Every new posting is an opportunity for locum doctor to explore amazing new places. We will show you why locum doctor life in Forbes looks amazing!
This week Blugibbon is focusing on Forbes. A small town of 8,472 in rural NSW, 380 kilometres (240 mi) west of Sydney around a 5 hour drive inland. Now once you’re in Forbes you would be forgiven for forgetting you’re in Australia. For all the Northern European or Brit expats.
The town has the familiar feel of any modern Australian town
Developed at the turn of the century with pretty fountains, mown grassland and tree lined streets, if not for the odd eucalyptus tree here and there!
Founded on the Lachlan River in the heartland of Lachlan Valley, Forbes is situated in NSW Central West. Like many towns, established in the late 1800s, the discovery of gold brought many people searching for their fortunes.
But once the reserves were gathered up Forbes was able to establish itself as a heartland of later agricultural and pastoral wealth. There are still many buildings today dating back to the earlier eras of the township’s early days.
With a population of roughly one third of the numbers that were attracted here in heady days of the gold rush era one district hospital serve the residents.
The main information we need to share with you for your locum doctor life in Forbes is obviously about hospital.
Forbes District is a small hospital situated on the southern side of the river, on the corner of Flint and Berkley St, in the township CBD. It has 22 beds and a small Emergency Department, and shares care with larger sister site in Parkes about 35km to the north east.
There is also a telehealth service operated out of the regional hub and larger district health service in Orange.
Around 12% of the current population are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Forbes and surrounding areas were predominantly populated by the Wiradjuri people like much of central NSW before the European settlement.
Most of Forbes sprawls around the waterways of the lake, of which you could be forgiven for thinking is actually the river, for its natural course originally a lagoon winds left and right with the topography of the land.
The Lachlan river is slightly further south of the town settlement and bends and turns more dramatically from East to West.
Forbes’ geographical location sits between a semi-arid and humid sub-tropical climate.
It tends to have a large temperature variation between the seasons with consistently hot summers and mild to cool winters.
Forbes is on a flood plain consistent with its close proximity to the riverbed, marshland and low elevation and on average experienced major flood events every 7 years. Forbes as much of rural NSW consistently suffers water shortages, but in the recent past has been affected by major drought.
Despite the seasons bringing their challenges the local community is strong and a sense of togetherness is very much in evidence, where people come together to help one another whenever the need arises.
The small things really make a difference in communities like these. So if you’re looking for a change of pace, change of scenery, you can start with a new experience of locum doctor life in Forbes.
Places to visit:
For anyone stopping by or travelling through, a must to check out is the visit NSW website.
This has everything you need to know for the local events and calendar activities. Like any great rural destination built on community and the people. They live to welcome visitors, and show off their town! So make sure you check in here if you’re planning a visit. Or else just check in here and plan a visit!
It’s also worth checking out the official local government information on Visit NSW.
Where to stay:
With a combination of motels and lodges to choose from. As well as privately owned B&Bs Forbes accommodation provides authentic Australian options for visitor stays. If being outdoors is appealing. Try River Meadows Caravan Park or Apex Riverside Park for cabin apartments and camping/tent options. Make sure to book in advance, especially in busy periods, to avoid disappointment.
Out and about in Forbes:
As it happens in many cities in Australia, the best part of your locum doctor life in Forbes will be outside. Forbes Heritage Trail is the best way to explore the town on foot, taking in the scenery, the architecture and the general vibe. You can grab a brochure including a map from the Visitor Information Centre on Union Street.
Incidentally, it’s also a great place to pick up any other gems on local hotspots. Useful things to know or general town folklore, or just have a casual chat with the locals about things to see and do. Small towns live off tourism and the Visitor Centre is always in the middle of the action. And in the know about what’s happening.
Ben Hall, the infamous bushranger was shot dead aged just 27, and rests in the Forbes cemetery on Boagan Gate Road.
Everything there is to know about Ben, the Hall-Gardiner gang and his life of crime and outlaw heroism. As arguably one of the most notorious bushrangers of the late 19th century. It can be learnt from multiple films and documentaries that have been made about his life.
