Coober Pedy > Marla (230km by car)


This is a big day with something like 50 pictures today! I’m over the limit! But how could I avoid this when visiting a town like Coober Pedy. This is a completely new experience, a place like this where I’ve never been to before. Let’s start that wonderful visit!



Here is the campsite where I’ve spent the night. This is the first campsite I’ve ever been to in 2 years time travelling in Australia. I’m now going to have a look around and find a wheel or a spare piece for my trailer. Sue, John, Neil, Kate and Graham proposed me to contact them if I don’t find any solution. They would pick me up again until Alice Springs where my chances to find a bicycle shop will be much higher than here.


Coober Pedy has a very different feeling. The main colour is brown/orange, it’s dusty and there is Opal shops at each corner.


Their is many 4 wheels drive (not on this picture ;-) driving around. This is a kind of a hub to get food supply, fuel or to fix your car if needed. What about fixing a bicycle? I’m going to find out.


The other famous thing about Coober Pedy is lots of the building are built inside the hills. A guy I met in Bon Bon rest Area told me that people built their house underground because they did not have any material around. Another advantage is it stay cool all year round. Never too hot, neither cold. Front of me an underground church.


opal factory, the Opal bug, etc. You want to buy Opal, this is the place :-)


I haven’t been lucky this morning and I could not fix my bike on the spot. I’ve called a cycle shop in Alice Springs to know if they could send me a wheel but they did not have it. The guy from the information centre is really nice and proposed me to spend few nights at his place if I needed to wait for a spare part to come here :-) Finally, I’ve met “The Team” again and they will drop me off in Alice Springs. Thanks so much!


Before to drive south we must do a bit of sightseeing around. This is another “underhill” church that’s possible to visit.


There is the same electric pole here than in Adelaide. Graham from Adelaide told me their name given by the creator but I don’t remember it. In this area, they don’t have much tall trees to make pole so they used old railway rail and concrete. That’s smart :-) Update: this poles and called Stobie Poles :-) (Thanks Graham, thanks Anthony)


Thank you ;-)


Just front of the church there is a tiny tree and at its base, a hot chilli tree is steeling the water!


This is the entrance of the church. Impressive!


Wow! I’m not a big church fan but the architecture and the work they’ve done is impressive.


We came back in the town centre and having a tea in an “underhill” cafe.


Coober Pedy could have been called “Opal range”, Hutchison” or “Gernville”. Its name is coming from the Aboriginal name Kupa (child) Piti (rock hole).


This is not as impressive as the church here as it’s very square. It does look like a modern building.


This is an Opal “underhill” shop where we are going to have a look.


They do some work here on the Opal.


Like Neil told me yesterday. Do not walk around at night. There is holes everywhere.


Maybe with that I would be fine for my trip ;-)


This is taken from a window. I’m still in a movie :-)


Another kind of window.


I really like the colours of this one.


Going upstairs.


An old machine again.


What is that?


So dusty everywhere.


Same from the outside.


This is typically Coober Pedy.


The Opal Cave, another shop.


I guess this machine was used underground a while ago.


Wait a second. I’ve got absolutely no idea what it is and why but it look like it’s coming straight from a Star Wars movie.




There is three kind of Opal: Solid, Doublet and Triplet.


Don’t run, Beware, Don’t walk backwards, Stay front of your TV.


Firstly they dig vertically then horizontally. The blower takes the dust out created by the tunnelling machine.


The visit of Coober Pedy is over and we are on our way to Marla now. By bike it would take me 3 days to reach Marla. “The Team” is doing a short detour to visit the “Breakways” recommended by the nice guy from the information centre.


This is the “dog fence”.


Update: It protects the sheep from the wild dogs and it’s 5000km long! (Thanks Anthony).


That’s a looong fence.


This is the kind of grid I don’t like but by car you don’t even feel it when you cross it.




By bike and trailer are going to be very dusty :-)

Here we go!

From inside


This is place is becoming more impressive every kilometre.


So sandy everywhere. I’m not sure I would cycle here.


And look at the sky!


This is call the castle.


There is so many different colours in those landscape.




Let’s go to the summit.


This is where we come from.


And this is how tiny we are in that huge mars landscape. Sue said that this place is really like Mars and when research must be made about the planet they come here. I think it’s cheaper ;-)


We are on a look out and we can still see the castle over there. Very nice :-)


We have started from Coober Pedy and went South-Est then turn left along the dog fence. Finally we have reached the Stuart Highway again and drove until Marla where we found a very nice Campground. Same rule as Coober Pedy, Paying for 5 or 6 is the same price. Thank you again for your help, the trip, the visit. I’m so lucky :-) See you tomorrow!

3 thoughts on “Coober Pedy > Marla (230km by car)

  1. Une ville troglodyte … intéressant en effet ! Les couleurs sont fantastiques, comme les paysages ! Question dépaysement, là, tu n’as vraiment pas à te plaindre ! C’est vrai qu’ils ont des machines un peu bizarres, pour creuser le sol sans doute. Mais “Opales” c’est quoi ? Des pierres précieuses ?

  2. Hello Damien, the dog fence is to protect the sheep from wild dogs and the electricity poles are called “stobie” poles

  3. Very lucky that you’ve got the lift. You have some extra days to fix your bike at Alice springs!
    The town is very interesting. It is good to see photos, but I don’t want to be there…. I’m not good with dry & dusty places.

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