Wales (abbreviated as NSW) is a state on the east coast of
Australia. It borders
Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south,
Australia to the west. Its coast borders the
Tasman Sea to
the east. The
Australian Capital Territory
Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the
state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also
Australia's most populous city. In March 2017[update], the population
of New South
Wales was over 7.8 million, making it Australia's most
populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 4.67
million, live in the Greater
Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South
Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.
Colony of New South Wales
Colony of New South Wales was founded as a penal colony in 1788.
It originally comprised more than half of the
Australian mainland with
its western boundary set at
129th meridian east
129th meridian east in 1825. The colony
also included the island territories of New Zealand, Van Diemen's
Land, Lord Howe Island, and Norfolk Island. During the 19th century,
most of the colony's area was detached to form separate British
colonies that eventually became New Zealand and the various states and
territories of Australia. However, the
Swan River Colony
Swan River Colony has never
been administered as part of New South Wales.
Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island remains part of New South Wales, while Norfolk Island
has become a federal territory, as have the areas now known as the
Australian Capital Territory
Australian Capital Territory and the Jervis Bay Territory.
1.1 Aborigines (indigenous people)
1.2 1788 British settlement
1.3 Mid-19th century
1.4 1901 Federation of Australia
1.5 Early 20th century
1.6 Post-war period
2.3 Local government
2.4 Emergency services
5.1 Primary and Secondary
5.1.1 Record of School Achievement
5.1.2 Higher School Certificate
6 Geography and ecology
8.1.1 Riparian water rights
9 National parks
12 Sister States
13 See also
15 External links
Main article: History of New South Wales
Aborigines (indigenous people)
Main article: Prehistory of Australia
The prior inhabitants of New South
Wales were the Aboriginal tribes
who arrived in
Australia about 40,000 to 60,000 years ago. Before
European settlement there were an estimated 250,000 Aboriginal people
in the region.
The Wodi Wodi people are the original custodians of the Illawarra
region of South Sydney. Speaking a variant of the Dharawal
language, the Wodi Wodi people lived across a large stretch of land
which was roughly surrounded by what is now known as Campbelltown,
Shoalhaven River and Moss Vale.
Bundjalung people are the original custodians of parts of the
northern coastal areas.
1788 British settlement
The European discovery of New South
Wales was made by Captain James
Cook during his 1770 survey along the unmapped eastern coast of the
Dutch-named continent of New Holland, now Australia. In his original
journal(s) covering the survey, in triplicate to satisfy Admiralty
Orders, Cook first named the land "New Wales", named after Wales.
However, in the copy held by the Admiralty, he "revised the wording"
to "New South Wales".
The first British settlement was made by what is known in Australian
history as the First Fleet; this was led by Captain Arthur Phillip,
who assumed the role of governor of the settlement on arrival in 1788
After years of chaos and anarchy after the overthrow of Governor
William Bligh, a new governor, Lieutenant-Colonel (later
Major-General) Lachlan Macquarie, was sent from Britain to reform the
settlement in 1809. During his time as governor, Macquarie
commissioned the construction of roads, wharves, churches and public
buildings, sent explorers out from
Sydney and employed a planner to
design the street layout of Sydney. Macquarie's legacy is still
During the 19th century, large areas were successively separated to
form the British colonies of
Tasmania (proclaimed as a separate colony
Van Diemen's Land
Van Diemen's Land in 1825), South
Australia (1836), Victoria
Responsible government was granted to
the New South
Wales colony in 1855. Following the Treaty of Waitangi,
William Hobson declared
British sovereignty over New Zealand in 1840.
In 1841 it was separated from the
Colony of New South Wales
Colony of New South Wales to form
the new Colony of New Zealand.
Charles Darwin visited
Australia in January 1836 and in The Voyage of
the Beagle (chapter 19 of the 11th edition) records his
hesitations about and fascination with New South Wales, including his
speculations about the geological origin and formation of the great
valleys, the aboriginal population, the situation of the convicts, and
the future prospects of the country.
1901 Federation of Australia
At the end of the 19th century, the movement toward federation between
the Australian colonies gathered momentum. Conventions and forums
involving colony leaders were held on a regular basis. Proponents of
Wales as a free trade state were in dispute with the other
leading colony Victoria, which had a protectionist economy. At this
time customs posts were common on borders, even on the Murray River.
Travelling from New South
Wales to Victoria in those days was very
difficult. Supporters of federation included the New South Wales
Sir Henry Parkes
Sir Henry Parkes whose 1889 Tenterfield Speech (given in
Tenterfield) was pivotal in gathering support for New South Wales
involvement. Edmund Barton, later to become Australia's first Prime
Minister, was another strong advocate for federation and a meeting
Corowa in 1893 drafted an initial constitution.
In 1898 popular referenda on the proposed federation were held in New
South Wales, Victoria, South
Australia and Tasmania. All votes
resulted in a majority in favour, but the New South
Premier George Reid (popularly known as "yes–no Reid" because
of his constant changes of opinion on the issue) had set a requirement
for a higher "yes" vote than just a simple majority which was not met.
In 1899 further referenda were held in the same states as well as
Queensland (but not Western Australia). All resulted in yes votes with
majorities increased from the previous year. New South
Wales met the
conditions its government had set for a yes vote. As a compromise to
the question on where the capital was to be located, an agreement was
made that the site was to be within New South
Wales but not closer
than 100 miles (161 km) from Sydney, while the provisional
capital would be Melbourne. Eventually the area that now forms the
Australian Capital Territory
Australian Capital Territory was ceded by New South
Canberra was selected.
