Parkes, New South Wales

Last updated

New South Wales
Sir Henry Parkes statue in Parkes NSW.jpg
A statue of Sir Henry Parkes, the town's namesake
Australia New South Wales location map blank.svg
Red pog.svg
Coordinates 33°08′0″S148°10′0″E / 33.13333°S 148.16667°E / -33.13333; 148.16667 Coordinates: 33°08′0″S148°10′0″E / 33.13333°S 148.16667°E / -33.13333; 148.16667
Population11,408 (30 June 2016) [1] [2]
Postcode(s) 2870
Elevation324 m (1,063 ft) [3]
LGA(s) Parkes Shire
County Ashburnham
State electorate(s) Orange
Federal Division(s) Calare
Mean max tempMean min tempAnnual rainfall
23.4 °C
74 °F
10.9 °C
52 °F
587.5 mm
23.1 in
The 64m radio telescope of the Parkes Observatory in Parkes, New South Wales, Australia is an important, Southern hemisphere radio telescope. ParkesTelescopeNight.png
The 64m radio telescope of the Parkes Observatory in Parkes, New South Wales, Australia is an important, Southern hemisphere radio telescope.

Parkes is a town in the Central West region of New South Wales, Australia. It is the main settlement in the local government area of Parkes Shire. Parkes had a population of 11,408 [2] as at 30 June 2016.

Central West (New South Wales) Region in New South Wales, Australia

The Central West is a region of New South Wales, Australia. The region is geographically in eastern New South Wales, in the area west of the Blue Mountains, which are west of Sydney. It has an area of 63,262 square kilometres (24,426 sq mi).

New South Wales State of Australia

New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In September 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 8 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.

Local government in Australia is the third tier of government in Australia administered by the states and territories, which in turn are beneath the federal tier. Local government is not mentioned in the Constitution of Australia and two referenda in the 1970s and 1980s to alter the Constitution relating to local government were unsuccessful. Every state government recognises local government in their respective constitutions. Unlike Canada or the United States, there is only one level of local government in each state, with no distinction such as cities and counties.



Parkes was founded in 1853 as the settlement Currajong, named for the abundance of kurrajong trees in the local area by the settlers, but was then known as Bushman's (from the local mine named Bushman's Lead). [4]

<i>Brachychiton</i> genus of plants

Brachychiton is a genus of 31 species of trees and large shrubs, native to Australia, and New Guinea. Fossils from New South Wales and New Zealand are estimated to be 50 million years old, corresponding to the Paleogene.

In August 1873, Henry Parkes (later Sir Henry) visited the area and in December 1873 the town was officially renamed Parkes in his honour . [5] [6] [7] (Sir Henry Parkes is recognised in Australia as having played an instrumental role in Australia becoming a unified and federated country.) In March 1885, Parkes was proclaimed a town. [5]

Henry Parkes Australian Statesman and Politician

Sir Henry Parkes, was a colonial Australian politician and longest non-consecutive Premier of the Colony of New South Wales, the present-day state of New South Wales in the Commonwealth of Australia. He has been referred to as the "Father of Federation" due to his early promotion for the federation of the six colonies of Australia, as an early critic of British convict transportation and as a proponent for the expansion of the Australian continental rail network.

Bushman's Lead Post Office opened on 1 August 1872 and was renamed Parkes in 1873. [8] The railway from Molong via Parkes to Forbes, was officially opened on 18 December 1893. [9]

Molong railway station

Molong railway station is a heritage-listed former railway station and now library on the Main Western railway line at Molong, Cabonne Shire, New South Wales, Australia. The property is owned by RailCorp, an agency of the Government of New South Wales. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.

Forbes, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Forbes is a town in the Central West region of New South Wales, Australia, located on the Newell Highway between Parkes and West Wyalong. At the 2016 census, Forbes had a population of 8,432. Forbes is probably named after Sir Francis Forbes, first Chief Justice of NSW.

Parkes attracted significant attention during the gold rush of the 1870s onwards, and even to this day modern mining companies still have sites in the region.

