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Coordinates: 32°0′S 147°0′E / 32°S 147°E / -32; 147

New South Wales
Flag of New South Wales Coat of arms of New South Wales
Flag Coat of arms
Slogan or Nickname: First State, Premier State
Motto(s): "Orta Recens Quam Pura Nites"
(Newly Risen, How Brightly You Shine)
Map of Australia with New South Wales highlighted
Other Australian states and territories
Capital Sydney
Demonym New South Welshmen
Government Constitutional monarchy
Governor Marie Bashir
Premier Kristina Keneally (ALP)
 - Total  809,444 km2 (5th)
312,528 sq mi
 - Land 800,642 km2
309,130 sq mi
 - Water 8,802 km2 (1.09%)
3,398 sq mi
Population (End of June 2009[1])
 - Population  7,099,700 (1st)
 - Density  8.87/km2 (3rd)
23 /sq mi
 - Highest Mount Kosciuszko
2,228 m (7,310 ft)
Gross State Product (2008-09)
 - Product ($m)  $382,314[2] (1st)
 - Product per capita  $53,849 (4th)
Time zone UTC+10 (UTC+11 DST)
(½-hour variations)
Federal representation
 - House seats 49/150
 - Senate seats 12/76
 - Postal NSW
 - ISO 3166-2 AU-NSW
 - Floral Waratah
(Telopea speciosissima)
 - Bird Kookaburra
(Dacelo gigas)
 - Animal Platypus
(Ornithorhynchus anatinus)
 - Fish Blue groper
(Achoerodus viridis)
 - Colours Sky blue
(Pantone 291)
Web site
New South Wales and its highways
630 lb (285 kg) gold unearthed in 1872 from Hill End during the Gold Rush

New South Wales (abbreviated as NSW), Australia's most populous state, is located in the south-east of the country, north of Victoria, south of Queensland and east of South Australia. It was founded in 1788 and originally comprised much of the Australian mainland, as well as Tasmania, Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island.

When Britain annexed New Zealand in 1840, it briefly became a part of New South Wales.[3] During the 19th century large areas were successively separated to form the British colonies of Tasmania (proclaimed as a separate colony named Van Diemen's Land in 1825), South Australia (1836), Victoria (1851) and Queensland (1859).

Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as being New South Welsh or New South Welshmen. New South Wales's largest city and capital is Sydney.



Aborigines (indigenous people)

The original inhabitants of the area were Aboriginal tribes who arrived in Australia approximately forty to sixty thousand years ago.

1788 British settlement

The European discovery of New South Wales was made by Captain James Cook during his voyage along the east coast of Australia in 1770.

In the journal covering his survey of the eastern coast of the Australian continent, Cook first named the east coast of Australia "New Wales", which he later corrected in his journal to "New South Wales".[4]

The first British settlement was made by what is known in Australian history as the First Fleet led by Captain Arthur Phillip who assumed the role of governor of the settlement on arrival in 1788 until 1792.[5][6] During this time New South Wales was an entirely penal colony.

After years of chaos, anarchy and 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.[7] During his time as governor, Macquarie commissioned the construction of roads, wharves, churches and public buildings, sent explorers across the continent and employed a planner to design the street layout of Sydney. Macquarie's legacy is still evident today.


During the 19th century, large areas were successively separated to form the British colonies of Tasmania (proclaimed as a separate colony named Van Diemen's Land in 1825), South Australia (1836), New Zealand (1841), Victoria (1851) and Queensland (1859). Responsible government was granted to the New South Wales colony in 1855.

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 NSW 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 NSW to Victoria in those days would have been very similar to travelling from NSW to New Zealand today. Supporters of federation included the NSW premier Sir Henry Parkes whose 1889 speech in Tenterfield was pivotal in gathering support for NSW involvement. Edmund Barton later to become Australia's first Prime Minister was another strong advocate for federation and a meeting held in Corowa in 1893 drafted an initial constitution.

In 1898 popular referendums on the proposed federation were held in NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. All votes resulted in a majority in favour, but the NSW government under 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 referendums 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. NSW 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 NSW but not closer than 100 miles (161 km) from Sydney. Eventually the area that now forms the Australian Capital Territory was ceded by NSW when 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, and 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 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 Governor, Sir 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 breakout

By the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the differences between New South 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.[citation needed] New South Wales continued to outstrip Victoria as the centre of industry, and increasingly of finance and trade as well.[citation needed] Labor returned to office under the moderate leadership of William McKell in 1941 and stayed 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.

Post-war period

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).

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 there are no active or organised campaigns for new states in NSW beyond individuals.

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.[citation needed]

The Sydney Opera House was complete in 1973 and has become a World Heritage Site

After winning a comfortable though reduced majority in 1984, Wran resigned as premier and left parliament. His replacement Barry 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. Although personally popular, Fahey's government suffered from a series of scandals including tax evasion, illegal recording of customer conversations, sexual harassment, and death threats.[citation needed] In the 1995 election, Fahey's government lost narrowly and the ALP under Bob Carr returned to power.

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.[8] Rees was subsequently replaced by Kristina Keneally in December 2009.[9]


Executive authority is vested in the Governor of New South Wales, who represents and is appointed by Queen Elizabeth II. The current Governor is Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir (Lady Shehadie). 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 Premier then recommends the appointment of other Members of the two Houses to the Ministry, under the principle of responsible or Westminster government. It should be noted, however, that 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 Kristina Keneally of the Australian Labor Party.[10]

New South Wales Parliament House


The form of the Government of New South Wales is prescribed in its Constitution, which dates from 1856, although it has been amended many times since then. Since 1901 New South Wales has been a state of the Commonwealth of Australia, and the Australian Constitution regulates its relationship with the Commonwealth.

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 Wales Constitution says: "The Legislature shall, subject to the provisions of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act, have power to make laws for the peace, welfare, and good government of New South Wales in all cases whatsoever."


ALP 52 (56%) 19 (45%)
Liberal 22 (24%) 10 (24%)
National 13 (14%) 5 (11%)
Greens 0 (0%) 4 (10%)
Independent/Other 6 (6%) 4 (10%)
Source: Parliament of New South Wales.[11]

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 24 March 2007. 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 statewide electorate.

Emergency services

New South 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 New South Wales Rural Fire Service, which is responsible for the majority of the state, and the New South Wales Fire Brigades, 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 (ie. 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 State Emergency Service (SES), Surf Life Saving New South Wales and Volunteer Rescue Association (VRA).



The estimated population of New South Wales at the end of June 2007 was 6.89 million people. Population grew by 1.1% over the preceding year,[12] lower than the national rate of 1.5%.

