Home to the national icon, ‘The Dish’, Parkes is a thriving commercial centre in central NSW.
The town of Parkes has a population of nearly 10,000 people, the median age of residents is 38 years. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make up 10.2% of the population.
Parkes is located in the central west of New South Wales approximately an hour and a half south of the regional centre of Dubbo.
A rich variety of farming is conducted in the region immediately surrounding Parkes, although the staple farming products are wheat and wool.
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.
Parkes has its own regional airport with daily flights to Sydney and Bathurst.
The major sources of employment in Parkes are:
- Retail trade
- Health care and social assistance
- Accommodation and food services
- Public administration and safety
- Transport, postal and warehousing
A brand new hospital facility was built in Parkes in 2015. The new hospital includes:
- Emergency department
- Inpatient ward
- Birthing suites for maternity services
- Ambulatory care treatment area, including chemotherapy and dental facilities
- Advanced operating suite and day-only surgical services
- Clinical support services, including medical imaging
There is an Ambulance Service of NSW station in Parkes.
Ochre Health Medical Centre Parkes
Parkes offers young families long day care, out of school hours care, family day care and preschool services.
Parkes has Coles, Woolworths, Aldi and IGA Supermarkets.
It also has a number of larger national retail chains including Target, Big W, Kmart and Harvey Norman as well as numerous boutique retail stores.
There a numerous of places of worship located in Parkes including, but not limited to, Anglican, Catholic Baptist Presbyterian and Uniting.
The nearest mosque is an hour and a half away in the regional centre of Dubbo.
The Parkes Elvis Festival held in January each year, attracts over 20,000 people from across Australia and around the world, and has become an iconic destination event on the national festivals calendar.
The Parkes Observatory hosts the 64-metre Parkes radio telescope, one of the telescopes comprising CSIRO’s Australia Telescope National Facility.
An icon of Australian science, the Parkes radio telescope has been in operation since 1961 and continues to be at the forefront of astronomical discovery thanks to regular upgrades. Affectionately known as ’the Dish’, the telescope operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
The annual festival of astronomy is held in Parkes in July. The Festival endeavours to bring to the people of the Central West world renowned astronomers, both professional and amateur.