Early 20th century
In the years after World War I, the high prices enjoyed during the war
fell with the resumption of international trade. Farmers became
increasingly discontented with the fixed prices paid by the compulsory
marketing authorities set up as a wartime measure by the Hughes
government. In 1919 the farmers formed the Country Party, led at
national level by Earle Page, a doctor from Grafton, and at state
level by Michael Bruxner, a small farmer from Tenterfield.
The Great Depression, which began in 1929, ushered in a period of
political and class conflict in New South Wales. The mass unemployment
and collapse of commodity prices brought ruin to both city workers and
to farmers. The beneficiary of the resultant discontent was not the
Communist Party, which remained small and weak, but Jack Lang's Labor
populism. Lang's second government was elected in November 1930 on a
policy of repudiating New South Wales' debt to British bondholders and
using the money instead to help the unemployed through public works.
This was denounced as illegal by conservatives, and also by James
Scullin's federal Labor government. The result was that Lang's
supporters in the federal Caucus brought down Scullin's government,
causing a second bitter split in the Labor Party. In May 1932 the
Philip Game dismissed his government. The subsequent
election was won by the conservative opposition.
Japanese POW camp in Cowra, 1944, several weeks before the Cowra
By the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the differences between New
Wales and the other states that had emerged in the 19th century
had faded as a result of federation and economic development behind a
wall of protective tariffs. New South
to outstrip Victoria as the centre of industry, and increasingly of
finance and trade as well. Labor returned to office
under the moderate leadership of
William McKell in 1941 and remained
in power for 24 years. World War II saw another surge in industrial
development to meet the needs of a war economy, and also the
elimination of unemployment.
Labor stayed in power until 1965. Towards the end of its term in power
it announced a plan for the construction of an opera/arts facility on
Bennelong Point. The design competition was won by Jørn Utzon.
Controversy over the cost of what would eventually become the Sydney
Opera House became a political issue and was a factor in the eventual
defeat of Labor in 1965 by the conservative Liberal Party led by Sir
Robert Askin. Sir Robert remains a controversial figure with
supporters claiming him to be reformist especially in terms of
reshaping the NSW economy. Others though, regard the Askin era as
synonymous with corruption with Askin the head of a network involving
NSW police and SP bookmaking (Goot).
South Maitland Railway
South Maitland Railway (SMR) Railcar travelling between
Weston and Abermain, 1962. The SMR is notable for being the second
last system in
Australia to use steam haulage.
In the late 1960s a secessionist movement in the New England region of
the state led to a referendum on the issue. The new state would have
consisted of much of northern NSW including Newcastle. The referendum
was narrowly defeated and, as of 2010[update], there are no active or
organised campaigns for new states in NSW.
Askin's resignation in 1975 was followed by a number of short lived
premierships by Liberal Party leaders. When a general election came in
1976 the ALP under
Neville Wran were returned to power. Wran was able
to transform this narrow one seat victory into landslide wins (known
as Wranslide) in 1978 and 1981.
After winning a comfortable though reduced majority in 1984, Wran
resigned as premier and left parliament. His replacement Barrie
Unsworth struggled to emerge from Wran's shadow and lost a 1988
election against a resurgent Liberal Party led by Nick Greiner.
Unsworth was replaced as ALP leader by Bob Carr. Initially Greiner was
a popular leader instigating reform such as the creation of the
Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). Greiner called a
snap election in 1991 which the Liberals were expected to win. However
the ALP polled extremely well and the Liberals lost their majority and
needed the support of independents to retain power.
Greiner was accused (by ICAC) of corrupt actions involving an
allegation that a government position was offered to tempt an
independent (who had defected from the Liberals) to resign his seat so
that the Liberal party could regain it and shore up its numbers.
Greiner resigned but was later cleared of corruption. His replacement
as Liberal leader and
Premier was John Fahey whose government secured
Sydney the right to host the 2000 Summer Olympics. In the 1995
election, Fahey's government lost narrowly and the ALP under Bob Carr
returned to power.
Sydney Opera House was completed in 1973 and has become a World
Like Wran before him Carr was able to turn a narrow majority into
landslide wins at the next two elections (1999 and 2003). During this
era, NSW hosted the 2000
Sydney Olympics which were internationally
regarded as very successful, and helped boost Carr's popularity. Carr
surprised most people by resigning from office in 2005. He was
replaced by Morris Iemma, who remained
Premier after being re-elected
in the March 2007 state election, until he was replaced by Nathan Rees
in September 2008. Rees was subsequently replaced by Kristina
Keneally in December 2009. Keneally's government was defeated at
the 2011 state election and
Barry O'Farrell became
Premier on 28
March. On 17 April 2014 O'Farrell stood down as
misleading an ICAC investigation concerning a gift of a bottle of
wine. The Liberal Party then elected Treasurer
Mike Baird as party
leader and Premier. Baird resigned as
Premier on 23 January 2017, and
was replaced by Gladys Berejiklian.
