Most people in Australia had not heard of Parkes until the Radio Telescope featured in the 2000 Australian comedy movie, 'The Dish' (featuring Sam Neil).
Despite this, many American's knew of the Telescope for its role that, along with The Honeysuckler Creek Tracking station outside Canberra, it played in the Apollo mission of 1969, when it helped relay the first images of Neil Armstrong's first steps on the moon back to Mission Control in Houston.
Obviously the telescope is the main draw card for the region, but as these work best when not diluted by city lights, the town has seen little growth over the years. That said, the movie did wonders for the towns tourism with educated tourists now seeking out their area as they explore New South Wales.
The Parkes Shire Council's website has more information, including links to the Telescope and its history.
Queensland - the Sunshine State.
New South Wales - the First State.
Victoria - the Garden State.
Tasmania - the Apple Isle.
South Australia - the Festival State.
Western Australia - the Real Thing.
Northern Territory - Outback Australia.