Coober Pedy only leaves a couple options for places to stay, but two of them stand right out, the most famous of which is Radeka Down Under. The rooms, the gift shop and the bar are all underground at Radekas.
In the underground hallways of Radeka the temperature is always significantly cooler. Over half the population in Coober Pedy lives in a subterranean dwelling.
You may remember this dorm room from the travel show Globetrekker.
The other hotel you should check out is the Desert Rose Inn where rooms are way out of my price range. They do also have an underground bar as well as many historical photos of the city in its mining days. This is a great place to learn a bit about Coober Pedy before going out exploring.
The Old Timers Mine has head hittingly low ceilings. Apparently they only built the mines high enough for the person who worked it and apparently people were much shorter back then. It is quite interesting inside the mine. Back in the late 1910's, they were done mining this one so they filled it in. Years later a member of the community was adding onto their underground home and they broke through to this mine, which had been preserved in the same state it was back in 1918. All they had to do for tourists was make it more realistic. Now comes the creepy part.
It seems that they set up the shopping mall mannequins to demonstrate how the miners worked and lived.
This is how people slept when they lived in mines. Not sure about ayone else, but I could have guessed what people looked like when they slept back in those days.
And then we have the creepiest of the whole lot. There were a good dozen or so lined up in the mine, each one looking slightly more out of place than the next.
The Serbian Orthodox Church in Coober Pedy is the more spectacular one in town. The ceiling is high and the sculptures are ornate.
They carved sculptures right into the walls.
The other underground church in town is St. Peter & Pauls Catholic Church. It is quite a bit smaller than the Serbian Church, but right next door to Radeka's, so it is an easy walk from anywhere in town.
Being underground, there was only one source of natural light at the entrance through this stained glass window.
The mining town of Coober Pedy has seen its share of people coming in and all were trying to make it rich mining Opal. While mining has slowed down somewhat, you can bet that as soon as prices for Opal go back up, so will the population in Coober Pedy as they try their hand underground.
To really learn about the area I suggest you take a tour around Coober Pedy in a 4WD vehicle.
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