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See Canberra/South Canberra for the Parkes in the ACT

Parkes is in town and service centre in Central West NSW. Its main claim to fame has traditionally been the large radio telescope located just outside the town. The telescope was featured in the 2000 movie The Dish. The town also hosts an annual Elvis Festival, attracting visitors and impersonators from a distance. Apart from these two features, the town is a somewhat sleepy and attractive country town. Well worth a stop off or a weekend away.



The town of Parkes was renamed from Bushman's Lead following visit by Sir Henry Parkes (known as the father of Australian Federation). The connection to Parkes is tenuous - he was born in England, and lived in Sydney, and delivered is most famous speech in Tenterfield. Still, you can find a statue of Henry (looking every bit like a founding father) surrounded by a pretty fountain in downtown Parkes.

Get in


Parkes is around 450 km west of Sydney, 99km west of Orange and 110km south of Dubbo.

By car


Parkes can be reached by going 110 km south of Dubbo using A39 (Newell Highway)

By plane


Scheduled commercial flights from Sydney. Charter also available. Car hire facilities are available at the airport. Book ahead to make sure there is someone to meet you.

By train


Parkes is rather inconveniently accessible by train, with the Broken Hill train making a stop there weekly. NSW TrainLink Coaches connect from Orange on the Dubbo XPT train on other days.

Parkes gets its own direct train services from Sydney for the Elvis Festival. But book well in advance for these. They are an experience in themselves.

Get around



Sir Henry Parkes Statue
  • 1 Radio Telescope. The Radio Telescope is well worth a visit and is the first telescope to detect signals from the moon back in 1969. There is a small museum with some stuff of interest to kids. There is a cafe with decent coffee and sandwiches. But the spot itself with the telescope and the wide-country and blue sky is quite special on a sunny day - even if you have no interest in space or telescopes. free - although you can pay to watch a short film when you arrive.
  • Elvis Museum. The Elvis Museum is located adjacent to the tourist information centre. It really is set up for those who are really into Elvis before they visit. It's a collection of memorabilia of the life of The King, but not a place to discover his music or start your learning about him.
  • 2 Memorial Hill Lookout. A lookout made in memory of Sir Henry Parkes.
  • Henry Parkes Centre, 66/78 Newell Hwy, toll-free: 1800 624 435.
  • 3 Old Parkes Post Office, 39 Currajong St.
  • 4 Sir Henry Parkes Statue, Cnr, Clarinda and Welcome St.


  • Elvis Festival.










  • 1 The Railway Hotel & Hart Bar Parkes, 1-3 Caledonia St, +61 417 537 650.
  • 2 Parkes Railway Bowling Club, Unit 70/28 Hooley St, +61 2 6862 2772.





Go next

  • Dubbo is around an hour drive north via the A39.
  • Orange is an hour east of Parkes via the former State Route 90.
This city travel guide to Parkes is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.