Coober Pedy and Nearby with Zeb and Eider

We walked around this little town and we have never seen so many opal stores.

One of several small opal shops lining the street in Coober Pedy

One of several small opal shops lining the street in Coober Pedy

We went inside some, but the human already have some opals, and Zeb and Eider don’t think any new opals will be coming home with us.   We liked this car, the Opal Bug, at the Opal Beetle.

Car at Opal Beetle Shop

Opal Bug at Opal Beetle Shop

We entered the Umoona Opal Mine and Museum.

Umoona Mine

Umoona Mine

Into the mine.

Entering the mine

Entering the mine

Through the tunnels.

Walking through mine tunnel

Walking through mine tunnel

A layer of opal still in the rock.

Opal still in rock

Opal still in rock

This opal is great and they had a wonderful gift shop.   But still no opals going home with us.    These rock formations are known as The Breakaways.

The Breakaways

The Breakaways

Look at this sky.  Love the clouds.

The Breakaways

The Breakaways

Nearby is the dingo fence, or the dog fence.

We are at the Dingo Fence

We are at the Dingo Fence

This dingo fence is the longest structure in the world.   It is even longer than the Great Wall of China.   This fence now extends for 5,300 kilometers.     At one time it extended 9,600 kilometers.

Longest structure in the world

Longest structure in the world

The fence was built by ranchers to prevent the wild dingos from the north from killing the stock   The dingo fence was built in 1946.   We then visited the Underground Serbian Orthodox Church of Saint Elijah Parish.

Underground Serbian Orthodox Church

Underground Serbian Orthodox Church

We are entering the tunnel leading to the interior of the church.

Tunnel to underground church

Tunnel to underground church

The altar is beautiful.

Altar of underground Serbian Orthodox Church

Altar of underground Serbian Orthodox Church

This is the view from the church balcony.

From church balcony

From church balcony

The church is built into the mountain, like a cave, so they can have these beautiful windows on one side

Dugout allows one side with beautiful windows

Dugout allows one side with beautiful windows

We really enjoyed our visit to Coober Pedy.   We hope you visit also.

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Zeb and Eider Visit the Opal Capital of the World: Coober Pedy

Zeb and Eider Duck and the human are now in the opal capital of the world.

Coober Pedy is the Opal Capital of the World

Coober Pedy is the Opal Capital of the World

We are in Coober Pedy, South Australia.   Coober Pedy is in the southern outback desert.   In the heat of summer, temperatures of 50 degrees Celsius have been recorded.   For those of us using Fahrenheit temperatures, that is about 124 degrees.   The first opal was discovered by Willie Hutchison in 1915, and the town was born.

Coober Pedy celebrates 100 years

Coober Pedy celebrates 100 years

95% of the world’s opals come from Australia and Coober Pedy produces more than any other area of Australia.

Beautiful opals

Beautiful opals

When World War I ended, returning soldiers came to find opals.   There was very little wood to build homes and the soldiers had lived in underground fox holes during the war.   With no wood and extreme heat, living underground was the best solution.   The home were called dugouts, as most were dug out of the side of a hill.

Dugout is dug out of side of mountain or hill

Dugout is dug out of side of mountain or hill

The name of the town came from the aboriginal phrase, Kupa Piti,which means “white fellows in a hole.”   Today over half of Coober Pedy’s population lives in dugouts, underground.   The underground temperature remains a comfortable 24 degrees Celsius (about 73 degrees F) all year.   We stayed at the Desert Cave

Desert Cave Hotel. We stayed in underground part in the back

Desert Cave Hotel. We stayed in underground part in the back

in an underground room.   This is the hotel’s underground hall to our room.

Underground hall to our room

Underground hall to our room

Since we are underground, the emergency exit must be a staircase leading up to the outdoors.   Here we are on the emergency exit.

Climb up for emergency exit

Climb up for emergency exit

Our hotel has a bar and game room that is underground.

Underground Bar in our hotel

Underground Bar in our hotel

We like this place.

First underground bar for Zeb and Eider

First underground bar for Zeb and Eider

Our breakfast restaurant, the Crystal Cafe, is also underground, as is the gift shop and the opal store, Opal World.    Our hotel, the Desert Cave, has a tunnel from the reception to the restaurant and shops.   We are going down the stairs and into the tunnel.

Down the stairs to our hotel tunnel

Down the stairs to our hotel tunnel

In the tunnel we discovered an opal mine and museum.   Here is a pretend miner using the mine shaft to enter and exit.

