LamandEgg on Walkabout! travel blog


Abandoned mine sites


Our underground abode

We rolled out of Yulara at sunrise and headed south again.

A lot of people may know about Australia's strict quarantine laws when you enter the country from abroad. However, they are just as strict when moving from state to state within Australia itself. We were carrying a bag of apples, and some veggies with us as we left Yulara, and were about to cross into the state of South Australia mid-morning. We stopped off at a roadhouse just before the border and tried to gobble up 4 apples each while killing ourselves laughing. When an old couple joined us at our picnic table, we unloaded a few onto them too!!

As we got closer to Coober Pedy, the landscape changed to something that resembled the moonscape. It was baren, whitish sand/dirt for as far as the eye can see. Every now and again, you saw piles of white sand and rock, where old opal mines lay seemingly abandonned (who knows?). There were also plenty of signs everywhere warning against walking around these areas as one could easily fall into a mine shaft. More and more of these mine sites appeared as we got closer to Coober Pedy.

We pulled into dusty ol' Coober Pedy at early in the afternoon. It's a neat little mining town -opal mining. Though there are many above ground stores, hotels, and boutiques, there are many more underground establishments including churches, hotels, bars, and cafes.

Wanting to get the full experience of underground living, we checked ourselves in at Radeka's Underground Backpacker's. Our room was 6m underground. It was pretty hot outside, so the cool air underground was a welcome relief!!! The walls were made of packed dirt, and had a dug out alcove where the desk was. Further down the tunnel from us were 'bunkers' or larger alcoves which served as the larger dorm rooms. The spiral staircase made of stones and dirt walls at the end of the tunnel wound its way back up to the surface. It was all really neat!!! Quite the experience!!!

What's even more interesting is that we found out later that Nigel's parents had stayed at the EXACT same place, and in the EXACT same room over 10 yrs ago!!!! How neat is that??!!!!

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