Inside Scoop – Underground Accommodation of Coober Pedy

Don’t be deceived by your first impressions of this small South Australian outback town. Hidden below dusty sandstone hills you’ll find the incredible Underground Accommodation of Coober Pedy.

This isolated mining town may be the most unusual place you’ll ever visit! Locals live in underground dwellings called ‘Dugouts’ and in fact, most of this desert town is deep underground.

If you want to experience sleeping underground then a visit to Coober Pedy is as quirky as it gets. You’ve also got the added bonus that Coober Pedy is the Opal Capital of the world!

Type of Accommodation: Underground
Destination: Australia | South Australia | Coober Pedy

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Let’s take a look at Dugouts

That first feeling of excitement as you walk into your dugout is priceless and you’ll be surprised at the sense of spaciousness.

For example, Underground Bed & Breakfast is 18 metres underground but as you walk down into the earth you realise these are not teeny tiny cave rooms. We are talking plenty of space with all your home comforts and mod cons.

See The Best List of Coober Pedy Underground Accommodation

Is it Hot Underground?

NO, and that’s the best part. This underground town is cool once you step down into the earth where all the action is happening.

60% of the Town is Underground!

Unbelievably the underground accommodation of Coober Pedy ranges from backpackers to hotels to holiday/vacation homes.

What you find above ground you get below ground with modern kitchens, bathrooms, and your choice of room with comfy bedding. Don’t forget to visit the ​underground shops, galleries, pubs and churches.

How Do You Enter the Underground Spaces?

The dugout entrances are above ground at the sides of hills. From there you descend deep underground. But don’t worry they have support beams in place!

You know there’s a dugout under a hill when you see air shafts sticking out the top like antennas. Some of the dugouts feel a bit stuffier than others and this all depends on these fresh air vents.​​​​

Air Shaft on top of Ali's Underground
See the air shaft on top of Ali’s Underground?

What Are My Accommodation Choices Underground?

  • Multi-room backpackers – cheapest prices for those on a budget.
  • Apartments – good for families or independent travellers who want a home away from home. Also great if you want to cook your own food.
  • Motels – well-priced with kitchen facilities, pools, and BBQs.
  • Hotels – with restaurants attached, shops, and other services.
  • B&Bs – a chance to experience life underground with a friendly local family. A more personal experience and the generous breakfasts save you money.
  • Vacation/Holiday homes – some sleep up to 8 – great for self-catering and for big groups.

See the Slideshow of Desert Cave Hotel and pop your dates in to see the best prices

What’s the History of Coober Pedy’s Dugouts?

Originally the opal miners lived in their mines to avoid the melting desert heat. But as time went by the locals carved out their own comfortable dugout homes into the sandstone hills (Wikipedia).

Showing ingenuity and resilience they carved by hand and used explosives, jackhammers, bulldozers, and tunneling machines.

The Comfort Inn Coober Pedy Experience was originally an opal mine from 1918 to the 1960s. See the organic patterns carved into the rock of the walls and ceilings in the photo below.

Comfort Inn Coober Pedy Experience - Coober Pedy Underground Accommodation
Comfort Inn Coober Pedy Experience

Watch this Video and Get the Inside Scoop

FYI: At 6:12 hear what one of the town’s underground motels found when they dug out new rooms! Also at 6:23 another fantastic find when building a new step.

What’s it Like Sleeping Underground?

It’s a totally different feeling sleeping underground with its ‘natural’ temperature control. The sound is eerily quiet and when you turn the lights off the borough-like environment is very dark. If you have trouble sleeping this is the perfect space for a great night’s sleep!

Although staying in one of the underground accommodation of Coober Pedy isn’t camping. Be warned – bits of stone may fall on you as you sleep. That’s all part of the dugout experience!

Dinky Di’s is a huge (250m2) underground house with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a kitchen and lounge. Above ground, you’ll find a spa pool and BBQ area. Next door is the 3-bedroom dugout. Highly rated see more at Expedia.

Radeka Downunder is a hostel with dorm rooms. The guest rating isn’t great, but it’s cheap and cheerful! See more at Agoda.

Dugouts with Free Private Parking

If you’re travelling by motorbike, car, RV/campervan then these dugouts have free private parking:

  • Lookout Cave Underground Motel
  • Dugout B&B
  • Comfort Inn Coober Pedy Experience,

Is Coober-Pedy Pet-Friendly?

YES, Coober Pedy is very welcoming to pets. If you’re on an epic (or small) adventure around Australia with your pets, a weekend away with your little bestie, or just spending a night with your pets, you’ll find pet-friendly dugout accommodation in Coober Pedy.

Underground Bed and Breakfast, Comfort Inn Coober Pedy, and Ali’s Underground Studio are all pet-friendly.

894 Holly Court

894 Holly Court Coober Pedy

This is a 70m2, 2-bedroom underground apartment, with a kitchen, air conditioning, and free WIFI. For up to 5 guests and pets. See more at

Guest Review: Clean, cosy, yet felt spacious. Tucked away not too far from town. Pets are welcome and on this trip, it played a big part in choosing the property.

Coober Pedy Travel Tips

  • If you’re claustrophobic then you might want to choose a dugout with a window. Most don’t have any! You could consider Dug Out B&B ​which has a kitchen with a window to the outside world.
  • Most of the underground accommodation of Cooby Pedy is either in town or just out of town. So if you are on foot and eating out you might want to book a dugout in town near food places. Cooby Pedy is very dark at night and it could be a long walk back to your dugout.
  • Dark nights make for incredible stargazing! Don’t miss heading above ground to enjoy the night sky. Wrap up warmly in winter – temperatures drop very low at night.

Things to Do and They’re all Unusual!

  • How about enjoying a drink at the Desert Cave underground pub?
  • Then visit an underground church
  • Jump on the mail run to outback stations
  • Buy Opals – cheaper here
  • Fly over the incredible Eyre Lake
  • Visit Tom’s Working Opal Mine, Old Timers Mine, Umoona Opal Mine & Museum
  • Faye’s Underground Home – Faye dug this out by hand!
  • Josephine’s Gallery & Kangaroo Orphanage
  • Crocodile Harry’s Underground Nest
  • The Opal Festival is held every year in June
  • Visit the Kanku-Breakaways Conservation Park (33kms north of town)
  • See the Dingo Fence that wraps around Coober Pedy (approx 30-40kms away)

Don’t Miss a Game of Desert Golf

With no blade of grass in sight, a game of golf sounds unbelievable. But just out of town, the Coober Pedy Opal Fields Golf Club welcomes players.

It doesn’t matter if you’re not a golfer you have to try this very unique experience. You carry your patch of artificial grass around with you to tee off.

Make sure you wear a fly net. The flies bombard you and the heat fries you…but don’t miss it!

Wrapping Up

So if you are looking for a unique experience then sleeping in a dugout in the underground accommodation of Coober Pedy ticks all the boxes! Don’t miss this iconic desert town in the heart of Australia’s outback.

Featured photo courtesy of Steve Collis

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