There are numerous dry lakes and salt lakes on each side of the highway that are easily visible and also accessible. Lake Hart and Island Lake are both huge expanses of white, salt crusted flats that contrast against the reddening soil.
We were able to walk down to one salt lake that still had some water in it. The water was crystal clear, quite literally, as the white salt gave it a brilliant clean backdrop.
Arriving at Coober Pedy is an experience and I was reminded of my last visit almost 20 years ago. The town is very much a mining town and exists in one of the dryest parts of Australia. There is minimal vegetation and dust and dirt are the main features. Piles of whiter soil and rock dug up from the mines litter the landscape and demonstrate just how much Opal mining is conducted in the immediate area of the town.
Due to the heat and lack of facilities when the town was first settled, the practice of living under ground is quite common. There are 44 different nationalities known to be living in the town of around 3,500 people and from our observations many of them are colourful characters.