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  • ACT Canberra
  • New South Wales
  • Northern Territory
  • Queensland
  • South Australia
  • Tasmania
  • Victoria
  • Western Australia

    New South Wales is the site of Australia's first settlement by Europeans in 1788, is the most populated state in the Commonwealth of Australia with 7.29 million people (2011/12), and also contains the Australian Capital Territory and Canberra (370,000), the Federal parliamentary capital of Australia in the south.
    The capital, Sydney, has Australia's largest population (4,670,000 in 2011/12) and is built on one of the most beautiful harbours in the world. The city is surrounded by mountains and has many fine beaches. Sydney hosted the year 2,000 Olympic Games.
    New South Wales can be divided into many sections of interest, particularly along the eastern coastline. The far north near the border with Queensland, where it meets the Gold Coast, is renowned for its fine beaches and relaxed life-style. South of there is the rich rural and resort area which takes in large banana and primary produce areas, around Coffs Harbour and Byron Bay. Just north of Sydney is the industrial city of Newcastle, a major steel producer. It is also the centre for a large primary industry and is the gateway to the Hunter Valley wineries which produce some of Australia's finest wines.
    To the west, and visible from the city of Sydney are the Blue Mountains, part of the Great Dividing Range and a popular and spectacular area with quaint villages and beautiful scenery to explore.
    To the south, the Southern Highlands are rich in history and were a popular country resort area for early Sydneysiders. Many fine historic homes still exist and can be visited. Today it is a rich rural productive area with many National Parks and some spectacular scenery.
    Further South, the coastal resorts of Batemans Bay and Bega are popular holiday destinations and, inland lies the ACT national capital of Canberra, and the gateway to the Southern Alps, which are a major skiing and snow sports resort in winter.
    The border of New South Wales and Victoria is mainly formed by the mighty Murray River and all the towns and cities along its length are prosperous rural centres with a background as river ports dating back to last century, and still popular water recreation centres. Fishing for the giant Murray Cod is one of the great recreation activities available, as are water skiing, swimming and boating. River cruises on paddle wheel steamers is available at some ports.
    In the south-west, The Riverina is a large rice and grain producing area along the Murrumbidgee River which rises in the alpine area and meanders several hundred kilometres to join the Murray River near Robinvale.
    The west of the state, beyond the Great Dividing Range leads to the real outback of Australia, and vegetation and facilities diminish the further you travel. The far west is on the eastern fringe of Sturt's Stony Desert and many of the towns like Bourke, Broken Hill, and Wilcannia provide comfortable stopovers for the traveller in the harsher environment.
    New South Wales can be described as the complete state. Here you will find mighty rivers, fantastic golden beaches, rugged mountain ranges, thriving cities or outback towns consisting of one or two buildings, desert areas and rainforests, waterfalls and saltlakes, and importantly, relics of both Australia's first European settlers, and the indigenous tribes who preceded them.
    A full list of Cities and Towns and National Parks covered in this series will be found below.


    A list of the main touring areas of the state with links to maps and other information

    © Copyright Peter W. Wilkins