Gold rush new discovery of gold that brings an onrush of miners seeking their fortune

A Gold Rush is a new discovery of gold—sometimes accompanied by other precious metals and rare earth minerals—that brings an onrush of miners seeking their fortune. Major gold rushes took place in the 19th century in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada, South Africa and the United States, while smaller gold rushes took place elsewhere.

In 1939, Parkes became a sister city with Coventry in the United Kingdom. [10] This was in honour of the fact Sir Henry Parkes was born in Coventry.

Coventry City and Metropolitan borough in England

Coventry is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands, England.

Heritage listings

Parkes has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:

Parkes today

With the presence of the nearby Parkes Observatory, Parkes has had an important role in the scientific community. In addition to local research conducted at the radio telescope, Parkes scientists have assisted NASA for several missions as a Southern Hemisphere relay and communications station. (The movie The Dish was based somewhat loosely on the role the telescope played during the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing.)

A rich variety of farming is conducted in the region immediately surrounding Parkes, although the staple farming products are wheat and wool.

Parkes prides itself on its modernising ideology, historically and culturally. The Dish , although set in Parkes, was largely filmed in Forbes' historic precinct. This is due to very few historic buildings remaining in Parkes. Parkes is also home to the Parkes Spacemen rugby league club.

The area is supported by a gold and copper mine, Northparkes, 27 km north-north-west of the town.

Parkes became a key country location after the completion of the railway in 1893, serving as a hub for a great deal of passenger and freight transport until the 1980s. Unfortunately, as successive governments reduced the NSW country rail systems, this part of the economy was largely lost to the community.

Periodically governments and businesses have raised the topic of an "inland port" whereby Parkes Regional Airport would be expanded considerably to serve as a starting point for domestic and international freight destined for areas in NSW, Victoria and Queensland. Environmental studies are complete, development consents are in place, contracts have been exchanged, some properties have changed hands and studies are continuing.

Parkes Shire Council, with approval from the State Government, has rezoned 516 hectares of agricultural and industrial land on the western edge of the town for the development of the Parkes National Logistics Hub [13] with an additional reserve of over 100 hectares. The site has been specifically designed for the 24-hour, 7-day-per-week operation of a multi-modal transport facility.

FCL runs a significant intermodal operation at Goobang Junction on Parkes' western outskirts. On 20 October 2006, Premier Morris Iemma opened Specialised Container Transport's intermodal terminal nearby on a 296 hectare site. It has 5 km of rail sidings, a 7,400 square metre warehouse and about 40 staff. [14] An even larger terminal to be sited nearby is also being promoted.

The Roads & Maritime Services' Western Regional Office is located in Parkes. Essential Energy also is represented by a training and maintenance centre.

Main tourist attractions are the CSIRO Telescope 20 km north of town on the Newell Highway, Bushmans Hill, and the War Memorial Lookout. Nearby there is the Goobang National Park, and Peak Hill which features an Open Cut Mine that can be toured during holidays. There are also many great parks.

Parkes has a high percentage population of school age students and an associated number of schools. Parkes Public School was founded in 1876 under Archibald Booth as educator, Parkes East Public School and Middleton Public School are also in the area. Holy Family Catholic School and Parkes Christian School operate in the town, with Saint Patrick's School Trundle and St Joseph's School, Peak Hill also operating the shire.

Parkes High School is the main public high school for the town. Parkes Christian School offers education for students from Kindergarten to Year 10 in 2013, extending to Year 11 in 2014 and Year 12 in 2015. Many Parkes students also attend the nearby Red Bend Catholic College in Forbes.


Parkes is located on the Australian transcontinental railway line, and the Newell Highway linking Victoria to Queensland.


