The town has warm temperatures all through the year, with highs in the summer months of December to March. Although summer is the best time to visit, you may also experience rain and thunderstorms.
The winter months can be slightly colder, but you are more likely to find cheaper flights and better prices on accommodations in the winter months between May and August.
Situated five hours drive west of Sydney in New South Wales, the Australian town of Parkes is a remote settlement that could easily be missed, yet spend a few hours here and you can discover a friendly community offering many unique heritage attractions. The town’s origins are intrinsically connected with the gold rush of the 1970s, when Henry Parkes, after whom the town is named, first visited the area. The gold mining industry still lives on, and you can learn about the region’s history of mining through a number of local tourist attractions. At the Henry Parkes Center, four unique museums welcome visitors who want to explore the historic buildings and collectables from the town’s past. The complex includes the Henry Parkes Museum, the Parkes Motor Museum, the Antique Machinery Collection and, surprisingly, The King’s Castle Elvis Exhibit, a collection of genuine Elvis artifacts created by a fan for fans. Take a short 30 minute drive to the north of the town and you can get fantastic views of the historic gold mine at Peak Hill. You can also explore the historic mine workings and view five open cuts from a series of hilltops and walkways. Back in downtown Parkes, the Bushman’s Hill Reserve is a pleasant retreat that was also the site of the original gold mine around which the town was established. Continue the town’s heritage trail, by visiting some of the remaining historic buildings on the corner of Currajong and Court Streets to see the old courthouse, police station and post office. The town is also notable for being the home of one of the world’s most powerful radio telescopes. “The Dish”, can be visited by driving north of the town to the Parkes Observatory, which also includes a discovery center featuring an exhibition and theater.
The town is small enough to explore on foot, but if you want to visit some of the major attractions just outside town, you can rent a car from one of several major car rental companies located in the town. You can also get a taxi from Dalton Street in downtown Parkes.
Parkes Airport (PKE) is located 3 miles east of the town just off Orange Road. Several car rental companies are available at the airport or you can arrange for a taxi transfer with a local company.