Forbes is located on the Lachlan River in Central West NSW in Wiradjuri country. With European occupation Forbes became famous for its rich bushranging history and for its historic buildings dating back to the Forbes gold rushes.
The Forbes Shire encompasses an area of 4,718.07 squarere km and is comprised of the town of Forbes and small villages of Bedgerebong, Garema, Wirrinya, Corinella and Ootha. The population of Forbes has been rising since 2011 and currently sits at 9,808 persons. Gross Regional Product is $534.8 million. Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing is our largest industry in terms of output, valued at $183 million, with Manufacturing valued at $173 million. Forbes unemployment rate hovers at 5.4% and residents have an average income of $39,513. Forbes is home to five schools, one preschool, three early childhood centres and three art and craft galleries. It has a full range of both winter and summer sports from swimming and equestrian to archery and croquet and all football sports and regularly hosts both National & World Hang Gliding Championship events. It also hosts a monthly farmers market, the Kalari Lachlan River Arts Festival, Frost and Fire Festival, Grazing Down the Lachlan and Vanfest, Central West NSW’s only music festival dedicated to independent Australian music which attracts 8000 people to Forbes annually.
9.6% of the Forbes Shire residents identify as Indigenous. 90.8% of people living in Forbes were born in Australia. The other countries of birth for Forbes Residents include: England, New Zealand, Philippines, Scotland, China, Canada, Italy, Zimbabwe, France, South Africa, Ireland, Sri Lanka & India. Forbes offers a unique blend of modern lifestyle in a historic setting. The tranquil Lake Forbes is central to the identity of the shire and offers residents numerous recreation and leisure activities. Ideally positioned on the Newell Highway, halfway between Brisbane and Melbourne, almost 80% of Australia’s population can be reached within 12 hours driving time.
Forbes is a safe place to live with a strong sense of community with over 90 social clubs and associations including five service clubs and an active Business Chamber. Read more about our community in the Community Strategic Plan.