Coober Pedy is a cosmopolitan town with a floating population and along with the Mintabie opal fields near Marla further north, produces 90% of the world's opal. Over 30 separate fields dot the area extending from 30km north of town (The Shellpatch) to The Craters, 10km south-east and "Rose's Folly", 15km west. There are mounds of overburden everywhere that have come from shafts sunk deep into the sandstone ground.
Many of the town's residents live underground in "dug-outs". Early dugouts began as mines, however in later years, large and comfortable purpose-built underground homes were constructed. Fully furnished and decorated they are an ideal way of living and coping with the extremes of temperatures in the desert, with the natural insulation keeping temperatures constant. Many dugouts have sold for in excess of a hundered thousand dollars.
In the 21st Century, Coober Pedy is a vibrant town ready to maximise its proven position as a leader in the Opal Industry, a provider of regional services and a "must visit place" for national and international tourism.