The Big Lap - Coober Pedy


 The highlight in Coober Pedy was the Breakaways, 25k's north of town.

We did not have a good experience in Coober Pedy.  More about that later.



On the way from Uluru to Urldunda we stopped at the Red Centre Sign.

Urldunda is known as the Center of Australia. 

We have seen thong, boot and tap trees.  We came across a tyre tree.  Excuse the picture.  I have become quite good at taking shots from the car, but this time I didn't do so well lol.



Kulgera Pub was good.

Travelling from Uluru to Coober Pedy required a stop along the way as it is around 755k's.  We broke up the journey in Kulgera as it was cheaper here than Erldunda.  Erldunda is located at the cross road from Uluru and the main highway.  We stayed there on the way to Uluru from Alice Springs.  

Kulgera on the other hand was cheaper and kind of cool due to the memoribilia in the pub and interesting things to look at.  😀


After staying the night at Kulgera, which by the way is famous for being the first and last Pub in the Northern Territory,  it wasn't long before we crossed the border into South Australia.

Heading Towards Coober Pedy, the landscape changed.  We were heading into the Simpson Desert.


We knew we were nearing Coober Pedy when we saw a number of Opal Mines either side of the road.  Coober Pedy is the Opal Capital of Australia.


Ok, now for the not so good Coober Pedy Experience.

When we reached the border, we were advised that we had to get COVID tested on the 1st, 5th and 14th days.   Having passed the border questionaire and equiped with our entry certificates, we thought we were good to go.   Aparently not.

We now were faced with having to re-arrange our travel itinery to include these testings, even though we knew that we did not have the virus.  

Long story short, we were tested the next day in Coober Pedy and told to isolate until we got our result.  The result would be advised to us on day 4.   That is not what we were told by the Police woman at the SA border.  

Next day, we received a text message from SA Health advising that we had not taken our day 1 test.  Needless to say, Hubby and I saw red!  And we waisted no time in phoning all concerned, only to be fobbed off by all of them to someone else.  How predictable!!  Pfft!

I had a lovely conversation with the receptionist at the Coober Pedy Community Health Centre where we had our test done.....  after abusing her in the initial conversation.  She said that they were understaffed and overworked and Management were oblivious to their complaints.  She understood our frustration and after talking to her, I totally understood her side of the story too, having myself worked 10+ years under foolish Management who have no idea what is going on at Ground Zero.

Meanwhile, hubby went over to the Police Station and pretty much had a similar conversation.  They were given poor instructon from SA Health and felt like they were made to look like idiots when dealing with irritated public complaints about the way the SA Governement is going about this COVID testing.  The Police Officer suggested that we move on and encouraged us to only go to small towns.

Finally, we were given sensible advice!  After all, Coober Pedy really did not want a threat hanging over their shoulder by possible positive COVID people wandering aroud their small community and affecting the many Aboriginal people that live here.  

Photos below are snapped off quickly whilst visiting town.  

Coober Pedy is the home of the BIG WINCH.

The Big Winch - Coober Pedy

Coober Pedy has an outside Cinema

Main Street of Coober Pedy

We bought Opal Jewellery here before Isolation

At least we were able to buy some opal jewellery here before we had to isolate.  We visited this place behind our caravan park at the Opal Inn.  The lady was so nice and gave us great discounts.  We both bought rings and necklasses for our daughters.  


I was so disappointed that I could not experience something underground here.  I had originally wanted to stay at a Bed and Breakfast undergound.  Thank goodness I did not go ahead with that idea.  Imagine spending 14 days locked down and isolated underground?....

Then I thought it would be wonderful to do dinner underground.  The only underground restaruant in town is at the Crystal Cafe, which we discovered did not do dinner at this time of the year.  

So, finally, all I wanted to do was have a cocktail underground.

Sadly, I did not receive my wish. 


It is not Coober Pedy's fault.  We understand that the Community Health Centre and the Police are as frustrated as us.  That is so sad.  It is just another result of poor Government Policy.  No pre-planning and no support for the hard working communities.  No wonder people are becoming more and more disallusioned with Government.

Btw, we were surprised to see a lot of above ground buildings including shops, restaurants, hotels etc.  It seems like the main attraction of undground stuff is just a minute novality.  Somehow, that made me feel a bit better.  😎



So....  whilst under isolation, we decided to get up early and isolate at the Breakaways, 25k's north of Coober Pedy.  You can drive in on the dirt road and continue 9k's to the dog fence and then continue driving and end up back in town at the other end.

I recommend this trip.




Just a couple more quick phone snaps on the way out. 

Mud Hut Hotel & Car Wash funny sign 
opposite our Caravan Park


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