Main article: Government of New South Wales
Wales Parliament House
Executive authority is vested in the Governor of New South Wales, who
represents and is appointed by Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia. The
current Governor is David Hurley. The Governor commissions as Premier
the leader of the parliamentary political party that can command a
simple majority of votes in the Legislative Assembly. The
recommends the appointment of other Members of the two Houses to the
Ministry, under the principle of responsible or Westminster
government. As in other Westminster systems, there is no
constitutional requirement in NSW for the Government to be formed from
the Parliament—merely convention. The
Premier is Gladys Berejiklian
of the Liberal Party.
The form of the
Government of New South Wales
Government of New South Wales is prescribed in its
Constitution, dating from 1856 and currently the Constitution Act 1902
(NSW). Since 1901 New South
Wales has been a state of the
Commonwealth of Australia, and the Australian Constitution regulates
its relationship with the Commonwealth.
In 2006, the Constitution Amendment
Pledge of Loyalty Act 2006 No
6, was enacted to amend the NSW Constitution Act 1902 to require
Members of the New South
Wales Parliament and its Ministers to take a
pledge of loyalty to
Australia and to the people of New South Wales
instead of swearing allegiance to
Elizabeth II her heirs and
successors, and to revise the oaths taken by Executive Councillors.
The Pledge of Loyalty Act was officially assented to by the Queen on 3
Under the Australian Constitution, New South
Wales ceded certain
legislative and judicial powers to the Commonwealth, but retained
independence in all other areas. The New South
says: "The Legislature shall, subject to the provisions of the
Australia Constitution Act, have power to make laws
for the peace, welfare, and good government of New South
Wales in all
The first "responsible" self-government of New South
Wales was formed
on 6 June 1856 with Sir Stuart Alexander Donaldson appointed by
William Denison as its first Colonial Secretary which in
those days accounted also as the Premier. The State Parliament is
composed of the Sovereign and two houses: the Legislative Assembly
(lower house), and the Legislative Council (upper house). Elections
are held every four years on the fourth Saturday of March, the most
recent being on 28 March 2015. At each election one member is elected
to the Legislative Assembly from each of 93 electoral districts and
half of the 42 members of the Legislative Council are elected by a
Wales is divided into 128 local government areas. There is
Unincorporated Far West Region
Unincorporated Far West Region which is not part of any local
government area, in the sparsely inhabited Far West, and Lord Howe
Island, which is also unincorporated but self-governed by the Lord
Howe Island Board.
Wales is policed by the New South
Wales Police Force, a
statutory authority. Established in 1862, the NSW Police Force
investigates Summary and Indictable offences throughout the State of
New South Wales. The state has two fire services: the volunteer based
Wales Rural Fire Service, which is responsible for the
majority of the state, and the Fire and Rescue NSW, a government
agency responsible for protecting urban areas. There is some overlap
due to suburbanisation. Ambulance services are provided through the
Ambulance Service of New South Wales. Rescue services (i.e. vertical,
road crash, confinement) are a joint effort by all emergency services,
with Ambulance Rescue, Police Rescue Squad and Fire Rescue Units
contributing. Volunteer rescue organisations include the Australian
Volunteer Coast Guard,
State Emergency Service
State Emergency Service (SES), Surf Life Saving
Volunteer Rescue Association
Volunteer Rescue Association (VRA).
See also: Demographics of
Sydney and Demographics of Australia
The estimated resident population since 1981
The estimated population of New South
Wales at the end of September
2017 was 7,895,800 people.
The principal ancestries of New South Wales's residents (as surveyed
in 2011) are:
62.9% of NSW's population is based in Sydney.
Sydney central business district is Australia's largest financial
A portion of the eastern end of the Newcastle foreshore
Wollongong at night
Tweed Heads Twin Towns on the state border of New South
Population by Statistical Area Level 4 and 3
Statistical Area Level 4 and 3
Population 30 June 2016
10 year growth rate
Population density (people/km2)
Newcastle and Lake Macquarie
Hunter Valley excluding Newcastle
Mid North Coast
New England and North West
Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven
Far West and Orana
New South Wales
Population by Significant Urban Area
Significant Urban Area
Population 30 June 2016 
10 year growth rate
Newcastle - Maitland
Bowral - Mittagong
Nowra - Bomaderry
Nelson Bay - Corlette
Morisset - Cooranbong
Forster - Tuncurry
Kurri Kurri - Weston
St Georges Basin - Sanctuary Point
New South Wales
Main article: Transport in New South Wales
Passage through New South
Wales is vital for cross-continent
transport. Rail and road traffic from
Brisbane (Queensland) to Perth
(Western Australia), or to
Melbourne (Victoria) must pass through New
Waratah Train approaching Flemington
An XPT operating a Central West service at Rydal
The majority of railways in New South
Wales are currently operated by
the state government. Some lines began as branch-lines of railways
starting in other states. For instance, Balranald near the Victorian
border was connected by a rail line coming up from Victoria and into
New South Wales. Another line beginning in
Adelaide crossed over the
border and stopped at Broken Hill.
Railways management are conducted by
Sydney Trains and NSW
TrainLink which maintain rolling stock.
Sydney Trains operates
NSW TrainLink operates outside Sydney,
intercity, country and interstate services.
Sydney Trains and
NSW TrainLink have their main terminus at
Sydney's Central station.
NSW TrainLink regional and long-distance
services consist of XPT services to Grafton, Casino, Brisbane,
Melbourne and Dubbo, as well as Xplorer services to Canberra,
Griffith, Broken Hill,
Armidale and Moree.
