When you’ve been driving through the outback for hours and hours on end with only the barren landscape and occasional kangaroo for company, you’re pretty happy to reach any kind of destination, trust me.
When this destination is a town where everyone lives underground?
Well, for me that just adds to the intrigue.
Coober Pedy is located in South Australia, 392 kilometres from the Northern Territory border and 542 kilometres from Port Augusta, the end of the outback. There’s no other real towns on this stretch of road.
Coober’s a popular stop off for people driving from Uluru and Alice Springs to Port Augusta and Adelaide; but the uniqueness of the outback town makes many travelers stay a few days. This South Australian town gets so hot in the summer – to temperatures over 50 degrees Celsius – making citizens take up refuge underground.
But why do they stay there? There’s a one word answer: opals. These gems keep Coober Pedians kicking around; there are lots of them in the surrounding mines, and they are incredibly valuable.
A couple of days is enough to enjoy all the things to do in Coober Pedy, which includes mine tours, museums, lookouts and art galleries. But you’ll no doubt be wondering what kind of hotels in Coober Pedy exist. I’m here to give you a run down of the best of the best, so you can make an informed decision of the best hotel in Coober Pedy to suit you!
Disclaimer: I have a very British sense of humour and love a bit of irony/ sarcasm. My British humour is in element in the outback town of Coober Pedy. Thus, please note that most of what comes out of my mouth when I talk about Coober is sarcastic. I think this is a fabulous town and encourage anyone to put it on their Aussie bucket list. When you consider that I come from a place where the temperature rarely tops 25 degrees, you’ll understand my fascination with this town under ground. Luv ya CP, never change.
Hostels in Coober Pedy
Radeka Downunder Hostel
Best for – backpackers and socialising If you’re after a budget option, there is only one way to go – Radeka Downunder Hostel. This underground hostel is the only accommodation of its kind in Coober Pedy; here, you can choose from a 4 bed dorm, a 20 bed dorm or a private room. Most of the rooms are underground – some have no doors, and the whole ambience is quite eerie but very unique.
Some of the private rooms and the reception are above ground. There is also a shared kitchen and lounge area with TV above ground. The hostel is a great place for meeting other travellers; the reasons why people are in Coober Pedy is always a great conversation starter! Click here for more information, rates and to book Radeka Downunder Hostel
Hotels in Coober Pedy
Down to Erth
Best for – those seeking affordable luxury Located a five minute drive from the buzzing centre of Coober Pedy (joking, the centre definitely isn’t buzzing, but that’s why we love it!) is Down to Erth bed and breakfast. It offers the quintessential Coober Pedian underground living experience. The underground apartments feature free WiFi access, rooms with a TV, an iPod dock and a seating area. Each apartment also features a kitchenette, a microwave and a refrigerator as well as a bathroom with a bath or shower, hairdryer and free toiletries.
If you’re one of the 2 people per year that fly into Coober Pedy (seriously, a Darwin to Adelaide road trip is the way forward), you’ll be able to make use of an airport shuttle. There is also free parking if you’re driving in, which is much more likely. Other facilities include a dining area, a flat screen TV, a swimming pool and a BBQ – so you can enjoy a delicious outback-style dinner. Click here for more information, prices and to book Down to Erth B&B
The Opal Inn
Best for – people wanting to stay above ground and campers This hotel, motel, caravan park (I’m unable to say that without singing along to Pitbull), also has two attached bars which are often the wildest night out in Coober Pedy. You can choose to pitch your caravan or tent up, drive up to one of the motel rooms or use the Opal Inn hotel.
Rooms at the Opal Inn are air conditioned and feature all the amenities you might want, like a tea/ coffee maker, a TV, air conditioning, refrigerator and free WiFi. The Opal Inn bucks the ‘underground living’ trend and offers rooms above the earth – so if you feel a bit claustrophobic at the thought of spending your nights under the earth, this option is great for you. Enjoy a range of dishes at the Bistro, or kick back with a cocktail at the Saloon Bar and Lounge Bar. The Opal Inn enjoys a central location so you can park your car for free there and see all of Coober Pedy’s finest attractions on foot. Click here for more information, rates and to book the Opal Inn
The Lookout Cave
Best for – families looking for affordable accommodation Located a 3 minute drive from the centre, the lookout cave motel embraces in underground accommodation, Coober Pedy’s highlight. It has free WiFi and BBQ facilities and each underground room enjoys a flat-screen TV and a refrigerator. Who said staying underground couldn’t be luxurious?
The hotel has free parking on site, and a rooftop terrace which is great for sunrise or sunset over the otherworldly landscape that is outback South Australia. You can purchase breakfast to be eaten in your room, with amazing coffee, and make use of the on-site kitchen. Click here for more information, prices and to book the Lookout Cave
Desert Dwellers Underground B&B
Best for – a really authentic Coober Pedian experience Being a desert dweller sounds like such a fun pastime. What have you been up to? Oh, just dwelling in the desert, you? Anyway, I digress. Desert Dwellers offers underground rooms that are well facilitated with modern features. The affordable hotel includes a delicious breakfast, and you can opt for different style, spotlessly clean rooms.
The accommodation has free WiFi, a BBQ, a shared lounge area and is located a short drive from Coober Pedy’s main attractions. The dugout rooms offer glimmers of opal from past opal mines, and often kangaroos frequent the area. Click here for more information, rates and to book Desert Dwellers B&B
Dinky Di’s Dugout
Best for – larger groups This holiday home is perfect for families, with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, all underground. It has a homely atmosphere and is located a short way from Coober Pedy’s attractions. Guests at Dinky Di’s can enjoy using laundry, a complete kitchen and a coffee machine.
There is also a BBQ and lots of parking room. Even though it’s underground, there’s air con if you get too hot – and heating and an indoor fireplace if it’s cold! Guests at Dinky Di’s have enjoyed the homely atmosphere and the authenticity of the accommodation. Click here for more information, rates and to book Dinky Di’s Dugout
Desert Cave Hotel
Best for – those seeking luxury in Coober Pedy Situated on the main drag of Coober Pedy where all the action happens, Desert Cave Hotel is kind of the Ritz of Coober Pedy. Guests at Desert Cave can opt for overground or underground rooms, all of which are furnished to high standards. Each room features a flat-screen TV, a minibar, heating and air conditioning and free toiletries.
The lobby is clean, airy and welcoming, with helpful staff. The hotel itself features free wifi, an included delicious breakfast, a swimming pool, the world’s only underground games room, a bar and a restaurant that serves lunches and dinners with some vegan options. Even if you’re not staying at Desert Cave Hotel, you can enjoy the bar, games room and the underground museum (forgot to mention that, didn’t I!) which has a really great exhibition about the making of the Stuart Highway. I found it fascinating! Click here for more details, prices and to book Desert Cave Hotel
Where to stay in Coober Pedy
I hope this post has helped you work out what some of the best hotels in Coober Pedy are and has piqued your interest in visiting this fascinating underground town! The population 3500 town may not be the top of everyone’s Australia bucket list, but I promise you that it’s well worth visiting. If you enjoyed this post, please share it or follow me on Facebook!