Emu Expedition Outback Australia Part 2

28 Sep

 photo PortAugustatoCooberPedy_zps9ffc6f40.jpg

The second leg of our journey to the outback opal mining town of Coober Pedy, began in the early hours of the 11th Sept.

This part of the trip would take us over 5 hours and 34 minutes, covering a distance of 539.6 kilometres. Once outside the outskirts of Port Augusta, the Stuart highway opened up before us.

539 kilometres of virtually a straight highway, a highway that disappeared into the horizon and you could see approximately ten kilometres ahead.

The landscape either side of the car, became a barren dry panorama of low desert scrub land, as far as the eye could see.

We settled down for a long drive, comforted by cold drinks and an endless supply of music.

It took about an hour into the trip that we realised we needed frequents rest breaks, not through physical fatigue but mental fatigue.

The continuous straight line and barren scenery, was beginning to numb the mind and boredom was creeping in, not even the music could alleviate the monotony.

Henceforth we stopped every so often, just to move around outside of the car, even though the scene never changed from what we were seeing whilst driving.

 photo IMG_9999_zpsf96b20b6.jpgAfter 3 hours driving we arrived at Glendambo, the only refuelling place before Coober Pedy.

Glendambo consists of two garages supplying food and fuel, there is no fresh water available as all water here is from a local bore, so not fit for consumption, however fresh water, shipped in can be purchased at a hefty price.

It was here that I began to notice that the further we go outback, the higher the prices would be for essentials, particularly petrol.

We only stayed at Glendambo long enough to get something to eat, refuel the car and buy a fly net to wear over our hats, the flies were starting to become a problem.

Our next stop was to be Coober Pedy.

We listened to more of Kenny Rodgers songs again, but knew we were approaching Coober Pedy, by the mounds of dirt that was starting to mark the landscape, much like ant burrows.

Off in the distance we saw evidence of heavy mining being carried out by big corporations, their heavy mining equipment boring into the ground, and gouging the earth in search for the beautiful opal.

 photo IMG_0005_zps3edd26d1.jpg

 photo IMG_0006_zps50eb9379.jpg photo IMG_0009_zps900efa17.jpgIt was not long before we turned of the Stuart highway and drove into the township of Coober Pedy.

The township is well spread out, and the majority of the residents live in underground mines to escape the heat, aerials and ventilation shafts protruding like a science fiction moonscape.

The town has a number of garages and two supermarkets stocking all essentials for a mining community.

There is one pub called The Opal Inn,there are a number of underground Churches and shops and a museum, which I will share with you later.

There is a couple of restaurants, one Chinese and another Greek. There are many shops selling opals and local indigenous artefacts.

We checked out a couple of motels to stay at for 3 days and finally settled on The Desert View. photo IMG_0211_zpsd59b41de.jpg photo IMG_0209_zpsa8e5cd5a.jpg

 photo IMG_0026_zps106443c2.jpg

 photo IMG_0208_zps115646bf.jpg photo IMG_0029_zps9093a83a.jpg photo IMG_0025_zps79e64a45.jpgThe Desert View is managed by a lovely couple called Tony and Linda, and their little daughter.

 photo IMG_0207_zps443cd535.jpgTheir tariffs were more than reasonable and it was a pleasure to enjoy their hospitality.

Tony is well known throughout Coober Pedy, his knowledge of opal mining and the town itself , makes him quite an authority on the subject, in fact he is known on the opal fields as The Opal Whisperer, he can smell opal a mile away, and if you want to do some fossicking then be sure to get his advice, he will put you onto a site where you are guaranteed to find a great opal, that will grace your ladies ring finger.

 photo IMG_0016_zps94c4442b.jpg photo IMG_0018_zps7c8db877.jpg photo IMG_0021_zps05d5f1c6.jpg photo IMG_0014_zps10cc6409.jpgThe accommodation was roomy, cool and inviting, all amenities were supplied, there were two bedrooms, the master bedroom and a separate bedroom with three beds.

The whole unit extended back into the cliff face, it was lovely and cool, and a pleasure to listen to the silence.

We settled in for the next 3 days and looked forward to exploring this unique outback opal mining town of Coober Pedy.


Catch you around the traps



Posted by on September 28, 2014 in Uncategorized


Tags: , ,

37 responses to “Emu Expedition Outback Australia Part 2

  1. cat

    October 5, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    Actually, I meant, how much does it cost to publish ur book … but about the other 2 things u mentioned here … that would be nice to know 2 … 🙂 Love, cat.

    • The Emu

      October 6, 2014 at 11:14 am

      Hi Cat, how ya doing girl, sorry I’m late again.
      Got a quote off a publisher who reckons because I have over 300 poems
      they should be published in about 5 or 6 books with 50 or so poems in each one.
      Not a bad quote he gave me for each book, but I was thinking more like publishing all my poems
      in one hard backed volume, one day it will happen Cat, when it does I will dedicate it to you, you must have read all my tear jerkers a couple of times by now, hehe.

