Parkes - Cities, Towns and Localities
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.
From 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
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.
Parkes Visitor Information Centre
Cnr Newell Highway and Thomas Street
PARKES NSW 2870
Ph: 02 6862 4365
Fax: 02 6862 1023
• 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.
• 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
• Entry is from the eastern end of Bushman
• 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
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.
• Dalton St, PARKES NSW 2870 • Ph: 02 6862
• 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.
• 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.
• Newell Hwy, about 20 km north of Parkes
• Ph: 02 6861 1777
• Fax: 02 6861 1770
• One of Parkes new main attractions, made even more famous
by the movie ‘The Dish’, and attracting visitors from around
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.
Peak Hill Open Cut Experience
• Ph: 02 6869 1634
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.
Hill’s Zoological Art Gallery
• Newell Hwy • Ph: 02
• 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
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
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.
• New South Wales Events
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.
• Usually held towards the end of August • Parkes
• 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.
Distance to Parkes
• Following are some approximate distances by
road to Parkes:
Distances given are only approximation, they should be verified with the appropriate
Australian Automotive Motoring Associations also offer select access to travel trip planners.
• The Parkes Shire is located on the western Edge
of the Great Dividing Range within the Central Slopes and Plains
region of New South Wales. It covers an area of 5919 square
kilometres with the town of Parkes being the major urban centre,
followed by Peak Hill. The other major centres are Bogan Gate,
Trundle and Tullamore in the west of the Shire.
Parkes Historical Society
• Pioneer Park, Newell Hwy, PARKES NSW 2870 • Ph: 02 6862 3509 •
• The Society manages the
Henry Parkes museum collection and the Pioneer Park antique machinery