Road trip to Coober Pedy

The first travel I planned as part of my career break is to a place called Coober Pedy (Opal capital of the World) in South Australia state of Australia. It is about 840 kilometres from South Australia’s capital city Adelaide.

Coober Pedy is famous for opal mining industry and is one of the unique places in Australia. It is basically in the middle of nowhere in the outback and it is Australia’s underground town where 80% of the people live underground. The underground homes are referred as “Dugouts”. It is ranked as World’s strangest town.

How to get there?

  • Flights – There are frequent flights run by Regional Express between Adelaide and Coober Pedy.
  • Drive – It is about 9 hours’ drive (one-way) from Adelaide.
  • Bus Greyhound Australia run buses between Adelaide and Coober Pedy.

Precautions to be taken

  • Beware of the cows, kangaroos, emus, sheep, lizards and other wildlife that may come on roads suddenly.
  • Take lots of water and snacks.
  • Beware of overtaking road trains.
  • Glendambo is the last town to have fuel before heading to Coober Pedy from Adelaide. The distance between Coober Pedy and Glendambo is 253 kilometres. Note: Coober Pedy has fuel stations.

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Our itinerary

My friends Vijay and Keyur and I decided to do a road trip from Adelaide. We all could drive and have Australian full licences. Also, the roads to Coober Pedy are in excellent condition.

The itinerary that we followed is:

Day 1

  • Took a flight from Sydney to Adelaide. The one-way ticket on Qantas costed AUD 136.06 + 6000 Qantas points.
  • Hired the car at the airport.
  • Stayed at Adelaide YHA for the night.

Total distance to drive: None.

Day 2

  • Drove to Coober Pedy via Port Augusta.
  • Stayed at Coober Pedy for the night.

Total distance to drive: Adelaide to Coober Pedy – 846 kilometres (9 hours).

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Day 3

  • Sightseeing at Coober Pedy.
  • Started our drive back towards Adelaide.
  • Stayed at Quorn for the night.

Total distance to drive: Coober Pedy to Quorn – 580 kilometres (6 hours).

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Day 4

  • Sightseeing at Quorn.
  • Drove back to Adelaide airport.
  • Stayed at Adelaide YHA for the night.

Total distance to drive: Quorn to Adelaide airport via Wallaroo – 350 kilometres (4.5 hours).

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Day 5

  • Flew from Adelaide to Sydney. The flight costed me AUD 129.06 per person on Jetstar.

Total distance to drive: None.

Things to do

Coober Pedy

  • Tom’s Working Opal Mine tour – This is a great tour to get a sneak peak into the Opal mining. They have different guided tours, costing from AUD 15 to AUD 28.
  • Stay underground – ✅
  • Painted desert
  • Longest fence of 5600 kilometres
  • Kanku-Breakaways Conservation Park
  • Visit underground churches – ✅
  • Umoona Opal Mine and Museum – ✅

Port Augusta

  • Wadlata Outback Centre
  • Mattew Flinders Red Cliff Lookout
  • RSL Military museum
  • Port Wakefield itself (known for its good bakery)
  • Lochiel (check the big, dry lake for the Loch Ness Monster)

Quorn

  • Pichi Richi Railway station – ✅

Where are we staying?

Adelaide

  • Name: YHA
  • Cost: AUD 27 in a 6 Female Dorm
  • Address: 135 Waymouth Street , Adelaide, SA, 5000

Coober Pedy

Quorn

  • Name: Transcontinental Hotel (booked through AirBnB)
  • Cost: AUD 82 for 3 people (AUD 27.34 per person)
  • Address: 15 Railway Terrace, Quorn SA 5433, Australia

Car hire

We got a corporate offer, so the car hire expenses turned out to be very cheap. While hiring a car from a rental company, we always look for complete insurance with minimum excess. The total cost including the ultimate protection is AUD 277.50 for 3 people. This does not include the fuel charges, which costed us additional AUD 248.79.

Expenses

  • Flights:Sydney to Adelaide = AUD 136.06
    • Adelaide to Sydney = AUD 129.06
  • Car + Fuel:Car = AUD 92.5
    • Fuel = AUD 82.93
    • Car park = AUD 10
  • Accommodation:YHA Adelaide = AUD 27
    • YHA Adelaide = AUD 27
    • Backpackers Inn (Coober Pedy) = AUD 40
    • Hotel Transcontinental (Quorn) = AUD 27.4
  • Food = AUD 116.2
  • Museum tour = AUD 10
  • Souvenirs = AUD 70

Total cost = AUD 768.15

Gallery

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