Welcome to something wonderful…
White Cliffs Underground Motel is an oasis in the desert. It has been operating for over 25 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. They found an even temperature all year round and relief from both the heat, which can reach 50 degrees celsius in summer and the cold southerly winds of the winter months. Underground, the motel remains a constant and comfortable 22 to 23 degrees, all year.
At its peak, the population of White Cliffs was around 5000 people and included all associated services a community of that size would require. While some opal mining continues to the present day, it is mostly mined by private operators, so the community now relies heavily on rural properties and tourism.
The surrounding countryside is vast, harsh and unforgiving. However it boasts an array of colors that mesmerizes visitors and locals alike. They speak of the magic of the colors found all year, from the brilliant oranges, reds, and yellows through to the purples and blues that many artists try to replicate. The ‘big sky’ both during the day and at night is one of the first things that travelers talk about in wonder.
The Motel opened in 1989. It has gradually expanded currently providing accommodation for almost 100 people. It is built in such a way that encourages people to gradually discover the magic and practicality that living underground has to offer.
The Motel closes to the public during summer 1 December and reopens for tourism season March/April each year, being open 7 months a year to tourists near and far.
The White Cliffs Underground Motel is built almost entirely by hand, using jack hammers, ensuring an atmosphere that is quite different to any other underground accommodation. No two rooms are the same and walking through the Motel is a world of discovery. The entire complex is the size of a football field underground. Guests will find quiet corners to sit and read, or simply absorb the amazing atmosphere, peace and tranquility of the underground. It is not unusual for people to spend many hours just enjoying what underground accommodation has to offer.
Part of the holiday experience is the truly stunning landscape that surrounds the Motel. The sunsets that can be seen from the top of the hill, draw people from far and wide. It is a favorite place for inspiration for photographers and painters. There is a quiet time underground most evenings, as as patrons make their way up to the surface, for a once in a lifetime opportunity to watch the sun as it slips over the horizon. The colors and atmosphere are breathtaking from the top of Smiths Hill where people can stand over their own room or someone else’s. Some also manage to rise to see the magic of the dawn.
The Underground Motel provides accommodation and catering for singles to large families or groups and conferences. International visitors frequent the area and the motel, particularly during the summer months. Guests can enjoy meeting new people and often chat about their travels and experiences over dinner or drinks. Many new friendships have been formed at the Underground Motel and people come back time after time and catch up where they left off on their last visit.
The motel boasts a unique tranquility that ensures your stay is relaxed and peaceful. 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. These facilities are all found along the edge of the hill, ensuring privacy and peace.
The Motel contains a licensed bar and restaurant serving a delicious freshly prepared menu for lunch and dinner, cooked or continental breakfast. You may arrive for a pizza night, with the flavours of the local bush, or sometimes a traditional bbq. There is also a bbq available for guests wishing to cook their own food.
Enjoy a cup of coffee while you browse through the gallery and shop. We stock a range of individually made artworks, including some Aboriginal works and artifacts that are second to none. 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.
You may be lucky and find there is a film night on, or 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.
We know your experience at the White Cliffs Underground Motel will be a special one. You won’t forget, you will tell your friends, and we are sure you will be back.
The UNDERGROUND motel is located in the far North West of NSW in the opal mining town of White Cliffs. You will find it one kilometer south of the centre of White Cliffs on Smiths Hill. When you drive up the hill onto a landing or car park, you will find the entrance nestled in the side of the mesa hill.