Explore the galaxy and beyond at The Dish, the CSIRO Parkes radio telescope that helped broadcast the 1969 Moon landing. In the delightful town of Parkes, discover fascinating heritage at the Henry Parkes Centre and slip on your blue suede shoes for the annual Parkes Elvis Festival in January.

  • Parkes Elvis Festival - Image Parkes Shire Council
  • The Dish - Image Parkes Shire Council

About Parkes

From the world-famous radio telescope, nicknamed The Dish, to the rich agricultural and mining heritage and the fun Parkes Elvis Festival, Parkes is wonderful destination. This beautiful town was named after Sir Henry Parkes, a colonial politician credited as the father of Australia’s federation.

The CSIRO Parkes radio telescope supported receiving the television signal of the July 1969 Apollo 11 Moon landing and, along with NASA’s antenna at Honeysuckle Creek near Canberra, ‘played a key role in televising one of humanity’s most significant achievements,’ according to the CSIRO.

Parkes Dish - Image Parkes Shire Council

You can visit the observatory’s visitor centre and discover more about the telescope’s many world firsts. Browse the shop for souvenirs and enjoy a delicious meal and great views of the telescope from The Dish Cafe. Or take advantage of the free gas barbecues and cook your own lunch.

At the impressive Henry Parkes Centre are many fascinating things to do and see including a historical museum, a motor museum and the King’s Castle Elvis Exhibit, which displays Elvis Presley artefacts. You can travel on a special train from Sydney for the annual Elvis Festival in January.

Parkes Statue - Image Parkes Shire Council

Gold fever struck the Parkes region in 1861. Explore the districts goldmining heritage on one of the Gold Trails and on the self-drive Modern Mining Trail. The picturesque town of the Forbes is 25 minutes’ drive southwest of Parkes and Peak Hill’s open-cut mine experience is 35 minutes north.

Accommodation options suit various budgets and range from caravan parks to motels, bed and breakfasts, cottages, classic country pubs and a boutique hotel. A scenic drive northwest of Parkes is the Trundle Hotel, a heritage-listed pub with the longest veranda in NSW. The pub was built in 1912.

Fly into Parkes Airport

Family at the 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.

Discover the Magic of Parkes Shire

Discover the magic of Parkes Shire... From the heights of Goobang National Park to the plains of wheat and country villages, Parkes Shire boasts many sights to see - some well known and others waiting to be discovered.


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