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Parkes

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Parkes - Cities, Towns and Localities
A settlement known as Bushman was established in the vicinity of Parkes by a Mr Bush who made a substantial gold find in the area. It wasn’t long before there were 30 stamper batteries working 24 hours a day to extract the gold from the rich soil.

From 1871 to 1873 about 1,400 kg of gold was extracted. A hotel was quickly established, followed by a court of petty sessions, another hotel, a bank, a Methodist Church and a public school.

In 1873 Henry Parkes, Governor of NSW, was to visit what had become one of NSW’s most profitable goldfields in, and at the end of the year, Bushmans was renamed Parkes in honour of Henry Parkes. Then in 1887 the main street was named Clarinda Street in honour of his wife.
 
Parkes Radio TelescopeFrom it’s gold rush heritage, Parkes has become a thriving commercial centre servicing a rich agricultural district. From 1959-1961 the CSIRO built the first big-dish antenna radio telescope in the southern hemisphere. One of the world’s most powerful telescope of it’s kind, it has played a vital role in the detection of quasars and pulsars. More recently the Parkes Radio Telescope starred in the Australian movie ‘The Dish’.

The region forms part of the catchment for two main river systems, the Bogan and the Lachlan Rivers, which are major tributaries of the Murray-Darling Basin System. Most of the watercourses in the Shire are not permanent, being reduced to a series of waterholes for most of the year.

Parkes is 365 km from Sydney, 995 km from Brisbane, 1,067 km from Adelaide and 306 km from Canberra.

Check out our listing of Parkes accommodation. In addition to our listed online travel guide information, contact the local tourism visitor centre for your destination for more attractions, tours, local maps and other information.
Information Centre Parkes Visitor Information Centre
Cnr Newell Highway and Thomas Street
PARKES NSW 2870
Ph: 02 6862 4365
Fax: 02 6862 1023
Email
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Parkes Attractions

Bushman’s Hill
• Entry from Wentworth St or Newell Hwy, PARKES NSW 2870
• The site of one of Parkes’ first gold mines over 100 years ago. Take a walk to the top of the hill, where you will pass historical relics and a memorial to those who have lost their lives in the North Parkes Mine.
Goobang National Park
• Located only 30 km north east of Parkes • Contact: NSW Parks & Wildlife Forbes
• Goobang National Park is one of the state’s newest national parks, covering a region of about 42,600 hectares in size. It is 55 km long and ranges in width from 200 m to 20 km, 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 the surrounding country.

Goobang National Park can be accessed via a number of roads, including the Tomingley-Yeoval Road in the north, the Parkes-Manildra Road in the south and from Peak Hill along the Baldry Road in the centre.

There are a number of recreational activities such as bushwalking, bird watching and camping. More than 300 plant species have been recorded in the park, including 40 species of orchids. You can pick up a brochures are available from the Visitor Information Centres in Peak Hill and Parkes.


Kelly Reserve
• Located on the western side of the Newell Hwy on the northern outskirts of town
• Contains an old steam locomotive, BBQs, play facilities and Bushman’s Dam, which was originally created to supply water to the miners of Bushman’s Hill on the other side of the highway. Farmers used the dam to replenish water for their stock in droughts and it remained the town’s water supply until a reticulated system was introduced. The visitor centre is also located here.
Memorial Hill
• Entry is from the eastern end of Bushman Street
• The ‘Shrine of Remembrance’ provides magnificent panoramic views of Parkes and the surrounding valleys. Dedicated in November 1953 to the men and women who made the supreme sacrifice during the World Wars and subsequent tours of duty, the shrine at 35 m high, is topped by a beacon light.
Mungincobie Wheat Complex
• Located 8 km from Parkes on the Eugowra Rd
• For weekday visits, arrangements can be made at the visitors centre. The computerised Mungincoble Wheat Terminal complex is a storage centre covering 2 ha and holding 4 million bushels.
Olympic Pool
• Dalton St, PARKES NSW 2870 • Ph: 02 6862 6001
• What better place to spend those warm summer days but in this 50 m swimming pool. Located 400 m from the shopping centre, the pool is gas and solar heated.
Parkes Motor Museum
• Cnr Dalton and Bogan Sts, PARKES NSW 2870 • Ph: 02 6862 1975
 • The museum contains a selection of historic cars and motorcycles dating from 1912 to 1954. Entry is via the Craft Centre or nursery.
Parkes Observatory
• Newell Hwy, about 20 km north of Parkes • Ph: 02 6861 1777 • Fax: 02 6861 1770 • Email
• One of Parkes new main attractions, made even more famous by the movie ‘The Dish’, and attracting visitors from around the world.