62.9% of NSW's population is based in Sydney.[13]

A portion of the eastern end of the Newcastle foreshore
Lookout over Wollongong from the Illawarra Escarpment
An East facing view of the Sydney CBD from Balmain with Darling Harbour in the right foreground
Rank Statistical Division/District June 2007 Population[14]
1 Sydney 4,336,374
2 Newcastle 523,662
3 Wollongong 280,159
4 Wagga Wagga 56,147
5 Tweed Heads 50,726
6 Coffs Harbour 50,726
7 Tamworth 44,970
8 Albury 44,787
9 Port Macquarie 42,042
10 Orange 37,333
11 Queanbeyan 36,331
12 Dubbo 36,150
13 Nowra-Bomaderry 32,556
14 Bathurst 32,385
15 Lismore 31,865


The Sydney Grammar School, established in 1854, is the oldest secondary school still in use in Sydney CBD

Primary and secondary

The NSW school system comprises a kindergarten to year twelve system with primary schooling up to year 6 and secondary schooling between year 7 and 12. Schooling is compulsory until age 17.[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 independent schools.

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 government 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 12).

School Certificate

The School Certificate is awarded by the Board of Studies to students at the end of Year 10. Typically, students in secondary schools will have completed a course of study in accordance with the Board's requirements, and sit for the tests at the end of year 10.

The Board administers five external tests in English-literacy, Mathematics, Science, Australian History, Geography, Civics and Citizenship. Students are not given a "pass" or "fail" result. The tests are designed to grade a student on their ability. The results of this test are categorised into bands 1 through to 6 with band 1 as the lowest and band 6 as the highest.[16]

Higher School Certificate

The Higher 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 college, 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 University Admissions Index), which determines the students rank against fellow students who completed the Higher School Certificate.


Eleven universities primarily operate in New South Wales. Sydney is home to Australia's first university, the University of Sydney, founded in 1850, as well as the University of New South Wales, Macquarie University, the University of Technology, Sydney and the University of Western Sydney. The 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 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 Centre.

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 over 130 campuses throughout the state.

Geography and ecology

The characteristic blue haze, as seen in the Jamison Valley in the Blue Mountains

New South 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 and the Jervis Bay Territory are Federal enclaves of 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 Queensland border.

The Illawarra region is centred on the city of Wollongong, with the Shoalhaven, Eurobodalla and the Sapphire Coast to the south. The Central Coast lies between Sydney and Newcastle, with the North Coast and 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 timber.

Thredbo ski fields in Southern New South Wales

The Great Dividing Range extends from Victoria in the south through New South 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 at 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, Orange, 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.[17] Forest floors have a diverse set of understory shrubs and fungi. One of the widespread fungi is Witch's Butter (Tremella mesenterica).[18]

Byron Bay beach in Northern New South Wales

The western slopes 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, particularly the Riverina region and Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area in the state's south-west. Regional cities such as Albury, Dubbo, Griffith and 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.[19]

One possible definition of the centre for New South Wales is located 33 kilometres (21 mi) west-north-west of Tottenham.[20]


Most of New South Wales has an arid or semi arid climate. However, most of the eastern partion has a temperate, wet climate. The Snowy Mountains region in the south-east falls in the alpine climate/highland climate zone, with cool to cold weather all year around and snowfalls in the winter.

The highest maximum temperature recorded was 49.7 °C (121 °F) at Menindee in the state's west on 10 January 1939. The lowest minimum temperature was −23 °C (−9 °F) at Charlotte Pass on 29 June 1994 in the Snowy Mountains. This is also the lowest temperature recorded in the whole of Australia excluding the Antarctic Territory. [21]


Since the 1970s, New South Wales has undergone an increasingly rapid economic and social transformation.[citation needed] Old industries such as steel and shipbuilding have largely disappeared, and although agriculture remains important its share of the state's income is smaller than ever before.[citation needed]

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is an important tourist attraction for New South Wales

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.[citation needed] In addition, the Macquarie Park area of Sydney has attracted the Australian headquarters of many information technology firms.

The Hunter Valley is known for its wineries.

Coal and related products are the state's biggest export. Its value to the state's economy is over AU$5 billion accounting for about 19% of all exports from NSW.[22]

Tourism has also become important, with Sydney as its centre but also stimulating growth on the North Coast, around Coffs Harbour and Byron Bay.[citation needed] Tourism is worth over $23 billion to the New South Wales economy and employs over 8% of the workforce.[23] In 2007, the (then) Premier of New South Wales, Morris Iemma established Events New South Wales to "market Sydney and NSW as a leading global events destination".

New South Wales had a Gross State Product in 2006 (equivalent to Gross Domestic Product) of $310 billion which equalled $45,584 per capita.[24]

On 9 October 2007, NSW announced plans to build a 1,000 MW (megawatt) 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.[25] On 28 August 2008, the New South Wales cabinet voted to privatise electricity retail, causing 1,500 electrical workers to strike after a large anti-privatisation campaign.[26]

The NSW business community is represented by the NSW Business Chamber which has 30,000 members.


Agriculture is spread throughout the New South Wales state, except in the western third. 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 a third of the country's sheep, a fifth of its cattle, and a third of its small number of pigs.

Murray Grey cows and calves

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%),[27] vegetables, fishing including oyster farming, and forestry including wood chips.[28] Bananas and sugar are grown chiefly in the Clarence, Richmond and Tweed River areas.

The world's finest 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 north western New South Wales. On the central slopes there are many orchards with the principal fruits grown being apples, cherries and pears.

Approximately 40,200 ha of vineyards lie across the eastern region of the state with excellent wines produced in the Hunter Valley with the Riverina being the largest largest wine producer in New South Wales.[29] Australia’s largest and most valuable Thoroughbred horse breeding area is centred on Scone in the Hunter Valley.[30]

About half of Australia's timber production is in New South Wales. Large areas of the state are now being replanted with eucalyptus forests.

Port Kembla is notable for its steelworks industry, with many ships utilising the port.

National parks

New South Wales has more than 780 national parks and reserves covering more than 8% of the state.[31] These parks range from rainforests, spectacular waterfalls, rugged bush to marine wonderlands and outback deserts, including World Heritage areas.[32]

The Royal National Park on the southern outskirts of Sydney became 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 is the largest park in state encompassing New South Wales' alpine region.[33]

The National Parks Association was formed in 1957 to create a system of national parks all over New South Wales.[34] 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 in western New South Wales.


The Sydney Cricket Ground at the 4th Australia vs India test, 2004
ANZ Stadium, Sydney.

