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Coober Pedy is a town in the South Australian outback, along the main tarred road from Adelaide to Alice Springs, the Stuart Highway. It is most famous for being the "Opal Capital of the World". The town has about 2,000 inhabitants, but thousands of more travellers find their way to this town annually.
Coober Pedy is a dry, sunny and hot place. Summers from late October to early April are warm to extremely hot. Temperatures close to 50 °C have been measured and without the possibility of seeking for shade under trees, it doesn't come as a surprise that many people's homes and even a church are underground! Average highs are mostly around 35 °C during this time and nights are relatively pleasant at 20 °C.
Winters are from June to August with a nice 18-21 °C during the day and a rather chilly 6-7 °C at night.
Precipitation is just around 150mm a year, quite evenly distributed among the months though winters are just slightly drier.
The Ghan from Adelaide to Darwin stops in Manguri Siding, 47 kilometres from Coober Pedy. Arrange transfers before arrival if you want to get out here and visit Coober Pedy.
The Stuart Highway runs just west from town, with direct access from here. Adelaide is about 850 kilometres away, Alice Springs 650 kilometres and it is a massive 2,170 kilometres to Darwin.
Greyhound Australia has nightbuses from Adelaide (10,5 hours) and buses during the day from Alice Springs (9 hours).
To visit Coober Pedy's hinterland you will definately need a car and preferably a 4wd. Otherwise go on a tour, which are good value.
Coober Pedy is small enough to explore on foot, or by bike if you want to venture to the outskirts of town.
|Opal Inn Hotel Motel||Hutchison Street Coober Pedy||Hotel||-|
|Radeka Downunder Underground Backpackers & Motel||1 Oliver St PO Box 808||Hostel||78|
Also, the Mud Hut Hotel offers motelstyle rooms for a decent price.
Internet cafés are very common in the larger Australian cities and popular tourist destinations. However, once you leave the major population centres, you might have trouble finding somewhere to log on. Free wifi is getting more and more common (either with or without a code) in places like restaurants, some bars and coffee places and hotels. Sometimes a fee is required.
See also: International Telephone Calls
Australia is on a GSM 900/1800 network, so if you have an unlocked phone that works on those frequencies, you will be able to buy a prepaid SIM-card and stick into your phone when you're in Australia. You will receive a new Australian phone number with the SIM-card.
To dial out of Australia use the prefix 0011, followed by the calling code of the country you are trying to reach, followed by the area code of the city/town (without the 0!) and finally the phone number.
Within Australia, it is necessary to add an area code to the phone numbers if you are calling from outside the area. Below are Australia's area codes:
000 is the emergency telephone number in Australia, but the international GSM mobile emergency telephone number 112 also works on mobile phones.
Australia Post is the government's postal service. Most suburbs will have at least one post office. Opening times are mostly from around 8:00 or 9:00am to 5:00pm though larger ones keep longer hours sometimes. A standard letter or postcard sent within Australia will cost $0.60. Internationally, it costs $1.70 to send postcards anywhere in the world. Letters cost $1.85 to send within the Asia Pacific region and $2.60 to anywhere else in the world.. It is also possible to send things as parcels or by express mail. You can also use use private courier companies like TNT, UPS or DHL as they are competitive and reliable.
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