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You will find much to enthrall you in the Parkes region; it is an ideal destination for an overnight stay or a weeklong visit. Parkes is a great place to stop and explore what the Central West of New South Wales has to offer.

No visit to Parkes would be complete without a visit to its “star” attraction, the CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope – star of the Australian hit movie “The Dish.”

The purpose of the mysterious looking dish can be described as ‘listening to the stars”. Astronomers, curious about the features and working of the universe have used the telescope for more than 40 years. Parkes Radio Telescope is one of Australia’s most prominent landmarks and part of our scientific and engineering heritage.

The Discovery Centre features attractive displays, interactive exhibits, audio visual shows, educational material and souvenirs. The Discovery centre opens daily from 8.30am-4.15pm except Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Admission to the Visitor Centre is free. Phone (02) 6861 1777 for further details. The newly opened Dish Café situated nearby the Telescope offers light meals through to hearty lunches

Enjoy the beautiful aroma of Lavender at Tyndall’s Lavender Corner located just on the outskirts of Parkes. Your friendly hosts Marion and Bob will explain the finer details of lavender and provide a guided tour of the farm. Open daily between 10am – 5pm.

Craft Corner located in Dalton Street provides paintings, pottery, knitwear and jewellery produced by local craftspeople. Open Monday – Saturday (& Public Holiday) 10am -5pm.

For fantastic views of Parkes, take a drive up Memorial Hill (Bushmans Street), one of the highest points in Parkes offering great panoramic views over the shire.

Pioneer Park Antique Machinery Museum allows you to ‘step back in time’ and see agricultural machinery used in the early 1900s. This large collection includes the only Fowler “Reins driven” tractor of its kind in the world! Plus the restored ‘Big Four’ and a wide selection of antique tractors, trucks and farming implements. Located on the Newell 600m north of the Visitor Centre.

Pioneer Park is also the site of the highly anticipated $1.5 million Henry Parkes Museum and replica of the Moat Cottage, the birthplace of Sir Henry Parkes in Coventry (due for completion in late 2006).

Bushmans Hill is the site of one of Parkes’ first Gold Mines, in operation over 100 years ago. Walk to the top of the hill, where you will pass some historical relics and a memorial to those few who have lost their lives to mining in the area.

Parkes Area

NSW and Australia’s demographic centre, Parkes is situated 365km from Sydney, 995 kilometres from Brisbane, 1067 kilometres from Adelaide and 306km from Canberra. The Parkes Shire is made up of the townships of Parkes, as well as the smaller villages of Alectown, Bogan Gate, Peak Hill, Trundle and Tullamore.

From a gold rush town of last century, Parkes has progressed to become a thriving commercial centre servicing a rich argiculture district. From 1959-1961 the CSIRO built the first big-dish antenna radio telescope in the southern hemisphere 26km north of Parkes. One of the world’s most powerful is has played a vital role in the detection of quasars and pulars. Most recently the Parkes Radio Telescope was the star of the popular Australian movie ‘The Dish.’

The topography in the shire can generally be described as flat to undulating. The area forms part of the catchment for two main river systems, the Bogan and the Lachlan Rivers, which are major tributaries of the Murray-Darling Basin System. Most watercourses in the Shire are not permanent, being reduced to a series of waterholes for the majority of the year.

Rainfall varies across the Shire with the eastern part receiving slightly more than the western part. From the rainfall data gathered over the past 104 years the average rainfall per annum is 588 mm.

The shire can experience climatic extremes with typically hot conditions in the summer months and regular frosts in the cool winter months with occasional snow on higher ground. The average daily temperature for the summer is 30 degrees Celsius and in winter 16 degrees Celsius.

Activites and Experiences at Parkes

  • Accommodation
  • Airport
  • Ambulance
  • Automatic Teller Machine
  • Banking Facilities
  • Bottled Gas
  • Chemist
  • Cinema/Theatre
  • Licensed Club
  • Service Club
  • Coach Stop
  • Convention Centre
  • Dentist
  • Electronic Funds Transfer at Point Of Sale
  • Fuel
  • Golf
  • Hospital
  • Public Bar
  • Mechanical Services
  • Medical Facilities
  • National Park
  • Newsagent
  • Police
  • Post Office
  • Public Telephone
  • Rail Terminal
  • Restaurant
  • Sporting Facilities
  • Supermarket
  • Swimming Pool
  • Takeaway Food
  • Tennis Court
  • Visitor Centres
  • Places of Worship
  • English
  • English

Nearest Airport: Parkes Airport

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