Parkes has a warm temperate climate, with significant temperature variations between summer and winter. Under the Köppen climate classification, Parkes lies in the transitional zone between humid subtropical (Cfa) and semi-arid (Bsk) climates. [15] Summer maximum temperatures average out at 32 °C (90 °F), however frequently reach 35 °C (95 °F), and there are usually a few days that top 40 °C (104 °F) each year.[ citation needed ] Winters are cool and sunny, however occasional cold fronts can bring prolonged periods of light, misty rain with low maximum temperatures.[ citation needed ] Rainfall in spring and summer usually falls as thunderstorms, with an annual average of 587.5 mm (23.13 in) of rainfall. Extreme temperatures have ranged from −4.2 to 45.5 °C (24.4 to 113.9 °F). Parkes is considerably sunny, having around 135.0 clear days annually. [3]

Climate data for Parkes (Macarthur Street)
Record high °C (°F)45.2
Average high °C (°F)32.3
Average low °C (°F)17.9
Record low °C (°F)6.8
Average rainfall mm (inches)57.6
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2mm)
Average afternoon relative humidity (%)34373943536060544842363245
Source: Bureau of Meteorology [3]


Parkes has a local bus service provided by Western Road Liners, which acquired Harris Bus Lines in March 2006. The Indian Pacific also stops twice a week, as well as the Outback Xplorer service, run by NSW TrainLink, which heads to Broken Hill on Mondays and Sydney on Tuesdays. [16] Parkes railway station is situated on the Broken Hill railway line, and opened in 1893. A smaller station served Parkes Racecourse between 1923 and 1937. [17] Parkes Regional Airport is served regular air services to Sydney operated by Regional Express Airlines. The airport is located approximately five kilometres east of the central business district.



.Vision radio 87.6 fm. Christian Radio

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) transmit four stations into Parkes and the surrounding region:

Some stations from Dubbo and Orange also transmit into Parkes and the surrounding region.


Parkes receives five free-to-air television stations (digital) including two government funded networks:

The ABC, SBS and three commercial networks:

SBS offer digital high-definition simulcasts of their main channel, SBS ONE on SBS HD.

The other networks broadcast nine additional channels: 7Two, 7mate, 9GO!, 9GEM, ABC2, ABC3, ABC News 24, SBS Two, One HD and Eleven.


There are two local newspapers servicing Parkes.

Notable people


Parkes hosts the annual Parkes Elvis Festival. [28] It is held in early January to celebrate Presley's birthday and to boost tourism.

Military History

During World War 2, Parkes was the location of RAAF Station Parkes, and RAAF No.18 Inland Aircraft Fuel Depot (IAFD), completed in 1942 and closed on 14 August 1944. Usually consisting of 4 tanks, 31 fuel depots were built across Australia for the storage and supply of aircraft fuel for the RAAF and the US Army Air Forces at a total cost of £900,000 ($1,800,000). [29]

Related Research Articles

Gosford Suburb of Central Coast, New South Wales, Australia

Gosford is a New South Wales suburb located in the heart of the Central Coast Region, about 76 kilometres (47 mi) north of the Sydney CBD. The suburb is situated at the northern extremity of Brisbane Water, an extensive northern branch of the Hawkesbury River estuary and Broken Bay.

Coffs Harbour City in New South Wales, Australia

Coffs Harbour is a city on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, Australia, 540 km (340 mi) north of Sydney, and 390 km (240 mi) south of Brisbane. It is one of the largest urban centres on the North Coast, with an estimated population of 70,000 in 2017.

Broken Hill Town in New South Wales, Australia

Broken Hill is an inland mining city in the far west of outback New South Wales, Australia. It is near the border with South Australia on the crossing of the Barrier Highway (A32) and the Silver City Highway (B79), in the Barrier Range. It is 315 m (1,033 ft) above sea level, with a hot desert climate, and an average rainfall of 235 mm (9 in). The closest major city is Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, which is more than 500 km (311 mi) to the southwest and linked via route A32.

Tamworth, New South Wales City in New South Wales, Australia

Tamworth is a city and the major regional centre in the New England region of northern New South Wales, Australia. Situated on the Peel River within the local government area of Tamworth Regional Council, about 318 km from the Queensland border, it is located almost midway between Brisbane and Sydney. According to the 2016 Census, the city had a population around 60,000. The Kamilaroi people are the traditional custodians of Tamworth.

Young, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Young is a town in the South West Slopes region of New South Wales, Australia and the largest town in the Hilltops Region. The "Lambing Flat" Post Office opened on 1 March 1861 and was renamed "Young" in 1863.

