White Cliffs Area
Tucked away in one of the most remote and spectacular corners of NSW, the White Cliffs area is famous for its opal fields, underground living, colonial heritage and striking desert landscapes. Discover the nearby towns of Wilcannia, Tilpa and Louth, and explore the beauty of the Paroo-Darling National Park.
White Cliffs opals
The town of White Cliffs is home to Australia's oldest commercial opal field. Mining began here in the 1880s and people have flocked here ever since hoping to find their fortune. Go underground into a working mine with the Red Earth Opal Mine Tour and try your hand at uncovering these glittering gems.
The local opal showrooms in White Cliffs are a great place to shop for locally-mined opals cut and set by expert jewellers. White Cliffs is also famous for its cool, all-white underground dwellings that hide the town from the scorching sun. Experience subterranean living at the White Cliffs Underground Motel.
Wilcannia & Tilpa
A one hour drive south of White Cliffs is Wilcannia, a former paddle-steamer river port for the transport of wool and wheat along the Darling River. Today the town boasts magnificent heritage sandstone buildings such as the 19th century post office and Wilcannia Athenaeum.
Northeast of Wilcannia, on the banks of the Darling River, is the tiny town of Tilpa. It’s a stop on the Darling River Run and best known for its iconic pub. Established in 1894, the Tilpa Hotel is a true Outback timber pub, with walls covered in messages that capture the spirit of the bush.
Wetlands & birdlife
Enjoy kayaking, canoeing and fishing in Paroo-Darling National Park, a beautiful wetland and home to the Paroo Overflow, the only unregulated river in the Murray-Darling Basin. Walk around Peery Lake, see amazing birdlife and pitch a tent at Coach and Horses campground.
Head along to the White Cliffs Music Festival in May, and enjoy a wide variety of musical genres, including many internationally acclaimed performers. This great family event includes a poetry breakfast, lantern parade, street party, workshops and plenty of dancing.
Getting there & where to stay
The White Cliffs area is a 12-hour drive from Sydney, 10hr 30min from Canberra, 11hr 30min from Melbourne and nine hours from Adelaide. You can also fly into Broken Hill and hire a car for the three-hour drive. You may need a 4WD for unsealed roads and national parks. Accommodation includes motels, pub rooms, B&Bs and campgrounds.