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Located in Central NSW on the major inland motoring corridor, the Newell Highway, Parkes is a thriving commercial centre offering quality accommodation, unique attractions and quirky events.
Parkes is home to the national icon, 'The Dish' and has become more recently known as the 'Elvis Capital of Australia' with the Parkes Elvis Festival attracting around 20,000 visitors annually.
The Parkes area remained relatively unsettled until 1862 when the discovery of gold led to a hastily erected ‘canvas’ town known as “Currajong”. There was a further discovery of gold in 1871 and in 1873 the then Premier of New South Wales, Sir Henry Parkes, visited the diggings. On December 1 1873 the name of the settlement was changed to “Parkes” in honour of the great statesman. Learn more about Parkes' history here.
Parkes is strategically located within five hours of Sydney and three hours of Canberra. Ideally situated along the Newell Highway, Australia’s major inland touring route, where it intersects with essential rail corridors, Parkes is an accessible and appealing destination for tourism, lifestyle and business.
Parkes is also serviced by a regional airport with several return flights daily between Parkes and Sydney and is also accessed by daily coach and rail services to and from Sydney. Visit the getting here section of our website for more information.
The Parkes Region boasts a diverse economy with strong industries including transport, mining, health care, tourism, agriculture and public administration. With its central location Parkes allows businesses to connect with suppliers and customers quickly with over 80% of the Australian population able to be reached by road within 12 hours. For more information about the economy of Parkes Shire, visit Council's business page.
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