A fake miner using ropes to enter and exit the mine

A fake miner using ropes to enter and exit the mine

There is a photographic history of Coober Pedy in the tunnel.   We are on some mining machinery in the tunnel.

We are on old mining equipment

We are on old mining equipment

We really liked our hotel and we like visiting Coober Pedy.   If you visit here, be sure to arrange transportation to your hotel before you arrive.   There are no taxis in Coober Pedy.   Next time we will show you some of Coober Pedy.   We like it here.

Cook, Australia with Zeb and Eider Duck

Zeb and Eider Duck and the humans are still on the Indian Pacific Railroad.   The train is slowing down.

We approaching the town of Cook

We approaching the town of Cook

We stopped at Cook.

This is Cook

This is Cook

When we, ducks and our 2 humans, entered the town, we doubled the population of Cook, Australia   Yes, there are only 4 permanent residents of Cook.   Cook was established in 1917 to support the Trans Australian Railway.   That was the fist name of our train   Cook formerly had 200 residents.   This was the school in Cook, Australia.

School

School

We like the painting on this tower at the school.

Painting

Painting

More Cook art to see.

More mural painting

More mural painting

There was a swimming pool near the school.

Swimming pool--not used now

Swimming pool–not used now

Doesn’t look like we could swim here now.   Here is the train station.

Train Station

Train Station

These buildings are not outhouses; they are jail cells,or gaol cells.

Gaol Cells

Gaol Cells

One is for females and one is for males.   The prisoners did not stay here long; they were sent out of town on the next train.

Our train in Cook, Australia

Our train in Cook, Australia

Being in jail in these metal cells was like being in prison in a cooking pot.   The city of Cook was built on the Nullarbor Plain, which is known for the lack or absence of trees.   This rock with the plaque, commemorates the effort of men trying to defy this idea.    These were the Men of the Trees.

Plaque to Men of the Trees

Plaque to Men of the Trees

In 2006, 100 trees were planted in Cook.   The surviving trees are the tallest on the Nullarbor Plain.   When the railroad was privatized, most people left town,  and now with only 4 permanent residents, Cook, Australia is almost a ghost town.

Cook A ghost town

Cook A ghost town

We, Zeb and Eider Duck, and our humans are glad we were able to visit Cook.

Residence in Cook

Residence in Cook

If you travel on the Indian Pacific Railway, you may visit Cook also.   Back on the Indian Pacific Railway, we are still crossing the Nullarbor Plain.   This is called the Southern Outback.   Although at times we see water holding ponds,

Water storage ponds

Water storage ponds

and some spots of green landscape,

Approaching Perth

Approaching Perth

do not be fooled.   We are still on the Nullarbor Plain, a huge limestone plateau and desert.

Desert outback terrain

Desert outback terrain

Now we are nearing the end of our ride and we see these sheep and that pipe is for transporting water.

Sheep by pipe to transport valuable water

Sheep by pipe to transport valuable water

All this riding on the train makes humans hungry, so they snacked on Snickers.   The candy bar tasted just like the Snickers at home, but the writing on the package was a little different.

Tastes the same, just described a little differently

Tastes the same, just described a little differently

SnickersWe are almost at Perth, so it is about the end of our train ride.   This is a great train and we hope you will ride it soon.

Australia’s Indian Pacific Railway with Zeb and Eider Duck

We, the Colorado Traveling Ducks, and humans are going on a train.   Today we will leave Adelaide and stay on the train until we arrive in Perth, Western Australia, on the Indian Ocean.   This sign explains a little about this train.

Explanation of train

Explanation of train

We are in the Adelaide train station and we like this eagle with the sign about our train.   Choo Choo’s Cafe is also great.

Statue in Adelaide train station Australian Wedge Tail Eagle

Statue in Adelaide train station Australian Wedge Tail Eagle

If you take the train, this Adelaide train station has the best amenities.   We loved the Train Shop.

Of course we bought some souvenirs here

Of course we bought some souvenirs here

The other train stations we visited in Australia were nice, but not as nice as this one.   It is time to get on our train.

The Indian Pacific Railway

The Indian Pacific Railway

We are settling in our seats.   Very big and comfortable.   The seats recline flat, but there is no foot rest.

Our train seat

Our train seat

The humans use their carry on bags as a foot rest.   We do not have a sleeping compartment.   The humans did not want to make early reservations, but these seats are very comfortable.   And all the seats were not sold, so we had plenty of room to move around.      Looking out the window we see the Southern Outback of Australia.

