Saint Peter and Pauls Catholic church Coober Pedy

06 Oct

I was not sure of the time when I awoke on the 13th September, on our trip to the opal mining town of Coober Pedy, outback South Australia.

My body alarm told me it was morning time, however after a long sleep in the silent catacomb style motel room, time was easily overlooked.

I made my way to the front of the motel room, aided by the light from the bathroom , which I had left on overnight, this was located at the entrance to the motel, the bathroom was added on to the front of the underground accommodation at a later date well after the mine was bored and turned into accommodation. There is actually a home up there with an inbuilt swimming pool, new rooms are also added by drilling, with the hope of finding opal as you go, guess it would cover the cost of the renovations.

Opening the door I was immediately struck by a very bright and hot Coober Pedy morning, a hot morning with a promise of an even hotter day in the offing.

The only sounds I heard was the rustle of a gentle breeze in the trees of the sparse trees around the motel, a few birds were raising a chorus as they audibly disputed the coolest places beneath the leaves on the trees.

We drove down the street, and the only people we saw at that hour, were a few people getting their early morning shopping at one of the two supermarkets, there were a few people waiting for the bottle shop to open, I had actually purchased beer there the day before, and its the first time I had been asked to produce my driving licence before purchase, appears its a rule in Aboriginal societies up that way, which is a sore point with me, but thats a different political subject which I wont go into here

This was to be our last day in this outback Aussie town, so we had to make the most of it, there was no way we could have experienced it all in three days.

We opted for the underground sites again, the morning visit was to be another underground church, this time it was Saint Peters and Paul’s Catholic church.

It is designed much as the previous church, the Anglican church I wrote about, it is drilled in the form of a cross, it has the Stations of the Cross mounted on the rough walls surrounding the inner church.

The Priest who administers out of Coober Pedy, has a diocese that covers thousands of miles, right up to Uluru, or Ayers Rock as its commonly known, through to Alice Springs in the centre of Australia and even further into the great Northern Territory.

The priest also services all isolated outstations and provides a great service for all occasions, births , deaths and marriages in between.

We spent a cool enjoyable time in the quietness of this underground Catholic church, it was easy to absorb the spiritual ambience of this place of worship.

This afternoon we will be exploring the underground caverns, showing details and relics from the days when this vast tract of land was actually a sea bed, and now, opal mining and archaeological work has bought its history to life.

I leave you with pictures of Coober Pedy, Saint Peter and Paul’s Catholic church.



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Posted by on October 6, 2014 in Uncategorized


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19 responses to “Saint Peter and Pauls Catholic church Coober Pedy

  1. lscotthoughts

    October 17, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    Amazing experience, for sure, Ian, and that little church is charming…it seems like a whole other world underground, very unique! I’m playing catch up on your journey, so off to more posts. 🙂 Have a great weekend!

    • The Emu

      October 19, 2014 at 6:11 am

      Thanks Lauren for taking the time to read my wanderings around outback Australia.
      Glad you are enjoying them, a couple more posts to go will see the end of that journey.
      Kind regards

  2. natswans

    October 13, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Fab pictures Ian just love that little Church.
    Really enjoying your Journey
    Good to hear they have a little pub , ha.
    very best wishes to you both.
    Sheila 🙂

    • The Emu

      October 13, 2014 at 11:49 pm

      Good morning Sheila, great to know you are enjoying my pics and our journey.
      Was quite an experience, never got a chance to have a beer in the pub.
      Maybe next trip I will rectify that oversight.

  3. Mélanie

    October 8, 2014 at 5:48 am

    detailed and interesting post, Ian… your trip’s been quite an experience! 🙂
    * * *
    @”We opted for the underground sites again…” – lucky you to visit underground ‘spots’… I couldn’t do it, since I’m claustrophobic! – nobody’s perfect, me – first! 🙂 even during my trip to Egypt, I avoided visiting the pyramids – inside, where you had to walk ‘crouched’…
    * * *
    my very best and friendly thoughts, Mélanie

    • The Emu

      October 11, 2014 at 11:11 pm

      Good morning Melanie, glad you are enjoying my safari posts.
      Sleeping underground is not too bad after you get used to the deafening silence.
      Pity you couldn’t experience the Pyramids, then again walking crouched would have troubled me too. I am six feet tall and have a spine that is broken in places.
      Some things we are not destined to experience.
      Emu aka Ian

  4. Clowie

    October 7, 2014 at 10:58 am

    It’s fascinating to see these places built underground.

    • The Emu

      October 7, 2014 at 12:40 pm

      It was quite an experience Clowie.
      We hope to return again one day and do some more opal fossicking.

  5. gpcox

    October 6, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    I’m going to miss this place!

    • The Emu

      October 7, 2014 at 12:42 pm

      One more post to go on Coober Pedy undergrounds gpcox.
      Then we move onto a change of scenery, more greenery and slightly cooler environment.

  6. Sue Dreamwalker

    October 6, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    This town is such an amazing place Ian… I hope they have an emergency electric back up generator.. would be might dark down there with no windows.. 🙂

    • The Emu

      October 7, 2014 at 12:44 pm

      Hi Sue, good question about backup generators, dont think the houses are all equipped with them.
      But sure the hospital would have, oh and the only pub for sure.

      • Sue Dreamwalker

        October 7, 2014 at 12:49 pm

        🙂 now the pubs would for sure LOL! 🙂

        • The Emu

          October 7, 2014 at 1:19 pm

          There’s not one pub in Australia that doesnt have back up Sue.
          Seems to be the best and safest place in town in times of emergencies too.

  7. prenin

    October 6, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Thanks for this Ian! 🙂

    The church seems tiny given the amount of territory the Priest has to administer to!!! 🙂

    God Bless my friend!


    • The Emu

      October 7, 2014 at 12:45 pm

      Quite right with what you say Prenin, I think the priests and ministers spend most of their time on the road.
      They have a large area to cover and isolated sheep to shepherd.

  8. cat

    October 6, 2014 at 10:18 am

    Excellent pics and excellent write up, Ian … so wanna see this for myself and in person … maybe some day … while on my dream one way/ no return world trip … 🙂 Love, cat.

    • The Emu

      October 7, 2014 at 12:47 pm

      One day may come someday Cat, best part of being a tourist and seeing the sights is by car.
      I think thats why I like it so much, you never know what is around the corner
      or what you may encounter.


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