Elvis Festival – Parkes

The Parkes Elvis Festival is held every year in the second week in January, coinciding with Elvis Presley’s birthday. Now in its 27th year, the Festival continues to grow – with more than 200 events across five fabulous, fun-filled days.

More information:  https://www.parkeselvisfestival.com.au/

Aviation Museum – Parkes

The Parkes Aviation Museum is located at the end of Muzycuk Drive at Parkes Airport. It is currently housed in a former RAAF hangar from the airport’s time as a World War Two air force base.Parkes has a long history in aviation, the first aircraft to land at Parkes was a Sopwith Camel piloted by aviation pioneer Sydney Pickles in 1919.

During WW2, Parkes airport became RAAF Base Parkes, accommodating No.1 Air Navigation School, No.2 Wireless Air Gunners School, No.8 Operational Training Unit and after the war No.87 SQN operated from Parkes. Did you know – former PM Gough Whitlam graduated from Parkes as a Flying Officer navigator?

Parkes Aero Club, formed in 1948, still operates from its historic ex-RAAF COMMCEN building.

Parkes has been used as a storage facility for the Historic Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) since 1975 and is currently being transformed into an aviation museum in its own right by a range of local and HARS volunteers.  Information provided by:  https://hars.org.au/

Peace Precinct, Cowra

Cowra is home to Australia’s World Peace Bell; the Peace Precinct (which includes the Japanese Garden); the Festival of International Understanding; and the Avenue of Trees sponsored by Japanese citizens and families and is the centre of world friendship.

Cowra annually commemorates the Breakout which occurred in the early hours of August 5, 1944.

Peace Bell, Cowra

Usually erected in a nation’s capital city, The Australian World Peace Bell was awarded to Cowra in 1992 for its long standing contribution to world peace and international understanding. Capital cities usually reserve the right to erect the World Peace Bell, however Cowra’s commitment to the World Peace Bell’s objectives has meant Cowra was awarded the honour. The Bell is made of coins provided by 103 member countries of the United Nations, which were melted down and cast into the Bell.

The Cowra Civic Square now proudly houses the Bell. The Pavilion is decorated with pottery tiles reflecting the community’s ideas about the World Peace Bell and its association with Cowra. An audio presentation explains the significance of the bell and its association with Cowra.

A ceremony is held on World Peace Day – 3rd Tuesday in September – to mark the opening of the Disarmament at the United Nations.

Please visit Cowra Tourism (https://www.cowratourism.com.au/australias-world-peace-bell/) or Screen Central (www.screencentral.com.au) for additional information.

Burrendong Botanic Garden and Arboretum – Wellington, NSW

Burrendong Botanic Garden and Arboretum has one of the largest collections of Australian plants in cultivation with over 50,000 flowering plants, shrubs and trees from more than 2,000 species.

Established in 1964, the Arboretum has received worldwide recognition for its remarkable collection of Australian plants and its pioneering role in the cultivation and promotion of unique flora.

Dubbo Regional Council

Japanese Gardens, Wellington NSW

The Wellington Osawano Japanese Gardens are located eight kilometres south east of Wellington on the Mitchell Highway. The Gardens encompass manicured gardens, a man-made mountain, cascading stream and reflection lake.

The gardens were constructed between February and November 1999 and were gifted by Osawano Town Council, however the design and construction of the gardens was undertaken by Wellington Council. The gardens were officially opened on 21 November 1999.

There are 1,500 individual plant specimens within the gardens comprising 126 different species.

Dubbo Regional Council

Irish Woolfest – Boorowa

The Running of the Sheep at the Boorowa Community Bank Irish Woolfest has been likened to the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona and just as exciting!  This annual festival is held in October – for additional information visit:  www.irishwoolfest.com.au

Cherries in Young, NSW

There are many orchards and “pick your own” cherries in Young – the Cherry Capital of Australia!  The drive from Canberra to Young is less than 2 hours and 4 hours from Sydney.  Young celebrates the annual National Cherry Festival on the first weekend in December and this 3 day celebration includes the Street Parade, Christmas Street Market, cherry pie eating championships, cherry pip spitting competition, live music, drum and pipe bands and more.