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Outback Accommodation and Tours

Desert Cave Tour

The rainbow flash of opal, underground homes, easy-going lifestyle and the mystery of the dusty lunar landscape make Coober Pedy a unique and special place.

An "underground" town where you could arrive with just the shirt on your back and leave a millionaire; Coober Pedy holds a fascination for visitors from all over the world.

Tour the town, hear about its history, about our precious water supplies and power generation. Every element of life is hard-won in Coober Pedy.

On the Desert Cave Tour you visit

  • A Working Opal Field to see Opal mining methods. Venture down a former working mine to see opal traces embedded in the sandstone
  • The Breakaways, a range of colourful exposed sandstone outcrops - spectacular views over the Moon Plain - once an inland sea. This dramatically beautiful area has been the set for many internationally known movies
  • The famous Dog Fence (dingo fence) - stretching 5,300km across Australia
  • The Serbian Underground Church - spectacular excavation, traditional Serbian Orthodox architecture and fascinating sand stone carvings
  • A genuine underground home or "Dugout" - see how the locals live
  • Opal cutting demonstration - professional advice on opal quality and price.
  • Complimentary opal stickpin as a lasting memento
  • Complimentry drink in the Underground Bar

Departs : Daily, from the Desert Cave Hotel
Time/Duration : 4 hours approx


Down N' Dirty

For those who want to experience the thrill of digging for a fortune, this tour offers a comprehensive hands-on opportunity.

The 4-hour tour includes:

  • Informative, instructional and entertaining video on opal mining to open up the mysterious world of discovering the stone of fire "The Coober Pedy Opal"
  • A visit to a working mine field to understand the various styles of opal mining, and to relive the hardship and joy of earlier times of Opal mining
  • Entry to the Quest Mine where you will be supplied with a hard hat, torch and handpick. Get down and get dirty fossicking for your own fortune
  • Access to the "Jewellers Shop" mullock heaps for an experience in noodling (fossicking)
  • Experience the safe, fun, informative way to mine your own opal

The Quest mine offers ease of access with ramps into the mine

Departs: on application
Duration: 4 Hours


Fossicking / Noodling

Fossick for your own gem! Transportation to and from the opal fields is provided on request.


Departs : on request, available 7 days. Daylight hours only.
Time/Duration : suggested 2-4 hours



Interpretive Display

The Desert Cave Hotel has a colourful and informative underground display centre open from 7am to 7pm. Entry is FREE to this interesting display. Wander sandstone passages to learn about Coober Pedy, past and present. Information includes historical Coober Pedy, formation and mining of opal and visual displays of the unique outback landscape.


Time/Duration : Daily 7am to 7pm

Painted Desert Tour

A one day 4WD tour to the spectacular breakaway country of the Painted Desert (Arckaringa Hills).The Painted Desert is an area of spectacular colourful hills that Mother Nature has taken 80 million years to create. Sediments originally laid down by the ancient inland sea have eroded away over time. This erosion, combined with the leaching of minerals from the soil, create this magical area whose colours change during the day, making it a photographer's delight

To get there, Desert Diversity Tours leaves the world-famous Opal mining town of Coober Pedy, past the last of the underground homes and through the Dingo Fence (the worlds longest structure). We travel over an area that was once the ancient inland sea bed, but today is commonly known as the Moon Plains.

This area is a very important marine-fossil bed that has become of great interest to palaeontologists since the recent discovery, by the operators of Desert Diversity Tours, of the partial backbone of a 5-6 meter long Ichthyosaur (ancient marine reptile) which swam in the ancient sea 120 million years ago.

See some of the vast cattle stations of the Outback, bush walk through the Painted Desert, experience the beauty of Outback landscapes and waterholes. Learn about the Great Artesian Basin, the early explorers and the pastoral industry. Morning/afternoon tea & lunch are supplied.

Departs: on application
Time : 9 hours


Sunset Ghost and History Tour

Join your guide for a trip out to the spectacular Breakaways for Sunset. Savour a glass of champagne as the rich colours of the outback become even more vivid. Enjoy sharing a sumptuous cheese and antipasto platter. Just because you are in the Outback doesn't mean you have to rough it.

This tour gives the opportunity to:

  • Visit cemetery where even the graves are underground.
  • Learn about the Coober Pedy characters of days gone by one of whom left a permanent drink for his mates.
  • See the incredible clarity of an Outback sky at night.