Cobber Pedy – The Town Where 80% Population Lives Underground

On the island-continent of Australia can be found a small and quaint town by the name of Coober Pedy. What’s unusual about this town of a few thousand residents is that about 80% of these residents live underground.

Discovery of Coober Pedy

In 1914, a 14-year-old boy accidentally discovered the town of Coober Pedy when he stumbled upon opal in the fields. Soon, people started digging the fields which had become the go-to place for opal mining.

For those who are planning to pack their bags and book the next flight ticket to Australia, here is something which you should know. Coober Pedy has a high ranging temperature that reaches 49-degree Celsius. The grass is considered as a commodity in Cobber Pedy and trees, well they are never seen in that area. Coober Pedy is located in the middle of nowhere, with Alice Springs being the closest (688km), followed by Melbourne (1560km) and Sydney (2060km).

Why do people still live in Coober Pedy?

Instead of finding a cooler locality, the initial settlers of the place learned to get accustomed to the not-so-friendly climate of Coober Pedy. Now, they stay in the inoperable mines of Coober Pedy. The only way outsiders can get to know that Coober Pedy holds people below are the chimneys protruding out of the grounds. The temperature underground stays around a cool 23-degree Celsius. The locales emphasize on the fact that since there are no gushes of air, no air conditioner, and no place for the light to sneak in, one can sleep peacefully.

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The underground houses as we imagine are not small. There are houses with indoor pools and even, beauty parlors. The only trouble which is not sorted for the Coober Pedy residents is their travel. Their football team takes part in the competition called Far North Football League. The closest team they compete with resides 280miles away and the Coober Pedy team’s average expenditure on travel goes up to $15000 per year.

The people living there have made signboards warning citizens not to run or walk backward for safety purposes.

Best time to visit Coober Pedy and accommodation options

If you want to visit Coober Pedy, the recommended months are between April to October. January and February are off-seasons because of the hellish climate which might give one a heat stroke. For the people who are planning to visit the place on a low budget, the locals have made provisions of renting tents at $16 per person. The tents are mounted in abandoned mines.

If you have heavy pockets, you can shelter your selves in the underground hotels which will give you a mesmerizing experience. And, if you are scared of the land falling on top of you, there are plenty of on-land options too.

Overall, the town is something extraordinary. With underground housing and underground markets, it seems like something directly from the OZ world. Coober Pedy is a must-visit place if you are in Australia and If you get lucky enough, you might stumble upon opal too!