Imagine a place with absolutely no sound or light. There’s no heat and no humidity. It feels perfectly calm, as if time doesn’t exist and the space around you is directionless.
You’re tucked up in a comfortable bed and you drift off to sleep, with nothing at all to disturb you until your mind and body decide they’re ready to reawaken. This is the experience in one small, South Australian town – Coober Pedy – where houses and hotels are buried into hill faces and extend deep underground.
Approaching these dwellings from the outside, you can’t tell how big or small, grand or simple they’ll be once inside. Some expand out into virtual mansions; multi-stories of carved rock rooms, far below Coober Pedy’s sandy external surface. As you enter the first rooms, you sense the coolness and quiet immediately. The natural light fades and you feel, almost literally, at one with the earth. It’s no surprise then that many visitors end up having a couple of fantastic sleep-ins!