Desert Cave Hotel, Coober Pedy, Australia (Prices & Photos)
Coober Pedy, far from the beaches of Sydney or Cairns, sits in the barren desert landscape of South Australia between Alice Springs and Adelaide. It was established in 1915 following the discovery of opal, when many Europeans flocked to the area to strike it rich in the mines, but quickly discovered working below ground was a lot easier than living above it due to the extreme desert temperatures than can reach as high as 125 degrees Fahrenheit. Today, residents still prefer staying underground, in caves bored into the hillsides known as dugouts. Some residences are nearly 5,000-square feet, and the town also includes underground churches, stores, galleries, campgrounds, and an award-winning underground hotel, the 4-star Desert Cave Hotel. The hotel offers insight into the traditional ‘dugout’ style homes by staying in anyone of the 19 underground suites. It also includes an underground shopping arcade that features an extensive range of opals and opal jewelry.