Cooper Pedy Travel Guide
If the pending weather forecast here in the Northeast makes you want to either switch hemispheres for the winter or crawl into a cave, why not do both in Australia's eccentric outback opal mining town of Cooper Pedy.
If you aren't familiar with Mad Max or opal mining, Cooper Pedy will seem very strange. Most tourists pass through the town en route to either Adelaide or Alice Springs. The dusty town is tiny, filled with tourist stores selling opals, and most dwellings are in fact underground caves.
The Desert Cave Hotel is a grand 1970's style structure with subterranean rooms. Cave-rooms are very efficient as they are dark and stay at a constant temperature that's perfect for sleeping. You can wander around the hotel's underground museum, dugout shops, and bar, or venture into one of the town's other cave-malls. In fact, 80% of the town's population escapes the summer heat in underground homes.
There are above ground rooms, but they are less popular, so be sure to specify which type of room you want at booking. Rates run around AU$200, and if that's gonna put a crevasse in your bank account, there is always the much more affordable (and equally cavernous) Bedrock Bunkhouse.