Attractions

  • The Dish

    Address:
    585 Telescope Rd, Parkes NSW 2870, Australia .

    Admission to the Discovery Centre is free. There is a small charge to view the 3D Theatre.

    The CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope, star of the movie 'The Dish,' (2000) is one of Australia's most prominent landmarks and a must-see attraction on every driving holiday through inland NSW.  As portrayed in the movie, the giant dish stands impressively over surrounding farmlands - a sophisticated piece of scientific equipment ironically in the middle of sheep paddocks!  Located 20km north of Parkes, The Dish is a short 5km detour off the Newell Highway. You can walk almost right up to it and marvel at the 64 metre steel paraboloid, elegantly balanced atop a three storey concrete tower.

    Built virtually in the shadow of The Dish, the Visitor Discovery Centre is where visitors are invited to explore the world of astronomy and discover what role The Dish plays in 'listening to the stars'.

    The Centre features many displays, as well as hands on exhibits.  The Dish Shop features a range of astronomy and space science books, DVD's, science toys and  souvenirs. There is a 3D theatre that has recently been upgraded to high definition and runs every half hour.

    The Dish Cafe can cater for your culinary needs or there are free BBQ and picnic facilities. Of course the biggest attraction is a great view of the Dish.  The Cafe is open 7 days for breakfast, lunch, morning and afternoon teas - or just a coffee.

  • The Henry Parkes Centre

    Address:
    66/78 Newell Hwy, Parkes NSW 2870 .

    Located on Newell Highway (North)

    The Henry Parkes Centre is a modern tourism complex and cultural precinct located on the northern side of town, incorporating 4 museums and the Parkes Visitor Information Centre.

    The Henry Parkes Centre is a modern tourism complex and cultural precinct located on the northern side of town, incorporating:

    • Parkes Visitor Information Centre
    • The King's Castle Elvis Exhibit
    • Parkes Motor Museum
    • Henry Parkes Museum
    • Antique Machinery Collection

    Call into the Visitor Information Centre to have your photo taken with a life-sized Elvis, learn more about the area, grab a free map, a cold drink or ice cream and a Parkes souvenir to commemorate your trip.

    The King's Castle Elvis Exhibit and Parkes Motor Museum adjoin the Visitor Information Centre and one pass gains entry to both of these impressive collections.

    A separate admission gains you access to the Henry Parkes Museum and Antique Machinery Collection featuring exhibits from traditional family history collections and agricultural machinery and equipment.

  • Parkes Aviation Museum

    Address:
    Muzycuk Dr, Parkes NSW 2870 .

    Open Thursday and Sunday, 9:30am - 3:30pm. Children $2, Adults $5 and Family $10.

    The Parkes Aviation Museum is located at the end of Muzycuk Drive at Parkes Airport. It is currently housed in a former RAAF hangar from the airport’s time as a World War Two air force base.

    Parkes has a long history in aviation, the first aircraft to land at Parkes was a Sopwith Camel piloted by aviation pioneer Sydney Pickles in 1919.

    During WW2, Parkes airport became RAAF Base Parkes, accommodating No.1 Air Navigation School, No.2 Wireless Air Gunners School, No.8 Operational Training Unit and after the war No.87 SQN operated from Parkes. Did you know – former PM Gough Whitlam graduated from Parkes as a Flying Officer navigator?

    Parkes Aero Club, formed in 1948, still operates from its historic ex-RAAF COMMCEN building.

    Parkes has been used as a storage facility for the Historic Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) since 1975 and is currently being transformed into an aviation museum in its own right by a range of local and HARS volunteers.

    Exhibits on display or being assembled include a Bell AH-1 Huey Cobra, De Havilland DHC-4 Caribou (A4-275), De Havilland DH.114 Heron (VH – AHB) and  Convair 580 (VH-PDW).

