Australia’s Largest Underground Motel Set For New Look & Expansion

Special offers on twin and solo accommodation and outback Tour 

The iconic White Cliffs Underground Motel – the largest underground accommodation in Australia – has embarked on a major makeover including subterranean digging to further expand the 32-room hotel in the remote, outback town. To mark the new look, bookings made by September 30, 2017, will attract an 11 per cent discount while a two-day safari tour offered by the motel’s sister company, Tri State Safaris, is also discounted by 10 per cent until that date. One of only three ‘dugout’ motels in Australia – the White Cliffs Underground Motel attracts guests from around the world who enjoy a constant temperature of 22 degrees as well as a licensed restaurant, café, bar and above-ground swimming pool. The tiny opal township is located in far west NSW, 1025km from Sydney and 781km north-east of Adelaide.

The motel dates back to the early 1900s when opal minders sought sleeping quarters away from the heat.  It later became a family home and opened as a motel in 1989, with new outback tourism company, Out of the Ordinary Outback, purchasing the property in 2016 as part of its growing stable of NSW outback experiences.

Unveiling details of the motel’s redevelopment, Out of the Ordinary Outback owner, Scott Smith, said eight rooms had already been completely renovated with new bedding and furnishings while beer on tap had also been added recently. Works to be completed by April, 2018, included underground excavations to add ensuites to 12 rooms, a new family entertainment and games room, a new, outdoor lounge bar with wood fire heater and flatscreen TV for use in winter and eco-misting to cool down guests in outdoor areas in summer.

“Our underground motel in White Cliffs, a desert hamlet full of raw charm and colourful characters, is world-famous so the aim of our upgrade is to improve amenities and further enhance the property’s appeal to guests from across Australia and overseas,” Mr Smith said.

As part of the redevelopment, White Cliffs Underground Motel is offering a discount on two-night stays. Bookings made by September 30, 2017, are available from $291 per couple for two nights – an 11 per cent saving – or from $261 for solo travellers – a 13 per cent reduction. Tariffs include a continental breakfast both days.

Sister company, Tri State Safaris, based in Broken Hill, is also offering a 10 per cent saving on bookings made on its two-day Opal Dreaming outback tour, if booked by September 30, 2017. The guided, 4WD tour from Broken Hill includes a night at the White Cliffs Underground Motel with local sightseeing, a visit to ancient, indigenous, rock art site and four meals. The overnight tour is available on demand, year-round, and, including the discount, is priced from $873 per person, twin-share, or from $999 for solo travellers.

The special discounts at the White Cliffs Underground Motel and with Tri State Safaris are available by mentioning this offer when booking.

Tri State Safaris and White Cliffs Underground Motel are owned by Out of the Ordinary Outback. which also owns The Argent motel in Broken Hill, the Warrawong on the Darling tourist camp and cabins at Wilcannia, Cobar’s Copper City Motel and also the Ivanhoe Hotel.

To book, visit or call 1300 688 225.


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Life outback is never a drag

The outback city of Broken Hill will host the third annual Broken Heel Festival this September to celebrate the starring role the NSW town played in the iconic Australian film ‘Priscilla Queen of the Desert’ and to help showcase the area, Tri State Safaris will run two special tours for adventure seekersvisiting the heritage city for the colourful event.

Centred around the town’s historic Palace Hotel, which played a key role in the hit 1994 movie about three drag queens touring the outback by bus, the Broken Heel Festival will run over the weekend of September 8-10, 2017. The unique festival offers three days of drag, divas, disco, dress-ups and damn good times. Entertainment includes cabaret and comedy acts, a gender-swapping ABBA cover band called BAAB, a dress-up ‘Lap of the Main Drag’ contest in the city’s main street and a chance to meet cast and crew from the movie. The bus prop used in the Priscilla stage show will also be on display.

As a local sponsor of the festival, Out of the Ordinary Outback and its award-winning tour arm, Tri State Safaris, will run two, special tours to highlight the spectacular, desert scenery used to backdrop the film.