  2. suzjones

    October 2, 2014 at 11:51 pm

    I had forgotten about the flies. Last time I was in the centre was well over 25 years ago with my ex and we travelled by motorcycle. I don’t think I took my helmet off unless I was inside and there were fly screens. 😉

    • The Emu

      October 4, 2014 at 1:38 pm

      I put on weight and lost my diet by just talking up there Sue.
      They were all over the face.
      Emu aka Ian

  3. Sue Dreamwalker

    October 2, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    How amazing Ian, how these rooms were scraped out of the rocks this way.. I should imagine they are much much more cooler.. Looked to be a nice couple with added Opal knowledge as a bonus 🙂

    • The Emu

      October 4, 2014 at 2:06 pm

      The rooms are actually bore holed Sue with a massive drill about two metres wide, the soil is extracted for opals and another bore hole drilled beside the first, this eventually opens up a cavern which is big enough to live in, to add more rooms to the start of your house they simply get in a small excavator, so they search for opal as they extend their home, really fascinating.
      Emu aka Ian

      • Sue Dreamwalker

        October 4, 2014 at 2:08 pm

        Love it, I am learning more and more.. and I suppose the opals pay for the extensions LOL! 😉

  4. natswans

    September 29, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    So impressed with those apartments Ian, never imagined these places. Your pictures again are just great. Wonder if you found ant Opals .
    Chapter 3 please Ian.
    Best Wishes
    Sheila 🙂

    • The Emu

      September 30, 2014 at 1:33 pm

      Good evening Sheila, thos apartments were a real pleasure to relax in when the temperatures went over 40 degrees.
      Amazing how inside the underground rooms the temperature dropped 20 degrees.
      I was fortunate in finding a small amount of opal, just enough to make a nice ladies ring.
      Thank you for following my posts.
      Emu aka Ian

  5. giselzitrone

    September 29, 2014 at 10:39 am

    Einen schönen Montag schöne Bilder und wie ich sehe viel Arbeit.Ich wünsche dir eine glückliche gute Woche lieber Gruß und Freundschaft.Gislinde

    • The Emu

      September 29, 2014 at 1:58 pm

      Danke liebe Gislinde, gefiel Sie genießen die Bilder von meiner Expedition in den australischen Outback, es ist immer eine Freude, Ihre schönen Kommentare erhalten.
      Ich wünsche Ihnen viel Liebe und Glück mein Freund.
      Emu aka Ian

  6. Mélanie

    September 29, 2014 at 6:22 am

    simply and purely magnfique, amigo… 🙂 our son and his gf visited Australia during one month 2 years ago and they loved it! ❤ it's on our future trips after New zealand… 🙂
    * * *
    thanx – muchas gracias for stopping by my crossroads, tons of inspiration and have a lovely week! cheers and friendly thoughts, Mélanie – back from sunny and turquoise Malta… 🙂

    • The Emu

      September 29, 2014 at 1:54 pm

      Thanks for your great comment Melanie, really pleased you are enjoying my outback journey.
      Great to know your son and his girlfriend found Australia to be a great destination.
      Hopefully you will get a chance to do the same one day.
      Maybe after Chile next year we will get to expand our horizons, would like to see Europe first.
      Emu aka Ian

  7. lscotthoughts

    September 28, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Hi Ian!
    Those underground apts. were really interesting and unique! Thanks for taking us along on your adventure! I’m really enjoying your narrative and photos! 🙂

    • The Emu

      September 29, 2014 at 1:41 pm

      Thank you Lauren for appreciating my post.
      I hope you continue on my journey with me through a few more adventures.
      Emu aka Ian

      • lscotthoughts

        September 29, 2014 at 1:52 pm

        I will continue, although I might be a little late! 🙂

        • The Emu

          September 29, 2014 at 2:00 pm

          Thank you Lauren, being late is always a problem to me, especially catching up on posts, but I keep all my friends posts in my email and go through them one by one, that way I never miss a post.
          Cheers and keep smiling
          Emu aka Ian

          • lscotthoughts

            September 29, 2014 at 2:12 pm

            I do the same thing, but I have missed posts, sadly to say. But I do the best I can and I’m sure others have missed mine, too, and that’s fine. I’m also sure blogging isn’t first on the list for all. 🙂

          • The Emu

            September 30, 2014 at 1:22 pm

            Good evening Lauren, hope all is well with you girl.
            We do try to keep up with everything on wordpress Lauren but we are only human
            and pressure can take the fun out of blogging.
            Always remember, take time out and relax, we manage the computer, it doesnt manage us.
            Keep smiling girl.
            Emu aka Ian

          • lscotthoughts

            September 30, 2014 at 1:27 pm

            Good Morning, Ian, and great advice to start my day. Thank you and you have a good one! 🙂

          • The Emu

            September 30, 2014 at 1:42 pm

            Good morning Lauren, have a beautiful day and may the sun shine her beauty on your heart.
            Night time for me and my bed beckons.
            Kind regards
            Emu aka Ian

          • lscotthoughts

            September 30, 2014 at 1:44 pm

            That’s right; I forgot about the time zones! 🙂 So sleep well and have a good day tomorrow!

