Lachlan Vintage Village, Tourism New South Wales

Population 6954

When John Oxley passed through in 1817, he was so unimpressed by the area's clay soil, poor timber and swamps that he claimed 'it is impossible to imagine a worse country'. Today Forbes is a pleasant spot bisected by Lake Forbes, a large lagoon in the middle of town. Tthe discovery of gold caused the town to be built and the legends of old bushrangers keep it buzzing today.

Visitor Information

Railway station, Farrand and Union sts; (02) 6852 4155

Nearby national parks

  • Blue Mountains National Park

    Blue Mountains National Park presents an astounding and unique landscape to its millions of visitors. The terrain ripples and folds, a world...more

  • Kanangra–Boyd National Park

    Kanangra–Boyd National Park’s majestic landscape of wild rivers and waterfalls, mountainous terrain and deep gorges is rimmed by...more

  • Wollemi National Park

    Wollemi National Park, the second largest national park in the state and its largest wilderness area, is a primeval landscape of precipitous...more

Nearby towns

  • Parkes

    Parkes is most famous for its huge telescope. It originated as a tent city, which grew into a town named Bushmans, built almost overnight...more

  • Eugowra

    Situated on the rich basin of the Lachlan River, Eugowra is a tiny country town known for its crafts. Nearby on the Orange–Forbes road, the...more

  • Grenfell

    Nestled at the foot of the Weddin Mountains, Grenfell is best known as the birthplace of writer Henry Lawson. The wealth appropriated during...more

In Town

Albion Hotel The first hotel in Forbes, the Albion Hotel was so popular during the gold rush that it allegedly sold more alcohol in the 1860s than any hotel in Australia – not bad for an outback town. The hotel is a former Cobb & Co depot and now houses displays on the history of the gold strikes and the must-see Bushranger Hall of Fame. Lachlan St.

Historical Museum: features relics associated with bushranger Ben Hall, a vintage colonial kitchen and antique farm machinery; open 2–4pm; Cross St; (02) 6851 6600.

Cemetery: graves of Ben Hall, Kate Foster (Ned Kelly's sister), Rebecca Shields (Captain Cook's niece) and French author Paul Wenz; Bogan Gate Rd.

King George V Park: memorial where 'German Harry' discovered gold in 1861, and a pleasant spot for picnics and barbecues; Lawler St.

Dowling St Park: memorial marks the spot where John Oxley first passed through in 1817; Dowling St.

Lake Forbes: picnic spots, barbecue facilities, fishing, and a walking and cycling track; off Gordon Duff Dr.

Historical town walk: includes the post office (1862) and the town hall (1861) where Dame Nellie Melba performed in 1909; map from visitor centre.

Local arts and crafts: brochure from visitor centre.


Gum Swamp Sanctuary: birdlife and other fauna, best seen at sunrise or sunset; 4 km S.

Banderra Estate Vineyard: French winemaker with cellar-door tastings; off Orange Rd; 5 km E.

Chateau Champsaur: oldest winery in the area (1886), with cellar-door tastings; (02) 6852 3908; 5 km SE.

Ben Hall's Place: marks the site where the bushranger was shot dead by policemen; 8 km W.

Jemalong Weir: with parklands by the Lachan River, good spot for fishing and picnicking; 24 km S.

Cafes & restaurants around town

Signatures Restaurant

Located within the Forbes Services Memorial Club, the popular Signatures Restaurant offers an extensive and varied modern Australian menu. The restaurant has big windows overlooking lawns and gardens, and was recently... Find out more

Wattle Cafe

Wattle Cafe is adored by locals for its welcoming atmosphere, light lunches and snacks for eating in or takeaway. It’s an older-style eatery, complete with booths. The food is varied, from kebabs, fried chicken,... Find out more

Campsites around town

Terarra Creek camping area 44 km

To get to this sole camping area in the park, follow the Escort Way from Eugowra and keep an eye out for a NPWS sign pointing to a dirt road. The campground is a little under 5 km from the park entrance. The road is 2WD,... Find out more

Holy Camp camping area 57 km

This is a nice, shaded spot 15 km west of Grenfell via Holy Camp Rd. From the camp you can do the Euladrie Walk, which follows an old logging road to the base of the escarpment and then climbs steeply to Peregrine... Find out more

Ben Halls camping area 58 km

The grassy unpowered campsites here are set beside historic Seatons Farm, and are a 30 min walk from Ben Halls Cave. The farm is a well-preserved Depression-era structure, with interpretive signs that give a... Find out more

Wallaby camping area 60 km

Take a walk along the Wallaby Walking Track (4 km, 1 hr, medium difficulty) and you may catch a glimpse of a red-necked wallaby or swamp wallaby. Alternatively, sneak out after dark with a torch and see if you can catch... Find out more

Wanda Wandong camping area 79 km

Let the children run free in this spacious, grassy camping ground. Turn-off 4km north of Tomingley. The camping area is 18km east of the Newell Hwy. This is the best section of the park to visit if you are towing a... Find out more