Throughout Australian history, NSW sporting teams have been very successful in both winning domestic competitions and providing players to the Australian national teams. The NSW Blues play in the Ford Ranger Cup and Sheffield Shield cricket competitions, the NSW Waratahs in the Super 14 rugby union competition and The 'Blues' represent NSW in the annual Rugby League State of Origin series.

As well as the State of Origin, the headquarters of the Australian Rugby League and National Rugby League (NRL) are in Sydney, which is home to 9 of the 16 National Rugby League (NRL) teams. (Sydney Roosters, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Parramatta Eels, Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, Wests Tigers, Penrith Panthers, 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 main summer sport is cricket.

The state is represented by three teams in football (soccer)'s A-League: Sydney FC (the inaugural champions in 2005-06), the Central Coast Mariners, based at Gosford and the Newcastle United Jets (2007-08 A League Champions). Football has the highest number of registered players in New South Wales of any football code.[35] Australian rules football has historically not been strong in New South Wales outside the Riverina region. However, the Sydney Swans relocated from South Melbourne in 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. Other teams in national competitions include basketball's Sydney Spirit (formerly the West Sydney Razorbacks) and the defunct team Sydney Kings and Sydney Uni Flames, and netball's Sydney Swifts.

Sydney was the host of the 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 rugby league State of Origin games and rugby union internationals, and has recently hosted the final of the 2003 Rugby World Cup and the football World Cup qualifier between Australia and Uruguay.

The Sydney Cricket Ground 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 series. 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 Australia. Polocrosse is now played in many overseas countries. New South Wales is the home to the world famous Coolmore,[36] Darley and Kia-Ora Thoroughbred horse studs.


The Big Golden Guitar in Tamworth represents the city's country music culture

As Australia's most populous state, New South Wales is home to a number of cultural institutions of importance to the nation. In music, New South 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 Sydney Opera House, major musical performance venues include the City Recital Hall and the Sydney Town Hall.

New South Wales is home to a number of major art galleries. The Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), houses a significant collection of Australian art, while the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney focuses on contemporary art.

Major museums include the natural history-focussed Australian Museum, the technology and arts-and-crafts focussed Powerhouse Museum, and the history-focussed Museum of Sydney. Other museums include the Sydney Jewish Museum.

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 (NIDA), the Australian School of Film, Radio and Television and the Conservatorium of Music (now part of the University of Sydney).

See also


  1. ^ 3101.0 - Australian Demographic Statistics, Jun 2009, Australian Bureau of Statistics.
  2. ^ 5220.0 - Australian National Accounts: State Accounts, 2008-09 (Reissue).
  3. ^ A.H. McLintock (ed), An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand”, 3 vols, Wellington, NZ:R.E. Owen, Government Printer, 1966, vol 3 p. 526.'
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Phillip, Arthur (1789). "The Voyage of Governor Phillip to Botany Bay". Project Gutenberg. "With an Account of the Establishment of the Colonies of Port Jackson and Norfolk Island" 
  6. ^ Fletcher, B. H. (1967). "Phillip, Arthur (1738 - 1814)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne University Press. pp. 326–333. 
  7. ^ McLachlan, N. D. (1967). "Macquarie, Lachlan (1762 - 1824)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne University Press. pp. 187–95. 
  8. ^ "Nathan Rees new NSW premier after Morris Iemma quits". Courier Mail. 2008-09-05.,23739,24298162-952,00.html. Retrieved 2010-01-13. 
  9. ^ "Keneally sworn in as state's first female premier". Herald Sun. 2009-12-04. Retrieved 2009-12-04. 
  10. ^ "Keneally sworn in as state's first female premier". Herald Sun. 2009-12-04. Retrieved 2009-12-04. 
  11. ^ "Member Statistics". Parliament of New South Wales. 
  12. ^ 3101.0 - Australian Demographic Statistics, June 2007.
  13. ^ 1338.1 - New South Wales in Focus, 2007.
  14. ^ "3218.0 - Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2006-07". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 
  15. ^ Education Act 1990 (NSW), Section 22.
  16. ^ Introduction to the School Certificate - Board of Studies NSW.
  17. ^ Joseph Henry Maiden. 1908. The Forest Flora of New South Wales, v. 3, Australian Government Printing Office.
  18. ^ C. Michael Hogan, Witch's Butter: Tremella mesenterica,, ed; N. Stromberg.
  19. ^ Australian Encyclopaedia, Vol. 7, Grolier Society.
  20. ^ "Geoscience Australia — Center of Australia, States and Territories". 
  21. ^ "Rainfall and Temperature Records: National" (PDF). Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 14 November 2009. 
  22. ^
  23. ^,pc=HOME
  24. ^ 1338.1 - New South Wales in Focus, 2007.
  25. ^ Australia to get 1,000 megawatt wind farm.
  26. ^ Susan Price (2008-08-30). "NSW power workers strike against privatisation". Retrieved 2008-08-31. 
  27. ^ Agricultural Production Retrieved on 2009-03-07.
  28. ^ Agriculture - Overview - Australia.
  29. ^ "From paddock to plate". Tourism New South Wales. New South Wales Government. 2003-07-01. Retrieved 2009-03-07. 
  30. ^ SMH Travel - Scone. Retrieved on 2009-03-07.
  31. ^ 2008 Guide to National Parks, p. 59, NSW NPWS.
  32. ^ Welcome to NSW National Parks.
  33. ^ "Chisholm, Alec H.". The Australian Encyclopaedia. 6. Sydney: Halstead Press. 1963. p. 249. "National Parks". 
  34. ^ "Who We Are". National Parks Association of NSW. Retrieved 2009-03-01. 
  35. ^ 4177.0 - Participation in Sports and Physical Recreation, Australia, 2005-06.
  36. ^

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Oceania : Australia : New South Wales

New South Wales [1] (NSW) is one of Australia's south-eastern states, lying to the east of South Australia, to the south of Queensland and to the north of Victoria. With a population of 6.7 million, it is the country's most populous state. As the core territory of the first British colony on the Australian continent (settled in 1788) which was gradually made smaller as the other states and territories formed, New South Wales is home to the country's oldest and largest city, the state capital of Sydney. New South Wales also encloses the Australian Capital Territory, the location of the Australian national capital of Canberra, in its south-east. Lord Howe Island, a subtropical island 550km east of the mainland, is also part of the state.