Astronomers, curious about the universe have used this telescope for over 40 years. The CSIRO Astronomy Education and newly refurbished Visitors Centre features interactive exhibits and audio-visuals including a 3D audio-visual. The Centre also provides a relaxed reading environment featuring historical and contemporary information. The outdoor displays in the beautified grounds are unique and entertaining. A large shelter and gas BBQ are available for use, with sensational views of the Telescope.
The Peak Hill Open Cut Experience
• Ph: 02 6869 1634
• The historic mine operated between 1893 and 1917 producing about 60,000 ounces from 500,000 tonnes of rock. Alkane excavated for gold on the site between 1996 and 2002 retrieving 145,000 ounces from 4.9 million tonnes. While much of the historic operations were consumed by recent mining activity, Alkane Exploration has managed to preserve some of the old workings. ‘The Open Cut Experience’ includes both historic works and the more recent mines. There are daily guided tours and self-guided tours.
Peak Hill’s Zoological Art Gallery
• Newell Hwy • Ph: 02 6869 1066
• Peak Hill is a small town half way between Dubbo and Parkes. There is a giant mine model and the museum covering the history of gold mining in Peak Hill. The art gallery features both local and artists and works from artists throughout the central west of NSW.
Pioneer Park Antique Machinery Museum
• Pioneer Park–Newell Hwy, PARKES NSW 2870 • Ph: 02  6862 3509
• There are displays of tractors, harvesters and equipment used in days gone by on many of the region’s farms. The only ‘Reins Tractor’ in Australia is housed at the museum and the ‘Big Four’ is another unusual pieces of machinery in the collection.
Tyndall’s Lavender Corner
• Cnr Tanks and Wellington Rds, PARKES NSW 2870 • Ph: 02 6862 3632
• Visitors are welcome to stroll through the lavender and rose gardens of this lavender farm. There are also lavender products and plants for sale. Phone ahead to enquire if they are open.
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Parkes Events

New South Wales Events
Parkes Elvis Revival Festival
• Held annually in early January
• Held at various Locations around Parkes such as Gracelands Function Centre and the main street, Clarinda Street. Each January the town of Parkes comes to alive with the sounds of hip-swivelling Elvis impersonators and fans alike. The weekend usually includes markets, look-a-likes, sound-a-likes, talent quests, rock ‘n’ roll concerts, memorabilia displays, street parades and more. There is something for everyone. Information can be had from the Parkes Visitor Information Centre.
Parkes Show
• Usually held towards the end of August • Parkes Showground
• Contact: Parkes Visitor Information Centre • Show Office: 61 Welcome St, PARKES NSW 2870
• Ph: 02 6862 2580 (Office) • Ph: 02 6863 4416 (Showground) • Fax: 6862 2580
• This annual show has something for everyone, from horticulture, cooking, horses, sheep, pigeons, arts and craft, homemade preserves, agriculture produce, pets, competitions and catching up with old friends or making new ones.
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Parkes Distance

Distance to Parkes
• Following are some approximate distances by road to Parkes:
  Km
Bathurst 155
• Condobolin 102
Cowra 105
Dubbo 120
Forbes 32
Molong 78
  Km
Narromine 105
Orange 100
Sydney 354
West Wyalong 137
Wellington 169
Young 149
Distances given are only approximation, they should be verified with the appropriate maps.
The Australian Automotive Motoring Associations also offer select access to travel trip planners.

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Parkes Other Links

• Parkes Community/Local Government Links
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