The first tour is a one-night package focused on Broken Hill and the nearby ghost town of Silverton, which has also been used as a setting in other movies like Mad Max. Included are a tour with morning tea, pub lunch, afternoon drinks at the striking, hilltop Sculpture Symposium overlooking the desert plains, a BBQ dinner under the stars at Broken Hill’s Outback Astronomy and a night’s stay at The Argent Motel, owned by Out of the Ordinary Outback. Starting on September 7 and 11, the overnight package is available from $395 per person, twin-share, or from $460 for solo travellers.

The second tour, starting on September 4, 2017, is a four-night Broken Heel Outback Exposure safari package that includes a night at The Argent in Broken Hill, a two-night 4WD desert tour, a night back at The Agent after the tour and a three-day pass to the Broken Heel Festival events. The tour includes the flooded red river gums and abundant bird and wildlife of Menindee Lakes, a cabin stay at the Warrawong on the Darling park, nestled by a billabong in the old river port of Wilcannia, a stay at the biggestunderground motel in Australia in the remote opal mining town of White Cliffs and the indigenous carvings at Mutawintji National Park. Including meals, the four-night package is priced from $2000 per person, twin-share, or $2300 for solo travellers. A starlit BBQ dinner at the Outback Observatory can be added on for $xxx per person.

Both tours are designed to dovetail with NSW TrainLink’s Outback Explorer train direct from Sydney to Broken Hill every Monday and return on Tuesdays.

The Tri State Safaris, which is based in Broken Hill, offers 16 unique, outback tours from one to eight days in length. Tri State Safaris is owned by NSW outback tourism company, Out of the Ordinary Outback. which  also owns White Cliffs Underground Motel, The Argent motel in Broken Hill, the Warrawong on the Darling tourist camp and cabins at Wilcannia, Cobar’s Copper City Motel and also the Ivanhoe Hotel.

To book, visit or call 1300 688 225. For information on Out of the Ordinary Outback and its properties, visit .

For more information on the Broken Heel Festival, visit

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Save up to $2100 – or 50% – Book by October 31, 2017 Solo supplement of only 4%

Camping under the stars in the middle of Australia’s most famous desert, journeying over rolling sand dunes and the iconic Birdsville Hotel are highlights of a new Simpson Desert tour in 2018 released by outback tourism company Tri State Safaris.

Savings of up to $2100 and a solo supplement of just four per cent are being offered to mark the release of the tour for bookings made by October 31, 2017.

The new, off-the-beaten-track, 12-day adventure will take guests across the rugged outback landscape in May or August, 2018, with travellers able to ride in custom-designed, air-conditioned 4WD vehicles or bring their own 4WD vehicles on the tour.

The ‘Simpson Desert Adventure’ tour will depart from Tri State Safari’s base in Broken Hill in far west NSW on May 9 and August 13, 2017.  Both tours offer a 12-day, round-trip, outback journey across three states – NSW, QLD and SA. Features include the vast, salty expanse of Lake Eyre – the lowest point in Australia, the remote, the outback hamlets of William Creek, Innamincka and Oodnadatta, the opal mining town of Cooper Pedy where guests will stay in an underground motel, the three-state meeting points of Poepell Corner and Cameron’s Corner, the famous pub and camel pies of Birdsville and the ever-stretching, rolling dunes of the Simpson Desert. The tour includes visits to outback bores and memorable, middle-of-nowhere desert camps with campfire dinners under the stars.

More than half the size of Victoria, the Simpson stretches for 170,000 square kilometres, with its largest sand dune Nappanerica, commonly known as ‘Big Red,’ soaring 40m high, with guest on the tour able to stand at the top to take in the views.

If booked by 15th October, the 12-day Simpson Desert Adventure in fully equipped Tri State Safari 4WD vehicles next May or August is available from $7277 per person, twin-share – a saving of $383 per person or $766 per couple. A solo supplement of only four per cent means the tour is available for singles from $7595 – a saving of $400.

