Unearth Parkes NSW
Take a step away from the everyday and make a cosmic leap to the Parkes Region with our playful events, colourful landscapes, rich history, and dreamy night skies.
Enjoy our unique events and festivals including the internationally renowned Parkes Elvis Festival celebrating the King of Rock n Roll, held annually the second week of January and the Trundle ABBA Festival in October.
Learn about space and science and tune into the universe with a visit to the iconic CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope and Discovery Centre, made famous by its involvement with the Apollo 11 moon landing and movie, ‘The Dish’.
Discover history and culture at the Henry Parkes Centre, home to four museums or tour the Peak Hill Open Cut Tourist Gold Mine, with amazing 360 degrees views across the pretty rural landscapes.
Shop and eat in Parkes with a wide range of dining options and pick up some unique gifts and local produce at one of the many retail outlets and boutique stores.
Stay in a range of quality accommodation options including BnB’s, motels, cabins, or secluded farm stays. Parkes is well equipped with RV friendly facilities and quiet and spacious caravan parks and campgrounds.
Have fun and adventure in our picturesque parks, recreational facilities, high-class off-road cycling trails and nature-based experiences including Goobang National Park, Kelly Reserve, Bushman’s Hill and Bumberry Dam.
Ask a Local
Everyone loves The Dish. The movie gave it a personality that is as important as its function. But much less well-known is the natural beauty of the Goobang National Park. People speed past on the Newell with no idea of what they’re missing.
48 Hours in Parkes
Parkes doesn’t mind being associated with slow-lane tourism, because there’s plenty here to slow you down. Particularly if you like a dash of history in your travels. To get your bearings, take the short drive to the top of Memorial Hill to salute the Shrine of Remembrance and admire the dramatic views over Parkes and its surrounding farmland. Nearby Bushman’s Hill is the site of one of the area’s first gold mines, and the walking trails to the top reveal fascinating relics of the mining days. In town, much of the history and heritage is to be found in the many antique and curio stores, but Sir Henry Parkes who gave his name to the town still strikes a commanding presence at the intersection of Welcome and Clarinda Streets (Clarinda was the name of his wife). The Henry Parkes Centre on the northern fringe of town houses four museums honouring different facets of heritage from different eras. There’s the local historical museum, an antique machinery display, a vintage car and motorcycle collection, and the biggest collection of Elvis Presley memorabilia in the Southern Hemisphere. “Always On My Mind,” says curator Greg Page.
Head north on the Newell Highway to the Parkes Radio Telescope (20kms). There are an astronomical number of displays, exhibits and theatre presentations, plus a fine cafe. Remain on the Newell Highway till you reach Peak Hill (48kms from Parkes), a town synonymous with gold and which still offers a tourist gold mine experience with five impressive open cuts, walking trails and viewing platforms. Also visit the Big Fish Fossil Hut which displays fossilised species that have lived in Eastern Australia in the past 700 million years. Return to Parkes on the old road from Peak Hill through the emblematic Aussie country towns of Tullamore, Trundle and Bogan Gate. Pass up the opportunity, and you could become the first person to visit Trundle and not have a drink at the iconic National Trust-listed Trundle Hotel.
In 1993, 200 Elvis tragics attended the first Elvis Festival in Parkes. Today, it attracts more than 25,000. Some come from Sydney on the Elvis Express packed with faithfuls already sporting their dyed Pompadour hairstyles and blue suede shoes. On the second week of January each year, Parkes doesn’t just rock, it shakes, rattles and rolls as well.
They must have had bigger expectations for little Trundle, with a population of around 650. Its landmark hotel has the longest wooden veranda in NSW, at 87.6 metres. And it overlooks the widest main street in Australia, at 66 metres.
PARKES FOOD & WINE OPTIONS
- Bella’s Cafe & Licensed Italian Restaurant, 245 Clarinda St. 02 6862 4212
- IKON, Hotel Gracelands, 7-9 Bushman St. 02 6862 6236
- Cafenate, 249 Clarinda St. 02 6862 2177
- Dish Cafe, Parkes Radio Telescope. 02 6862 1566
- Bent Restaurant, 10-14 Court St. 02 6862 3844
- Coachman Hotel/Motel Restaurant, cnr Welcome & Dalton Sts. 02 6862 2622
- Station Cafe & Restaurant, 82 Newell Highway. 02 6862 8444
- Hart Bar at The Railway Hotel, May St. 02 6862 1553
- The Royal Hotel, 217 Clarinda St. 02 6862 2039
PARKES’ BEST BITE
There are some very good dishes at Dish Cafe at The Dish – Parkes’ famous radio telescope … but don’t miss the legendary gourmet beef and red wine pie. Out of this world!