Cooper Pedy has just celebrated 100 years since it was founded as an opal field. Opal was found at what is now called Coober Pedy by 14 year old Willie Hutchison. He had been out prospecting for gold with his father and two other prospectors in January 2014. His father asked him to stay in camp while he and his two companions went looking for water. Willie disobeyed and set off on his own and as well as finding water he found opal and this soon led to the establishment of the Coober Pedy opal field. Read more about this in my post called Coober Pedy Opal Field Original discovery of opal.
The ABC has produced a story about the celebration of this event. Check the link about the Coober Pedy Celebration.
Coober Pedy is a very unique town and one not to be missed. Situated on the Stuart Highway between Adelaide and Alice Springs it is an ideal place for a stopover. There re caravan parks, motels and even underground accommodation to satisfy everyone's needs. There is lots to see and do. The opal fields look like a moonscape and a drive around the town will reveal a large number of relics from the. Old cars, trucks and mining machinery provide great photography opportunities.
You can also fossick for opal pieces left over in the dumps but do be careful not to fall into an opal shaft. These are often deep and not covered and there have been quite a few fatalities when people have fallen in.
There are many shops where you can buy opal if you don't find any.
There have been many characters living in Coober Pedy. People have come from all over the world and settled in Coober Pedy drawn by the lure of opal. One of these was "Harry the Crocodile Man". His story is a good read and you can still visit his home for a small fee even though he has passed away. Read about him in my post "Harry the Crocodile Man".
It is well worth spending a day in this wonderful town rather than just passing through.