Wondering how far Coober Pedy is from Sydney, whether there’s a supermarket there, or what the weather will be like in July?
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, bakery, meat and smallgoods etc can be purchased from the IGA supermarket. Stock is delivered 3 days a week – so you have no excuse for not stocking up in Coober Pedy.
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 is 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.
I am finding this site so helpful as we are going to do a lot of travelling around australia
Thanks Rhonda. Really appreciate your comment. Is there anything that we haven’t covered that you’d like to see/learn more about? – Amanda
yes what is the temp in underground houses
Wow – this site is great! I’m doing a school project on the Coober Pedy community and this has helped me so much, thankyou!
im also doing a school project on cooberpedy and it has proved very helpful in giving me the facts needed to compete the assignments. thanx heaps 🙂
I’m planning on taking my mother to Coober Pedy in December (6-10th). She will be visiting from South Africa. She is 82, and I’m worried about how hot it might be and if she’ll cope. You say Jan-Feb is worst – how bad is the first half of December, do you know…?
I’m looking forward to staying underground, but my husband and mother not quite as keen as I am… Do people feel claustrophic under there? I assume no windows!
And how bad are snakes up that way…? Any information will be appreciated, thanks.
Dear Sir, Madam,
Following to a documentary I just saw about the opals of Coober Pedy, I fell in love and since then I have been dreaming of coming there to realize my dream. I am a French citizen who lives in France and I really intend to come to coober pedy. could you help me or explain the process?
Coober Pedy is very touristy and pretty easy to get to even without a car, you can take a greyhound bus from Adelaide, the Ghan train from Adelaide and there’s also flights from Adelaide on the smaller regional airline.
One spot well worth a look is it’s fellow opal town Andamooka which is in the same region about 35 Kay’s from Roxby Downs, visitors can have better chances noodling a bit of opal from Andamooka as Coober Pedy has been the hotspot where everyone’s gone already for opal. I visited Andamooka recently and filled a shoebox full of opal. The locals are the main attraction in the outback, you meet some really awesome people that will have some incredible insight into local history and knoweladge so when visiting it definitely pays to be nice to the locals and ask questions.
The summer heat really isn’t that bad as long as your smart about it, wear a hat and long sleeves and light pants, drink lots of water and stay in the shade as often as possible. After all our indigenous people lived out there for centuries before anyone built a building there. When in the outback do be sure to check out the Oodnadatta & Birdsville Tracks, and take plenty of water, fuel and supplies, a satellite phone will be your best friend also.
The thing that has me wanting to go back is the way people are out there, they’re real people, they wave and say hello, they’re awesome to talk to and hang out with, unlike these smartphone addicted zombies clustering the cities and suburbs.
It’s also got plenty of peace and serenity, and the night sky, man you have not seen stars like it anywhere else, it’s amazing.
If you go to Coober Pedy definitely stay a few nights and if you go by car then definitely go and spend a night over at Andamooka as well,
Both amazing parts of South Australia very well worth the visit.
If I went to Coober Pedy where should I go with my kids and husband?
Hi there, Coober Pedy has a few things to keep you occupied from tours through underground mines and houses, to old spaceships and great pizza. There are also various tours that leave there for nearby places. It’s best to get there and take it in and decide what you might like to do once there so you have a better idea of the lay of the land. I assume you have read our post on Coober Pedy?
You think it is hot there you should try the Overberg area in South Africa.
I live in Swellendam, (look it up) now and during Jan and Feb it has, this year 2020, been 36c with humidity at about 70%, you will swoon from the heat. Going out of the house @ 14H00 is like walking into a furnace.
Coober pedi at 20 humidity is nothing but nicely warm, relatively.
I don’t live underground.
You mention no distance from Adelaide???? Strange as it’s in South Australia.
Well that makes a change, it’s usually old people that front racist nonsense, especially old Ozboes.