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The Town of Coober Pedy (Grade 4)

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The Town of Coober Pedy

The town of Coober Pedy in Australia does not look like anything special on the map. It is just a very tiny dot in the middle of nowhere. There are no cities around it. It takes hours to reach a place with more than a handful of people living there. The city is so tiny that it is almost impossible to find on a map or in person! Not only is it hot, but temperatures often soar high above one hundred degrees.

So, who would want to live in such a distant, hot place? More than a century ago, people came searching for opal. Opals are rare and colorful stones found in underground mines. People on the run from the law also came here. This small town was the perfect place to hide. To escape the heat, many of the people built underground homes. It gave them a place to go to cool off and get out of the sun.

Who comes to Coober Pedy today? Filmmakers often do when they need a landscape that looks like a dry and deserted planet. Tourists from all over the world also come for a visit. They wander through the underground town. They take tours of homes and walk through museums. Still others come and stay. They spend their days searching for just enough of that blue, green, and pink sparkle of opal to earn their fortune.
What is the most likely reason that Coober Pedy is so difficult to find on a map?
  1. The city if full of outlaws and miners.
  2. It is where all of the opals are found.
  3. All of the buildings are under the ground.
  4. It is such a tiny city in the middle of nowhere.
If you went to Coober Pedy today, what would you almost certainly see there?
  1. Underground stores and houses
  2. Opals scattered over the ground
  3. Outlaws hiding from the police
  4. Actors making a new movie
Based on what you just read, which of these things should you most likely take on a trip to Coober Pedy?
  1. A piece of jewelry
  2. A bottle of sunscreen
  3. An umbrella
  4. A map of the planets

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