Parkes Area

Discover the secrets of the Universe at the world-famous CSIRO Parkes radio telescope, explore beautiful heritage, and enjoy the Elvis Festival, water sports and bushwalking in the beautiful Parkes region in Country NSW. You’ll find many wonderful things to do and see, and plenty of places to stay.

Nicknamed The Dish, the CSIRO Parkes Observatory in Parkes helped broadcast the 1969 Apollo 11 Moon landing, when Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the Moon. You can learn more about astronomy at the observatory’s visitor centre - and savour lunch in The Dish Cafe.

Parkes Dish, Parkes

The Henry Parkes Centre contains fascinating museums and King’s Castle Elvis Exhibit, which displays genuine Elvis Presley artefacts. Slip on your blue suede shoes for the annual Parkes Elvis Festival in January. Hundreds of Elvis impersonators make the journey to this celebration of the music legend.

Check out the events calendar for more festivals and shows, such as the annual Tullibigeal Picnic Races in Condobolin, 70 minutes’ drive west of Parkes. Utes in the Paddock is a marvellous sculpture attraction painted by famous Australian artists and Gum Bend Lake is popular for water sports.

Parkes Elvis Festival, Parkes

Lake Cargelligo, southwest of Condobolin, is a beautiful waterway for kayaking, waterskiiing, fishing and sailing. Part of this wonderful oasis is a bird sanctuary for protected species such as the black swan. The village by the same name is only 90 minutes’ drive north of Griffith, a famous wine region.

A short drive southwest of Parkes is Forbes, a lovely riverside town with heritage buildings that featured in the hit movie The Dish, about the radio telescope and the Moon landing. North of Parkes in Peak Hill and an open-cut heritage gold mine and fossils from the age of the dinosaurs.

Getting to Parkes is easy. The drive from Sydney is five hours, via the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains, Bathurst and Orange. From Canberra it’s a little over three hours. You can travel by train direct from Sydney on Mondays. The flight from Sydney to Parkes Airport is only 65 minutes.

Parkes Airport

Fly into Parkes 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.


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  1. Grazing Down the Lachlan

    Saturday 22 September 2018 , Forbes

    Following the runaway success of 2017, Grazing Down the Lachlan will return to the banks of the Lachlan River near Forbes. Beneath breathtaking river gums, alongside a tranquil river within a stock route that is synonymous with Wiradjuri S…

    22 Sep
  2. Kalari Lachlan River Arts Festival

    Event dates to be confirmed: September 2018 , Forbes

    The Kalari-Lachlan River Arts Festival is a biennial community celebration of country creativity and resilience based in the river town of Forbes, in Central Western NSW. We see it as a regional festival for the entire Kalari-Lachlan Rive…

    23 Sep - 30 Sep
  3. Parkes Country Music Awards

    Event dates to be confirmed: September 2018 , Parkes

    Enjoy the excellent line up of professional and guest artists whilst enjoying the jam-packed festival program including street busking and competitions, Family Muster, Gospel Service, free entertainment, Music Awards, Australian Country …

    29 Sep - 01 Oct
  4. Tottenham Gymkhana

    Saturday 06 October 2018 to Saturday 05 October 2019 , Condobolin

    Tottenham Horse Sports and Gymkhana has been held annually for over 40 years, and they know what it takes to have a great day. There are events for all of the family, from tug-o-wars and horse events, to quick shear and track events. Where…

    06 Oct - 05 Oct
  5. Parkes Antique Motor Club Annual Swap Meet

    Saturday 13 October 2018 , Parkes

    The Annual Swap Meet is one of the premium events of its kind in NSW, an event not to be missed. This event caters for veteran, vintage, classic, modern, sports cars and motorcycles. This meet also attracts many stall holders providing a …

    13 Oct