Published on 27th January 2017


  • Gabriele Gouellain, a German immigrant, waits in the kitchen for her husband to return from mining. According to the Coober Pedy district council, about 60 percent of the town's residents are originally from Europe, having migrated to the area after World War II. Coober Pedy, Australia 2015.

  • Trucks, cars and junk from old machinery decorate Coober Pedy´s landscape, waiting to be used as spare parts. Coober Pedy, Australia 2016.

  • An unexpected storm hits Coober Pedy at the beginning of 2016, dropping the equivalent of half the amount of water that would fall in a full year in only two days. Miners need to wait for the ground to dry in order to go back to work. Coober Pedy, Australia 2016.

  • Joe Rossetto, an Italian immigrant, lives underground and operates a subterranean museum that holds his private collection of stones, fossils, opal, and antiques found in the desert around Coober Pedy. Coober Pedy, Australia 2015.

  • Italian immigrant, Tony Tramaglino, dreams of carving a luxurious house and underground museum out of this space. Coober Pedy, Australia 2016.

  • Underground Orthodox Church built in 1993 by the Serbian community. Every Sunday the monk offers service. Coober Pedy, Australia 2015.

  • An oil painting showing piles of dirt made by a drilling machine hangs on the wall of an underground house. Coober Pedy, Australia 2016.

  • Costa and Peter, Greek miners, are prospecting an opal field. Extremely high daytime temperatures force them to work at dusk.

  • Aerial view of the mining fields. Coober Pedy is the largest opal mining location in the world. Coober Pedy, Australia 2015.

  • Front door of an underground house called dogout. Every dugout needs to have ventilation shafts in order to recycle the air inside the underground house.
    Coober Pedy, November 2015.

  • Opal is one of the most valuable gemstones in the world. Its price varies between one and ten million dollars, depending on its type, color and weight. Coober Pedy, Australia 2016.

  • Peter Broadbear searches with a black light UV torch the opal pieces that miners have left behind on the opal fields. Coober Pedy, Australia 2016.

  • Goran Dakovic, a miner from the former Yugoslavia, searches for any trace of opal on the wall. He works with a circular tunneling machine, allowing him to potentially have access to more Opal. Coober Pedy, Australia 2016.

  • Drilling machines used to mine oil create mounds of dirt on the surface. Over two million shafts have been excavated for prospection and extraction of opal. Coober Pedy, Australia 2015.


Daily Life, Documentary

Tagged with:
  • australia
  • outback
  • underground living
  • opal
  • coober pedy
  • desert