The Five Star Vagabond

Super travel tips, all road tested by David Herd. I'm an Australian guy who moved to Thailand in 2011 & still travel the world as often as possible.

Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine

April 14, 2017 by David Herd

Incredible landscape

Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine

Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine

Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine, nowhere else in the world have I seen colours similar to outback Australia. Red earth, blackened trees and a beautiful blue sky.

I took three Japanese students, Yukako, Megumi & Noriko & travelled from the Gold Coast in Queensland, through Broken Hill  NSW to Cooper Pedy on the first leg of our journey on the way to Uluru aka Ayers Rock.


Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine

 The girls started clapping wildly when they saw the kangaroo sign so you can imagine how excited they were when they saw a live one.

Here we are in Coober Pedy

Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine

You know when you are near the town when you see all the mounds of dirt & gravel.

OK, what are we waiting for?

Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine

Let’s go & check out this underground village. 

My trusty Holden Commodore was our transport on our marathon journey all through the Australian Outback we traveled 7,300 kilometers  which was around 82 hours behind the wheel. 

Mini mountains everywhere

Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine

Coober Pedy is a town in northern South Australia, 846 km north of Adelaide. The 2011 census showed its population was 1,695 (953 males, 742 females, including 275 indigenous Australians). The town is sometimes referred to as the “opal capital of the world” due to the quantity of precious opals that are mined there.

 Men at work

Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine

This was our first indication of work happening around the mines.

Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine

Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine

As you can clearly see not all the people live underground.

 Opal capital of the World

Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine

 There are quite a few opal shops, restaurants and a variety of accommodation ranging from four star to backpackers and caravan/camping areas.

Desert Cave Hotel

Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine

The hotel has rooms above ground and in underground caves, this relaxed hotel is a 14-minute walk from the Big Winch Lookout. For an excellent discount just book through THIS LINK.

Big Winch Lookout

Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine

 The famous historic Big Winch Scenic Lookout with 360 degrees view of the town.

Is this Coober Pedy art?

Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine

To be honest with you I have no idea what it is. 🙂

On the other hand….

Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine

This may well be the brother of “Tin Man” from The Wizard of Oz. 🙂

 On the subject of movies

Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine

This monster was apparently part of a movie set that has been abandoned and left here as a talking point.

 We have finished the first stage of our Journey.

Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine


Next stop is Uluru aka Ayers Rock.

Thanks for visiting my Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine photo blog.


 Life 2015                     Family history                   Life 1982

2835141a-02cf-4cda-a909-2a8408a99f47        6a173a01-9744-404a-a45f-87a975ec90fa          d5436828-abbc-4da1-a638-7f90436c6417

  Adelaide 1972                 Iron Bar Freddy               Sydney 2006

417091_10150704751043594_62315468_n          Susies home Newport 1 (1)        April24FreewayHotel-33 (1)

Thailand 2008                Gold Coast Babes               World trip 2003

Fun in Pattaya-116         92bfa275-a122-4078-9970-1e24188a5917        CopacabanabeachNov2003-124

             Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                  through these links below.  Book now & pay later.
Free Cancellation. 
                              Bangkok Hotels                    Pattaya Hotels
                         d0c59ff5-7f2b-41b5-9312-4556d4a62037              01a75360-9573-473f-acba-3a187f779b7f
 That’s all folks
1g Duck
Pattaya live webcam 
9a1fec74-4461-46cd-8663-97f5893c8f6e (1) 

 Soi Cowboy                  Nana Plaza                    Patpong

 Soi Cowboy (5)           e1274c0c-cf4d-4406-b5dc-d9e8071e382e            8993ef02-ccf3-46a7-8b6d-fc11af9d93ad


This gallery contains 1 photo.

Friends family students 2004

October 16, 2014 by David Herd

Lunch for the students

Friends family studentsFriends family students 2004 & very little travel other than two trips to Thailand due to a large home extension which doubled the size of my home.

This is not part of my travel blog, it’s a photographic record of the people in my life in 2004.

