Free Camping In Coober Pedy & Getting Out & Exploring
Free camping in Coober Pedy is the way to go. We camped for three nights on The Commons at Coober Pedy. The Commons at Coober Pedy is a free camping area just out of town. It is a huge area with enough space to easily fit a couple of hundred vans, motorhomes or camper trailers.
Free Camping In Coober Pedy On The Commons
There are no services at The Commons Free Camp at Coober Pedy so you must be self sufficient however there were no signs or information saying that you have to be self contained.
Potable water is available near the Stuart Highway end of town next to the tourist information service. The water isn’t free of charge as it is bore water that has to be treated. It’s cheap enough though at on $1 per 30 litres. You pay inside the tourist information centre. There is also a public dump point near the water filling station.
We had absolutely zero security problems at the Coober Pedy Free Camp despite what we’d been told and had read. This was even with us and one other van being about the only vans there each day and night. We happily left the vans at the commons each day and went out and explored. As always when free camping we take simple security precautions. We put our chairs, table and BBQ away inside the van. We make sure the vans toolboxes and hatches are all closed and locked. Any valuables such as computers and iPads come with us in the car.
Things To Do In Coober Pedy
Go To The Drive-In Movies
This was a truly unique experience. It’s been a long time since we’ve been to the drive in. Never thought I’d go to one in Coober Pedy! The Coober Pedy Drive-In is the last operating drive in left in SA. It was a pretty good night. We thought we’d sit outside and watch it but it was a bit chilly Willy so we got back in the cars. We saw Black Phone – not the greatest of horror movies but it did make Amanda jump a couple of times.
The Big Winch
We drove up the hill to check out The Big Winch in Coober Pedy. It’s a massive bucket on the end of a winch. They also have an old truck up there with a blower setup fitted to the back of it that you can check out. The blowers are used like a giant vacuum cleaner to extract dirt and rock from the underground mines as it is being dug. It’s a great view from up on the top of the hill at the big winch and you can pretty much see all of Coober Pedy from up there. They have a restaurant and a coffee bar and they also show a movie about Coober Pedy. Enjoy a 360° cinematic experience at Coober Pedy. An Outback Cinematic Journey unfolds upon Australia’s first permanent Circlevison experience. we didn’t stay to watch the movie as we had a lot of things to do in Coober Pedy.
The Old Timers Mine
We went in and had a look at The Old Timers Mine in Coober Pedy. It was quite well put together and very educational as to how they used to dig opal and live underground in Coober Pedy. We’ve been down quite a few opal mines over the years in different places and this was as good as any of them.
- Explore an underground opal mine from 1916
- Wear a hard hat and see the natural seams of opal and fossils
- Go through one of the first working mine
- Enjoy the museum full of the history of Coober Pedy
- Discover the original underground home from the 1960’s
- Try your luck by noodling in the pits
- Underground gift shop
- Opal jewellery
- Large range of souvenirs
John’s Pizza Bar
We’ve been to Coober Pedy before and had a feed at John’s Pizza Bar and it is bloody good! we went there again on this trip and it did not disappoint.
They do an Outback Range of pizzas and one of them features a Coat of Arms pizza, a popular, original fusion of sweet cranberry preserve and savoury Australian game meats, with the subtle flavours of asparagus and camembert cheese acting to balance the overall taste sensation. Basically you get to eat every animal on the Australian Coat Of Arms all on one pizza. Pretty cool.
The Breakaways At Coober Pedy
We drove out to a place called The Breakaways about 30 minutes north of Coober Pedy to watch the sunset. The sunset was a fair bit above and beyond spectacular! I fully understand why there were at least another 20 cars out there admiring the views. You need to buy a pass from the visitors centre in Coober Pedy to access the breakaways or you can do it online. For $11 it is well worth the price of admission.
The Old Cemetery
We called in and looked over the old cemetery in Coober Pedy. It’s one of the things we love to do in old or remote towns. It was very interesting and times must have been tough in Coober Pedy in earlier times and not many people managed to make it in to old age.