White Cliffs

General Store, Broken Hill Tourism / Tourism New South Wales

Population 120

White Cliffs is first and foremost an opal town. The first mining lease was granted in 1890, and a boom followed with an influx of 4500 people. The area is still known for its opals, particularly the unique opal 'pineapples' and the opalised remains of a plesiosaur, a 2-metre-long 100-million-year-old fossil found in 1976. The intense heat has forced many people to build underground, often in the remains of old opal mines. The buildings left on the surface are surrounded by a pale and eerie moonscape with an estimated 50 000 abandoned opal digs.

Visitor Information

White Cliffs General Store, Keraro Rd; (08) 8091 6611.

Nearby national parks

  • Sturt National Park

    In the far north-west of the state, in so-called Corner Country, lies one of Australia’s driest, most remote national parks. Sturt...more

  • Currawinya National Park

    Currawinya National Park, set in rugged mulga country, protects a significant wetland system. There are two large lakes, Numalla and Wyara,...more

Nearby towns

  • Menindee

    Menindee is like an oasis in the middle of a desert. Although located in the state's arid inland plains, its immediate surrounds comprise...more

  • Tibooburra

    Tibooburra is one of the hottest and most isolated towns in New South Wales. Its name means 'heaps of rocks' in the local Aboriginal...more

  • Broken Hill

    In the arid lands of far-western New South Wales, Broken Hill was first an intermittent home for the Wilyakali people. When Charles Sturt...more

In Town

Solar Power Station The country's 1st solar power station was established by the Australian National University in 1981 at White Cliffs because it receives the most solar radiation in NSW. The row of 14 giant mirrored dishes is a striking sight between the blue sky and red earth. Next to council depot.

Outback Treasures: opal jewellery and Aboriginal art; Smiths Hill.

Jock's Place: dugout home and museum with an opal seam along one wall; Turleys Hill.

Wellington's Underground Art Gallery: paintings and polished opals by local artist; The Blocks.

Otto Photography: gallery of outback landscape photos; Smiths Hill.

Self-guide and guided historical walks and fossicking: include the old police station (1897) and school (1900) and several fossicking sites; brochures and maps from visitor centre.

Underground accommodation: various standards available in dugout premises. Underground temperatures come as a relief at 22°C; details from visitor centre.

Opal shops: several in town sell local gems; details from visitor centre.


Paroo–Darling National Park: section 20 km E of town contains magnificent Peery Lake, part of the Paroo River overflow, where there is birdlife, Aboriginal cultural sites and walking trails. Southern section of park has camping along the Darling River.

Wilcannia: small town with many fine sandstone buildings, an opening bridge across the Darling River and an old paddlesteamer wharf. Also a self-guide historical walk available; brochure from council offices in Reid St; 93 km S.

Mutawintji National Park: 150 km SW; see Broken Hill.

Campsites around town

White Cliffs Opal Pioneer Tourist Park

You’ll find this caravan park in the opal-mining town of White Cliffs, 95 km north of Wilcannia. The town is popular among tourists for its underground accommodation and businesses, as well as its opals. The park,... Find out more

Homestead Creek camping area 89 km

Homestead Creek offers all the facilities you need, including gas/electric BBQs and hot showers. The nearby walk up Homestead Creek passes by some good rock-art sites, and on to the ridge top for views over a... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

PJ’s Underground B&B

PJ’s has taken underground living to a whole new level, offering sophisticated B&B accommodation underground. With all the modern amenities you’d expect to find in a B&B above ground, and with... Find out more

White Cliffs Underground Motel

Experience something extraordinary and stay at the White Cliffs Underground Motel, named one of the ‘four most original places to stay in New South Wales’ by the NRMA. Underground living is something quite... Find out more

What's on around town

Ironman Cliffhanger: 4WD challenge; July.

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