We set off early for Coober Pedy which is an opal mining town. The plan was to smash out 700 klms to Coober Pedy which would give us an entire day exploring this town. It would also be a test to see how many klms were possible if required. Everything went to plan and we arrived in the hot, dry and dusty town of Coober Pedy late afternoon.
The next morning we headed into town and checked out the opal shops, needless to say Jo-anne didn't get any opal jewellery. One of the shop owners told us that most opal owners live in dugouts under their shops due to theft. We also spoke to other locals who had lots of interesting stories to tell about the town. The population is about 1500 and 70% of these live underground in dugouts. The main reason they live underground is to escape the heat. The temperature of a dugout remains constant all year round at between 21 - 24 degrees.
We are travelling with 3 other couples (Lynette & Warren, Leanne & Ian and Carolyn & Dave), they had decided to go a different route from the Flinders Ranges as they wanted to see Lake Eyre. They arrived about lunch time in time to join us on a 5 hour guided tour of Coober Pedy.
The tour was fantastic and very informative. It took us out to the Breakaways (google it), other highlights were a working mine, the opal museum, an underground Serbian church and a dugout which was under construction. For me the highlight of the tour was the golf course. Now this course would have to be the roughest course you have ever seen. The tees are a 1 metre square slab of fake grass, the fairways are bare dirt, and the greens are sandscrapes. However, members of the Coober Pedy golf course have reciprocal rights to play at St Andrew's in Scotland. (the mecca of golf). We also visited the dingo fence which runs continuous for 5,300 klms and is the longest man made structure in the world.
Next stop Uluru.