Underground Motel

White Cliffs Accommodation

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Welcome to the Underground Motel!

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The Underground Motel in White Cliffs has been operating for over twenty years, attracting visitors from all over the world, who seek to experience “something distinctive and different”.

Due to the searing heat of outback NSW, people sought refuge underground, and discovered a unique and magical style of living.

Underground, the motel remains a constant and comfortable 22 to 23 degrees, all year.


Part of the holiday experience is the truly stunning landscape that surrounds the Motel. The sunsets and sunrises that can be seen from the top of the hill, draw people from far and wide. It is a favourite place for inspiration for photographers and artists.

The Underground Motel provides accommodation and catering for singles to large families or groups and conferences. International visitors frequent the area and the motel.

You can take a tour of the town with one of the local guides. There are a number of galleries and shops, a heritage trail, and areas to fossick for opal. Meet the locals, take a walk, and begin to understand the magic of the outback, and the lure of the opal.

The complex contains a licensed restaurant, cafe and bar, which was all renovated and altered in 2012 with more renovations taking place including beer on tap at the bar. Lunch is now available, fresh and tasty meals are served each evening in the restaurant, and breakfast is served from 7.30 to 9.00am in the dining room each morning. It is likely that you will sit with and warm to someone you have never met. It is here that friendships are formed and people chat well into the evening, often seeking the same people to share breakfast with the next morning. There is also a BBQ available for guests wishing to cook their own food. The swimming pool sits in the Motel landing, with expansive views over the surrounding landscape, and there is a games room available for the use of our guests. So enjoy a game of table tennis or darts, or perhaps a movie night. We have just opened, a history and culture centre for visitors to White Cliffs, and for Motel guests.

So take a break and enjoy all that the underground has to offer!

Our Town

  • 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.



Accommodation at the Underground Motel

underground motel facilities 01underground motel facilities 03The White Cliffs Underground Motel is a huge underground complex with 30 underground rooms and 2 above ground rooms.

It has been open as a Motel for over 20 years welcoming guests from all over the world for an experience that is absolutely unique, bringing together the vast outback, underground living and Opal mining. The motel boasts a tranquility that ensures a relaxed and peaceful stay. Once you venture underground, the distractions of modern life are let behind. There is no radio or mobile phone coverage, no fridge, TV or bathroom noise. 

Generally facilities and amenities are located along the edge of the complex, supporting both the peace of underground living, and the stability of the soil structure.

The rooms are known as ‘dugouts’ where you sleep nestled in the hill, in a cosy constant temperature insulated from the harsh and noisy environment of the external world.  Rooms can accommodate from 1 person to 5 people, with adjoining rooms for large groups or families.

Things to Do

Things to at and around the Underground Motel

  • At the Underground Motel:

  • Enjoy the pool, sitting in a unique setting on the southern side of the hill, where you can look out over vast expanses of what was once an underground sea.

  • From the top of Smith Hill, or the landing in front of the Motel, you will see both sunsets, and sunrises that are unsurpassed.

    ‘Star gazing’ evenings are provided for groups by one of the local experts.

  • If table tennis, board games or darts are for you, you will find it all as part of the complex at the Motel.

  • Enjoy the best coffee, refreshments, lunch and dinner and a chat in the Gallery where local artist’s works are featured.

    Browse the shop where you can purchase items to retain the memories of White Cliffs and the Opal fields, or original artworks by our featured artists.

  • Guests can also enjoy a drink at the bar or relax in the beer garden with friends or a good book.


In Paroo-Darling NP

Peery Lake 'Tag-a-long Tour', run by staff based at the White Cliffs NPWS Visitor Centre. Tours are generally run as part of the "Discovery" program through the School holidays, however staff will run a tour for groups of 8 or more upon request. Contact NPWS 08 8083 7900.

In White Cliffs

The town developed due to the lure of the Opal, and it remains one of the main attractions today. You can visit the galleries and shops, to find a keepsake that is especially for you, talk to the locals and find out what it is that attracts people to this way of life and to this place.

There are currently 5 Opal showrooms, a photography gallery, and coffee shops/cafes in White Cliffs, all with their unique differences.

There are tour operators for large or small groups, and mine tours are conducted so you can understand what it really is like mining in White Cliffs today. And of course there is the local characters such as ‘Jock‘ who will keep you entertained while he tells the tales of this place, today and in the past.

The Heritage trail is a must for anyone intrigued by ‘the way it was’. As you go from the centre of town, with the old police station, the Hotel, the Solar Power Station to the Pioneer cemetery and General cemetery, the Bill O’Rielly Oval and eventually to ‘The Blocks’ you will learn about and feel the challenge and hardship endured in the early days of a pioneering Opal mining town.

If you enjoy walking, the area offers opportunities for short walks, of less than an hour, to the middle of town or around Smith’s Hill.

And longer walks of up to half a day covering the Heritage Trail, the Airport and the Showground.

For the fitness enthusiasts, at dawn you will enjoy not only the landscape and the open space, but also the spectacular sunrises that the outback and White Cliffs in particular are known for.

And it is rare that people visit White Cliffs without spending some time trying their luck at fossicking for Opal. Occasionally someone is lucky, but most everyone can go away with a small piece of colourful stone which can be picked up on the ground around town.

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Getting Here

Getting to the Underground Motel

Our motel is on Smith Hill and well signposted from the centre of town.

Driving to White Cliffs

Use controls or mouse-wheel to zoom in or out.

Open Information on town or member by clicking panel on top left of map.

There are many different routes that can be taken when driving from any of the capital cities to the White Cliffs.

The following is an overview of the routes from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide that may help you in planning your Outback Beds experience.

From Brisbane:

Warrego Hwy <> Darling River Run (Unsealed) <> White Cliffs Road (Unsealed): Distance = 1,325km approx

From Sydney:

Western Freeway > Mitchel Highway <> Barrier Highway <> White Cliffs Road: Distance = 1,050km approx

From Melbourne:

Hume Highway <> Cobb Highway <> White Cliffs Road: Distance = 900km aprox

From Adelaide: 

Barrier Highway <> White Cliffs Road: Distance = 805km approx


Touring Routes

Touring Routes

  • 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.

  • Experience the awe-inspiring landscapes and the anthropological significant Lake Mungo as well as a taste of the lower Darling including Menindee Lakes before heading upstream and to Wilcannia and onto the iconic opal town of White Cliffs… this touring route is a must for the adventure minded.


Guest Book

What others have said

"The underground hotel is certainly the place to be! An authentic outback pub and hotel. You can sleep beautifully in total darkness, no outside noise - something to get used to. The food was fair, not fancy, the view from the observation deck into the sunset or the night sky is sensational." UrsulaHans, Innsbruck

"The first thing to remember is that this is the outback, and if you are expecting a similar standard to what you'd find on the coast you may be disappointed. In outback standards this place definitely rates high! We very much enjoyed our stay, it was clean and comfortable, and it was more then just a place to stay, it was an experience." Aust_Adventure, Newcastle, Australia

"It has been a few years but every time we head up that way we stay in the Underground Motel. It looks like it has new owners and that can been seen in the menu for the restaurant. Lots to choose from and more flexible with times. Food was great and there was plenty of it." Sean B Sydney, Australia

"This is the second time I have visited White Cliffs but this time I decided to stay underground. We were warmly welcomed by friendly staff and shown to rooms" 711sylviag Parkes, NSW


more information

For more information on rates, accommodation, bookings, etc, please contact us directly by clicking on the following link: