Forbes, New South Wales
Get Forbes, New South Wales essential facts below. View Videos or join the Forbes, New South Wales discussion. Add Forbes, New South Wales to your topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Forbes, New South Wales

New South Wales
Court house built in 1880
Forbes is located in New South Wales
Coordinates33°23?0?S 148°01?0?E / 33.38333°S 148.01667°E / -33.38333; 148.01667Coordinates: 33°23?0?S 148°01?0?E / 33.38333°S 148.01667°E / -33.38333; 148.01667
Population8,432 (2016 census)[1]
  • 33 km (21 mi) SSW of Parkes
  • 118 km (73 mi) W of Orange
LGA(s)Forbes Shire Council
State electorate(s)Orange
Federal Division(s)Riverina
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
23.8 °C
75 °F
10.0 °C
50 °F
526.3 mm
20.7 in
Lands Office at Forbes built 1898; an all timber building in the Federation style
Forbes Public School
de Havilland Vampire monument next to Lake Forbes

Forbes is a town in the Central West region of New South Wales, Australia, located on the Newell Highway between Parkes and West Wyalong. At the 2016 census, Forbes had a population of 8,432.[1] Forbes is probably named after Sir Francis Forbes, first Chief Justice of NSW.[2]

Located on the banks of the Lachlan River, Forbes is 245 metres (804 ft) above sea-level and about 380 kilometres (240 mi) west of Sydney. The district is a cropping area where wheat and similar crops are grown. Nearby towns and villages include Calarie, Parkes, Bedgerebong, Bundabarrah, Corradgery, Daroobalgie, Eugowra, Ooma North and Paytens Bridge. Forbes is subject to a pattern of flooding, generally occurring to a significant level once every seven years, including 2016.[3]


The area was home to the Wiradjuri people before non-indigenous settlement. John Oxley passed through in 1817 during one of the first inland expeditions. Oxley named the site Camp Hill. He was unimpressed with the clay soil, poor timber and swamps and he concluded, it is impossible to imagine a worse country.[4] The first settlers moved into the district in 1834.[5]

Gold was discovered by Harry Stephens, also known as "German Harry", in June 1861.[5] Initially about 30,000 people moved to the goldfields, but by 1863 this had declined to about 3,500 because of the difficult mining conditions.

The goldfields were originally named "Black Ridge", and the name "Forbes" celebrating Sir Francis Forbes was declared from Sydney as the result of a possible government administrative error. It is said that the name was meant for the town now known as "Hill End" between Orange and Mudgee, New South Wales where gold was discovered around a similar time. Gold was initially found in the area known as Halpin's Flat. The Albion Hotel, once a Cobb and Co. stage coach stop, had tunnels situated underneath which were used during the gold rush to convey gold and money to and from the banks to minimise the chance of theft.[5] The Albion Hotel burnt down on 10 February 2009, losing years worth of history and memorabilia.[6]

One of Australia's most renowned bushrangers, Ben Hall, was shot dead in an early morning Police ambush about 20 kilometres (12 mi) to the north-west of town on 5 May 1865. Hall and his gang were famous for stealing 77 kilograms (170 lb) of gold and £3,700 from the nearby town of Eugowra in 1862. He is buried in the Forbes Cemetery.[7]

Kate Kelly, the sister of bushranger Ned Kelly, lived in the town. She drowned in Lake Forbes while saving an Aboriginal child during a flood in 1898 and was found in a lagoon of the Lachlan River, just outside Forbes.[4][8] She is buried in Forbes Cemetery.[7]

Heritage listings

Forbes has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:


According to the 2016 census of Population, there were 8,432 people in Forbes.

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 12.1% of the population.
  • 86.2% of people were born in Australia and 89.1% of people spoke only English at home.
  • The most common responses for religion were Catholic 35.1%, Anglican 24.7% and No Religion 15.4%.[1]


The Stockinbingal-Parkes railway line passes through Forbes. Passenger trains operated to Forbes until 1983.[13] Forbes lies at or near the confluence of the Newell Highway, the Lachlan Valley Way and Henry Lawson Way.