NSW TrainLink intercity
trains operate on the Blue Mountains Line, Central Cost &
Newcastle Line, South Coast Line,
Southern Highlands Line
Southern Highlands Line and Hunter
Wales and its highways
Pacific Motorway (Sydney–Newcastle)
Pacific Motorway (Sydney–Newcastle) north of the Hawkesbury River
Major roads are the concern of both federal and state governments. The
latter maintains these through the Department of Roads and Maritime
Services, formerly the Roads and Traffic Authority, and before that,
the Department of Main Roads (DMR).
The main roads in New South
Hume Highway linking
Sydney to Melbourne, Victoria;
Princes Highway linking
Melbourne via the
Tasman Sea coast;
Pacific Highway linking
Sydney to Brisbane,
Queensland via the Pacific
New England Highway
New England Highway running from the Pacific Highway, at Newcastle to
Brisbane by an inland route;
Federal Highway running from the
Hume Highway south of
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory;
Sturt Highway running from the
Hume Highway near Gundagai to Adelaide,
Newell Highway linking rural Victoria with Queensland, passing through
the centre of New South Wales;
Great Western Highway
Great Western Highway linking
Sydney with Bathurst. As Route 32 it
continues west as the
Mitchell Highway then as the
Barrier Highway to
Adelaide via Broken Hill.
Other roads are usually the concern of the RMS and/or the local
Qantas A380 taking off at
Kingsford Smith Airport (commonly
Sydney Airport, and locally referred
to as Mascot Airport or just 'Mascot'), located in the southern Sydney
suburb of Mascot is the major airport for not just the state but the
whole nation. It is a hub for Australia's national airline Qantas.
Other airlines serving regional New South
Regional Express (also known as Rex);
Virgin Australia (formerly known as Virgin Blue Airlines).
The state government through
Sydney Ferries operates ferries within
Sydney Harbour and the Parramatta River. It also has a ferry service
within Newcastle. All other ferry services are privately
Spirit of Tasmania ran a commercial ferry service between
Devonport, Tasmania. This service was terminated in 2006.
Private boat services operated between South Australia, Victoria and
Wales along the Murray and Darling Rivers but these only
exist now as the occasional tourist paddle-wheeler service.
Sydney Grammar School, established in 1854, is the oldest
secondary school still in use in
Primary and Secondary
The NSW school system comprises a kindergarten to year 12 system with
primary schooling up to year 6 and secondary schooling between years 7
and 12. Schooling is compulsory from before 6 years old until the age
of 17 (unless Year 10 is completed earlier).. Between 1990 and
2010, schooling was only compulsory in NSW until age 15.
Primary and secondary schools include government and non-government
schools. Government schools are further classified as comprehensive
and selective schools. Non-government schools include Catholic
schools, other denominational schools, and non-denominational
Typically, a primary school provides education from kindergarten level
to year 6. A secondary school, usually called a "high school",
provides education from years 7 to 12. Secondary colleges are
secondary schools which only cater for years 11 and 12.
The NSW Education Standards Authority classifies the 13 years of
primary and secondary schooling into six stages, beginning with Early
Stage 1 (Kindergarten) and ending with Stage 6 (years 11 and
Record of School Achievement
Main article: Record of School Achievement
Record of School Achievement (RoSA) is awarded by the NSW Education
Standards Authority to students who have completed at least Year 10
but leave school without completing the Higher School Certificate.
The RoSA was introduced in 2012 to replace the former School
Higher School Certificate
Main article: Higher
School Certificate (New South Wales)
School Certificate (HSC) is the usual Year 12 leaving
certificate in NSW. Most students complete the HSC prior to entering
the workforce or going on to study at university or
TAFE (although the
HSC itself can be completed at TAFE). The HSC must be completed for a
student to get an
Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (formerly
Universities Admission Index), which determines the student's rank
against fellow students who completed the Higher School Certificate.
The University of Sydney, established in 1850, is the oldest
university in Australia
Eleven universities primarily operate in New South Wales.
home to Australia's first university, the University of
in 1850. Other universities include the University of New South Wales,
Macquarie University, the University of Technology,
Sydney and Western
Sydney University. The
Australian Catholic University
Australian Catholic University has two of its
six campuses in Sydney, and the private University of Notre Dame
Australia also operates a secondary campus in the city.
Outside Sydney, the leading universities are the University of
Newcastle and the University of Wollongong.
Armidale is home to the
University of New England, and
Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University and Southern
Cross University have campuses spread across cities in the state's
south-west and north coast respectively.
The public universities are state government agencies, however they
are largely regulated by the federal government, which also
administers their public funding. Admission to NSW universities is
arranged together with universities in the Australian Capital
Territory by another government agency, the Universities Admission
Primarily vocational training is provided up the level of advanced
diplomas is provided by the state government's ten Technical and
Further Education (TAFE) institutes. These institutes run courses in
more than130 campuses throughout the state.
Geography and ecology
Main article: Geography of New South Wales
The Snowy Mountains
Wales is bordered on the north by Queensland, on the west by
South Australia, on the south by Victoria and on the east by the
Tasman Sea. The
Australian Capital Territory
Australian Capital Territory and the Jervis Bay
Territory form a separately administered entity that is bordered
entirely by New South Wales. The state can be divided geographically
into four areas. New South Wales' three largest cities, Sydney,
Newcastle and Wollongong, lie near the centre of a narrow coastal
strip extending from cool temperate areas on the far south coast to
subtropical areas near the
Illawarra region is centred on the city of Wollongong, with the
Eurobodalla and the
Sapphire Coast to the south. The
Central Coast lies between
Sydney and Newcastle, with the Mid North
Northern Rivers regions reaching northwards to the
Queensland border. Tourism is important to the economies of coastal
towns such as Coffs Harbour, Lismore, Nowra and Port Macquarie, but
the region also produces seafood, beef, dairy, fruit, sugar cane and
Byron Bay beach in northern New South Wales
Great Dividing Range
Great Dividing Range extends from Victoria in the south through
Wales to Queensland, parallel to the narrow coastal plain.
