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
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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.

THINGS TO DO AND PLACES TO STAY

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Events

  1. Lake Cargelligo Museum Open Weekend

    Saturday 09 June 2018 to Monday 11 June 2018 , Condobolin

    The Lake Cargelligo Museum Open Weekend is on the June Long Weekend every year, and displays a museum full of local history, tractors and engines, as well as a unique 'must see' live exhibition of draught horses demonstrating how farming wa…

    09 Jun - 11 Jun
  2. Peak Hill Arts and Craft Exhibition

    Saturday 09 June 2018 to Sunday 10 June 2018 , Peak Hill

    This annual June Long Weekend event caters for all craft enthusiasts at the Peak Hill Arts and Craft Exhibition. See patchwork, cake decorating, art, folk art, pottery, spinning, tatting, candle wicking, precious metal clay and silver s…

    09 Jun - 10 Jun
  3. Lake Cargelligo Arts and Crafts Exhibition

    Saturday 09 June 2018 to Monday 11 June 2018 , Condobolin

    Lake Cargelligo's Arts and Crafts Society hosts the annual Blue Waters Arts and Crafts Exhibition in Lake Cargelligo on the June Long Weekend. The exhibition includes paintings, sewing, patchwork quilts, glass work, wood work, cross stitch…

    09 Jun - 11 Jun
  4. Parkes Picnic Races

    Saturday 09 June 2018 , Parkes

    Come along and be a part of the fashions, fun and festivities that make the June long weekend in Parkes the social highlight of the year! At the Parkes Picnic Races there will be loads of entertainment with a great day of racing, live mus…

    09 Jun
  5. Condo Cook Up

    Sunday 10 June 2018 , Condobolin

    ***Event postponed until later in the year, further details to follow*** The Condo Cook Up will introduce the community and tourists to quality meat smoking. It will include local producers of beer, wine and cider together with demonstrat…

    10 Jun