Japanese students

Friends family studentsHere are some of the lovely Japanese students renting rooms in my extended home.

Ziggy & Kasumi

Ziggy my DobermanMy beautiful Doberman Ziggy.

Barbecue for friends family students

Friends family students

Friends family students was my main focus in 2004, I filled up all my available rooms to try & get some return on the capital I outlaid on my home extensions. My original budget of $120,000 doubled to $240,000 Follow THIS LINK to see the fantastic result..

Phil Thomson & the students

Friends family studentsMy good friend Phil joined us for dinner, barbecued sausages & red wine. 🙂


The big catch

Friends family students

The girls got very excited when they landed this monster from the jetty. 🙂

Happy students

Friends family students

Barbecued sausages and corn for dinner.

In the carpark at the Eagles concert

Friends family studentsMy friend Rossco & I dined on fresh seafood in the car park waiting for the Eagles concert to begin.

Cold beer & fresh seafood waiting for the Eagles

Cold beer & fresh seafood waiting for the Eagles photo SupperattheEaglesconcert1.jpg My good friend Ross Kennedy

The Eagles on stage

Eagles concert

My favourite band of all time. Sadly Glenn Frey passed away on January 18, 2016. Take a couple of minutes to listen to him sing one of my favourite songs, it really describes perfectly how I feel about my life.

Drinks at Melbas with Michelle

  Friends family studentsWhat better way to celebrate Melbourne Cup than being in the company of a beautiful blonde.

 Phil Thomson & I enjoy a seafood lunch.

Friends family students It’s AFL grand final day, what better way to enjoy the game.

John Sinclair, Dennis F & David Herd

John Sinclair Dennis Freeman David Herd

Friends for many years, but please don’t ask me to comment on Dennis, in fact now in 2016 both these guys have me on their black list. 🙂

Tony Murphy & his Moke

Tony Murphy

Another very good friend, we met in the early 80s.

 My Nephew Michael celebrates his 21st

  Michael Herd 21Warren’s family & I gathered at a Brisbane restaurant for Michael’s 21 st birthday.

The birthday boy

Friends family students

Time just seems to fly, I can’t believe this little guy is 21.

Happy birthday Michael

Friends family students

Michael would end up in Germany with his partner Björn Lüders, a lovely man who sadly passed away in 2016.

Richard Blair, aka Mr Stingy.

Friends family students  Lunch at Richards Sanctuary Cove villa, he lives in Point Piper in Sydney and visits the Gold Coast often.

Vannessa Teo

David Herd

Another lovely friend on the Gold Coast, one of the sweetest ladies I have ever known.

Bryan Dart, Wayne Jones & Eddie.

Friends family students Coffee with friends on Chevron Island.

 Sharron & Nick

Friends family studentsSharron & Nick opened a nice cafe on Chevron Island, we became friends & they looked after my home when I traveled to Brazil.


Joe, Mark Grofski & Anilyn

Friends family students

Mark & Anilyn now live in Melbourne and are raising a large family.

The Nerang River with Chevron island on the left

Nerang River Chevron island

Now is 2016 this skyline has changed a lot. My last trip was November 2014.

Letter to the editor.

Letter to the editor

One of my letters that was published in the Gold Coast Bulletin.  

Here is another

Friends family students And here I am 12 years later writing a blog & living in Thailand. 🙂



                   Here are some more posts on my wild wicked ways. :)  
Life 2015                  Family history                   Life 1982
       fivestarvagabond          David Herd          David Herd Sydney                        
Adelaide 1972                 Iron Bar Freddy               Sydney 2006
                                   David Herd Australia          Big Tim Bristow          Freeway Hotel


Thailand 2008                Gold Coast Babes               World trip 2003
David Herd Thailand         David Herd Gold Coast          Copacabana beach

Thanks for visiting my Friends family students photo blog.


That’s all folks   Thailand Europe Vietnam Japan

Click here to see the whole story of my big home extension.

This gallery contains 3 photos