This area includes the Snowy Mountains, the Northern, Central and
Southern Tablelands, the Southern Highlands and the South West Slopes.
Whilst not particularly steep, many peaks of the range rise above
1,000 metres (3,281 ft), with the highest
Mount Kosciuszko at
2,229 m (7,313 ft). Skiing in
Australia began in this region
Kiandra around 1861. The relatively short ski season underwrites
the tourist industry in the Snowy Mountains. Agriculture, particularly
the wool industry, is important throughout the highlands. Major
centres include Armidale, Bathurst, Bowral, Goulburn, Inverell,
Queanbeyan and Tamworth.
There are numerous forests in New South Wales, with such tree species
as Red Gum
Eucalyptus and Crow Ash (
Flindersia australis), being
represented. Forest floors have a diverse set of understory shrubs
and fungi. One of the widespread fungi is Witch's Butter (Tremella
The western slopes and plains fill a significant portion of the
state's area and have a much sparser population than areas nearer the
coast. Agriculture is central to the economy of the western slopes,
Riverina region and
Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area
Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area in
the state's south-west. Regional cities such as Albury, Dubbo,
Wagga Wagga and towns such as Deniliquin, Leeton and
Parkes exist primarily to service these agricultural regions. The
western slopes descend slowly to the western plains that comprise
almost two-thirds of the state and are largely arid or semi-arid. The
mining town of
Broken Hill is the largest centre in this area.
One possible definition of the centre for New South
Wales is located
33 kilometres (21 mi) west-north-west of Tottenham.
Köppen climate types in New South Wales
The major part of New South Wales, west of the Great Dividing Range,
has an arid to semi arid climate. Rainfall averages from 150
millimetres (5.9 in) to 500 millimetres (20 in) a year
throughout most of this region. Summer temperatures can be very hot,
while winter nights can be quite cold in this region. Rainfall varies
throughout the state. The far north-west receives the least, less than
180 mm (7 in) annually, while the east receives between 700
to 1,400 mm (28 to 55 in) of rain.
The climate along the flat, coastal plain east of the range varies
from oceanic in the south to humid subtropical in the northern half of
the state, right above Wollongong. Rainfall is highest in this area;
however, it still varies from around 800 millimetres (31 in) to
as high as 3,000 millimetres (120 in) in the wettest areas, for
example Dorrigo. Along the southern coast, rainfall is heaviest in
winter due to cold fronts which move across southern Australia. While
in the far north, around Lismore, rain is heaviest in summer from
tropical systems and occasionally even cyclones.
The climate in the southern half of the state is generally warm to hot
in summer and cool in the winter. The seasons are more defined in the
southern half of the state, especially as one moves inland towards
South West Slopes, Central West and the
Riverina region. The climate
in the northeast region of the state, or the North Coast, bordering
Queensland, is hot and humid in the summer and mild in winter. The
Northern Tablelands, which are also on the north coast, have
relatively mild summers and cold winters, due to their high elevation
on the Great Dividing Range.
Peaks along the
Great Dividing Range
Great Dividing Range vary from 500 metres
(1,640 ft) to over 2,000 metres (6,562 ft) above sea level.
Temperatures can be cool to cold in winter with frequent frosts and
snowfall, and are rarely hot in summer due to the elevation. Lithgow
has a climate typical of the range, as do the regional cities of
Orange, Cooma, Oberon and Armidale. Such places fall within the
subtropical highland (Cwb) variety. Rainfall is moderate in this area,
ranging from 600 to 800 mm (24 to 31 in).
Snowfall is common in the higher parts of the range, sometimes
occurring as far north as the
Queensland border. On the highest peaks
of the Snowy Mountains, the climate can be subpolar oceanic and even
alpine on the higher peaks with very cold temperatures and heavy snow.
The Blue Mountains,
Southern Tablelands and Central Tablelands, which
are situated on the Great Dividing Range, have mild to warm summers
and cold winters, although not as severe as those in the Snowy
The highest maximum temperature recorded was 49.7 °C
(121 °F) at Menindee in the west of the state on 10 January
1939. The lowest minimum temperature was −23 °C
(−9 °F) at Charlotte Pass in the
Snowy Mountains on 29 June
1994. This is also the lowest temperature recorded in the whole of
Australia excluding the Antarctic Territory.
Climate data for New South Wales
Record high °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Source: Bureau of Meteorology
Main article: Economy of New South Wales
Sydney Harbour Bridge is an important tourist attraction for New
Port Kembla is notable for its steelworks industry, with many ships
utilising the port.
Since the 1970s, New South
Wales has undergone an increasingly rapid
economic and social transformation. Old industries
such as steel and shipbuilding have largely disappeared; although
agriculture remains important, its share of the state's income is
smaller than ever before.
