White Cliffs – One of the Last Frontiers.
A place founded on optimism, eccentricity, ingenuity and a deep need for peace and quiet.
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, and the community now relies heavily on rural properties and tourism.
Founded in 1890, six years after the first opals were found, the town gradually boomed, peaking around 1900 when opals were sold for as much as 140 000 pounds and the population exceeded 5000. Today there is approximately 200 people living in the community.
Summer temperatures often reach a scorching 50 degrees, the early miners resorted to converting their old mines into ‘dugouts’. Today 135 exist – some converted mines, the others dug in virgin ground with jack hammers and picks. They have now become very comfortable and often creative abodes.
Still, one can emerge in the late afternoon to appreciate the exquisitely rich and lava-like sunsets spanning the horizon and the breathtaking views across the expanse of this ancient land. At night, you can spend time exploring the heavens and the crystal clear masses of stars.
By understanding the history, and the way of life, White Cliffs offers a unique, ‘out of the way’ locations that embodies the values of Australia, both past and present.