Forbes is a farming centre west of Orange, with a gold mining and coach hub history. The renowned bushranger Ben Hall lived nearby and was killed north of town. Today, Forbes is trying to reinvent itself as a modern tourist and transport town.
100km from Orange on the Mid-Western Highway and Lachlan Valley Way (from Sydney, it takes up to 4 hours) and also accessible from Wagga Wagga and Canberra/Goulburn. Intermittent buses are available.
- 1 Lake Forbes. The centrepiece of the town is a billabong that winds around the town centre. It is used for recreation including dragon boat racing, jogging, fireworks and cycling. Forbes' plane-on-a-stick is in Apex Park by the main bridge, with its landing gear down but pointed distinctly down at the ground - doesn't look like a great landing coming but the plane's survived for 50 years now.
- 2 McFeeters Motor Museum, Oxford St (just south of the main bridge). 9AM-5PM. An impressive collection amassed by a local couple, displayed with a variety of mannequins in period costume. $14.
- 3 Ben Hall Shooting Site, Ben Hall Road (down a few kilometres of dirt road). It's now a corner of a farm with just a few placards about Ben Hall's last hours, but hey it's always fun to drive up The Bogan Way towards Bogan Gate.
- 4 Forbes Historical Museum, 11 Cross St. 2PM-4PM. Short opening hours but an extensive museum of local history. Not as much on Ben Hall as there used to be. $5.
- 1 Manna Mountain. The land west of Forbes is flat fields punctuated by the Lachlan River and occasional hills. Manna Mountain is a prominent ridge accessed by turning down Marsden Road (dirt) from the Lachlan Valley Way. Curl around the farm to the marked location and walk up the steep and rough access road from there (don't drive it without a good 4WD) to enjoy the views from the top. To the southwest is a road running through the interesting town of Burcher with its pleasant pub.