Parkes Area


Parkes' star turn

Situated on undulating plains west of the Great Dividing Range, Parkes is a great place to uncover the secrets of quasars, galaxies and pulsars at the CSIRO's radio telescope, better known as 'The Dish'.

  • Henry Parkes Sculpture

About Parkes

When Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon in 1969, it was the CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope that broadcast the event around the world. Now visitors travel to this Country NSW destination to learn about the radio telescope as well as astronomy.

Apart from galactic mysteries, Parkes itself is also an excellent base for exploring the Central West region, which has an interesting bushranger history and a long tradition as a goldmining centre. At Escort Rock, Eugowra, near Forbes, see where bushranger Frank Gardiner and his gang staged Australia's biggest gold heist. Visit Peak Hill's historic goldmine, enjoy water sports at Lake Cargelligo, and don't miss the climb up Mt Tilga near Condobolin.

Explore the abundance of things to do in the Parkes area, and consider scheduling your visit during one of the fabulous events. Elvis Presley fans should look out for the annual Parkes Elvis Festival, which attracts more than 18,000 visitors, so be sure to have your accommodation sorted. If you miss it, there is also a memorial for The King on his birthday in August.

Fly into Parkes Airport

Family at the airport

Parkes Airport is located 5 km from Parkes’ town centre. Use the taxi services to make the short trip west. Alternatively, rent a car from the hire services available at the airport and explore the region at your own pace.

Regional Express services the airport with around 18 weekly direct flights to and from Sydney. For other major Australian cities, connect via Sydney to travel into Parkes.

Discover the Magic of Parkes Shire

Discover the magic of Parkes Shire... 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.


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Local areas

  • Condobolin At Condobolin, relax by the Lachlan River, explore Aboriginal art and see the CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope.
  • Forbes Forbes was the site of Australia's biggest gold robbery, led by notorious bushrangers Ben Hall and Frank Gar
  • Parkes Parkes is famous for the CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope (aka 'The Dish') as well as its annual Elvis Festival.
  • Peak Hill Peak Hill has a rich mining history. Pan for gold at Peak Hill Goldmine as part of the Open Cut Experience.