Experience life underground.
One of the characteristics of the opal mining town of White Cliffs is that many of the local residents live underground in dugouts, so called because they are literally dug into the rock. There's nothing unsophisticated about these dugouts, many are comfortably fitted out like a standard house. The major difference being of course that there are few, if any windows and the temperature is a constant 23 degrees Celsius – a major advantage in both the heat of a mid-summer day and a cool winter night. Many do not require either heating or cooling, a great power saving, especially if solar panels are fitted as well.
Unless you happen to know someone in town, then it is very hard for the average visitor to experience living in a dugout. A good alternative though is to stay at the very unique Underground Motel. Opened in 1989, the motel was built almost entirely by hand using jack hammers and now rejoices in 30 underground rooms, none of which are the same, as well as two above ground rooms. To say the least it's a very unusual experience with almost no noise and certainly no natural light! Also, at least in the rooms, there's no mobile phone coverage, fridge or TV. Of course, there are all the usual expected facilities to be found in a motel - licensed restaurant, cafe, bar, games room, an outside swimming pool and in the common areas all the usual expected communications facilities.
A very interesting feature for the casual visitor is that a display area, which includes bedrooms, has been set aside so that the full setup of the motel can be seen without disturbing the privacy of overnight guests. Included in this area are a number of historical photographs as well as short biographies of past and present residents. Apart from anything else it's a very informative snapshot look at White Cliffs.
White Cliffs Underground Motel is located at 129 Smiths Hill, White Cliffs, NSW. Book now to stay at White Cliffs Underground Motel.