived underground. Those days only the school teacher's house was above ground and looked strangely out of place. Went back again last year but didn't stay. Was amazed at just how big the place has grown, but nearly all above ground. It's certainly changed its character. There were a few places advertising underground accomodation or touring. They had an information centre there as well. If you googled you'd probably find they have a web site with all you want to know.
Travel Tips for Coober Pedy
The local Coober Pedy townspeople have a reputation for being very close lipped. Secrecy is like a religion here.
Locations of good opal finds are secrets which are jealously guarded and, in the past, disputes between miners or neighbours were often settled with dynamite....
It may sound like a lawless town, but don't worry, as a tourist I felt perfectly safe there.
The local community has always been quite ethnic - in the early 1990’s it was still a mix of over 40 different nationalities, including Italians, Greeks and Croatians, who have their own clubs/restaurants in the township.
The town has always had quite an isolated image, but that is slowly changing as more people are discovering this place and tourism becomes more and more important.
The Breakaways part two
So, if you went there in your car and didn't walk, the following pictures will give you and idea of what you missed. Walking will give 3 to 4 times the pleasure, I can't recommend it highly enough.
To stand beside those buttes is a special feeling. The colours will astound. Here's what I wrote at the time.
"In the distance you can see the range of hills that you have to pay $2.20 each to view; a worn plateau that beckons you onward such is its contrast to the surrounding land. I imagined it would just be that. How wrong was I.
Even the first set have colour but it’s merely the overture to main symphony. The stark hues are staggering. From chalky whites to sulphur yellows to iron oxide reds the colours blaze in the midday sun. It’s a photographer’s wet dream. My hour became all morning and then I downloaded the panoramas at the main lookout and emailed them off. Just as well really because in the afternoon I went to another spot, plunged off the cliff into the valley floor and took twice as many.
Every 20 metres the vista was magically different, the shapes seen from another entrancing angle, the colours changing in intensity. I realised then why I had never heard of the place; because if you never left the road it is “worth a look” and that’s about it, but if you walk among it it’s something else again. Other than Italy in autumn I’ve never seen so much colour in such a small area.
The Breakaways – put it alongside the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru; just make sure you get out of your car!"
This rock formation can be seen in the Breakaways reserve. Our guide Joe also called it The Salt and Pepper.
This area was filmed for Priscilla-Queen of the Desert. This is where the bus breaks down and Joe and his wife comes to the rescue. Yes, Joe is a true star!
The last place we went on our tour around Coober Pedy was the opal fields. You are allowed to fossick/noodle through the piles of dirt. And you can be lucky and fine some small pieces of quite good opal.
First time I was there I only found pieces of the milky kind of opal. They are worthless but I brought them home anyway. After all it WAS opal. Second time we were just about to leave when I saw something glinting in the sunshine in the middle of the road.
It was a small thin piece of rock, dirt on the top and bottom, but in the sides you could see the most beautiful white opal. And some red and white firery bits.
When we got back to the hostel the manager's son cut it for me, rounded the edges and made it really pretty. They said I could about 20AU$ (or about 100AU$ back home in Denmark). But of course I didn't sell it. And I still have it now. And the best thing; I found it myself!
"Visit a martian landscape"
The Breakaways - approximately 33 kilometres north of the opal mining town of Coober Pedy, in the Outback of South Australia - offers up ancient landscapes, like seen through the view finder of NASA's Mars Rover Spirit!
Accessible by passenger vehicle (4x4 preferable), it’s an easy half hour drive from the town centre.
Leave late afternoon, and ensure you visit Moon Plain (the setting for movies such as Red Planet, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, and Pitch Black). Also, you can't miss The Dingo Fence – the world’s longest fence!
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