White Cliffs

More jewels here than just Opals

The desert! Unchanged for millions of years, yet witness to a biblical prophecy come true that one day the meek shall inherit the Earth. If that sounds too much like an 80's computer game, you're probably right. Let me try that again.

The Outback! Unchanged for millions of years, yet I've been witness to countless endeavours to get me out there and see it for myself that I finally relented when I was able to do a quick 4 day dash in the middle of March.

About a decade ago, my wife starting teaching at a primary school North East of Melbourne in the Yarra Valley. It was there that she became good friends with her then Vice Principal and mentor. It wasn't long after that we were invited over for dinner to properly meet, and that's where I met Doug. In the most basic of terms, Doug is your quintessential larger than life Aussie and he's passionate about this great land of ours. Every time since then, whenever we've caught up, he would always tell us the tales of his recent trip up to Northern New South Wales, more specifically the little mining town of White Cliffs.

You see, Doug has been going up to White Cliffs a fair few times each year for nearly 4 decades. It was back in the late 70s when he and a friend ventured up to Broken Hill during one of their annual leave periods from work. From there, they zeroed their odometer and followed a map that took you to various mining locations in the area. It wasn't until they came to White Cliffs that they found a jewel of a town, with the added bonus of there being opals in the ground.

And still, each time we caught up with Doug and his wife, he would always let me know in no uncertain terms "You'll have to come up one day and see it for yourself". Then in January of this year, he mentioned on in passing, that he was doing a quick run up to drop off some materials, before heading back for a month in April. This piqued my interest and I asked him to clarify what he meant by a 'quick run' and he said "I'll be leaving Tuesday morning and most likely back Friday evening, in mid March". I was sold and the opportunity to see first hand what he had so passionately talked about all these years and to document it with my photography was too good of an opportunity to pass up.

So come Tuesday morning, it was a 4am wake up to be on the road for the 12 hour trip up there. The main reason was to avoid the hundreds of kangaroos just outside of White Cliffs that will usually be out on the roads at dusk and at dawn. And so it began...