Forbes Shire has four public primary schools: Forbes Primary School, Forbes North Primary School, Corinella Public School and Bedgerebong Public School. There is one Catholic primary school, St Laurence's Primary School.[14]

Forbes High School, a public school, is located to the north of town.

Red Bend Catholic College at Forbes is a co-educational secondary school, with the school located at the site of the former Marist Brothers' College, on the banks of the Lachlan River.

Local tertiary institutions are the Forbes College of Technical and Further Education (TAFE) and the Forbes Conservatorium.[15]


The Forbes Camel Races have been held annually since 2001 on Good Friday at the Forbes Racecourse.


Forbes lies in the transitional zones of the semi-arid climate (BSh) and humid subtropical climates (Cfa), with relatively large temperature variation between seasons and mild rainfall spread evenly throughout the year. Extreme temperatures have ranged from 47.8 °C (118.0 °F) to -5.6 °C (21.9 °F).

Climate data for Forbes
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 47.8
Average high °C (°F) 32.7
Average low °C (°F) 17.4
Record low °C (°F) 5.0
Average rainfall mm (inches) 49.9
Average rainy days 5.3 4.7 4.8 5.3 6.8 8.5 8.9 8.5 7.4 7.2 5.6 5.5 78.5
Average relative humidity (%) 35 38 41 46 55 64 63 57 48 43 36 35 47
Source: Bureau of Meteorology[16]


Since 1887 Forbes has experienced a major flood event on average every seven years,[17] with major flooding occurring in June 1952 with a peak of 10.8 metres (35 ft); September 2016 with a peak of 10.67 metres (35.0 ft);[18] August 1990 with a peak of 10.65 metres (34.9 ft); October 1955 with a peak height of 10.62 metres (34.8 ft); March 2013 with a peak height of 10.55 metres (34.6 ft); and in August 1998 with a peak height of 10.35 metres (34.0 ft).[3]

Forbes' most recent major flood event was in late September 2016 after heavy rain fell on much of inland NSW; as the Bureau of Meteorology declared 2016 as the third-wettest winter on record.[19] Unseasonal heavy rainfall in most of the state, centred on the catchment area of the upper Lachlan during autumn and winter 2016, resulted in Wyangala Dam water storage levels increasing from 38 per cent to 90 per cent.[20] By early August, the Bureau of Meteorology had issued flood warnings for the Orara, Macquarie, Bogan and Lachlan rivers.[21] In late August, Water NSW began releasing up to 10,000 megalitres (350×10^6 cu ft) per day from Wyangala Dam ahead of expected daily rainfall in the range of 20 to 40 millimetres (0.79 to 1.57 in) in the dam's catchment area.[22] Moderate to major flooding first hit Forbes and Condobolin in early September,[23] and by mid-September predictions were for widespread flooding across most of inland New South Wales.[24] By late September, flooding had peaked in Forbes at 10.67 metres (35.0 ft), with 1,000 people evacuated, as the Newell Highway was cut north and south of Forbes' central business district. Forbes was declared a natural disaster zone after flash flooding occurred, resulting in some residents being without homes.[18][25] Back up support was provided by the State Emergency Service and the Australian Defence Force.[26][27][28] As the Lachlan flowed into the Murrumbidgee River, major flooding occurred downriver during late October and early November at Hay, Darlington Point, Carrathool and Hillston.[29]


There are two local newspapers servicing Forbes.