New industries such as information technology and financial services
are largely centred in
Sydney and have risen to take their place, with
many companies having their Australian headquarters in Sydney
CBD. In addition, the
Macquarie Park area of Sydney
has attracted the Australian headquarters of many information
Coal and related products are the state's biggest export. Its value to
the state's economy is over A$5 billion, accounting for about 19%
of all exports from NSW.
Tourism has also become important, with
Sydney as its centre, also
stimulating growth on the North Coast, around
Coffs Harbour and Byron
Bay. Tourism is worth over $25.1 billion to the New
Wales economy and employs 7.1% of the workforce. In 2007,
Premier of New South Wales
Premier of New South Wales
Morris Iemma established Events New
Wales to "market
Sydney and NSW as a leading global events
destination". In July 2011 Events NSW merged with three key state
authorities including Tourism NSW to establish Destination NSW
Wales had a Gross State Product in 2010–11 (equivalent to
Gross Domestic Product) of $419.9 billion which equalled $57,828
On 9 October 2007 NSW announced plans to build a 1,000 MW bank of wind
powered turbines. The output of these is anticipated to be able to
power up to 400,000 homes. The cost of this project will be
$1.8 billion for 500 turbines. On 28 August 2008 the New
Wales cabinet voted to privatise electricity retail, causing
1,500 electrical workers to strike after a large anti-privatisation
The NSW business community is represented by the NSW Business Chamber
which has 30,000 members.
See also: Agriculture in Australia
Aerial view of mixed crops near Coolamon
Agriculture is spread throughout the eastern two-thirds of New South
Wales. Cattle, sheep and pigs are the predominant types of livestock
produced in NSW and they have been present since their importation
during the earliest days of European settlement. Economically the
state is the most important state in Australia, with about one-third
of the country's sheep, one-fifth of its cattle, and one-third of its
small number of pigs. New South
Wales produces a large share of
Australia's hay, fruit, legumes, lucerne, maize, nuts, wool, wheat,
oats, oilseeds (about 51%), poultry, rice (about 99%), vegetables,
fishing including oyster farming, and forestry including wood
chips. Bananas and sugar are grown chiefly in the Clarence,
Richmond and Tweed River areas.
Wools are produced on the
Northern Tablelands as well as prime lambs
and beef cattle. The cotton industry is centred in the Namoi Valley in
northwestern New South Wales. On the central slopes there are many
orchards, with the principal fruits grown being apples, cherries and
About 40,200 hectares of vineyards lie across the eastern region of
the state, with excellent wines produced in the Hunter Valley, with
Riverina being the largest wine producer in New South Wales.
Australia’s largest and most valuable
Thoroughbred horse breeding
area is centred on Scone in the Hunter Valley. The Hunter Valley
is the home of the world-famous Coolmore, Darley and Kia-Ora
Thoroughbred horse studs.
About half of Australia's timber production is in New South Wales.
Large areas of the state are now being replanted with eucalyptus
The Hunter Valley is known for its vineyards and wineries.
Riparian water rights
Under the Water Management Act 2000, updated riparian water rights
were given to those within NSW with livestock. This change was named
"The Domestic Stock Right" which gives "an owner or occupier of a
landholding is entitled to take water from a river, estuary or lake
which fronts their land or from an aquifer which is underlying their
land for domestic consumption and stock watering without the need for
an access licence."
See also: Protected areas of New South Wales
Wales has more than 780 national parks and reserves covering
more than 8% of the state. These parks range from rainforests,
waterfalls, rugged bush to marine wonderlands and outback deserts,
including World Heritage sites.
Royal National Park
Royal National Park on the southern outskirts of
Australia's first National Park when proclaimed on 26 April 1879.
Originally named The National Park until 1955, this park was the
second National Park to be established in the world after Yellowstone
National Park in the U.S.
Kosciuszko National Park
Kosciuszko National Park is the largest park
in state encompassing New South Wales' alpine region.
The National Parks Association was formed in 1957 to create a system
of national parks all over New South
Wales which led to the formation
of the National Parks and Wildlife Service in 1967. This
government agency is responsible for developing and maintaining the
parks and reserve system, and conserving natural and cultural
heritage, in the state of New South Wales. These parks preserve
special habitats, plants and wildlife, such as the Wollemi National
Park where the Wollemi Pine grows and areas sacred to Australian
Aboriginals such as
Mutawintji National Park
Mutawintji National Park in western New South
Winter at Etheridge Ridge in Kosciuszko National Park
Main article: Sport in New South Wales
Sydney – home of the NRL Grand Final
Throughout Australian history, NSW sporting teams have been very
successful in both winning domestic competitions and providing players
to the Australian national teams.
The largest sporting competition in the state is the National Rugby
League, which expanded from the New South
Wales Rugby League and
Australian Rugby Leagues whose headquarters are in Sydney. The state
is represented by The 'Blues' in the traditional State of Origin
Sydney is the spiritual home of Australian rugby league and to
9 of the 16 NRL teams: (
Sydney Roosters, South
Parramatta Eels, Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, Wests Tigers, Penrith
Canterbury Bulldogs and Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles), as well
as being the northern home of the St George
Illawarra Dragons, which
is half-based in Wollongong. A tenth team, the
Newcastle Knights is
located in Newcastle. The
City vs Country Origin
City vs Country Origin match is also taken
to various regional cities around the state.
The Bathurst 1000, held at
Mount Panorama Circuit
Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst
The state is represented by four teams in soccer's A-League:
(the inaugural champions in 2005–06), the Western
the Central Coast Mariners, based at
Gosford and the Newcastle United
Jets (2007–08 A League Champions).
