Peak Hill

In this historic goldmining town, try your luck panning for gold, explore a famous open-cut gold mine and discover a giant fish from the age of the dinosaurs. Gold was discovered in the district in 1889, with the Peak Hill gold mine operating between 1893 and 1917, and 1996 and 2002.

On the Peak Hill Open Cut Experience enjoy free self-guided walking trails, a bridge over a section of old mine workings, viewing platforms over five open cuts and spectacular vistas from the hilltops. Guided tours are available for groups of 10 or more.

Lavender growing on Caswell Street in Peak Hill, near Parkes

Big Fish Fossil Hut holds a collection of fossilised creatures dating back hundreds of millions of years, including a fish 4.5 metres long and the skull of an ancestor of the Tyrannosaurus rex. The fossilised fish is called Xiphactinus, a fierce bony fish that lived during the age of dinosaurs.

Other things to do include the Burrabadine walking track, near the Greenbah campground in the Goobang National Park. The 4km return walk winds through the Sawpit Gully fire trail to the top of the Burrabadine Peak in the Herveys Range – the views are beautiful, and the birdlife is abundant.

View of Goobang National Park from Burrabadine Peak, near Peak Hill

Nearby attractions include the CSIRO Parkes radio telescope and the Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo. There’s a range of places to stay in Peak Hill. Enjoy the country hospitality at caravan parks, motels and the Club House Hotel, a classic country pub built in 1913.

Peak Hill is only 30 minutes’ drive from Parkes and 45 minutes from Dubbo. From Canberra, the drive is four hours; and from Sydney, it’s five hours, via Bathurst and Orange. You can travel from Sydney by train, with a connecting bus; or fly into Parkes or Dubbo and rent a car.