Notable residents


  1. ^ a b c Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Forbes (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2019.Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ "Forbes". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 2009.Edit this at Wikidata CC-BY icon.svg Material was copied from this source, which is available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License Archived 16 October 2017 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ a b Pearce, Melanie (23 September 2016). "Will history be repeated? Forbes faces major flooding predicted to be 'similar to 1990'". ABC News. Australia. Archived from the original on 5 November 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  4. ^ a b "The Age, Travel: Forbes, 10 April 2008". Archived from the original on 14 August 2009. Retrieved 2012.
  5. ^ a b c "Australian Heritage: Historic Towns Directory". 27 July 2012. Archived from the original on 4 March 2014. Retrieved 2012.
  6. ^ "Albion Hotel to be demolished". 12 February 2009. Archived from the original on 8 May 2014. Retrieved 2012.
  7. ^ a b "Forbes". Australian Cemeteries. 20 September 1902. Archived from the original on 19 October 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  8. ^ "Kate Kelly". Ned Kellys World. Archived from the original on 4 September 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  9. ^ "The Ben Hall Sites - Ben Hall's Death Site". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01827. Retrieved 2018.
  10. ^ "The Ben Hall Sites - Grave of Ben Hall". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01827. Retrieved 2018.
  11. ^ "Forbes Post Office". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01414. Retrieved 2018.
  12. ^ "Forbes Railway Station group". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01145. Retrieved 2018.
  13. ^ Banger,C. Passenger Rail Service Withdrawals By Line Section Since 1960. ARHS Bulletin, Vol 54, No 790. August 2003.
  14. ^ About Forbes. Forbes Council Website Archived 31 January 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Forbes College of TAFE TAFE NSW Website Archived 24 December 2005 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "FORBES (CAMP STREET)". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology. August 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  17. ^ "Flood management". Forbes Shire Council. Archived from the original on 9 October 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  18. ^ a b "NSW weather: Forbes declared a natural disaster zone after flooding". ABC News. Australia. 27 September 2016. Archived from the original on 6 October 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  19. ^ Woodburn, Joanna (2 September 2016). "Rain wipes out NSW crops in third wettest winter on record". ABC News. Australia. Archived from the original on 5 November 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  20. ^ Houghton, Jack (26 September 2016). "Lachlan River threatens to rise". Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 4 October 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  21. ^ "Four flood warnings in place across NSW". The Land. 5 August 2016. Archived from the original on 5 November 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  22. ^ "Dam nearing capacity". Forbes Advocate. 30 August 2016. Archived from the original on 5 November 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  23. ^ "Flooding Update for Tuesday 6th September 2016". State Emergency Service. 6 September 2016. Archived from the original on 5 November 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  24. ^ Pearce, Melanie; Manson, Skye; Clift, Julie; Wong, Luke (13 September 2016). "NSW weather: More rain and flooding in central areas as saturated catchments can't dry out". ABC News. Australia. Archived from the original on 5 November 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  25. ^ Coote, Gavin (4 October 2016). "NSW weather: Upgrades for roads promised after major flood damage at Forbes". ABC News. Australia. Archived from the original on 5 October 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  26. ^ "NSW weather: Forbes declared a natural disaster zone after flooding". ABC News. Australia. 28 September 2016. Archived from the original on 1 November 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  27. ^ Levy, Megan; Dumas, Megan (26 September 2016). "Floodwaters peak in Forbes, but more wet weather is on its way". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 30 October 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  28. ^ Levy, Megan; Dumas, Megan; Mitchell, Georgina (27 September 2016). "Flood-hit NSW towns Forbes and Condobolin brace for more damage". The Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. Archived from the original on 2 November 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  29. ^ "Flood coverage for Wagga and Riverina". The Daily Advertiser. Wagga Wagga. 31 October 2016. Archived from the original on 5 November 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  30. ^ "Free newspaper group bucks regional media trend". ABC News. 21 January 2016. Archived from the original on 4 March 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  31. ^ Pearce, Suzannah, ed. (17 November 2006). "SIMPSON Carolyn Chalmers, Hon. Justice". Who's Who in Australia Live!. North Melbourne, Vic: Crown Content Pty Ltd.
  32. ^ "Walker, Clifton Reginald (1905-1976)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Archived from the original on 5 April 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  33. ^ "Denison, Sir Hugh Robert (1865-1940)". Archived from the original on 3 April 2015.
  34. ^ "Langley, Eve (1904-1974)". Archived from the original on 4 April 2015.

External links

Media related to Forbes, New South Wales at Wikimedia Commons

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Music Scenes