However, there’s nothing quite like being in the place where it happened for absorbing the facts and re-enacting the stories in real life. Soak up the stats in the short film on Ben’s life at the Visitor Centre. Or visit the site of his shooting at nearby Billabong Creek.
If shopping is on your to-do list pick up a one-off or exclusive piece at one of the locally owned boutique, and specialty stores dotted around Rankin Street. And take time wandering around the pretty town main street.
Nature in Forbes
Lake Forbes is popular for water lovers. Whether it’s just a cycle or wander the walkways around almost 5km of the perimeter. Or jumping onto the skis for an adrenalin kick. There is s free children’s waterpark accessible from Bandon Street.
Originally a lagoon which has been remodelled for local and tourist enjoyment. Stop at one of the many picnic spots alongside the water’s edge, popular in the busy seasons. Bring your own sangers and fire up one of the hot plate BBQs. Check out the de Havilland Vampire monument for any World War II aircraft nuts.
Foodies in Forbes
Premium meat is one of the mainstays of produce in Forbes and the local area. So don’t be surprised to see an abundance of locally produced agricultural fare in Forbes’ eaterys and restaurants. Don’t miss out on an array of Lachlan Valley local producers’ offerings too. Including olives and olive oils, fruit, honey and wool garments.
Many local produce items are available direct from the farm/producer. Or visit the local Growers and Farmers Markets to pick up ingredients for a home cooked meal or daily shopping essentials including meat, fruit and vegetables, preserves and more.
Fishing is permitted in the Lachlan River so try your hand at casting a line for some fresh Murray cod during your stay. Yellowbelly and redfin are also around for the lucky, or the patient.
As there is much marsh and wetland in the district’s surrounding areas, on the route out of town the Gum Swamp and Bird Hide (Newell Highway) is a touted spot for an avian adventure. Don’t forget your binoculars, and snacks!
Top Forbes attractions:
We tried to select the best experiences you can have during your journey as a locum doctor in Forbes.
The McFeeters Motor Museum: Owned by Bill McFeeters of said motor museum fame. If you’re lucky you might get a sighting of, and on some days even a guided tour by the creator of Forbes’ number 1 attraction.
This husband and wife team set up the outfit to house his ever-growing obsession for collecting vintage cars. Which started in the 1960s. Combined with the female touch of creative flair and eye for fashion, the cars are displayed alongside mannequins dressed in fashions of the time-period. A great family run combination of car and couture!
There is a fairly large collection of local artefacts gathered from the local community on display at the Forbes Historical Museum. Dating back to the early days of life in Forbes, as well as some from more recent times.
The museum is run by volunteers from the local historical society. And areas are set up into household collections by room. If your thing is agricultural artefacts there is a fairly substantial shed full of them! Worth a stop by.
A great service to the community is the Aussie Biscuit Factory and shop, at 98 Rankin Street. Creating jobs and opportunities for people with disabilities in Forbes for over 40 years. It also benefits those with a penchant for the biscuity goodness – children and adults alike!
Good coffee in rural Australia, it’s life support!
Whether you’re local, locum or just passing through Forbes, coffee is always a must to start the day. So head on down to Café Aglio & Olio on Parkes Road. Or the Brew Coffee and Juice Bar at 99 Lachlan Street for a proper caffeine fix, or delicious cold fruity sip.
No country town is complete without the local bakery, and Round about Bakery is no exception if you’re ever in need of a classic pie, pasty or sausage roll.
From classic steak or schnittys and chip options at the Post office Hotel or Vandenburg Hotel. To Asian at Ben Hall Beau Thai, or Forbes Pizza House or Café Aglio & Olio (surprise italians do good coffee and pizza!). Try the Lakeside Takeaway for easy and quick as well as some healthier options. Eating in Forbes, there is something for every palate and wallet alike.
For foodies, there are regular events and festivals such as Grazing down the Lachlan. Including locally farmed and foraged fare from Sydney restaurateur OTama Carey, and the biannual Taste on Templar event.
Check out the amazingforbes website for regular event posts and to stay updated. We hope we give you a good idea of how locum doctor life in Forbes could be exciting. See you again next time for Blugibbon’s best places to find a locum doctor job.