Australian rules football
Australian rules football has
historically not been strong in New South
Wales outside the Riverina
region. However, the
Sydney Swans relocated from South
1982 and their presence and success since the late 1990s has raised
the profile of Australian rules football, especially after their AFL
premiership in 2005. A second NSW AFL club, the Greater Western Sydney
Giants, entered the competition in 2012. Other teams in national
competitions include basketball's
Sydney Uni Flames,
NSW Waratahs and netball's
Cricket Ground at the 4th
Australia vs India test, 2004
Sydney was the host of the
2000 Summer Olympics
2000 Summer Olympics and the 1938 British
Empire Games. The Olympic Stadium, now known as
ANZ Stadium is the
scene of the annual NRL Grand Final. It also regularly hosts State of
Origin matches and rugby union internationals, and hosted the final of
2003 Rugby World Cup
2003 Rugby World Cup and the football World Cup qualifier between
Australia and Uruguay.
The main summer sport is cricket and the SCG hosts the 'New Year'
cricket Test match from 2–6 January each year, and is also one of
the sites for the finals of the
One Day International
One Day International series. The NSW
Blues play in the
Ford Ranger Cup
Ford Ranger Cup and
Sheffield Shield cricket
competitions. The annual
Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race begins in Sydney
Harbour on Boxing Day. The climax of Australia's touring car racing
series is the Bathurst 1000, held near the city of Bathurst.
The popular equine sports of campdrafting and polocrosse were
developed in New South
Wales and competitions are now held across
Polocrosse is now played in many overseas countries.
Major professional teams include:
Australian rules football:
Sydney Swans, Greater Western
Cricket: New South
Netball: New South
Sydney Blue Sox
Representative: New South
Sydney Roosters, South
Sydney Rabbitohs, Wests Tigers, St
Illawarra Dragons, Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs,
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, Parramatta Eels, Penrith Panthers,
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, Newcastle Knights
Rugby union: New South
Sydney FC, Western
Sydney Wanderers, Newcastle Jets, Central
The Big Golden Guitar in Tamworth represents the city's country music
As Australia's most populous state, New South
Wales is home to a
number of cultural institutions of importance to the nation. In music,
Wales is home to the
Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Australia's
busiest and largest orchestra. Australia's largest opera company,
Opera Australia, is headquartered in Sydney. Both of these
organisations perform a subscription series at the
Sydney Opera House.
Other major musical bodies include the Australian Chamber Orchestra.
Sydney is host to the
Australian Ballet for its
Sydney season (the
ballet is headquartered in Melbourne). Apart from the
House, major musical performance venues include the City Recital Hall
Sydney Town Hall.
Wales is home to several major museums and art galleries,
including the Australian Museum, the Powerhouse Museum, the Museum of
Sydney, the Art Gallery of New South
Wales and the Museum of
Indigenous art display at the Art Gallery of New South Wales
Sydney is home to five Arts teaching organisations, which have all
produced world-famous students: The National Art School, The College
of Fine Arts, the
National Institute of Dramatic Art
National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), the
Australian Film, Television & Radio School and the Conservatorium
of Music (now part of the University of Sydney).
Wales is the setting and shooting location of many
Australian films, including Mad Max 2, which was shot near the mining
town of Broken Hill. The state has also attracted international
productions, both as a setting, such as in Mission: Impossible 2, and
as a stand-in for other locations, as seen in The Matrix franchise,
The Great Gatsby and Unbroken.
20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox operates Fox
Australia in Sydney. Screen NSW, which controls the state film
industry, generates approximately $100 million into the New South
Wales economy each year.
Wales in recent history has pursued bilateral partnerships
with other federated states/provinces and metropolises through
establishing a network of sister state relationships. The state
currently has 6 sister states:
China (since 1979)
Japan (since 1984)
Germany (since 1989)
South Korea (since 1991)
Indonesia (since 1994)
United States (since 1997)
Commonwealth realms portal
Australia – book
Outline of Australia
Index of Australia-related articles
Geology of New South Wales
NSW Volunteer of the Year
Postage stamps and postal history of New South Wales
Selection (Australian history)
Territorial evolution of Australia
^ a b "The origin of the term 'cockroach'". Australian Broadcasting
Corporation. 13 June 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
^ a b Jopson, Debra (23 May 2012). "Origin of the species: what a
state we're in". The
Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 29 January
^ "3101.0-Australian Demographic Statistics, Sep 2017". Australian
Bureau of Statistics. 22 March 2018. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
^ "5220.0 - Australian National Accounts: State Accounts, 2014-15".
Abs.gov.au. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
^ "Floral Emblem of New South Wales". www.anbg.gov.auhi. Retrieved 23
^ "New South Wales". Parliament@Work. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
^ "New South Wales". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW.
Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 9 December
^ "NSW State Flag & Emblems". NSW Government. Archived from the
original on 18 September 2015. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
^ "3101.0-Australian Demographic Statistics, Mar 2017". Australian
Bureau of Statistics. 27 September 2017. Retrieved 16 October
^ "Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2011–12: New South Wales".
ABS. Retrieved 20 September 2013.
^ "Aboriginal settlement". About NSW. Archived from the original on 22
September 2013. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
^ a b History of Aboriginal People of the
Illawarra 1770 to 1970.
