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. Yellow Mountain Cross Country Motor Bike Race

    Saturday 04 August 2018 to Sunday 05 August 2018 , Condobolin

    The Yellow Mountain Cross Country is a two day event consisting of approximately 220 kilometres each day. It is run the first weekend of August each year. Racing between the townships of Condobolin and Tottenham in western NSW, it is run …

    04 Aug - 05 Aug
  2. Tullamore Agricultural Show

    Friday 10 August 2018 to Saturday 11 August 2018 , Parkes

    The annual Tullamore Agricultural Show offers all the usual pavilion exhibits including ring events, side show alley, horse and show jumping events, livestock judging, crop competition, speed shearing competition, poultry and also the Champ…

    10 Aug - 11 Aug
  3. Trundle Agricultural Show

    Tuesday 14 August 2018 to Wednesday 15 August 2018 , Parkes

    The Trundle Agricultural Show offers two days of ring events with horse and cattle events and judging, pavilion exhibits, presentation of Miss Showgirl, the side show alley and more. Come and enjoy a day out and have a true country experi…

    14 Aug - 15 Aug
  4. Peak Hill Agricultural Show

    Tuesday 21 August 2018 to Wednesday 22 August 2018 , Peak Hill

    The Peak Hill Agricultural Show offers two days of ring events, cattle and horse events and judging, side show alley, dog show, spectacular fireworks display and pavilion exhibits, presentation of the Showgirl competition plus much more. …

    21 Aug - 22 Aug
  5. Condobolin Annual Show

    Friday 24 August 2018 to Saturday 25 August 2018 , Condobolin

    The Show Society conducts the annual Condobolin Show in late August, hosting competitive classes for horses (six rings including Showjumping and ASHS), Merino sheep and fleeces, cattle, poultry, agricultural produce, fruit and vegetables, c…

    24 Aug - 25 Aug
  6. Parkes Agricultural Show

    Tuesday 28 August 2018 to Wednesday 29 August 2018 , Parkes

    The Parkes Show is one of the largest agricultural shows west of the Blue Mountains. The Parkes Show is held each August running over three days and two nights with plenty of entertainment, side shows and trade stands along with a spectacu…

    28 Aug - 29 Aug