Warragul Town in Victoria, Australia

Warragul is a town in Victoria, Australia, 102 kilometres east-southeast of Melbourne. Warragul lies between the Strzelecki Ranges to the south and the Mount Baw Baw Plateau of the Great Dividing Range to the north. The town is named after an Aboriginal word meaning "wild dog". As at the 2016 census, the town had a population of 14,276 people. Warragul forms part of a larger urban area that includes nearby Drouin that had an estimated population of 35,353 at June 2016.

Lismore, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Lismore is a city in northeastern New South Wales, Australia and the main population centre in the City of Lismore local government area; it is also a regional centre in the Northern Rivers region of the State. According to the 2016 Australian Census, the population in the Lismore urban centre was 27,569.

Batemans Bay Town in New South Wales, Australia

Batemans Bay is a town in the South Coast region of the state of New South Wales, Australia. Batemans Bay is administered by the Eurobodalla Shire council. The town is situated on the shores of an estuary formed where the Clyde River meets the South Pacific Ocean.

Dunedoo Town in New South Wales, Australia

Dunedoo is a village of 747 inhabitants situated within the Warrumbungle Shire of central western New South Wales, Australia. Dunedoo is well known to Australian travellers due to its distinctive name. The name is actually derived from a local Aboriginal word meaning "swan", which are commonly found in the area's lagoons.

Taree Town in New South Wales, Australia

Taree is a town on the Mid North Coast, New South Wales, Australia. Taree and nearby Cundletown were settled in 1831 by William Wynter. Since then Taree has grown to a population of almost 26,000, and is the centre of a significant agricultural district. It is 16 km from the Tasman Sea coast, and 317 km north of Sydney. Taree can be reached by train via the North Coast Railway, and by the Pacific Highway. Taree railway station is on the North Coast line of the NSW TrainLink network. It is serviced by six NSW TrainLink trains daily: three heading to Sydney, another three heading North to Grafton, Casino or Brisbane. Taree is within the local government area of Mid-Coast Council, the state electorate of Myall Lakes and the Federal electorate of Lyne.

Byron Bay, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Byron Bay is a beachside town located in the far-northeastern corner of the state of New South Wales, Australia. It is located 772 kilometres (480 mi) north of Sydney and 165 kilometres (103 mi) south of Brisbane. Cape Byron, a headland adjacent to the town, is the easternmost point of mainland Australia. At the 2016 census, the town had a permanent population of 9,246. It is the largest town of Byron Shire, though not the shire's administrative centre.

Cooma Town in New South Wales, Australia

Cooma is a town in the south of New South Wales, Australia. It is located 114 kilometres (71 mi) south of the national capital, Canberra, via the Monaro Highway. It is also on the Snowy Mountains Highway, connecting Bega with the Riverina.

Cowra Town in New South Wales, Australia

Cowra is a small town in the Central West region of New South Wales, Australia. It is the largest population centre and the council seat for the Cowra Shire, with a population of 10,063.

Gunnedah Town in New South Wales, Australia

Gunnedah is a town in north-eastern New South Wales, Australia and is the seat of the Gunnedah Shire local government area. In the 2016 census the town recorded a population of 9,726. Gunnedah is situated within the Liverpool Plains, a fertile agricultural region, with 80% of the surrounding shire area devoted to farming. The Namoi River flows west then north-west through the town providing water beneficial to agricultural operations in the area.

Macksville, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Macksville is a small town on the Nambucca River in Nambucca Shire, New South Wales, Australia. It is halfway between Sydney and Brisbane, along the Pacific Highway, approximately 40 minutes north of Kempsey, 40 minutes south of Coffs Harbour, 1 hour 10 minutes north of Port Macquarie, 5 hours south of Brisbane and 5 hours north of Sydney.

Cessnock, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Cessnock is a city in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia, about 52 km (32 mi) by road west of Newcastle. It is the administrative centre of the City of Cessnock LGA and was named after an 1826 grant of land called Cessnock Estate, which was owned by John Campbell. The local area was once known as "The Coalfields", and it is the gateway city to the vineyards of the Hunter Valley, which includes Pokolbin, Mount View, Lovedale, Broke, Rothbury, and Branxton.