Many tourists come to New South Wales to visit the city of Sydney and its attractions. While much tourism is focused on Sydney and the coastal areas, the whole of New South Wales offers a multitude of experiences, with plenty of things to see and do which suit all tastes and interests, whether that be natural wonders, white sandy beaches to relax on, historical sites, or friendly country communities. From the busyness of Sydney, to the unspoilt beaches and sleepy communities of the South Coast, to the rugged Snowy Mountains, to the wineries of Mudgee and the Hunter Valley, to the red outback, to the rainforests of the North Coast and New England, wherever you spend time in New South Wales you are bound to enjoy yourself immensely.


New South Wales is a diverse state with many different types of climate, scenery and communities. The first list of regions are all within 3 hours' drive or train trip from Sydney; the rest will take more time (unless you choose to fly).

New South Wales regions
New South Wales regions
The capital of the state and largest city in Australia, and its suburban surroundings, forms its own vibrant region
Blue Mountains
Located immediately to the west of Sydney, a region of unique scenery and wilderness
Central Coast
Immediately north of Sydney, a region of bush, waterways and beaches.
Hunter Valley
Home to NSW's second city of Newcastle and some of the best vineyards in Australia
Just south of Sydney: beaches, bushwalking, and the coastal cities of Wollongong and Shellharbour
Beautiful coastal area, home to the city of Nowra, with sandy beaches, small communities, and rolling green meadows
Southern Highlands
A day trip or a weekend away from Sydney. Bushwalking, forests, country pubs and cafes, antiques, crafts and country communities.
Central West
The rolling flat plains to the west of the Great Dividing Range. Home to the cities of Bathurst and Dubbo and the wine region of Mudgee
Far West
Outback New South Wales, including the city of Broken Hill and the opal mining town of Lightning Ridge
Mid-North Coast
Publicised as the "holiday coast"; includes Port Macquarie and the city of Coffs Harbour
New England
Home to 4 World Heritage-listed parks, the country music capital of Tamworth, and the pretty seasonal city of Armidale
Northern Rivers
Home to 5 World Heritage Listed National Parks, as well as the towns of Byron Bay and the cities of Lismore and Grafton
The state's "food bowl" with small friendly communities, great food and wine, and unique scenery. Home to the cities of Wagga Wagga, Griffith and Albury.
Snowy Mountains
The roof of Australia, a region of mountains, unique scenery and winter sports, on the Victorian border
South Coast
Hundreds of kilometres of unspoilt beaches, coves and bays; small coastal communities and specatacular scenery
  • Sydney - the state capital and the largest city in Australia
  • Newcastle - the second largest city in NSW is a coastal city and industrial capital of the Hunter Valley region, around 150km north of Sydney.
  • Wollongong - located around 100km south of Sydney between the escarpment and the coast, natural beauty and heavy industry sit adjacent in the Illawarra region.

Other regional cities include:

  • Albury - Victorian border town on the banks of the Murray RIver.
  • Armidale - Centre of the New England region, a city with easy road access to several World Heritage-listed parks.
  • Coffs Harbour - A popular beachfront city for visitors and seachangers, with many accommodation options from the budget to resort.
  • Tamworth - Australia's home of country music.
  • Wagga Wagga - The largest inland city in New South Wales, on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River.
The Thredbo Ski Fields, an important area for tourism in New South Wales
The Thredbo Ski Fields, an important area for tourism in New South Wales

The home of a large number of Aboriginal tribes for thousands of years, New South Wales was only settled by Europeans in 1788 - spreading outwards from Sydney. The state is named after South Wales, the most heavily populated area in Wales, a principality in the United Kingdom.

Inland settlement was at first impeded by the rugged Blue Mountains for a time and settlers did not cross the mountains until 1813. The first inland town of Bathurst was founded in 1815. Further regional and rural expansion occurred in the late 19th century as a result of the Gold Rush, although it did not have as much of an impact as in neighbouring Victoria.

From its inception until the time of federation in 1901, New South Wales was dependent largely on its agricultural resources; however, over the early 20th century this largely changed to a point where New South Wales led Australia in heavy industry. This was, and continues to be dominated by industries such as coal mining in the Hunter Valley and Illawarra regions. Industry has typically supported the Labor Party which has been dominant in New South Wales politics for the last century.

From the 1970s, old industries such as steel and shipbuilding began to disappear, and although agriculture remains important its share of the state's income, it is smaller than at any other time in the State's history. New industries such as information technology, education, financial services and the arts, largely centred in Sydney, have risen to take their place. Tourism has also become hugely important, with Sydney as its centre but also stimulating growth on the North Coast, around Coffs Harbour and Byron Bay. As aviation has replaced shipping, most new migrants to Australia have arrived in Sydney by air rather than in Melbourne by ship, and Sydney now gets the lion's share of new arrivals, mostly from Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

The harsh desert-like conditions at Menindee in Outback New South Wales
The harsh desert-like conditions at Menindee in Outback New South Wales

New South Wales is the most populous state in Australia. Most of that population is concentrated in Sydney, which has 4.2 million of the state's 6.7 million inhabitants. The next largest cities are (in order) Newcastle and Wollongong. After that the larger cities and towns in the state are merely moderately-sized regional centres of 40,000-50,000 people. Many of the cultural sights are concentrated in Sydney and nearby. However, this isn't true of historical or natural sights. Many of the state's most beautiful natural sights, obviously enough, lie well outside the Sydney metropolitan area. Australian history and identity is to some extent tied up with rural settlement and lifestyle, and thus you will find many of the outlying regions of New South Wales base their tourism industry around pioneer and rural history.

New South Wales' climate varies considerably depending on the area in the state. The Snowy Mountains in the south of the state are often quite cold and can receive significant snowfall in winter; yet in the outback towns temperatures can commonly exceed 40ºC with little rain. Coastal areas are generally cooler because of the sea breezes. Sydney ranges from an average of 18-26ºC in January, the hottest month to a low of 9-17ºC in July, the coldest month.

The Federal Government's Bureau of Meterology [2] can provide all weather forecasts across the state for any particular area.


In common with most Australians, the people of New South Wales have a tradition of great sporting rivalry with neighbouring states. This is expressed each year, for example, in the State of Origin Series of Rugby League matches between NSW and Queensland (NB: Rugby League, somewhat distantly followed by Rugby Union, is the winter ball sport of choice in NSW, as opposed to most of the rest of Australia - apart from Queensland - which follows Australian Rules football).

Sydney, in particular is also a very ethnically diverse place. You are likely to encounter people from many different nationalities in the suburban areas in Sydney.

New South Wales people use some particular regional words which are not used in other states and may be confusing to tourists. The word "cossie" or "swimmers" refer to a bathing suit - don't call them "togs" (as used in Queensland) or "bathers" as used in Victoria. The word "footy" also usually refers to the local brand of rugby, Rugby League and not to soccer or Australian Rules Football as it might be used elsewhere in Australia or around the world.

