Rich in gold-mining history and the site of the biggest gold robbery in Australia's history, Forbes is renowned for its connections with notorious bushrangers Ben Hall and Frank Gardiner. Find out more on the town's heritage trail.
This prosperous Country NSW town, famous for its bushranger history, sits amid farmland on the Lachlan River, 33 km south-west of Parkes.
Bushranger Ben Hall and his gang started to âwork' the area around Forbes in the early 1860s, and tales of his exploits have passed into folklore. Hall's reign was short-lived â he was brought down in a shower of bullets in 1865. Today, Forbes is an agricultural centre for wheat, sheep, dairy and fruit.
There are plenty of things to do in Forbes. Tour the town on foot and admire some fine examples of 19th-century architecture and visit Ben Hall's grave. Browse through the vintage cars in McFeeter's Motor Museum, which also has a cafe and a cellar door for tasting local wines. Lake Forbes is a natural lagoon with 4.8 km of walking and cycle tracks, abundant birdlife, shady picnic areas and playgrounds for the kids.
Elsewhere in the Parkes area, go birdwatching in the Gum Swamp and Bird Hide, a wetland sanctuary just 4 km from Forbes that's home to more than 150 bird species. At Jemalong Weir, 24 km from Forbes, go bushwalking, swimming and picnicking.
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Fly into Parkes Airport
Parkes Airport is located 5 km from the Parkes’ town centre. Use the taxi services to make the short trip east. 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.
ANZAC memorial and Forbes Town Hall. Image Don Fuchs
Angle Statue in Forbes cemetary, Central NSW. Image Don Fuchs
Bridge over Lake Forbes, Central NSW. Image Don Fuchs
Church in Forbes, part of the Forbes Heritage Walk.
Forbes Chinese Memorial Garden. Image Don Fuchs