A Town in a Hole: This Australian Village is Entirely Underground


Photo Credit: Flickr: Benjamin Jakabek

Throughout the centuries, humans have invented lots of unique and fascinating ways to live, particularly in areas that aren’t all that hospitable to life, including Coober Pedy, a town in a hole in South Australia. Originally established as an opal mining town, today it’s home to around 3,500 people, but judging by the bare landscape, you’d probably never guess it was there.

This aerial view shows a city without buildings. In fact, the entire town is basically in a hole!



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Within the red soil stretch miles and miles of man-made tunnels, all filled with furnishings you’d find in normal homes.



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If you want to see what it’s like to live here, hotel rooms are available.


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Or, you can always camp in the world’s only underground campground.


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So, why is this underground town even here? In 1915, a father and son came through the area in search of gold. While they didn’t find gold, they did find opal, which quickly became an incredibly popular stone across the globe. But due to the scorching temperatures, miners found it easier to seek shelter within their mines, rather than above the ground. Ultimately they created the 1,500 or so underground homes, or “dugouts,” that exist here.

Today, Coober Pedy is the main provider of opal worldwide, but the town is just as famous for its bizarre dugouts as its precious stones.