top of page



 The Motel was established in 1993 and is one of the world's largest underground accommodation providers featuring 15 Underground Motel Rooms, 2 Original Miners Dugouts and a 2 bedroom Underground Queen Apartment.

In the 1960's opal miners resided in the 4 dugouts across the front of the property through to the mid-late 80's. The owner of the property Tasso Doumanis saw potential in the large land allotment and the motel was on its way to being created. Tasso kept 3 of the Dugouts as self contained apartments for the motel and modified the 4th as the Motel reception and caretakers residence. Originally 10 rooms were dug out on the first hallway, then extending the hallway perpendicular to the first and adding the additional 5 rooms across the back of the property.


Living underground is part of the lifestyle in Coober Pedy with more than half of the population preferring to reside in a "dugout" (underground home) than above ground. This is easy to understand when the summer heat can soar up to a scorching 50 only have to experience a day in that temperature to appreciate the environmental factors that only being underground can offer. The earth is sandstone rock which is extremely resilient and benefits include keeping a constant temerature of 20-25 degrees through out the year. This means when it's warm outside, its cool inside and vice versa.


The Lookout Cave Motel is minutes from the town centre up on a hillside with sweeping views across town.  Located in a secure

and quiet location with ample parking and as the name suggests, the Lookout Cave offers the best views in Coober Pedy. Immerse yourself with incredible ochre-lit skies across the vast desert landscape that continue out to our local landmark, The Breakaways. Not even our locals grow tired of the alluring outback panorama our country presents. The lookout point above the Motel is the highest in town, perfect for sunrise and sunset photography and open to the public and guests alike. 


Coober Pedy | kupa piti

indigenous term commonly meaning "white man in hole"

Coober Pedy is almost smack bang in the middle of South Australia, approximately 856km's north of Adelaide, 685km's south of Alice Springs and 730km's south of Uluru (Ayers Rock). Coober Pedy is also known as the "Opal Capital of the World"  and has been supplying the world with the majority of gem quality opal since its discovery. Opal was literally stumbled upon in Coober Pedy on the 1st of February 1915 by a young gold prospector William Hutchison whilst travelling the outback in search of gold. William (14 years old) accompanied by his father and M. McKenzie, were seeking out water when William unexpectedly discovered opal on the surface of the ground. Not long after

the first opal claim was pegged and the beginning of the opal mining industry was on its way to being established.

Coober Pedy is not only famous for its opal mining but is also renowned for underground living specific to this region.  This area of Australia is unforgiving and severe in temperature and weather conditions. The only way to escape the heat, sun, dust storms and freezing cold temperatures overnight in winter is to bunker underground. Every dugout (underground home) is individual, distinct, sometimes quirky, often offbeat, unusual and definitely unexpected. The ground (sandstone) is different and unrepeated from room to room and from property to property which is yet another aspect of the appeal to every abode. You can't say "if you've seen one, you've seen them all" it just doesn't apply to this environmental condition. Not only is the ground distinct but also the way it was dug, from pick and shovel to round tunnel machines and square tunnel machines the end result is only limited to the physical attributes of the rock and one's imagination.


The town has evolved into one of the most unique places in Australia and perhaps the world to visit. A cosmopolitan town with a population of 2,000 and a melting pot of over 45 different nationalities. This multicultural aspect gives this outback town an unexpected array of cosmopolitan culture.  Coober Pedy today relies as much on tourism and regional services as it does the opal mining industry to provide the community with employment and sustainability.


Coober Pedy offers travellers an outback adventure sure to please and its surrounding areas has some of the outbacks best kept secrets.

Tourist attractions include The Breakaways Reserve (back drop to many famous Australian & overseas films), The Moon Plains, The Dingo/Dog Fence, Underground Churches & Homes, Opal Fields, Opal shops, dirt golf course, the award winning Umoona Opal Mine & Museum, Tom's Working Opal  Mine,  Josephine's Art Gallery & Kangaroo Orphange, Crocodile Harrys, The Painted Desert, Lake Eyre & so much more...don't miss out.


bottom of page