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Overview:

There are many outback towns that claim to be ‘really unique’ but White Cliffs is really one one of the truly 'must-see' destinations.

It is very small by comparison to Lightning Ridge, another Opal mining town but here, most of the living is done underground. A wonderful 92km drive along the sealed Opal Miner's Way from Wilcannia will have you in this unique place in no time and for those that like 'the road less travelled' and want to take in Mutawintji National Park and White Cliffs without having to back track, this loop (Dry weather gravel only) is a fantastic drive.

The oldest opal field in Australia, White Cliffs, developed from a chance finding of Opal in the 1880's by a group of kangaroo shooters and was where it all started in terms of Australian Opals and its population peaked in the late 1890's at around 5,000 and started to decline after WW1 and now boasts a population of around 200.

The early days were harsh with outback heat, water shortages and lack of building materials to contend with so with outback ingenuity, the locals headed underground.

Today, the underground town works very well for locals and travellers alike and is well worth a visit.

This side-trip also takes in Mutawintji National Park with its evocative historic site (guided access only).

Mutawintji National Park is one of the most moving and culturally significant areas of NSW and should be put towards the top of any visitor wish list. The wonderful sandstone ridges and gorges fills the senses with wonderment and is one of those places where you can feel the cultural significance of the area and the land; and why it so significant to the indigenous culture.


Route Sections:

Broken Hill <> Mutawintji NP <> White Cliffs:

  • Route: Silver City Highway <> White Cliffs Road <> Opal Miners Way (366 km - about 5 hours) - Sealed & Unsealed

White Cliffs Weather Outlook

 

Opal Loop - Accommodation

Goodwood is a wonderful place to 'park' between Wanaaring and Wilcannia or on your way to or from White Cliffs in the Far West of NSW. The stationstay offers refurbished Shearers Quarters accommodation, catering for up to 12 guests.
White Cliffs Accommodation
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 this family run boutique hotel .. small enough to be personal but large enough to find your own space and privacy.
Broken Hill Accommodation
Mount Gipps was one of the first properties settled west of the Darling River in the 1860s. It has a rich mining history dating back to the 1880s and several old mines and miner's huts pepper the hillsides.
Corner Country Accommodation
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.
Wilcannia Accommodation

Opal Loop - Towns & Attractions

Like silence? Tired of the bright lights and noises of the city and want a really quite night's sleep under a million brilliant stars? White Cliffs has that for a truly restful night and plenty to explore during the day.
Towns & Localities
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.
Towns & Localities

 

Outback NSW Road Alerts

This traffic region is bounded by Broken Hill and the South Australian border to the west to Mudgee and the Blue Mountains in the east. This region extends as far north as Tibooburra and the Queensland border and as far south as Cowra and Marsden. The region includes the towns of Dubbo, Parkes and Bourke. There are currently 2 hazards in this region.

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