Time Zone

New South Wales is 10 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and 18 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time (PST). Daylight Saving is observed from the first Sunday of October to the first Sunday of April the following year.

AEST - Australian Eastern Standard Time UTC+10

AEDT - Australian Eastern Daylight Saving Time UTC+11

Get in


Part of New South Wales is covered by the Fruit Fly Exclusion Zone [3]. This zone also covers parts of South Australia and Victoria, but the area covered in New South Wales encompasses most of the Riverina area in the southwest of the state, stretching north as far as Broken Hill and as far east as the town of Narrandera. Don't take fruit or vegetables into the Riverina area, including the cities of Broken Hill and Griffith and the town of Hay. Fines apply of up to $20,000. A tougher restriction zone, the Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area applies to some areas around the Victorian border near Mildura.

Motorists using highways to access New South Wales which pass through the area, including the Sturt Highway from Victoria and Barrier Highway from South Australia, and all plane travellers to the area should not take any fruit or vegetables with them. If you accidentally enter the zone with fruit or vegetables, there are amnesty bins at the entrances to the zone and at airports. Although there are not the permanent checkpoints in New South Wales like those used in other states, roadblocks and spot checks at airports can and do get set up from time to time, and if you are carrying prohibited produce, you will be fined.

By plane

Most air travellers to New South Wales arrive at Kingsford Smith International Airport [4], 8km from the Sydney central business district, which is Australia's largest international and domestic airport. It is the only international airport in New South Wales. It is likely to offer the cheapest flights into the state.

Five other airports in New South Wales have interstate flights:

Note that flights from some of these destinations do not operate every day.

International and domestic visitors to the Northern Rivers including Byron Bay should consider the Gold Coast Airport [10], which is only minutes from the New South Wales northern border, and has many domestic and some international flights. Similarly, interstate travellers visiting the south of New South Wales may choose to fly through Canberra Airport [11], to access the Snowy Mountains, South Coast or Riverina areas.

By road

Travellers arriving overland will usually pass through the (near) border towns of Broken Hill from South Australia, Albury-Wodonga or Eden from Victoria and Tweed Heads from Queensland. New South Wales is linked by sealed highways to the three surrounding states. The main routes used by motorists into New South Wales are as follows:

  • From Queensland:
  • From South Australia:
    • via the Barrier Highway, entering at Cockburn, approximately 50km west of Broken Hill
  • From Victoria:
    • via the Hume Highway, entering at Albury
    • via the Princes Highway, entering just south of the town of Eden.
    • via the Sturt Highway (often used by motorists coming directly from Adelaide), entering just north of Mildura.

By rail

Sydney is one of the major hubs of rail services in Australia, and trains run from every mainland capital city in Australia (except Darwin) directly to Sydney. (Connecting services from Darwin are available in Adelaide.) The interstate rail providers are as follows:

  • Countrylink [12], run by the New South Wales Government, runs several interstate services. Trains run twice daily from Melbourne, twice daily from Canberra and once a day from Brisbane. These trains are much slower than flying, and slower than a coach, but are a relaxed way to see the Australian countryside.
  • Great Southern Railways [13] run interstate services which are more of a tourist train than a passenger service, but still provide a chance to see the spectacular countryside. The world-famous Indian Pacific connects Perth, Adelaide and Sydney via Broken Hill. Passengers from Darwin and the Northern Territory can change services from The Ghan in Adelaide.

Both providers stop at intermediate stations on their way to and from Sydney, where it may be possible to change to bus services if you are not travelling direct to Sydney. Countrylink pricing is generally competitive with plane or bus travel. GSR offers a premium service, and will is only cost effective if the train trip is a destination in itself.

  • Sydney Harbour is one of the major stops for cruise ships during the summer season. Vessels from all around the world including Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean all offer cruises to New South Wales. descend on Sydney every year and dock at various ports within Sydney, including the International Passenger Terminal.
  • Newcastle Harbour also receives some cruise ships, mainly from P&O Cruises to the Pacific.
  • If you wish to sail your own boat, for detailed information about sailing into NSW coastal ports contact the New SOuth Wales Maritime Authority [14]. Ports with customs officers are also available at Eden on the South Coast and Yamba on the North Coast.

Get around

60% of the state's population lives in Sydney and much of the inter-city transport infrastructure is dedicated to taking travellers to and from Sydney.

Transport connections between other New South Wales towns are often much less convenient. There is usually a reasonably direct road route between any two New South Wales towns, but public transport links are likely to be abysmal or non-existent, unless the two towns are on the same route to Sydney. As in the rest of Australia, there is very much a culture of making your own way by car.

It is common for travellers to make their way up or down the coast from Sydney by bus. Buses traverse these coastal routes several times a day, and it is quite possible to stop off at a few of the coastal towns of your choosing.

Expect public transport within cities or towns to be basic or non-existent outside Sydney. Much of the public transport there is largely designed for school children. There are some exceptions. The northeast corner of New South Wales including Tweed Heads and Kingscliff is reasonably well serviced by an extension of the Gold Coast transport network. Newcastle, Wollongong and the Blue Mountains have passable bus and train networks. In other New South Wales cities expect taxis, and an irregular bus services at best.

Travellers who wish to tour the regions of NSW would be well-advised to have a car or take a tour when travelling beyond the main transport routes in and out of Sydney.

Road signage and visitor radio

There is standardised road signage for attractions in NSW, that is a white text on a brown sign. All attractions signposed this way within the road reservation have to be approved have to meet a minimum standard of facilities for visitors. Similarly tourist information centres signposted within the road reservation must be official centres. They are indicated by the italic i on a blue background, in contrast to shops, etc, that display the sign in their window.

Visitor radio is available in many towns as you drive through. There will be a signpost with the frequency near the entry to the town. If the radio is signposted in the road reservation it is an approved service, and must carry at least 50% of content unpaid, so there must be some information between the advertisements.

Information bays are often located just outside of towns, where you can pull over a see the attractions of a region or a town before entering.

By plane

Most New South Wales cities are within a day's drive of each other, there are a number of airlines that connect cities in the state:

  • Qantas [15] has flights between Sydney and many cities and towns throughout the regions.
  • Regional Express [16] has flights between Sydney and cities in the North Coast, New England, Riverina, Central West, Far West and South Coast regions.
  • Airlink to Dubbo and Broken Hill

Flying within New South Wales is more typically far more expensive than flying between capital cities, particularly those cities only services by a single airline. The routes serviced by Virgin Blue to Albury, Ballina and Port Macquarie are more competitive and offer comparible airfares to interstate fares.