Canobolas Forest Park 87 km

This is a peaceful picnicking and camping area surrounded by a 60-year-old pine forest. There are picnic tables, walking tracks and trout in the creek nearby. It’s 20 km south of Orange via Cadia Rd then Four Mile... Find out more

Federal Falls camping area 90 km

The road in to Federal Falls camping area isn’t suitable for caravans or camper trailers, although 2WD vehicles are permitted. To get here, follow Pinnacle Rd from Orange and turn onto Towac Rd. There are a number... Find out more

Greenbah camping area 90 km

Pack your binoculars and bird-identification guide before heading to this camping area next to Greenbah Creek, as it’s a top spot for birdwatching. To reach it, turn off Trewilga–Baldry Rd onto the Sawpit... Find out more

Bakers Shaft Reserve 96 km

This camping area is around 20 km west of the historic town of Carcoar. Follow the Mid-western Hwy through Mandurama, then turn north for Burnt Yards; take Bakers Rd then Junction Park Rd. This is 2WD, dry-weather access... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Forbes River Meadows Caravan Park 2 km

Located about 2 km south of Forbes along the highway, this owner-operated park is a convenient and ideal overnight stop. It has shady trees, large expanses of lawn and spotless amenities. We sometimes stay here when... Find out more

BIG4 Forbes Holiday Park 2 km

This is a very neat owner-operated park, about 2 km from the centre of town on Cowra Road. The park caters predominantly for tourists and has good amenities and most facilities. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

Apex Riverside Tourist Park 2 km

The park is about 3 km from the town centre on a picturesque bend of the Lachlan River, which some sites overlook. It is managed on behalf of Apex and is of good quality.... Find out more

Spicer Caravan Park 32 km

This is a budget-priced, council-owned park with good basic facilities, about 2 km from the town centre. It is in a quiet spot, off the main highway, about 16 km from the Parkes satellite dish. Bookings are required in... Find out more

Peak Hill Caravan Park 76 km

This owner-operated park offers a range of accommodation and is ideal for an overnight stay. It is a small, budget-priced park, located off the main highway and just a short walk from the town centre. The owners supply... Find out more

Ace Caravan Park 96 km

This is an owner-operated park with a good choice of accommodation. The park is just 500 metres from the town centre and easily accessible from the major highways.... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Lake Forbes Motel

Fantastic value for money, and in a lovely lakeside location, Lake Forbes Motel is a winner with its bright, comfortable rooms enjoying picturesque views of the garden surrounds and the tree-fringed lake. The motel has... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Forbes rest area 1 km

At Forbes

On the riverbank 500m north-west of the highway via Junction St. For 48-hour stays only.

Billabong Creek rest area 22 km

23km N of Forbes (R) or 10km S of Parkes (L)

Small area just off the highway.

Weddin View rest area 48 km

82km E of West Wyalong (L) or 22km W of Grenfell (R)

Adjacent to the highway under a few trees.

Bogolong Rest Area 52 km

95 km E of West Wyalong (L) or 9 km W of Grenfell (R)

Large area just off the highway. Limited shade.

Grenfell rest area 58 km

At Grenfell

Just off the highway on the south side of town.

Ben Halls Cave camping area 58 km

T/O 81km E of West Wyalong (R) or 23km W of Grenfell (L)

Secluded bush setting in Weddin Mountains National Park 13km south-west of the highway via Lynchs Rd (unsealed) and Nowlands Rd (partly unsealed).

Marsden rest area 62 km

36km NE of West Wyalong (R) or 69km SW of Forbes (L)

Just off the highway among a few trees on the banks of Bland Creek.

Tyagong Creek rest area 71 km

31km E of Grenfell (R) or 24km W of Cowra (L)

Adjacent to the highway among a few trees.

Cowra park area 80 km

At Cowra

Opposite the information centre.

Cowra rest area 82 km

At Cowra

Just off the highway on the east side of town at Ramage Park.

Molong park area 87 km

At Molong

Just off the highway on the banks of Molong Creek.

Kingsley Fairborough park area 89 km

29km NW of Orange (R) or 5km SE of Molong (L)

Just off the highway under shady trees.

Rosewood rest area 90 km

15km N of Peak Hill (R) or 3km SW of Tomingley (L)

Just off the highway among a few trees.

Wyalong Park Area 93 km

West side of town

Small parking area just off the highway.

Poppett Head Mine Park Area 94 km

3 km E of West Wyalong (L) or 101 km W of Grenfell (R)

Small area just off the highway. Good facilities. Limited shade.

Gamboola rest area 97 km

17km NW of Orange (L) or 17km SE of Molong (R)

Just off the highway among some trees.

Bell River rest area 98 km

42km S of Wellington (L)  

Adjacent to the highway. For southbound only.

Tomingley Creek rest area 99 km

8km NE of Tomingley (L) or 45km SW of Dubbo (R)

Just off the highway surrounded by trees.

What's on around town

Jazz Festival: Jan.

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