          • The Emu

            September 30, 2014 at 11:27 pm

            Good night Lauren
            Good morning Emu aka Ian

  8. Eddie Two Hawks

    September 28, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Traveling always fascinates me where ever it may be and the outback is some place I know next to nothing about. Your travels and stories have taught me plenty and this is greatly appreciated. This must have been not only an exciting but an exhausting venture. Thank you for the wonderful photos, and story of your great adventure. Eddie

    • The Emu

      September 28, 2014 at 11:51 am

      Good evening Eddie, thanks for visiting and great that you found my post interesting.
      It was a great adventure and very exhausting covering the whole distance in seven days,
      while still trying to enjoy everything around us.
      I had travelled those roads over forty years ago, back in my army days, a lot younger then.
      This trip was mainly to introduce my Chilean wife to Australia’s great outback.
      At my age I think I am still suffering from a bit of jet lag from the endurance driving.
      All round it was well worth it.
      Kind regards my friend.
      Emu aka Ian

  9. gpcox

    September 28, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Nice car for travel!! That Desert View, underground motel is quite unique, it must stay cool in the rooms? I thought about a moon or Mars landscape just as I read you saying it – do they film those sci-fi movies out there? Can’t decide if it’s from Star Trek or Star Wars… 😉

    • The Emu

      September 28, 2014 at 10:32 am

      Greetings gpcox, glad you enjoyed my story, my subaru 4×4 outback is fantastic on road and off road, its fitted out with all communications I need anywhere anytime, that area has been used as a backdrop in a number of movies, there are still some props from the movie Mad Max Thunderdome starring Tina Turner which was filmed out there, will post the pics in the next post.

      • Mélanie

        September 30, 2014 at 4:44 am

        I did recognize some landscapes from the famous ‘Mad Max’ and btw: I love Tina Turner who left the US for “old Europe”: she’s lived between France and Switzerland for more then 25 years… 🙂

        • The Emu

          September 30, 2014 at 12:58 pm

          Hi Melanie, Australia does lend itself to great locations for films, another place I will write about is a little town called Quorn, the film The Shiralee starring Brian Brown was filmed around there, where I live in Mildura on the Murray river, the film All the Rivers Run starring Meryl streep was made, in Clifton Queensland the film The Thornbirds starring Richard Chamberlain was filmed, all great movies if you want to check them out.
          I didnt know Tina Turner had moved to Europe, she was a great female and still is.

  10. prenin

    September 28, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Thanks for this Ian – REALLY fascinating!!! 🙂

    God Bless!


    • The Emu

      September 28, 2014 at 10:34 am

      Good evening Prenin, or is it good morning I think.
      Great that you enjoyed that post, have a few more episodes to write yet.
      Still think I am suffering from jet lag after all that driving.

  11. cat

    September 28, 2014 at 7:03 am

    My goodness, Ian … what a neat report of your trip … makes me wanna see for myself so bad … you should try and get this published in some other form than just wordpress, eg. your local paper, travel agencies, or even writing a book about your travels … Love, cat.

    • The Emu

      September 28, 2014 at 11:34 am

      Good evening Cat, a pleasure to have your visit and great comment.
      Great that you enjoyed that post on my recent adventure.
      Have a few more blogs to post on its continuing journey.
      I do have much of my writing published in the local papers.
      Most of my published writings are actually political writings.
      I am known here for my very active political viewpoints.
      Dont share them on wordpress as its not the right forum.
      Gave up trying to write a book about anything.
      I have 400 of my love and romance poems ready for publication and printing but the cost is too high.
      Keep smiling girl
      Emu aka Ian

      • cat

        September 28, 2014 at 9:04 pm

        … just a thought, Ian … what about Prenin’s publisher Red …

        • The Emu

          September 29, 2014 at 1:39 pm

          Hi Cat, bit unsure of how Red did it for Prenin, following his endeavours he seemed to have a lot of troubles, was his actually published in book form or just a link on the internet ?
          Would love to have all my Love and Romance done in book form, I have it all set up in manuscript form ready for publishing but they are asking too much.
          My Emu storys are really just travelogue type stuff, but it is all good fun.
          Maybe when Prenin wins the lotto he might lend me some money to get my stuff published.
          Cheers girl
          Emu aka Ian

          • cat

            September 29, 2014 at 8:45 pm

            … just out curiosity … how much would it cost, Ian?

          • The Emu

            September 30, 2014 at 1:05 pm

            Not sure Cat, how much does it cost for the rock or how much does it cost for a personal outback tour with the old Emu ? hehe
            Never had the rock assessed for value, but think its just a rock from prehistoric days.
            Cheers girl


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