By car

Close to Sydney, there are dual carriageways and motorways linking Sydney with the cities to the North, South and West. The Hume Highway heading towards Albury and Melbourne is mostly dual carriageway for its entire length. The Pacific Highway towards Coffs Harbour changes rapidly between new sections of high quality freeway, and older sections of winding, two lane road. Most roads to major centres are reasonable quality, with a single lane in each direction. It isn't uncommon when accessing smaller towns, or national parks to end up gravel and dirt roads. You usually don't need a 4 wheel drive to use them, just be sure to drive to conditions. See Driving in Australia for more information.

The State speed limit is 100 km/h outside of built-up areas unless otherwise signposted.

Some popular NSW roadtrips:

  • Drive down the south coast from Sydney to Batemans Bay and Eden. The road stays by the coastline for much of length, with numerous towns and villages to stop in. Divert at Batemans Bay for the pretty drive to Braidwood and Canberra.
  • Take a trip along Waterfall Way which passes through some of New South Wales' most scenic countryside and has been voted the number one tourist drive in NSW.

By train

Long distance

Countrylink [17] runs a network of trains to major destinations, and a network of connecting buses to offer a service to most New South Wales towns. It isn't exactly quick, or frequent, however some sort of service is generally offered to most towns once a day.

Countrylink trains are air-conditioned and equipped with comfortable seats. The overnight interstate trains have limited sleeping room available. Food, including hot lunches and dinners, is available from a buffet car onboard.

It is usual to book Countrylink tickets in advance. Tickets can be bought online, from agents or stations. Some stations have very limited hours or no facilities for selling Countrylink tickets. Discounts are often available for advance purchase. You can buy tickets up until the time of departure, and services rarely run completely full outside of peak periods. It is essential to book Countrylink tickets in advance in some country towns as the stations do not open until the train is due. Some country towns are remote from the rail stations and a bus does a shuttle run. Examples is of this are at Port Macquarie and Walcha.

Cityrail trains run a surprisingly long distance from the Sydney city centre, even overlapping with the routes of some Countrylink services. Where they do overlap, it is usual for the Cityrail service to be slightly cheaper, to be more flexible, in that no bookings are required, and they allow luggage a bikes in the carriage, but also a little slower. See destination articles for details and alternatives.


Sydney's Cityrail [18] (tel 13 15 00) commuter train system also runs inter-city trains to areas within three hours of Sydney. Tickets on Cityrail trains are much cheaper than Countrylink tickets, but you will not get an assigned seat. Countrylink does not serve many of the stations within the inter-city Cityrail network. The network covers the following areas:

See the Sydney article for more information on Cityrail and Cityrail ticketing.

By bus

The bus routes in New South Wales are more extensive than the train routes but share the same fundamental design: they take travellers to and from Sydney, or to the region's major hub. Many towns have a bus service especially to meet the trains to and from Sydney in a nearby town.

There are some exceptions to the rule, and some long distance cross country bus services do run, often to provide connections to other state capitals, or between state major centres. These services can be run only a few times a week, and you will have to be lucky to make connections.

There is no official trip planner for bus and train journeys throughout the state. The tripfinder service [19] will find journeys about around Sydney, and for around an hour or so beyond, up through Newcastle the Hunter Valley, Illawarra and Southern Highlands. Travel further afield, particularly between complex destinations is left as an exercise for the traveller. See the local guides.

Sydney Harbour by night
Sydney Harbour by night
  • Sydney Harbour is one of the state's favourite postcard scenes. See it from the side of a ferry or from one of the islands in the centre.
  • See animals at
    • Western Plains Zoo, an open-range zoo in Dubbo. See Australian and exotic animals roaming in large paddocks rather than pacing in small cages.
    • Taronga Zoo, across the Harbour from Sydney.
    • Featherdale Wildlife Park, in Western Sydney. Smaller than Taronga, but flat and emphasising Australian fauna. Visit
    • Australian Reptile Park [21], about an hour north of Sydney, with much more than reptiles. (Hint: Go early, move slowly, stay quiet and you can pet the roos.)
  • Go on a dolphin cruise in Jervis Bay
View of the Three Sisters and Jameison Valley in the Blue Mountains
View of the Three Sisters and Jameison Valley in the Blue Mountains
  • Surf your way up the coast from Sydney to the north coast pf New South Wales.
  • Go on one of the bushwalks from Katoomba into the Jamison Valley.
  • Hire a houseboat in any one of many bays, lakes and rivers.
  • Ski in the Snowy Mountains in winter.
  • Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge and see the sun set over Sydney.
  • Go to the Royal Easter Show in Sydney.
  • Byron Bay's annual Blues and Roots festival is the state's largest roots music festival.
  • Tamworth is Australia's country music capital and holds a country music festival in January each year.
  • Camp in one of the many National Parks. (See
  • Go wine tasting in the Hunter Valley


The city of Sydney, unsurprisingly, represents the main food lovers' haven in New South Wales. It's the best place in the state to seek out both gourmet food and international cuisine. Particular highlights are Sydney's growing wave of Thai and fusion restaurants, and those top end restaurants whose chefs were often trained in some of the best international kitchens. Sydney's cosmopolitan population guarantees that just about every major cuisine on the planet is authentically and easily available - and generally at a great price.

Most coastal regions, including the Mid-North Coast, Northern Rivers, Central Coast, Sydney and the South Coast are a good place for seafood lovers to eat. Inland the catch may be a little less fresh.

Parts of the Central West specialise in meals made from local produce. Several of these restaurants feature regularly in the Sydney restaurant reviews, and they are beginning to have prices to match.

Vegetarians should be able to find a meal or two to suit them in almost every restaurant in the state, but are best catered for in Sydney and after that, on the somewhat "alternative" Northern Rivers.

  • Sydney has much busier nightlife than the rest of the state and is the best place to find everything from international touring acts to backpacker bars and big beats. Other cities like Wollongong and Newcastle also have a diverse scene, with lots of choice of venues.
  • Just about every country town in New South Wales will have at least one pub to choose from, from historical to the modern and upmarket. There is usually at least one also a club, be in a bowling club, services club, etc. Visitors are welcome at pubs and clubs, and clubs usually have a sign out the front saying so. Meals and drinks are usually cheaper in the club, and depending on the town it can be slightly less rough and ready. Even country pubs will often have a band one or two nights a week, a pool table, juke box etc.
Grape vines in the Hunter Valley
Grape vines in the Hunter Valley

Wines are grown in many parts of New South Wales.

