The White Cliffs area is a legendary opal mining region with underground dwellings and fascinating heritage attractions. Explore these towns along the Darling River Run and discover a region rich with memories of the time when the paddle steamers opened up the dry heart of the continent.
About White Cliffs
Discover fiery opals, fine heritage and spectacular nature around the fascinating underground town of White Cliffs. Famous for the cool, all-white underground rooms that hide the town from the sun, White Cliffs established Australia as the world’s leading opal producer when mining began here in the 1880s.
The local opal showrooms are a great place to shop for locally mined opals cut and set by expert jewellers. The Underground Motel in White Cliffs also contains a café, shop and galley with locally produced artworks. An above-ground pool is a welcome treat at the end of a day of sightseeing.
Only 72km south of White Cliffs, Wilcannia was once a thriving port for cargoes of wool that were shipped along the Darling by river steamers. Today the town boasts magnificent heritage buildings such as the 19th century post office and Club Hotel and the Athenaeum Library, now the town's Pioneer Museum.
Tilpa, 124 km north-east of Wilcannia, is home to the famous Tilpa Hotel, a classic pub of corrugated iron and timber. Inside you will find the walls covered with graffiti and autographs that encapsulate the dry wit of the bush. You can also purchase a fishing licence at the Hotel and go boating or fishing for Murray cod in the Darling River.
Enjoy kayaking, canoeing, fishing in Paroo–Darling National Park, a beautiful wetland and part of the only unregulated flow in the Murray-Darling Basin. This free-flowing river sustains its rich and diverse ecosystem that includes a large number of bird species in particular and is an area of profound cultural significance for the Paakantji Aboriginal people.
Held over a long weekend in May, White Cliffs Music Festival brings together a wide variety of musical genres including many internationally acclaimed performers. This is also a great family event with a Poets' Breakfast, a lantern parade, street party, workshops and plenty of dancing.