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In the opal mining outpost of Coober Pedy, half the population lives in underground dugouts to escape high temperatures in summer. It's a fascinating and friendly place to visit, and a must-do on your Outback holiday. Coober Pedy has some 1700 residents from more than 40 countries. Taking its name from the Aboriginal word "kupa" (uninitiated man or white man) and "piti" (hole), Coober Pedy produces most of the world's opals. Its opal fields, discovered in 1915 by 14 year old Willie Hutchison, cover an area of 4,954 square kilometres and consist of over 70 individual fields. Try your luck at "noodling" (fossicking) at various spots around town; get a great insight into the history of Coober Pedy at many local underground mines and attractions, then find your very own special opal at one of more than 30 opal shops - many who mine, cut and set their own stones. There's also a host of awesome natural landscapes, including the Painted Desert, the Moon Plain and the Breakaways. Incidentally, these great desert locations have attracted film makers from around world, for movies including 'Fire in the Stone', 'Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome', 'Ground Zero', 'Pitch Black', Val Kilmer's, 'Red Planet', and the up and coming Mortal Kombat (2021 release). Visit late June for the annual Coober Pedy Opal Festival (featuring events from the fun to the outrageous), or in August for the Coober Pedy Races. Coober Pedy is one of the most fascinating, quirky, excentric places on (or under) the earth. So make it a must do on your bucket list, GET outback, GET underground and just get to Coober Pedy!