    Students from Parkes High School are working with HARS volunteers to restore a GAF Jindivik (A92-22) and Lockheed 12 Electra Junior for display and HARS members are currently working to relocate a Lockheed P2V Neptune to Parkes.

  • Memorial Hill

    Address:
    Bushman Street, Parkes NSW, Australia .

    Memorial Hill is located on Bushman Street.

    Memorial Hill provides the best vantage point for magnificent views over Parkes and the surrounding farmlands. It is the most visible landmark in town, with its 33-metre high Shrine of Remembrance standing high over Parkes. The hill offers the opportunity for a leisurely bush walk around the monument surrounds, or a picnic in Rotary Park and adventure playground on the northern side of the hill.

    It is undoubtedly the most significant symbol of wartime history in Parkes and attracts many visitors each year to pay their respects to fallen soldiers, and enjoy the serenity of the surrounding area.

    Construction began in the 1920s, and since then it has come to recognise multiple conflicts including World War II, Korean and Vietnam wars.

    In 2014, Parkes Shire Council commenced work to restore the memorial and rejuvenate the surrounding precinct.

    Vehicle access is available during daylight hours. Pedestrian access is unlimited.

  • Peak Hill Open Cut Experience

    Address:
    Mingelo St, Peak Hill NSW 2869, Australia .

    Located just 400 metres from the main street of Peak Hill, Caswell Street, this open cut gold mine provides a great example of mining techniques used historically and today.

    The historic Peak Hill mine operated between 1893 and 1917 producing about 60,000 ounces from 500,000 tonnes of rock. Alkane re-excavated for gold on the site between 1996 and 2002 retrieving 145,000 ounces gold from 4.9 million tonnes of rock.

    While most of the historic operations were consumed by the recent mining activity, some of the old workings have been preserved.

    The Open Cut Experience includes both the historic works and the more recent mines with several walking paths and viewing platforms having been constructed.

    The Peak Hill Open Cut gold mine was re-developed in 2002 as a Tourist Mine - a unique attraction located on the Newell Highway in the quaint town of Peak Hill.  In September 2007, Parkes Shire Council signed an agreement with lease-holder Alkane Exploration committing to keep the project running, through Council operating the tourist arm of the mine.

    Located in an elevated and pleasant bush setting, just 400 metres from the town centre, the Peak Hill Open Cut Experience forms an imposing backdrop to the township.

    This is a walking experience which requires a low to moderate level of fitness to complete most of the trails but, for less active visitors, there is "easy access" to the main viewing platform and a pleasant, flat return walk along the "low wall" of the main open cut with spectacular views across to the "high wall".

    General Entry

    Self-guided tours are now available daily (FREE ENTRY) between 9 am and 4 pm (closed Christmas Day & Good Friday).

    General Entry gives visitors access to picnic areas, and walking trails.

    Group Guided Tours

    Group guided tours (more than 10 people) are offered all year round by appointment (subject to Guide availability). These guided tours allow visitors to gain a greater understanding of the mine, its history and methods used.  Guided tour groups are also able to access gold panning facilities (at a small additional cost).

    On the Digger Tour the guide will take you across fascinating historic gold mine workings, and around the rim of the open cut pits.

    Group tours are available to groups of 10 or more people. Must be pre-booked by calling the Parkes Visitor Information Centre on 02 6862 6000. Allow a minimum of 2 hours for guided tours. Cost: Adult $10 Concession/Student $8

    Conditions of Entry

    • Children aged under 15 years must be accompanied by an adult
    • Concession includes pensioner, senior and student card holder
  • Australia's Award Winning ELVIS FESTIVAL

    Address:
    Parkes New South Wales, Australia .

    The iconic Parkes Elvis Festival is a celebration of the life and music of Elvis Presley held annually in Parkes, NSW, in the second week of January to coincide with the birthday of The King.

    From Wednesday to Sunday more than 150 events take place at venues in and around Parkes. The Festival attracts headline international and national Elvis tribute artists, and more than 26,500 national and international visitors to Central West NSW.