Date: 4th October 2020
Travelled: 170 kms from Forbes to Orange (via The Dish) in NSW
Visited: Parkes and Orange
Stayed: Orange Showgrounds. Free, limited services. S33.26898, E149.10893
There are some 20 + motorhomes and caravans lining the banks of Lake Forbes this morning. Obviously free is for me rings true to many grey nomads.
It’s all still very quiet as we roll out of the Forbes for Parkes. We are planning a stop in Orange tonight as we make our way back to the big smoke. Parkes is not the most direct route to Orange but we hope it will be interesting all the same.
Parkes was originally established in 1853 as the town of Currajong, but like many of the other towns we have visited on this trip its name would change following a gold strike. The Town was then known as Bushman’s Lead in 1871, reflectIng the name of the local gold mine. Sir Henry Parkes visited the area in 1873 and the town was re-dedicated as Parkes in honour of his visit. Parkes was state Premier 5 times and considered the father of Federation, although he died a couple of years before that occurred.
Parkes is now more well known for its Elvis Festival which has been held annually since 1993.
We have breakfast in the carpark before driving the 25 kms north to the Parkes Radio Telescope.
We arrive still relatively early to find the car-park full and lots of people particularly with children wandering about. Obviously this is a very popular tourist stop. The radio telescope was completed and operational in 1961, it features in the movie “The Dish”. You can read about it here.
We manage to wriggle our way out of the car-park and head back to Parkes before turning for Orange.
It’s coffee time as we see the turn to Meranburn Cemetery. The road winds its way up the hill, where the views across the valley are wonderful. We start the generator (no one complains about the noise) and we make a coffee. Later we walk the cemetery’s various section and take in the stories.
Eventually we arrive in Orange, stop at the supermarket for a few bits and pieces before continuing to Orange Showgrounds. The showgrounds are on the edge of town and riding the bike back into town on this cool and windy afternoon doesn’t appeal. The price was within our budget and the caravan park is only 500m closer to town, so we settle in.
After a break we drive in, parking just off Summer Street. We walk Summer Street from one end to the other looking for somewhere for dinner.
Eventually we decide on dinner at the Royal Hotel. Cannot say we were impressed, in fact it was the worst meal of our trip. Pam enjoyed the local wine which she said was excellent. After ordering and waiting 30 minutes for the meal to arrive, it was overcooked. A little disappointing as we have enjoyed some wonderful meals in small country hotels and clubs.
We walk back to the camper, then make our way back to the showgrounds for another quiet night with about a dozen other motorhomes and caravans.
Michael + Pam
PS: This will be the final post on this our second tour of NSW for 2020. We now go to visit family, return the Winnebago and then ourselves to Sydney. Thanks for reading. In Summary, we travelled 4250 kms in southern and central NSW stopping in 21 places in 27 days.