White Cliffs

Get ready for an unforgettable Outback experience. Miners and dreamers alike have been coming to White Cliffs since the 1880s in search of opals and the town is full of character, from the quirky underground houses and hotels that provide shelter from the heat to the sparkling gems that are still hidden beneath the red dirt.

White Cliffs highlights



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.

Couple enjoying a guided tour at Red Earth Opal, White Cliffs with Graeme Dowton

A guided tour at Red Earth Opal, White Cliffs

Find more gems at the town's stores and galleries selling uncut and polished opals, jewellery and fossils. Visit the Red Earth Opal Gallery or Joe's World Class Opals and take a piece of White Cliffs home with you.

Keanu Bates sharing Aboriginal art and culture on a guided tour through Mutawintji National Park, Broken Hill

Keanu Bates sharing Aboriginal art and culture on a guided tour through Mutawintji National Park

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.

A red truck with a sign welcoming visitors to White Cliffs in Outback NSW

A sign welcoming visitors, White Cliffs

More things to do

Some of the underground houses are open for tours and you can go inside to marvel at the airy white rooms and cool temperatures. Look for signs in front of the houses or ask at your hotel. Visit the White Cliffs Sports Club to play a round on one of Australia's most unique golf courses. The nine-hole course has no grass, so you tee off from an artificial turf mat and hit your ball around saltbush scrub, dry riverbeds and rusting tractors.

Aerial of a car driving through the outback town, White Cliffs

Driving through the outback town, White Cliffs

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. 

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.

Plan your trip