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 rural town famous for its bushranger history is situated among farmland on the Lachlan River, 33 km south-west of Parkes.
Bushranger Ben Hall and his gang started to "work" the area around Forbes in the early 1860s, and tales of his exploits have passed into folklore. Hall is remembered alternately as a charming rogue and a vicious outlaw. Either way, Hall's reign was short-lived – he was brought down in a shower of bullets in 1865. Today, Forbes is an agricultural centre for wheat, sheep, dairy and fruit.
If you’re looking for a country break, there are plenty of things to do in and around Forbes. Tour the town on foot and admire some fine examples of 19th-century architecture and visit Ben Hall's grave in the cemetery. Browse through the vintage cars in McFeeter's Motor Museum which also has a cafe and a cellar door for tasting local wines. You can even stock up on delicious honey produced locally by Superbee Honey. Go birdwatching in the Gum Swamp Bird Hide, a wetland sanctuary just 4 km from Forbes that's home to more than 158 bird species. At Jemalong Weir, 24 km from Forbes, go bushwalking, swimming and picnicking.
Lake Forbes is a natural lagoon with 4.8km of walking and cycle tracks, abundant birdlife, shady picnic areas and playgrounds for the kids.
A popular annual event is the Forbes Camel Races held on Good Friday, which brings together all the fun of a country race meeting, with camels, yabbies and guinea pigs taking to the track.
ANZAC memorial and Forbes Town Hall
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
Forbes Chinese Memorial Garden. Image Don Fuchs