From the heights of Goobang National Park, to the plains of wheat and country villages, Parkes Shire boasts many sights to see – some well-known and others waiting to be discovered.
Parkes Elvis Festival
The Festival is held annually in the second week of January with a spectacular five-day Festival program featuring a dazzling array of more than 150 individual events. Highlights include the Feature Concerts, the ever popular Elvis Gospel Service, the iconic Street Parade, the sashing of Miss Priscilla, the Renewal of Vows Ceremony and much more.
Cooke Park comes alive from Thursday to Sunday with markets and non-stop entertainment on the main stage, including Elvis tribute artists and competitions that the whole family can enjoy.
Visit www.parkeselvisfestival.com.au for more information.
Tune into the Universe
Visit the CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope, star of the movie ‘The Dish,’ (2000), it is one of Australia’s most prominent landmarks and a must-see attraction on every driving holiday through inland New South Wales.
The 64 metre wide dish stands impressively over surrounding farmlands – a sophisticated piece of scientific equipment ironically in the middle of sheep paddocks! Located 20km north of Parkes and just a short 5km detour off the Newell Highway.
Built virtually in the shadow of The Dish, the Visitor Discovery Centre is where visitors can explore the world of astronomy and discover the role The Dish plays in ‘listening to the stars’.
The Centre features many displays and hands on exhibits and a 3D theatre featuring programs on space and astronomy. The Dish Shop features a range of astronomy and space science books, DVDs, science toys and souvenirs. Whilst entry to the Visitor Discovery Centre is free there is a charge to view the 3D theatre. Enjoy a coffee stop or a meal at the award winning Dish Café onsite, or make use of the free BBQ and picnic facilities.
History & Culture
Gold & Sir Henry Parkes
The Parkes area remained relatively unsettled until 1862 when the discovery of gold led to a hastily erected ‘canvas’ town known as “Currajong”. There was a further discovery of gold in 1871, and in 1873 the then Premiere of New South Wales, Sir Henry Parkes visited the diggings. On December 1, 1873 the name of the settlement was changed from Bushmans to Parkes in honour of the great statesman.
The Henry Parkes Centre
A major cultural tourism precinct incorporating the Parkes Visitor Information Centre and four unique collections including The King’s Castle Elvis Exhibit, Parkes Motor Museum, Henry Parkes Museum and Antique Machinery collection.
Memorial Hill provides the best vantage point for magnificent views over Parkes and the surrounding farmlands. It is the most visible landmark in town, with its 33-metre high Shrine of Remembrance standing tall over Parkes. Also featured here is The beautiful Remembrance Walk and the Theatres of War Gardens commemorating those who have served in conflicts in which Australia has been involved.
Visit the site of one of Parkes’ first gold mines, which operated over 100 years ago. Bushman’s Hill is an enjoyable place to take a walk, with walking tracks to the top of the hill passing by some interesting historical relics. The site is also home to the Wiradjuri Ampitheatre and Garradyang Garden.
The perfect place to stop and relax with amenities, covered BBQ area, picnic facilities, off-leash dog park, play equipment for the kids and idyllic views of Bushman’s dam and the 3075 ‘S’ Class Steam locomotive.
Fun & Adventure
Explore Parkes, Peak Hill, Bogan Gate, Trundle and Tullamore. There is plenty to discover across the Shire.
Plan your own adventure, a weekend escape, family-friendly getaway or just have a day to explore the Shire.
Goobang National Park
Located 30 kilometres north-east of Parkes. It is approximately 42,600 hectares in size, 55 kilometres long and ranges in width from 200 metres to 20 kilometres, forming the largest area of remnant vegetation in the Central West of New South Wales. The Park incorporates Hervey, Curumbenya and Bumberry mountain ranges and surrounding country. Visitors are welcome to undertake passive recreation activities including camping.
Contact NPWS Lachlan Area Office P: 02 6851 4429
Back Yamma State Forest
Located approximately 25kms south of Parkes, the Back Yamma State Forest has a selection of single track and fire trail riding. Free camping, Gas BBQ, pets and horses allowed.
The Black Range
Located in Trundle and is an ideal spot to go bush walking or bird watching. It offers a peaceful and quiet place to enjoy the picnic ground facilities.
Located 13 Kilometres east of Parkes towards Orange. Open to the public for recreational activities and free camping.
Stay, Shop & Eat
Parkes offers quality accommodation options with approximately 1500 bed spaces across a range of motels, hotels, bed & breakfasts, serviced accommodation, cabin and caravan parks. From affordable 3 star motels to brand new modern 4.5 star establishments along with disabled rooms and pet friendly options, there is something to suit all tastes and requirements.
RV Friendly Facilities
Parkes Shire welcomes RV Travellers with plenty of affordable overnight parking, dump facilities and services.
The Parkes town centre is always bustling with activity, as visitors and locals alike enjoy Parkes shopping. Browse through Clarinda Street and its side streets to check out the boutique, gift and variety stores.
Taste it all
Parkes Shire offers a great selection of quality dining options that cater to a diverse range of tastes. Whether you desire a hearty meal from a first class restaurant or a simple yet satisfying snack from one of our stylish cafes and coffee shops.