Coonamble and Parkes
Image credit: Destination NSW
Located in outback NSW, it is no wonder that Coonamble lays claim to being home to Australia’s biggest rodeo and campdraft – an event synonymous with outback Australian culture. This quiet village also has some fantastic natural attractions close by including the Warrumbungle National Park, the Macquarie Marshes and Pilliga Forest.
The small country town of art deco buildings, classic country pubs and rural hospitality is Australia’s nickname capital, too.
Enjoy a wander along the Coonamble Riverwalk and visit the Museum Under the Bridge, in a former colonial police station. The Outback Arts and Creative Centre has works by local and regional artists, including indigenous artists and hosts the Outback Archies Annual Art Prize and Exhibition.
Parkes, also located in the state’s Central West was made famous by the popular Australian movie ‘The Dish’ which featured the town’s giant radio telescope that played an integral part in the Moon landings. Visitors can spot many of the heritage buildings featured in the film in nearby Forbes, a picturesque town on the banks of the Lachlan River.
There are some fantastic cultural offerings in the region, including Somewhere Down the Lachlan, a sculpture trail that stretches along the river from Forbes to Condobolin.
As well as Utes in the Paddock, an outdoor gallery of Holden utes painted by famous Australian artists.
Lake Cargelligo is a beautiful waterway for kayaking, waterskiing, fishing, sailing and spotting protected black swans. Peak Hill is home to a heritage open-cut gold mine and fossils from the Australian Age of Dinosaurs. The Henry Parkes Centre houses four fascinating museums, including the King’s Castle Elvis Exhibit, dedicated to Elvis Presley.
The iconic Parkes Elvis Festival has become a world-famous annual pilgrimage for Elvis impersonators and fans alike. More than 200 events are held over the five days with performances, parades, dances and more. Slip-on your blue suede shoes and see if you can shake your hips with the best of them.
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