For 4WD enthusiasts keen to bring their own ‘tag-along’ vehicle, the tour is available from $4200 for the first person and half-price – $2100 – for the second person – a 50 per cent saving if booked by 15th November, 2017.

Fares includes accommodation and meals.

Tri State Safaris is owned by Out of the Ordinary Outback, an expanding tourism business in far west NSW which also owns six properties- The Argent Motel in Broken Hill, Warrawong on the Darling tourist camp and cabins at Wilcannia, the famous White Cliffs Underground Motel, Cobar’s Copper City Motel, the Ivanhoe Hotel and the recently announced Broken Hill Outback Resort, which opens in March, 2018. Out of the Ordinary Outback’s own visitor centre also operates in Broken Hill.

Visit or call 1300 688 225.

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Sixth property for expanding NSW outback tourism portfolio

Outback NSW tourism brand, Out of the Ordinary Outback, has continued its expansion with the announcement it will open its sixth accommodation property in March, 2018 – the Broken Hill Outback Resort.

Overlooking the Barrier Ranges and Sturt desert pea-pocked plains 13km east of Broken Bill, the cabin, caravan and camping park will surround the historic Mt Gipps Hotel, which was built in 1890 but closed in 1987. Work totalling $5 million is now underway to restore the former hotel which will boast a bar, restaurant and reception when the resort opens in late March, 2018.

Landscaping work and cabin construction has started on the Barrier Highway property, which will also feature a swimming pool and facilities for campers and caravaners. The popular Outback Astronomy tourist attraction, which offers guided views of the stars at night, is just 4km away.

News of the resort follows twin announcements in March this year that Out of the Ordinary Outback had bought a Broken Hill motel to rebrand it as The Argent and that it would also build a new $750,000 hotel and conference centre at another of its properties, Copper City Motel, in Cobar.

The Mt Gipps Hotel property was purchased last year by Out of the Ordinary Outback owner and passionate bush lover, Scott Smith, who dreamt of reviving the abandoned building for the enjoyment of outback holidaymakers. 

“The old Mt Gipps Hotel is a beautiful heritage building they was crying out for some love and care so our plan to make it the handsome centrepiece of this new outback resort will breathe new life into the building and add colour and interest to holidaymakers travelling through the far west of NSW,” Mr Smith said. “Guests at the Broken Hill Outback Resort will be able to stay amongst the vast frontier country for which the outback is famous, with its big skies and never-ending horizons, with Broken Hill just a 10-minute drive away.”

A new website for bookings at the Broken Hill Outback Resort will be launched later this year.

Launched in October, 2016, Out of the Ordinary Outback encompasses outback tour company, Tri State Safaris, The Argent motel in Broken Hill, Warrawong on the Darling tourist camp and cabins at Wilcannia, the iconic White Cliffs Underground Motel, Cobar’s Copper City Motel, the Ivanhoe Hotel and an Out of the Ordinary Outback visitor centre in the centre of Broken Hill.

For information on Out of the Ordinary Outback, visit or call 1300 688 225

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To mark the launch of the new-look motel, Out of the Ordinary Outback is offering one free night’s accommodation at The Argent Motel Broken Hill with any booking made on a Tri State Safaris extended outback tour during 2017.

The free night in Broken Hill can be used before or after the tour and is valid for bookings made by April 30, 2017 (excluding school holiday periods). The offer is available for 11 Tri State Safaris tours starting in Broken Hill and lasting two or more days. These include the recently launched, three-day Outback Exposure Tour which features a cruise on the Menindee Lakes, a unique, overnight stay at the famous White Cliffs Underground Motel, one night in modern cabins by the billabong at Warrawong on the Darling, and an interpretive tour of the restricted access Historic Site at Mutawintji National Park, home to fascinating indigenous rock engravings and hand stencils.

