Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Coober Pedyi Intro

If we go back 150 million years to visit we would need to take a boat because the whole area was covered in ocean. When the waters receded the silica minerals from the seabed fell through the cracks and cavities in the rock, then over time, it solidified to become opal. The waters had to evaporate, the area needed to be dry for the minerals to collect together and turn hard, the many colors of an opal depends on the type of minerals and some are more rare than others. You also get different types of opal depending on how they formed all this decides the actual price of them. Everyone we met in Coober Pedy were friendly and full of helpful information we really enjoyed our stay there.
Some history: Jim Hutchinson and his son William, PJ Winch and M McKenzie went to the area in search of gold and ran out of water, so they went looking while William stayed at the campsite. William wandered away to explore the area and when the men came back he was all smiles, not only had he found water but he found these stones on the surface of the ground, 8 days later the first opal claim was pegged, this was in February 1915. It was first known as the Stuart opal Field but was re-named Coober Pedi after an Aboriginal name 'Kupa pit', assumed to mean 'white man in a hole' because the miners tended to like in caves or 'dugouts' to get away from the intense heat of the area.
Well, here are some photos of the area to start you off with, sorry this will be a little long as there are more than a few friends who'd like to see Coober Pedy so this section will contain many photos and a little info for them :)
We stayed at the Stuart range caravan Park while we were there, the owners and staff were very helpful and suggested we go on the tour in their bus. It was great!! We took the longer afternoon trip and had a lovely time, all these photographs are taken on this tour.

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