Coober Pedy is also known as the world’s opal capital with 30% global opals mined here. As for the town name, it is translated as “whitemans hole” from the Aboriginal term kupa-piti.
The severe desert climate made a lot of residents move to live underground, in caves. A cave home usually has three bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom and lounge that are excavated out of the rock in the hillsides. Such homes don’t require air-conditioning, because they remain at a constant temperature while summer temperatures on the surface can reach 40-50 degrees Celsius (over 100 degrees Fahrenheit).
Coober Pedy attracts tourists from all over the world. The mines, underground churches and graveyard are the most interesting attractions here. The trees you can find in this town are iron welded. You can play golf at night only to avoid hot temperatures. The local golf is free of grass that is why players take a small piece of tee-off turf with them.
Coober Pedy is featured in many movies, including Opal Dream, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Red Planet and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. NASA is planning to train astronauts for a planned mission to Mars here in 2012.