Department of Environment and Conservation, NSW. 2005.
^ See Captain W. J. L. Wharton's preface to his 1893
transcription of Cook's journal. Available online in the University of
Adelaide Library's Electronic Texts Collection.
^ Phillip, Arthur (1789). "The Voyage of Governor Phillip to Botany
Bay". Project Gutenberg. With an Account of the Establishment of the
Port Jackson and Norfolk Island
^ Fletcher, B. H. (1967). "Phillip, Arthur (1738–1814)".
Australian Dictionary of Biography.
Melbourne University Press.
^ McLachlan, N. D. (1967). "Macquarie, Lachlan (1762–1824)".
Australian Dictionary of Biography.
Melbourne University Press.
^ Benson, Simon; Hildebrand, Joe (5 September 2008). "
Nathan Rees new
NSW premier after
Morris Iemma quits". Courier Mail. Retrieved 13
^ a b "Keneally sworn in as state's first female premier". Herald Sun.
Australia. 4 December 2009. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
^ "Constitution Act 1902". NSW Government. Retrieved 30 December
^ Constitution Act 1902 (NSW), section 5.
^ Government Gazette June 1856
^ – Australian Demographic Statistics, September 2017.
^ 2011 Census QuickStats: New South Wales. Censusdata.abs.gov.au.
Retrieved on 16 July 2013.
^ 1338.1 – New South
Wales in Focus, 2007.
^ a b "3218.0 – Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2016".
Australian Bureau of Statistics.
^ "Transport for New South Wales". Transport for New South Wales.
Retrieved 10 July 2013.
^  NSW Rural and Regional Air Transport Operators Archived 11
August 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
^ "Virgin Australia". Virgin Australia. Retrieved 28 October
^ "Stockton Ferry". Newcastlebuses.info. 26 August 2011. Retrieved 28
^ "List of Ferry Services". Transportnsw.info.
Spirit of Tasmania –
Sydney Service". Spiritoftasmania.com.au.
Retrieved 28 October 2011.
^ Echuca Paddlesteamer Archived 18 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
^ "EDUCATION ACT 1990 - SECT 21B Compulsory school-age".
www.austlii.edu.au. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
^ "Not so fast: minimum leaving age raised". www.abc.net.au. Retrieved
23 November 2017.
^ "STAGES". www.abc.net.au. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
^ "Schooling in NSW". educationstandards.nsw.edu.au. Retrieved 23
^ "EDUCATION ACT 1990 - SECT 94 Record of School Achievement".
www.austlii.edu.au. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
^ Joseph Henry Maiden. 1908. The Forest Flora of New South Wales, v.
3, Australian Government Printing Office.
^ C. Michael Hogan, Witch's Butter: Tremella mesenterica,
GlobalTwitcher.com, ed; N. Stromberg Archived 21 September 2012 at the
^ Australian Encyclopaedia, Vol. 7, Grolier Society.
^ "Geoscience Australia — Center of Australia, States and
Territories". Archived from the original on 22 August 2008.
^ a b c "Stormy Weather" (PDF). Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 16
^ "Rainfall and Temperature Records: National" (PDF). Bureau of
Meteorology. Retrieved 14 November 2009.
^ "Official records for
Australia in January". Daily Extremes. Bureau
of Meteorology. 31 July 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
Archived 15 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
^ Economic Contribution of Tourism to NSW 2012-13 - Destination NSW.
NSW Tourism Satellite Accounts, August 2007, cited at: Tourism New
Wales and there retrieved 2 May 2011
^ "About Us". Destination NSW. 11 October 2011. Retrieved 17 July
^ "Australian National Accounts: State Accounts, 2010–11".
Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
Australia to get 1,000 megawatt wind farm.
^ Susan Price (30 August 2008). "NSW power workers strike against
privatisation". greenleft.org.au. Retrieved 31 August 2008. [dead
^ Agricultural Production Retrieved on 7 March 2009.
^ Agriculture – Overview –
Australia Archived 21 May 2013 at the
^ "From paddock to plate". Tourism New South Wales. New South Wales
Government. 1 July 2003. Archived from the original on 3 February
2009. Retrieved 7 March 2009.
^ SMH Travel – Scone. Retrieved on 7 March 2009.
^ http://www.coolmore.com/stallions/australia/ Archived 2 February
2007 at the Wayback Machine.
^ "Domestic and stock rights". NSW Department of Primary Indistries,
Office of Water. 15 August 2014. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
^ 2008 Guide to National Parks, p. 59, NSW NPWS.
^ Welcome to NSW National Parks. Office of Environment and Heritage,
retrieved 2 May 2011
^ "Chisholm, Alec H.". The Australian Encyclopaedia. 6. Sydney:
Halstead Press. 1963. p. 249. "National Parks".
^ "Who We Are". National Parks Association of NSW. Archived from the
original on 4 August 2007. Retrieved 1 March 2009.
^ Frater, Patrick (30 September 2013). "Angelina Jolie's 'Unbroken'
Set to Shoot in Oz". Variety. Retrieved 3 October 2013.
^ Clifford, Catherine (14 December 2013). "Hollywood actor Angelina
Jolie starts filming scenes for the movie 'Unbroken' in Werris Creek".
ABC News. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
^ "Screen NSW Annual Report (2012-13)" (PDF). screen.nsw.gov.au.
Retrieved 31 August 2015.
^ "Building international relationships". NSW Government. Retrieved 14
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