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  • Writer's pictureTwo Skies

The Great McIntosh Solo Adventure (Part 3: Wild, wild Australia!)

Updated: Jul 3, 2023

Still stationed outside the local beer store, with no luck for almost 2 weeks, I became more of a familiar sight and gradually began to forge tentative connections. And that's when I had the pleasure of encountering a genuine Aussie gentleman named Brett Truman, whose pride and love for his hometown, Coober Pedy, radiated from his very core. With an unwavering commitment to ensuring my experience in this oasis was nothing short of extraordinary, Brett took it upon himself to be my guide and gateway to the many charms of Coober Pedy.



Nestled in the heart of the Australian Outback, Coober Pedy is renowned for its extreme climate and unforgiving landscape. With scorching temperatures, scarce water resources, and frequent dust storms, surviving on the surface is a formidable challenge. However, rather than succumbing to the environmental hardships, Brett and the other residents of Coober Pedy have ingeniously turned the tables by burrowing into the earth.



Enter the captivating realm of Coober Pedy's underground dwellings, a labyrinth of dugouts that provide refuge from conditions above ground. Here, the temperature remains stable and comfortable throughout the year, shielding inhabitants from the blistering day-time heat with its constant swarms of flies, and the chilling night-time cold, offering a haven of respite from the harsh realities above.



Living below the surface isn't just a means of survival; it has become a way of life embraced by the community. Beyond its practical benefits, the allure of subterranean living lies in the unique and quirky aesthetics, as well as the boundless possibilities it offers. From stunningly designed homes with private cinemas, heated swimming pools and intricately carved walls, to cosy thriving cafes, churches, and even homes with their own opal mines - Coober Pedy's underground world is a testament to human ingenuity, resilience and adaptability!



Each day, kind Brett would happily pick me up, ready to whisk me away for a new day's adventure and sight-seeing. It was during one of these journeys that Brett helped me stumble upon a hidden gem within the opal fields—'Shell Patch.' These photographs immortalise the remnants of old abandoned mines nestled within the region, where beautiful and highly desirable opalised shells were once found. While abandoned places always exude an