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Tri State Safaris and the Out of the Ordinary Outback group of properties are offering an amazing bonus offer for Sydney Weekender viewers… simply book one of the, 2, 3 or 5 day tours that we’ve featured during this episode and they’ll throw in 2 nights free accommodation at “ The Argent” in Broken Hill during your stay. To take advantage of this offer phone 1300 688 225 and quote Sydney Weekender to make your booking. 

All bookings made before 31st March for travel during 2017 on:

  • 2 Day Opal Dreaming Tour
  • 3 Day Outback Exposure Tour
  • 5 Day NSW Outback Lap Tour

Tri State Safaris have a HUGE range of tours to choose from, and there’s really no better way to explore glorious Outback NSW… You can see some of the places I’ve visited on both the 3 day Outback Exposure Tour, or if you’ve got more time up your sleeve, the 5 day NSW Outback Lap tour.…. prices start from just $1,310pp

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Out of the Ordinary Outback’s new-look Warrawong on the Darling camp, nestled by a billabong  at Wilcannia in outback NSW, is offering a‘stay three nights and get the fourth night free’ deal for caravan and camping stays during the April and Easter school holidays.  Alternatively, caravanners and campers can pay for three nights and receive a camp dinner around the fire for four people for half price.

Hugging the legendary, gum-lined Darling River, Warrawong on the Darling offers an authentic taste of the ruggedly beautiful ‘big sky’ country of far west NSW. While staying at the park, guests can fish and canoe on the river and billabong, spot local fauna and birdlife, enjoy spectacular sunsets and sunrises, gaze at the star-filled night sky and explore historic Wilcannia – once the third largest inland port in Australia.

The camp offers secluded caravan and camping sites by the river and billabong, a new amenities block, laundry, camp kitchen and BBQ area, a small shop and art gallery, bushwalking tracks and friendly hosts.

Under the stay for four – pay for three offer, a family of four can stay for four nights on a powered site for $141 (nightly rate is $47 per night) on an unpowered site for four nights for $111 ($37 a night). Alternatively, caravanners and campers can pay and stay for three nights and receive a half-price camp dinner for four people (normally $80 for four people) . There is no expiry date for the offer which is subject to availability and valid for families only.

Launched last October by passionate bush lover and tourism businessman, Scott Smith, Out of the Ordinary Outback includes Tri State Safaris, Warrawong on the Darling, the iconic White Cliffs Underground Motel and also Cobar’s Copper City Motel and the Ivanhoe Hotel.

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Channel 7’s Sydney Weekender TV show will screen a special, 30-minute special on the NSW outback this Sunday, February 26, from 5.30pm. The segment focuses on tours and hotels run by Out of the Ordinary Outback and its outback tour arm, Tri State Safaris, which operates in far western NSW and centred in Broken Hill. The segment features Wilcannia, Cobar, White Cliffs, Broken Hill, Menidee Lakes and Mutawinji National Park. Find more Sydney Weekender adventures here!

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Treat your family to a little bit of adventure this Easter school holiday with these great savings!

  • 10% off all 1 Day Mutawintji Bookings made before February 28th
    Breath-taking landscapes, dream time stories and cultural intrigue await you on this family-friendly Outback adventure …
    Read our full itinerary here>>
  • Get your fourth night free (or half-price camp-fire dinner) at Warrawong on the Darling
    On the edge of a billabong, surrounded by the beauty of the Australian Outback lies your family’s perfect escape from busy-city life …
    More information about OOO holiday specials here>>
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We are excited to announce the newest addition to the Out of the Ordinary Outback group – The Argent Motel! Located in Australia’s only heritage-listed city and NSW’s ‘gateway to the Outback’, Broken Hill, The Argent development already boasts a great central location within walking distance to a wide variety of shops, restaurants and art galleries. Stay tuned to Out of the Ordinary Outback’s Facebook page for upcoming developments!