White Cliffs

Outback New South Wales

Corner Country, Outback Australia

Like silence? Tired of the bright lights and noises of the city and want a really quiet night's sleep under a million brilliant stars? White Cliffs has that for a truly restful night and plenty to explore during the day. White Cliffs is Australia's oldest (seam) opal field and developed from a chance finding of opal in the 1880s by a group of 'Roo' shooters and the opal rush began.


White Cliffs' population peaked in the late 1890s at around 5,000 and started to decline after WW1 and now boasts a population of around 200 people.

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 life underground.

The early days of mining opal and living in White Cliffs 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 traveller and 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.

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. Bill's father was a school teacher in White Cliffs.

White Cliffs is an easy 98km drive from Wilcannia on sealed road and is a great side trip of the Darling River Run and joining up to the Run (at Broken Hill or Wilcannia) allows the traveller to experience the Wilcannia <> Tilpa and Wilcannia <> Menindee sections.

Or, for the adventurous, a loop back to Broken Hill via Mutawintji National Park (gravel road) is highly recommended.

Driving to White Cliffs

There are many different routes that can be taken when driving from any of the capital cities to White Cliffs. The following is an overview of the routes from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide that may help you in planning your outback experience.

As a general overview:

From Brisbane:

Warrego Highway <> Newell Highway <>Gwydir Highway <> Darling River Road <> White Cliffs Road: Distance = 1,343km approx

From Sydney:

Castlereagh Highway > Golden Highway <> Mitchell Highway <> Barrier Highway <> White Cliffs Road: Distance = 1,043km approx

From Melbourne:

Hume Highway <> Cobb Highway <> Long Paddock <> White Cliffs Road: Distance = 909km aprox

From Adelaide:

Barrier Highway <> White Cliffs Road: Distance = 806km approx


White Cliffs Weather Outlook


White Cliffs See & Do...

  • Opal Mining
  • Sleeping Underground
  • Peery Lake
  • Paroo-Darling National
  • Park Mutawintji National Park

Food, Fuel and Emergency Services

Outback NSW is very well serviced by food and fuel outlets as well as emergency services but the Corner Country is more remote so good planning is the key to safe outback travel.

The following downloadable file highlights what is available in the Corner Country; download, and even print a copy, as a ready reckoner.