Welcome to a rich and unforgettable Outback experience. White Cliffs is full of character, from underground houses and hotels that provide shelter from the heat to the town’s fascinating opal history. Travellers have been coming here since the 1880s in search of opals, and you can still find plenty in the local mines and stores.
Rare opals & jewellery
Australia's oldest commercial opal field, White Cliffs is one of the only places in the world where white opal is found. It is also famous for its rare ‘pineapple’ opals with distinctive spiky shapes. Take an underground tour and see a working mine on a Red Earth Opal Mine Tour. You might even strike it lucky.
Find more gems at a number of stores and galleries selling uncut and polished opals, jewellery and fossils. Visit or the Red Earth Opal Gallery and take a piece of White Cliffs home with you.
Natural wonders & Aboriginal sites
Mutawintji National Park, a four-hour drive to the northwest, is home to many well-preserved Aboriginal rock art sites. You’ll also find the Old Coach Road drive, an historic route that follows a section of the Broken Hill to White Cliffs Coach Run that once connected the two Outback towns. Look out for the ruins of the Rockholes Hotel.
Around an hour from White Cliffs, Paroo-Darling National Park is home to amazing birdlife and significant Aboriginal sites. Explore the Paroo Overflow, an area of outstanding natural beauty and conservation value, and the only unregulated river in the Murray-Darling Basin.
More things to do
Time your visit with the White Cliffs Music Festival, held annually in May. This great family event brings together a wide variety of musical genres including many internationally acclaimed performers, and includes a poetry breakfast, street party, workshops and plenty of dancing.
White Cliffs is the site of Australia’s first solar power station, built in 1981. Visit the station, just outside the town, and see the mirror-plated collector discs that look more like spectacular science fiction props. Some underground houses are also open for tours and you can marvel at the airy white rooms and cool temperatures.
Getting there & where to stay
White Cliffs is a 12hr 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 is all below ground at the Underground Motel and a handful of B&Bs.