No wonder the interstellar crew were freaked out – they found themselves crashed and stranded in Coober Pedy.


Head down Hutchison St in Coober Pedy today and you’ll see the Pitch Black spaceship parked out front of the Opal Cave opal shop. The futuristic craft has that beaten-up, just-crashed look about it, and should look totally out of place here. But get used to the unusual – this is Coober Pedy.

SA’s outback region makes for great sci-fi movie sets: the stony Moon Plains aren’t too far out of town and The Breakaways colourful mesa formations are a ready-made otherworld film stage. Pitch Black the movie was made about nine years ago with much of it filmed in The Breakaways. The damaged spaceship was bought by Opal Cave owners Lorraine and Dieter Sternberg, who soon discovered it’d never fly again. And somewhere out here, where the land is baked to 48°C, arid and strangely enigmatic, NASA is considering training astronauts for a planned mission to Mars.

Where // Coober Pedy is 860km (about 9hrs drive) north of Adelaide. The Pitch Black ship is in front of the Opal Cave (08 8672 5028), on the main street.

Did you know? // Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert were both filmed around Coober Pedy and The Breakaways.


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