We like looking out the window

We like looking out the window

The sun is going down, so soon we will sleep.

Sun going down on Nullarbor Plain

Sun going down on Nullarbor Plain

Wow!   The sunset and sunrise in the desert on the Nullarbor Plain is really bright.

Vivid sun

Vivid sun

Now that morning has arrived, we see the Outback desert with the red ground.

Red ground on the Nullarbor Plain

Red ground on the Nullarbor Plain

There are a few trees in some places.

There are a few trees out there

There are a few trees out there

The train is fairly close to the Eyre Highway and there are a few camping places, or caravan parks.

Camping

Camping

The Nullarbor Plain, is a limestone plateau, mostly a vast waterless, treeless expanse.   Nullarbor is corrupt Latin for “no trees”.   Our National Geographic travel guide describes the Nullarbor this way.   For sheer size and scale, no place is like it–an 80,000 square mile limestone plateau, scoured by desert winds and scorched by temperatures that can easily exceed 120 degrees F beneath a pitiless summer sun.   The plateau has no surface water at all, although an extensive system of flooded caves lies deep underground.   Out here lies the world’s longest stretch of straight railroad track–more than 300 miles.   From our train window, we saw a variety of landscapes.

Red dirt

Red dirt

Now would be a good time to tell you that although it was cold in Tasmania and cool on Kangaroo Island, we decided to travel to Australia during the Australian winter.   We did not want to be in such extreme heat while trying to see many new places.   But, we are getting hungry, so we go to our dining car.

Our place for food and views

Our place for food and views

This is the Matilda Cafe.  It is our restaurant and our observation car.   The huge windows are great and it was never crowded.   We spent much of our train time here, looking out the windows and snacking.   This is our breakfast.

Let's eat!

Let’s eat!

Time to eat now.   From our windows we saw a few kangaroos and sheep.

Sheep even here

Sheep even here

There are a lot of sheep in Australia.   Soon we will be stopping at a very small settlement.   We will show you what we see next time.   This is our first long train ride and it is fascinating.   The scenery is desert, but it changes constantly.

Adelaide’s Elder Park with Zeb and Eider Duck

Our time in Adelaide is almost over, so we decided to take the free city bus to Elder Park.   This sign inside the bus shows the support for Adelaide’s athletic teams.

Support for the team and the fans.

Support for the team and the fans.

We left the bus near the Adelaide Oval.   This artistic design behind the stage caught our eyes.

Good art display

Good art display

Crossing the bridge, we reached Elder Park, on the River Torrens.

The Adelaide Oval, River Torrens and Elder Park

The Adelaide Oval, River Torrens and Elder Park

These boats look like fun and good exercise, but not today.

Maybe another day

Maybe another day

There were many friendly black swans in the river.

Graceful Black Swans are everywhere.

Graceful Black Swans are everywhere.

However, this may be a little too close to the swan.

Too close mom

Too close mom

We also saw some very curious pelicans.   This one wants to know what he purchased at the toy store.

Anything for me?

Anything for me?

These Australian pelicans are big.

Pelicans as tall as young humans

Pelicans as tall as young humans

Pelican appears to be taller than these young humans.    Again mom, maybe a little too close.

That is a long beak. We like the pink though

That is a long beak. We like the pink though

This fountain commemorates the visit by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in March 1954.

Commemorative Fountain

Commemorative Fountain

Nice gazebo.

Pretty gazebo

Pretty gazebo

These are lights on the river.

Lights on the river

Lights on the river

Very nice.    This is a tourist boat.   We are going on Pop Eye I.

We are going on this river boat.

We are going on this river boat.

We are traveling on the river.

Riding down the river

Riding down the river

We like river boats.   We pass the Adelaide Rowing Club.

Our first Rowing Club

Our first Rowing Club

Passing under the historic bridge, this friendly pedestrian waves to us.

Friendly pedestrian

Friendly pedestrian

We like this falling water.

Decorative falling water

Decorative falling water

If you have some time in Adelaide, we suggest a few hours or a day at this park.   Relax and enjoy your vacation, or your home town.

Adelaide, Australia’s Rundle Mall and Memorials with Zeb and Eider Duck

Zeb, Eider and the humans took Adelaide’s free city bus to view monuments and more.   This statue is in memory of those who fell serving and defending Australia.

