Darwin to Adelaide by The Ghan September 2019 - Day 12

The Ghan Day 3 - Coober Pedy


After a good night's sleep we arrived in Coober Pedy, the opal capital of Australia. The train stop (a bunch of picnic tables does not a station make) is several km from the actual town of Coober Pedy so after we had walked the corridors of about 12 carriages (they wouldn't let us use the nearest door for "safety reasons") we climbed onto the waiting buses. Unlke the rest of our trip the weather had turned cloudy, cold, windy and with hints of rain.

Coober Pedy

Coober Pedy is a remote, rough-hewn town full of ever-hopeful opal miners. The results of their labours are everywhere - thousands of holes in the ground surrounded by conical piles of dirt littered all over the landscape. They claim it would be too dangerous to fill the holes in...

Coober bakes under the relentless heat from the sun (except the day we were there). The minerrs spend all day underground, so where better than to build your house underground as well. We visited some of these places, had lunch in an underground dining room and visited the dug up moonscape. They have put aside a small area as a reserve known as the Breakaways, which we visited but the wind (and rain) made the visit uncomfortable. Would probably look quite different on a fine day, we might havwe to go back.

Its known as the Red Centre for a reason..
Their only link to civilisation.
The Ghan stretches left...
..and right.
Typical miner's house.
Moonscape of holes and mounds
Mine workings, with cyclone separators that sift out the opal.
The Breakaways on a cold windy day.
Morning tea, but most of it blew away.
Strewth, even a campervan out here!.
The hills known as the Two Dogs
The story of the Two Dogs..
And of the reserve.
Would like to see more of these.
The dog fence.
Back into Coober Pedy and the underground houses.
Back at the train they had a warming fire and drinks.
One suspects the cold is more common than they let on.
Nice hat...
Off into the sunset for the last time.

And on to Adelaide

Back on the train we warmed up and headed for the dining car for our last dinner on the train. The next morning, after an early breakfast we were in Adelaide. After the usual fight to get our bags we hoped on to the bus that took us to the Ibis Hotel in central Adelaide. We had a few days in Adelaide before flying home, time to find a few of those relatives inhabiting the cemeteries.

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Last updated: 19/06/2020