Opals in the Outback: Australia’s Amazing Underground Mining Town

Opals in the Outback: Australia’s Amazing Underground Mining Town

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Looking for a truly unique place to bring the kids in Australia? Consider Coober Pedy, a century-old opal mining town in the Outback known for its “dugouts”—houses carved into the earth to protect miners from the blistering heat, an idea first introduced by Aussie soldiers returning from WWI. The town’s name comes from the Aboriginal word kupa-piti, meaning “white man’s hole.”

The first opal was discovered in 1915 by a 14-year-old kid named Willie Hutchison.

An opal rush followed, a town sprung up, and today Coober Pedy (pop. 3,500) supplies the majority of the world’s high-quality white opals. Most of the town’s year-round residents still live in dugouts.

Read more at Travel With Kids

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