Remembering fallen héros

Remembering fallen héros

The Honorable Dame Roma Mitchell is honored here.

Honorable Dame Roma Mitchell

Honorable Dame Roma Mitchell

She is a former Governor of South Australia, a former Chancellor at the University of Adelaide and a former Judge on the Supreme Court of South Australia.   Wow!   She was a great lady!   Here is the front of the Memorial remembering those lost in World War I and World War II.

Memorial for World War I and World War II

Memorial for World War I and World War II

This is the back of the Memorial.

Back of War Memorial. We ducks are on the steps

Back of War Memorial. We ducks are on the steps

Humans also walk inside the memorial to view additional exhibits.    The streets of Adelaide are very clean.   These trash containers are part of the reason.

We thought this trash container is pretty clever

We thought this trash container is pretty clever

Put trash in one place and cigarette butts in another place and keep Adelaide clean.   The Art Gallery of South Australia hosts a special exhibit.

Art Gallery of South Australia

Art Gallery of South Australia

Sir Walter Watson Hughes, one of the founders of and the first donor to the University of Adelaide, is honored here.

Sir Walter Watson Hughs

Sir Walter Watson Hughs

Sir Douglas Mawson, Professor of Geology and Mineralogy was also an Antarctic scientist and explorer.

Sir Douglas Mawson

Sir Douglas Mawson

Australia honors many of its outstanding citizens.   Adelaide is also home to the premier retail area of South Australia.   Rundle Mall became Australia’s first pedestrian mall in 1976.   We wandered around Rundle Mall just before sunset.

Rundle Mall. A retail destination

Rundle Mall. A retail destination

The street is lined with world famous retail stores.

Rundle Mall

Rundle Mall

We like the sculptures also.   This fountain appeals to us.   We find water soothing.

Water is soothing for us

Water is soothing for us

Malls with flower shops always seem more friendly.

Flowers are so cheerful

Flowers are so cheerful

Of course, mom found the local chocolate store.

Wonderful chocolate

Wonderful chocolate

We are glad she did;  the chocolate was delicious.   We like Adelaide.   Tomorrow we will show you a little more before we leave town.

Adelaide Central Market with Zeb and Eider Duck

Zeb and Eider Duck only have a couple days to explore Adelaide, in the state of South Australia.   What to do?   The humans decided to ride the free city bus that will give them an overview of the city.   We like the old buildings that are still used today.

Old building still used today

Old building still used today

This old church looks really inviting.

Pretty old church

Pretty old church

While on the bus, mom started talking to a lady from Adelaide.   The lady moved to Australia from the Philippines several years ago.   She loves Australia.   She told the humans that they had to see Central Market.    The humans try to go where local people suggest, so we went to Central Market.

Central Market

Central Market

This is a huge market with small restaurants, many everyday items for sale, and of course, lots of groceries.   As we entered Central Market, we noticed that meat and vegetables are sold by the kilo.

Meat by the kilo

Meat by the kilo

We are accustomed to buying items by the pound.   But, one kilo is 2.2 pounds, so we are adjusting to the metric system.   The bakery is near the entrance.

Aroma of bakery draws us closer

Aroma of bakery draws us closer

It smells so good, we need a closer look.

Yum

Yum

Yum!  This aisle featuring fresh produce is so colorful.

Colorful Produce

Colorful Produce

This cheese shop certainly made us smile.    Smelly Cheese Shop.

Smelly Cheese Store

Smelly Cheese Store

The biggest surprise for us was the Some Thing Wild store.   This is no normal butcher shop.   Wild and exotic game is available here.   Duck breast???

We ducks don't like this

We ducks don’t like this

We Colorado Traveling Ducks are not sure we like that.   The assorted sausages are better for us to see.

Many kinds of sausge

Many kinds of sausage

This kangaroo stir fry is ready to take home and cook.

Kangaroo stir fry

Kangaroo stir fry

Could be a very nice dinner.   Check out the special of the day.

Special of the month?

Special of the month?

Crocodile ribs.   I have never seen them for sale before.   This market had all the normal market items, but we saw some new things too.   Visit Central Market and try some of the food.   You will enjoy new tastes.   Again, we like the old buildings being used today.   This one is across from Central Market.

Across from Central Market

Across from Central Market

When you visit Adelaide, ride the free city bus, routes 98 and 99.   And talk to people.   The people will suggest things for you to see and do.   It is fun, also.   We will show you more of Adelaide soon.