Home to exquisite opals and cool underground dwellings, historic White Cliffs was the mining town that opened the way for opal fields across Australia. Most of this legendary opal mining town lies underground, giving you a fascinating base to relax while exploring the stunning natural attractions of this region.
About White Cliffs
Australia's oldest commercial opal field, White Cliffs was the first site to establish Australia as the world’s leading opal producer since the fiery stone's discovery here in the 1880s. An easy drive on the sealed road from Wilcannia, the local opal showrooms are a great place to shop for locally mined opals that have been cut and set by expert jewellers.
White Cliffs is also famous for its cool, all-white underground dwellings. When mining began, miners found the underground shafts comfortable compared to the harsh surface conditions. The Underground Motel today boasts a café, shop and artwork gallery. An above-ground pool is a welcome treat at the end of a day of sightseeing.
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.
Mutawintji National Park is a four hour drive to the west. Here you will find The Old Coach Road drive, an historic route in Mutawintji National Park that follows a section of the Broken Hill to White Cliffs Coach Run that once connected the two outback towns. Along the way you will see the ruins of the Rockhole Hotel.
Just over an hour’s drive to the east, Paroo-Darling National Park home to rich wetland wildlife and significant indigenous sites. Explore the Paroo Overflow, an area of outstanding natural beauty and conservation value. It is also the only unregulated river in the Murray-Darling Basin. Paddle or walk around Peery Lake, and admire the teeming birdlife.
White Cliffs was also the site of Australia’s first solar power station, built in 1981 to provide power to the town. Located just outside the town, visit the mirror-plated collector discs stand out from their surroundings like spectacular science fiction props.