Do you have a trip to the Outback on your Australian to do list?
Here is your opportunity for an insiders tour with a friend of the
Nick Le Souef, an 'Opal Miner Extraordinaire' of 40 years, will be your
guide. Nick has offered this trip to US visitors on similar treks.
They claim it as the highlight of their Australian stay!
The rough itinerary will be:
Leaving Melbourne for Adelaide. The next day to Coober Pedy through the
Outback desert --- each journey will be about 8 hours, all bitumen. There
are alternative dirt and 4wd roads and tracks if so desired.
Nick will show you around the town --- the underground homes and
businesses and churches, meeting some miners, and scratching around for
opals. There are no companies or corporations ---- it's just individual
miners, like a Wild West town.
Then return on back to Melbourne; some people may choose to go on further
to Oodnadatta and Alice Springs and Ayers Rock.
There is no charge for anything --- just a normal holiday, in your own
vehicle, staying in motels, or campgrounds. There is a choice of above or
below ground accommodation. There is even underground camping!
From his most recent trip with a couple from Seattle:
It's a two day drive --- the first night Adelaide; the second Coober
I showed my guests around the town for a couple of days, introducing them
to my eccentric mining friends and their unique underground homes and
restaurants and churches --- we all stayed in the underground Desert
We even did a little mining, with just a little luck!
Then, as a finale to the trip, I took everyone up to the Painted Desert,
about 200k's north of Coober Pedy, a formation of mesas and buttes, which
I reckon is the most spectacular sight in Australia! Beats The Rock hands
But I'll let Karen Harper who, with her husband Mike (out here from
Seattle with Boeing) joined our adventure, elaborate:
"Last week I had the opportunity to visit Coober Pedy in South Australia.
My husband and I traveled with Nick Le Souef from Lightning Ridge Opals
on Flinders Lane, Melbourne City. Nick was the most outstanding tour
guide. We stopped along the Stuart Highway several times to view animals
and scenery that I probably would have driven right by. From the moment
we arrived in Coober Pedy we were introduced to the most interesting
people; owners of opal shops, owners of dug out homes, and other visitors
to the town. Nick knows everyone!! He knows exactly where to go to
experience the best of Coober Pedy. Not a minute was wasted on this trip.
He took us to the beautiful Break Aways for a lovely sunset and perfect
photo opportunities. Nick introduced us to Coober Pedy resident, Rose.
She was so generous in giving us a tour of her dug out home. It was
beautiful and made me think…hmmm maybe I could try living
We met a man named Peter who had owned a pottery shop and then became a
photographer. Mike, my husband decided he'd enjoy spending a month with
Peter and join him on his mail runs and learn the secrets of photography.
I decidedI could live in a dug out home and fossick for opals while Mike
was out with Peter!! It's hard work but can be so rewarding! We also had
the opportunity to visit the Painted Desert and enjoy the beautiful
scenery and landforms.We enjoyed stories of the varied and eccentric
residents (Crocodile Harry), the excitement of discovering the beauty of
opals (Opal Beetle shop), and hunting for spiders along the way (yes,
Nick was determined to add to his extraordinary collection). I can't wait
to put the pictures in my scrapbook and journal my experiences in Coober
Pedy with Nick Le Souef."
Contact Nick if you would like to go on his next tour:
Nick Le Souef
Lightning Ridge Opal Mines
175 Flinders Lane,
(03) 9654 4444
0434 144 444