We’ve collected the most frequently asked questions about this legendary outback town, and put them together in one place.
Many people stay at Coober Pedy as a ‘halfway’ point when travelling between Adelaide and Alice Springs.
We recommend spending a couple of days exploring the town and the area around it – there’s lots to see and do.
Population: 3500 (approximately)
Elevation: 226 metres (774 feet) above sea level
Time Zone: Australian Central Standard Time (UTC +9:30). Subject to summer time/daylight savings between October and March each year.
Distances by Road to Australian Capitals:
Just like anywhere else in the Outback, Coober Pedy is a long way from other towns!
- Alice Springs: 688 kilometres (427 miles)
- Darwin: 2186 kilometres (1358 miles)
- Melbourne: 1560 kilometres (969 miles)
- Perth: 2501 kilometres (1554 miles)
- Sydney: 2060 kilometres (1280 miles)
- Brisbane: 2498 kilometres (1552 miles)
Coober Pedy has a desert climate. It’s dry and hot in the summer, and cool and dry in the winter.
The best time of the year to visit is from April – October, when the weather is mild.
We strongly recommend that you don’t visit Coober Pedy in January or February. Believe us when we say this! We visit Coober Pedy every year in January and almost fall over from the heat. It’s just too hot to get out and see things, and there really is no shade!
Average summer temperatures range from 36°C (96.8 °F) during the day and 20°C (68°F) at night.
January is the hottest month of the year, with temperatures of 42°C during the day being very common.
Average winter temperatures range from 18°C (64°F) during the day, and falling to 6°C (42°F) at night. Like most of the outback, the winter days are perfect, with clear blue skies. July is the coldest month of the year in Coober Pedy.
Average annual rainfall at Coober Pedy is very low: just 175 millimetres (6.8 inches), although this varies.
February is usually the wettest month of the year, and April the driest. However, rain can occur at anytime during the year.
Tourist Information Centre
Coober Pedy’s Visitor Information Centre is located in Hutchison Street, inside the District Council of Coober Pedy buildings (ph. 1800 637 076 or +61 8 8672 4617). The building is easy to find, located as you drive in off the Stuart Highway, right at the start of the main street.
Opening hours are:
- 8.30am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.
- 10.00am to 1.00pm, Saturday/Sunday/Public Holidays
Banks, Shops and Supermarkets
Westpac Bank has a branch in Coober Pedy, located at 2 Hutchison Street. Other ATMs are located at the Opal Inn Hotel, Desert Cave Hotel, BP and Caltex service (fuel) stations.
Westpac is open:
- Monday-Thursday: 9:30-4 :30pm
- Friday: 9:30- 5pm
Post Office: Located at 131-133 Hutchison Street
- 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday. Closed weekends
Coober Pedy has a range of shops (including opal shops, of course). Most of these are located in Hutchison Street, which is the town’s Central Business District (CBD). There’s even an underground bookshop!
There are two supermarkets in Coober Pedy, both located in Hutchison Street.
Please note that fresh fruit and vegetables can be hard to get after the weekends. Stock is delivered once a week on Thursdays – so stocking up on fruit and vegetables in Port Augusta, Roxby Downs or Alice Springs might be an option.
Supermarket opening hours:
- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday: 8.30am to 7.00pm
- Thursday: 7.00am to 7.00pm
- Sunday: 9.00am to 6.00pm
Coober Pedy in not only famous for opals, it’s also famous for its underground hotels.
If you visit, staying at least one night underground is something you absolutely MUST do. There’s something for to suit every budget, and over the years, we’ve managed to stay in almost all of the underground accommodation here – from backpackers to 4 Star Hotels.
You can even camp underground!
And if you’re not that keen on the thought of sleeping underground, then there’s plenty of above ground options, too.
For more information about accommodation in Coober Pedy, click here.