White Cliffs, Outback NSW
Outback Touring & Destinations
About White Cliffs
Ever wanted a great nights sleep without ANY ambient noise or light and not sure how to do it? Well, the answer is at White Cliffs. With the exception to a few essential travellers' services, most of White Cliffs is underground and it is a truly remarkable experience; even for those who may baulk at the underground experience.
A very easy 98km drive from Wilcannia on sealed road, White Cliffs is Australia's oldest Opal field (seam Opal) and developed from a chance finding of Opal in the 1880's by a group of 'Roo' shooters. Its population peaked in the late 1890's at around 5,000 and started to decline after WW1. It now boasts a population of around 200.
The early days were harsh; outback heat, water shortages and lack of building materials sent the population underground. Today, the underground town works very well for locals and travellers alike and water scarcity that the early settlers experienced is solved nowadays with extensive use of rainwater tanks. This, plus a classic Outback Pub (White Cliffs Hotel/Motel) means the traveller will not go thirsty.
The famous Australian cricketer Bill O'Reilly (1905-1992) who Don Bradman referred to as the greatest bowler he ever faced, is White Cliffs favourite son and his father was a school teacher in White Cliffs.
- For the traveller to experience:Visitor Information at the White Cliffs Outback Store or Paroo Darling NP Visitor Centre
- White Cliffs Underground Motel/Restaurant & History and Cultural Centre
- Red Earth Opal Showroom/Café/Mine Tour
- White Cliffs Sporting Club/Outback Golf
- Linda George Jewellery
- Fossikers Den
- Aussie Southern Cross Opals
- The Stubbie House
- Heritage Trail
- St Mary’s is closed to the public
- Solar power station is closed to the public
- Historic Post Office building is now private property and is closed to the public
- Opal Pioneer Tourist Park
- Paroo Darling NP
- Pioneer Children's Cemetery
- Historic Dugouts
- Goodwood Stationstay
There is a great drive from Broken Hill to White Cliffs via Mutawintji National Park. The road is unsealed and a bit rough (relative) in sections but takes in some amazing back country.
Nearby to White Cliffs is Paroo-Darling National Park (Northern Section) and the amazing Peery Lake which is feed from the Paroo River. It does not always have water in it but when it does, it as a site to behold as it is an oasis for birdlife. The sign off the Wilcannia-Wanaaring road is located on a bend in the road and is easily missed. The excellent NSW Parks and Wildlife Service office in White Cliffs will be able to provide you with exact distances for the turnoff and also hand out all the information for exploring this wonderful part of outback NSW.