  • The Hunter Valley is the state's major wine-growing region, and has a wine tourism industry to match. There are many winery tours from genteel wine-and-cheese tasting trips to minibuses full of partying backpackers and girls out on hens nights. It's a couple of hours drive north of Sydney, and is just a little too far for a comfortable day trip, although it can be done.

Although tasting at the cellar door has a certain appeal, the wines themselves will certainly be cheaper at the bottle shop down the road.


Tooheys New (lion Nathan) and Victoria Bitter (Carlton United) are the two big brands that will be on tap in most pubs around the state. Tooheys being the traditional New South Wales brand. Beer is served in schooners (smaller than a pint), or middies (about half a pint), so it is entirely reasonable to walk into most pubs and ask for 'schooner of new', and one will appear on bar. Beer glass sizes have different names and sizes in other states. On a hot day in a hot pub in the country, you will find more people drinking middles, as they stay colder.



These are many hotels in New South Wales. Consult the sleep entries for the particular city you wish to visit.


Outside of weekends and school holidays it is usually possible to just drive and find accommodation along the road. Most towns of any size will have a motel or two on the road into town. Sometimes in low season they will display discounted standby rates at the gate as your drive past. If not, sometimes if they are not busy, a little discount can be negotiated at the counter. Generally expect motels to be cheaper the smaller the town, and the further away from the coast, the mountanis, and Sydney that you are.

Some of the chains covering many centres across New South Wales are:

  • Country Comfort Hotels and motels [22]
  • Golden Chain Motels [23] has 100 locations in NSW.
  • Best Western Motels [24]
  • Choice Hotels [25]


Just about every town has a pub offering accommodation. The standard varies from newly renovated to run-down, with many quaint places in-between. In winter it can even be an idea to take a small heater, as the heating in some can often be a little inadequate.

Serviced Apartments

Serviced apartments are alternative to traditional hotel accommodation with more space, and cooking facilities.

  • Quest Apartments [26] - A chain with apartments available in most urban and regional cities in New South Wales.

Stay safe

Dangerous fauna

There are no box jellyfish or crocodiles in New South Wales.

There can be sharks along the beaches, but shark attacks are rare, especially on patrolled beaches.

Natural disasters

There are no tropical cyclones or hurricanes, and tornados are very rare in New South Wales.

Some areas are prone to flooding, but it is highly unusual for the major transport routes to be closed.

Violent crime

Please see destination articles for any areas epecific advice.


Smoking is banned indoors in all public buildings, bars, restaurants and transport.

This is a usable article. It gives a good overview of the region, its sights, and how to get in, as well as links to the main destinations, whose articles are similarly well developed. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

NEW SOUTH WALES, a state of the Australian Commonwealth. The name was given by Captain Cook, in his exploratory voyage in 1770, to the southern portion of the eastern coast of Australia, from some imagined resemblance of its coast-line to that of South Wales. The name was afterwards extended to the eastern half of Australia, but now designates a much more restricted area. New South Wales is bounded by the Pacific Ocean on the E., by Queensland on the N., by South Australia on the W. and by Victoria on the S. It lies between 28° and 38° S. lat., and 141° and 154° E. long. The coast-line, which is about 700 m. in length, extends from Cape Howe (37° 30') at the south-eastern corner of Australia to Point Danger in 28° 7' S. The colony is approximately rectangular in form, with an average depth from the coast of 650 m. and an average width from north to south of Soo m. The superficial area is estimated at 310,700 sq. m., or about one-tenth of the whole of Australia.

Table of contents

Physical Configuration

The surface of the state is divided naturally into three distinct zones, each widely differing in general character and physical aspect, and clearly defined by the Great Dividing Range running from north to south. The tableland, which forms the summit of the range, comprises one of the three zones and separates the other zones, viz. the coastal region, and the great plain district of the interior. The main range follows the line of the coast, varying from 30 to 140 m. distant, being nearest at the south and receding the farthest at the sources of the Goulburn river, the main tributary of the Hunter. The crest of this range is, in some places, narrow; in others it spreads out into a wide tableland. The eastern slopes are, as a rule, rugged and precipitous, but the western versant falls gently to plains. The highest part of the Dividing Range is in the south-eastern portions of the state, on the borders of Victoria. Here some of the peaks rise to a height of over 7000 ft.; one of these, Mount Kosciusco, the highest peak in Australia, attains an elevation of 7328 ft. The tableland varies greatly in elevation, but nowhere does it fall below 1500 ft., and in places it reaches an average of 5000 ft. The great plain district, lying west of the tableland, is part of a vast basin which comprises portions of Queensland, South Australia and Victoria, as well as of New South Wales. The great plains are traversed by a few rivers, whose long and uncertain courses carry their waters to the river Murray, which empties itself into the Southern Ocean through the state of South Australia, and during 1250 m. of its course forms the boundary between the states of New South Wales and Victoria. The Murray has a very tortuous course, as may be judged from the fact that the measurement along the joint boundary of New South Wales and Victoria is only 460 m. in a straight line, the river course being 1250. The chief tributaries of the Murray are the Darling and the Murrumbidgee, which is joined by the Lachlan. The Murray and the Murrumbidgee are permanent streams, but the Darling occasionally ceases to run in part of its course, and for a thousand miles above its junction with the Murray it receives no tributary. In its upper course the Darling receives numerous tributaries. Those on the right bank all come from Queensland and bring down enormous volumes of water in flood time; on the left bank the most important tributaries are the Gwydir, Namoi, Castlereagh, Bogan and Macquarie. Here and there along the course of the western rivers are found lagoons, sometimes of considerable dimensions. These are commonly called lakes, but are in reality shallow depressions receiving water from the overflow of the rivers in times of flood, and in return feeding them when the floods have subsided.

The coastal belt differs greatly from the other divisions of the state. The main range gives rise to numerous rivers flowing eastward to the South Pacific. Almost everywhere between the main range and the sea the country is hilly and serrated, more particularly in the southern portions of the state. In the Illawarra district, 56 m. south of Sydney, the mountains skirt the very edge of the coast, but farther north there is a wider coastland, with greater stretches of country available for tillage and pasture.

