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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, morning or afternoon. Pickups from either Opal Inn Hotel or the Desert Cave Hotel.  Minimum of two pax for tour to go ahead.
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 re-live 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: 7.45 am. Subject to numbers and weather. Minimum of two pax for tour to go ahead. Subject to numbers and weather conditions.

Duration: 4 Hours


Fossicking / Noodling

Try your hand at fossicking for your own gem! Transportation to and from the opal fields is provided on request.


Departs : on request, available 7 days. Contact Desert cave hotel for transfers. Daylight hours only.
Time/Duration : suggested 2-4 hours



Outback Mail Run

A real Australian Outback adventure - Coober Pedy-Oodnadatta-William Creek.

The Mail Run travels over diverse country, including gibber plains, red sand hills, and 120 million year old inland sea beds. We stop at Oodnadatta, an outpost which thrived when the transcontinental railway reached there in 1891. At William Creek have a drink at the legendary bush pub or at the Dingo Cafe' with its memorabilia and old photos of the area. This once important railway town is also known for having Australia's first solar powered telephone. We follow in the footsteps of explorer John McDouall Stuart and see outback fauna and flora.

The mailmen are fully accredited and experienced Outback operators, who have lived and worked in this desert environment for most of their lives. They are well known to the locals and conduct the run twice weekly. They have that typical friendly easy going nature of Outback people and always have time for a yarn and a good laugh.

Come see historical ruins, desert wildlife, brilliant gibber landscapes, and marvel at the colourful sunset and clear star-studded Outback skies.

Meals and drinks are not included in the tour price. Opal Inn can organise a picnic lunch, if purchased the day before. See the friendly staff at reception.

Departs : Monday and Thursday. From March 2018. Subject to numbers and weather condition.
Time/Duration : 13 hours (approx.)


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: Subject to availabilty and weather conditions

Pickup from Opal Inn or Desert Cave Hotel
Time : 9 hours


Sunset 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 to 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, and learn about the incredible sunset phenomenon in the desert.
  • Have Jimmy regal you with stories of old Coober Pedy
  • Take a trip down to the ocean floor of old.

Departs: Daily. Subject to numbers and weather. Min 2 pax per tour. Pickup from Opal Inn or Desert Cave Hotel

Inclusions: Drink, Cheese & Fruit platter. All permit fees.