Whitecliffs is a small town with a population of 117 in the Selwyn District of the Canterbury region of New Zealand's South Island. It has also been known as South Malvern (Sheffield was formerly known as Malvern), and the name of Whitecliffs comes from terrace cliffs above the Selwyn River. The town was once significantly larger and home to industrial activity such as pottery and brick-making, and coal and sand mining took place nearby. The town's economic importance was significant enough for the Whitecliffs Branch, a branch line railway from the Midland Line, to be built to the town. It opened on 3 November 1875. Passenger services ceased on 13 March 1949, and due to declining freight, the line was closed entirely on 31 March 1962. The railway's engine shed still stands in the town.