Parkes Region Overview
Parkes is located at the 'cross roads' of the North-South and East-West transport routes and so it is an important strategic centre.
Parkes was built on gold but thanks to its rich fertile land is now an important agricultural centre. However, copper and gold mining still continues on a substantial scale at the North Parkes mine.
Nearby Peak Hill is the second centre in the Parkes Region and has examples of both new and old gold mining operations, a Camel Park as well as the National Trust listed Hospital.
Parkes is also the home of the CSIRO developed Australia Telescope which featured in the hit Australian film -The Dish.
The Australia Telescope
Parkes Region is the location of the Australia Telescope which actually consists of seven - 22 metre diameter dishes and one giant 64 diameter radio telescopes.
The main telescope is located about 20km north of Parkes in a shallow valley but its sheer size (the 64 metre dish is supported by a three storey structure) means it can be seen from miles away.
Another 22m diameter radio telescope is located to the north at Coonabarabran and a six more 22m antennas are located even further north at Narrabri.
Parkes is the hub of the telescope but the eight individual telescopes can be combined so that the effective diameter of the array is over 300km in diameter.
Each dish can be individually manipulated and the entire structures of the six dishes to the north of Narrabri can also be moved to allow the astronomers to focus on different parts of the sky.
Such is the flexibility of the Australia Telescope that it can be linked in with radio telescopes from all over the world to produce an even bigger effective diameter.
Parkes 64Km main Telescope is the location of the Australia Telescope Visitor Centre which has audio visual displays, interactive exhibits and has screens showing the actual view of the cosmos the telescope is focusing on at the time.
For hotels in the area see our general Parkes accommodation listings.
Parkes is located in central inland New South Wales with a Latitude of 33.1°S and a Longitude of 148.1° E.
Driving To Parkes
Some approximate driving times are:
5Hrs From Sydney (360Km)
8Hrs From Melbourne (720Km)
11Hrs From Brisbane (1000Km)
See Route and Distance Calculator for more accurate driving times and routes from additional locations throughout Australia.
Flying To Parkes
Parkes Airport is serviced by REX Regional Airlines.
The Parkes region's second largest centre is Peak Hill which is around 50km from Parkes.
Peak Hill is home to some former open cut gold mines and many reminders of the former glory days of the Gold Rush.
Today Sheep, Camels and Emus are popular tourist attractions as they are all commercially farmed near the town.
Parkes Pioneer Park has displays of how the land was worked in days gone by.
You will find displays of historic agricultural equipment and demonstrations of historic farming methods as well of some old buildings and churches.
These figures are for guidance only:
Approximate Max Average Temperature
Deg C/ Deg F
Winter(June-Aug):15 / 59
Spring(Sep-Nov):24 / 75
Summer(Dec-Feb):28 / 89
Autumn(Mar-May):23 / 74
Approximate Average Monthly Rainfall - mm