The Mutawintji-White Cliffs Loop

Outback Driving Adventures

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Zoom in for more detail of towns and accommodation

Total Route Details:

  • Distance: 665km - Mostly Unsealed Roads
  • Allow: Min 3 Days (2 Nights)


While the Barrier Highway is the most direct route between Broken Hill and Wilcannia, anyone who has travelled it knows it is not the most exciting way to spend a few hours behind the wheel. So the route out via Mutawintji NP and White Cliffs makes for a wonderful adventure to visit these two icons of Outback NSW.

Starting (or finishing) in Broken Hill, the western NSW town that many regard as the epicentre of Outback NSW, and while it may have developed from mining and the origins of BHP, the town has evolved into one rich arts and culture with so much on offer for the outback traveller. The Imperial Fine Accommodation is the perfect place to pamper yourself before or after this touring route while experiencing all that Broken Hill has to offer.

With the historically significant and culturally emotive historic site (guided access only) Mutawintji NP is well worth the drive north from Broken Hill with its majestic landscapes and excellent interpretive features, this is most certainly a 'must see' National Park. The main feature of the park is the mulga covered Byngnano with river-gums lining the pools and creek beds. For enthusiastic walkers, the Byngnano Range Walk follows a breathtaking scenic route while other walks include the spectacular Mutawintji Gorge Walk to the park’s permanent water supply. If driving is your prefernce, the Old Coach Road Drive leads to a great picnic spot.

Walking along the creek lined with river beautiful big red gums, you’ll discover an array of Aboriginal rock art and engravings among the maze of overhangs and rock faces. This area showcases wildlife and is home to the only known colony of the endangered yellow-footed rock wallaby

White Cliffs is Australia's oldest (seam) opal field and developed from a chance finding of opal in the 1880's by a group of kangaroo shooters; once discovered, opal rush began. Today, the mostly  underground town works very well for locals and traveller as the scarcity of water that the early settlers experienced is solved nowadays with extensive use of rainwater tanks. This, plus a classic outback pub means the traveller will not go thirsty.

Wilcannia, on the Barrier Highway between Cobar and Broken Hill, is largely undisturbed port on the Darling River. Cross the bridge driving from Sydney to Broken Hill and turn either to your right or left when you enter the town and you will be amazed at the richness of the architecture. Our member in Wilcannia is Warrawong on the Darling.

Route Sections:

Broken Hill <> Mutawintji NP:

  • Route: Silver City Highway <> Broken Hill-White Cliffs Road (129 km - about 2 hours) - Sealed & Unsealed

From Broken Hill, the route heads north along the Silvercity Highway before heading east along the Broken Hill-White Cliffs Road and into Mutawintji National Park. For those setup for camping/RVing, an overnight in the campgrounds will allow thorough exploration of this wonderful National Park and the Mutawintji Historical site (Guided access only)

Mutawintji NP <> White Cliffs:

  • Route: Broken Hill-White Cliffs Rd <> Kayrunnera-White Cliffs Rd (155 km - about 2.5 hours) - Unsealed

Returning back onto the Broken Hill-White Cliffs Road, the route ventures through a bit of the back country (outback driving so ensure you inform your destination member of your ETA in case you break down) and into the iconic opal town of White Cliffs, and a stay at the unique Underground Motel.

White Cliffs <> Wilcannia:

Route: White Cliffs  (75km - about 1 hour) - Sealed

White Cliffs it is a short drive (sealed road) to Wilcannia and our Wilcannia member Warrawong on the Darling.

Outback Beds Members & Towns along the way


  • 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 ...

  • There is a lot more to Wilcannia than people know. Located along the Darling River within the Central Darling Shire of Northern Western NSW, Wilcannia was the third largest inland port in the country during the great river boat era of the mid-19th century. Perhaps this is why the Resch’s Brothers ...

  • Elegant 4 1/2 star accommodation with a personal touch awaits you at The Imperial, a beautifully restored heritage bluestone building (circa 1906) in the heart of Broken Hill where modern facilities sit happily alongside the gentle spirit of an Australia long past. Enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of...

  • Broken Hill, known as 'The Silver City', is the largest centre in Outback NSW and is often referred to as “The Jewel of the Outback”. Located 1,160 km from Sydney, the city came into existence in 1885 after Charles Rasp recognized the mineral potential of the area two years earlier. Today the city...

  • Warrawong on the Darling, a brand new purpose built Modern Cabin, Caravan and Camping accommodation ground situated just off the Barrier Hwy on 12km of Darling River frontage between Cobar and Broken Hill, 3km from historic Wilcannia.