The town was established in the late 19th century when opal was first discovered. Opal has been mined ever since. The first Australian Opal was found 20 years before in Queensland in 1872
Many of the residents live underground, using mining equipment to dig extensive homes in the hillside to avoid the intense heat outside. There are also two underground motels called The White Cliffs Underground and PJ's Bed And Breakfast, as the town is becoming more dependent on tourism.
White Cliffs is the site of Australia's first solar power station which was built in 1981 producing 25 KWe and upgraded in 1996 to produce 45KWe using the same collector dishes but better technology (Not photographed)
Should there be an interest in Opals. White Cliffs is a must, along with Coober Pedy and Lightning Ridge.