15 June 2021 – drive Port Augusta, SA to Coober Pedy, SA – 5.5 hrs, 557 km
15-18 June 2021 – Coober Pedy, SA
We stayed in CP for three nights at the Stuart Range Outback Resort. This accommodation is fabulous. Clean, comfortable, and importantly well kitted out for cooking, and washing our clothes – yippee.
It is possible to stay in one of multiple underground accommodation options in CP however, as a claustrophobic, I just couldn’t get my head around that scenario.
CP is sometimes called the Opal Capital of the World. It’s a quirky, interesting place to visit. Of course, almost everything to see and do is influenced by opals. A little trivia for you, ie the Opal is Australia’s national gemstone.
We visited and took a guided tour through Faye’s Underground Home (also known as a dugout). The home was excavated using picks and shovels forty years ago by three women. This underground dwelling gives an insight in to the tenacity that is required in a place like Coober Pedy.
Whilst in Ceduna we had heard about Josephine’s Gallery and Kangaroo Orphanage in CP. Shortly after arriving in town we signed up to attend a kangaroo feeding session. Josephine’s had half a dozen adult roos who had come into their care for a variety of reasons. None of them will be released.
Of all things, we were surprised to be provided with wasabi chickpeas with which to feed the roos. They were all very well mannered and took the food
I think we instantly fell in love with the star of the show – a female joey who first appeared in her makeshift pouch. She was bottle fed whilst still in the pouch, then she was given a little time to stretch her legs and practise hopping. What a gorgeous little lady. We were then given the opportunity to hold her under the watchful eye of her minder. She was super cute, and very calm. So lovely to see her do a forward roll back into the pouch for a post dinner and exercise snooze.
The orphanage is run entirely on the money raised from the roo feeding sessions and by donations. Like so many (if not all) such organisations Covid has had a big impact on them.
Whilst in a CP café we noticed some striking aboriginal art which was painted by local artists from the Williams family. The focus of their art is bush tucker. There is a lot of local art for sale in various locations around CP. We resisted the temptation to buy any art as we reminded ourselves we are meant to be downsizing. [But, we are only nine days into our nine week trip so anything could happen by the time we return home.]
Seeing the opal fields around CP is a little like being on another planet with thousands of abandoned prospect drill holes and piles of, often pyramid shaped, earth reaching far into the distance.
We visited Kanku – Breakaways Conservation Park which is an Aboriginal Heritage Site located about 35km from CP. We purchased a permit from the Information Centre prior to entering the park. We believe that the shapes and colours of the rocks and land are particularly beautiful at sunrise and sunset – tho’ we visited Kanku in the middle of the day and it was also quite speccy.