Griffith, New South Wales City in New South Wales, Australia

Griffith is a major regional city in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area that is located in the north-western part of the Riverina region of New South Wales, known commonly as the food bowl of Australia. It is also the seat of the City of Griffith local government area. Like the Australian capital, Canberra, and the nearby town of Leeton, Griffith was designed by Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin. Griffith was named after Arthur Hill Griffith, the first New South Wales Minister of Public Works. Griffith was proclaimed a city in 1987, and had a population of 19,144 in 2016.

Mullumbimby Town in New South Wales, Australia

Mullumbimby is an Australian town in Byron Shire in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales. It promotes itself as "The Biggest Little Town in Australia". The town lies at the foot of Mount Chincogan in the Brunswick Valley about 9 kilometres by road from the coast. At the 2016 census, Mullumbimby and the surrounding area had a population of 3,596 people. Locals refer to the town as "Mullum".

Nagambie Town in Victoria, Australia

Nagambie is a town in Victoria, Australia. The town is on the Goulburn Valley Highway north of Seymour and in the Shire of Strathbogie. At the 2016 census, Nagambie had a population of 1,886.

Nambucca Heads, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Nambucca Heads is a town on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, Australia in Nambucca Shire. It is located on a ridge, north of the estuary of the Nambucca River near the Pacific Highway. Its 2011 population was 6,137, including 602 (9.7%) indigenous persons and 5,180 (83.3%) Australian-born persons in the Shire. The place name is derived from an Gumbaynggirr word Ngambagabaga. Clement hodgkinson asked two Ngamba men what the name of the area was they responded to Nyambagabaga as the spot they were standing was a bend in the river where a Ngamba giant was speared in the leg in the Dreaming. This location is the Foreshore Caravan Park now. Ngamba is a subsection of Gumbaynggirr Nation & Baga Baga means Knee. This was later interpreted as Nambucca. It is a popular holiday and retirement destination.


  1. "3218.0 Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2016 (Urban Centre)". Australian Bureau of Statistics. August 2017. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  2. 1 2 "3218.0 Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2016". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 28 July 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2017. Estimated resident population, 30 June 2016.
  3. 1 2 3 "Parkes (Macarthur Street)". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology. April 2013. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
  4. "Early History of Parkes". Parkes Shire Library. Retrieved 6 November 2006.
  5. 1 2 "Bushmans and Parkes History". Parkes Early History. Parkes Shire Library. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
  6. "Parkes Shire Council – History – Parkes". Parkes Shire Council. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
  7. Martin, A. W. "Parkes, Sir Henry (1815–1896)". Australian National University. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
  8. Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Retrieved 26 May 2011.
  9. "(FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT.)". The Sydney Morning Herald . National Library of Australia. 19 December 1893. p. 5. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  10. "Sister City". Parkes Shire Council. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
  11. "Parkes Post Office". New South Wales State Heritage Register . Office of Environment and Heritage. H00717. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  12. "Parkes Railway Station group". New South Wales State Heritage Register . Office of Environment and Heritage. H01220. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  13. "Parkes National Logistics Hub". Parkes Shire Council. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
  14. "SCT opens Parkes terminal". Railway Digest . Australian Railway Historical Society. 44 (12). December 2006.
  16. "Western timetable" (PDF). NSW Trainlink. 30 September 2018.
  17. "Parkes Racecourse Railway Station". Retrieved 7 April 2008.
  18. "2PK Parkes and Central West Radio".
  19. "Personal Home Financing Methods | The PHFM Network – Helping Australians". Archived from the original on 31 January 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  20. "Welcome to". Retrieved 2012-12-23.
  21. "Sky Racing – Number one in racing". Retrieved 2012-12-23.
  22. "Parkes News, sport and weather". Parkes Champion-Post. Retrieved 2012-12-23.
  23. "Free newspaper group bucks regional media trend". ABC News. 2016-01-21. Retrieved 2017-03-04.
  26. 1 2 "Bogan Gate: Australian history merges in unique moment!". History Parkes. 10 March 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  28. Australia. Royal Australian Air Force. Historical Section (1995), Logistics units, AGPS Press, ISBN   978-0-644-42798-2