Coober Pedy has evolved in to one of the most unique places in Australia and perhaps the world, with over half the population living underground to escape the extreme day time temperatures, which can reach between 35° C to the 45° C between November and March. Founded in 1915 after the discovery of opals by a group of prospectors, it was originally known as the Stuart Range Opal Field after the 19th century explorer John McDouall Stuart, but later took on its current that comes from an anglicised version of Aboriginal words ‘kupa piti’, thought to mean ‘white man in a hole’. Today it is cosmopolitan town, home to a population of 3,500 made up of more than 45 nationalities. There are authentic underground homes to explore as well as underground museums, potteries, opal shops, an art gallery and, of course, the opal mines for which Coober Pedy is famous.
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