Along the sea-board are twenty-two well-defined headlands or capes and about a score of bays or inlets, to mark which for navigators there are thirty-four lighthouses. There are four very fine natural harbours, viz. Jervis Bay, Port Jackson, Broken Bay and Port Stephens, and several others of minor importance. Port Jackson, on which is situated the city of Sydney, is one of the six greatest ports of the British empire. The port second of commercial importance to Sydney is Newcastle, at the mouth of the Hunter river, which is the great coal-shipping port of the colony. Secondary harbours, available for coasting steamers, south of Sydney are at Port Hacking, Wollongong, Kiama, Shoalhaven, Bateman's Bay, Ulladulla, Merimbula, and Twofold Bay. North of Sydney the secondary ports are at the mouths of the Hawkesbury, Manning, Hastings, Macleay, Nambucca, Bellingen, Clarence, Richmond and Tweed rivers. The rivers of the sea-board are as just enumerated, the only other of importance being the Hunter. The Richmond drains an area of 2400 sq. m. and is navigable for 60 m. The Clarence is a fine stream draining an area of 8000 sq. m.; it has a course of 240 m. navigable for 67 m. The Macleay drains an area of 4800 sq. m., and empties at Trial Bay after a course of 200 m., of which 20 m. are navigable. The Hastings and Manning are both important rivers. The Hunter is one of the chief rivers of the state and embouches at Port Hunter or Newcastle Harbour after a course of 200 m. It drains an area of 11,00o sq. m., more than twice the area of the Thames basin. Less commercially important than the Hunter, the Hawkesbury is nevertheless a fine stream; it has a course of 330 m., of which 70 m. are navigable. South of Sydney the rivers are of less importance; the principal is the Shoalhaven, 260 m. long, draining an area of 3300 sq. m.


The three geographical regions above described constitute three distinct climatic divisions. The coastal region, 28° to 37° S. lat., shows a difference between the average summer and winter temperatures of only 24° Fahrenheit. Sydney, which is situated midway between the extreme points of the state (33° 51' S.), has a mean temperature of 63°, the mean summer temperature being 71° and that of winter 54°, showing a mean range of 17°; the highest temperature in the shade experienced at Sydney in 1896 was 108.5°, and the lowest 35.9. The coastal district has an area of 38,000 sq. m., over which there is an average rainfall of 42 in. The rainfall is greatest at the sea-board, diminishing inland; the fall also diminishes from north to south. Sydney has an average fall of 50 in., while the Clarence Heads, in the north, has 58 in., and Eden, in the south, 35.5 in. The tableland is a distinct climatic region. On the high southern plateau, at an elevation of 4640 ft., stands the town of Kiandra, with a mean summer temperature of 56.4° and winter of 32.5°. Cooma, in the centre of the Monaro plains, at an elevation of 2637 ft., has a mean summer temperature of 65.9° and winter, 41.7°; its summers are therefore as mild as those of London or Paris, while its winters are much less severe. On the New England tableland, under latitude 30° S., the yearly average temperature is 56.5°, the mean summer 67.7° and the mean winter 44.3°. The tablelands cover an area of 85,000 sq. m. and have an average rainfall of 32.6 in.; there is, however, a small area in the southern portion where an average fall of 64 in. is experienced. In the western division, or great plains, severe heat is experienced throughout the summer, and on occasional days the thermometer in the shade ranges above ioo° Fahrenheit, but it is a dry heat and more easily borne than a much less degree of temperature at the sea-board. The mean summer temperature ranges between 75° at Deniliquin in the south and 84° at Bourke. The mean range in winter is between 48° and 54.5 and, accompanied as this is with clear skies, the season is very refreshing. West of the tableland the amount of rainfall decreases as the distance from the Pacific increases, and in a large area west of the Darling the average annual rainfall does not exceed io in. For the whole western division, embracing an area of 188,000 sq. m., the average rainfall is 19.8 in. (T. A. C.) Geology. - New South Wales consists geologically as well as geographically of three main divisions which traverse the state from north to south. The highlands of eastern Australia form the middle belt of the state, to the east of which are the low coastal districts and to the west the wide western plains. The highlands of New South Wales consist, geographically, of a series of tablelands, now in the condition of dissected peneplains; geologically, they are built of a foundation of Archean and folded Lower Palaeozoic rocks, covered in places by sheets of more horizontal Upper Palaeozoic and Mesozoic rocks; these deposits occur along the edge of the highlands, and are widely distributed on the floor of the coastal districts. They have been lowered to this level by a monoclinal fold, which has brought down the Mesozoic rocks, so that they extend eastward to the coast, where they dip beneath the sea. The western plains contain isolated ridges of the old Archean and Lower Palaeozoic rocks; but in the main, they consist of plains of Cretaceous beds covered by Cainozoic drifts. The stratified rocks in the highlands strike north and south, as if they had been crumpled into folds, in Upper Palaeozoic times, by pressure from east to west. The weak areas in the crust caused by the earth movements were invaded by great masses of Devonian granites. They altered the Lower Palaeozoic rocks on their edges, and were once thought to have converted wide areas of Lower Palaeozoic rocks into schists and gneisses. Most of these foliated rocks, however, are doubtless of Archean age. The highland rocks no doubt once extended along the whole length of the state from north to south; but they are now crossed by a band of Upper Palaeozoic sediments, which extend up to the valley of the Hunter river and separate the Blue Mountains and the Southern Highlands of New South Wales from the New England tableland to the north.

The oldest rocks in New South Wales are referrable to the Archean system, and consist of gneisses and schists, including the glaucophane-schists in the New England tableland, and hornblendeschists of Berthong. The Archean rocks are comparatively sparsely exposed in New South Wales. They enter the state from the south, being continuous with the Archean block of north-eastern Victoria. They occupy a large area in the western districts of New South Wales, where a projection from the Archean plateau of central Australia crosses into the state from South Australia; it is best exposed in the Barrier Ranges around Broken Hill. Cambrian rocks have not yet been discovered in New South Wales; but Pittman has recorded an Agnostus from Mandurama, near Orange. The rocks of the Ordovician system, though widely distributed, have not always been separated from the Silurian rocks, which they often closely resemble lithologically. The occurrence of Ordovician rocks was first established by Dun at Tomingley, 33 m. S.W. of Dubbo, where he discovered graptolites that he identified as Clinaacograptus and Dicellograptus. Other graptolites have been found near Orange, and at Lyndhurst, near Carcoar. The fossiliferous horizon is of Upper Ordovician age. The extent of the Ordovician will probably be increased by addition of areas, which cannot yet be separated from the Silurian. The Silurian system is the best-known constituent of the Lower Palaeozoic foundation of New South Wales. The rocks consist of sandstones, quartzites, slates and shales, associated with lenticular masses of limestone. The typical Silurian rocks are richly fossiliferous, the shales containing trilobites, the sandstones many brachiopods, and the limestones a rich coral and bryozoan fauna. There are also beds of chert, which are largely composed of radiolaria. Caves have been dissolved in the limestones by underground streams; the Jenolan caves in the Blue Mountains and those of Yarrangobilly and the Goulburn district are the most famous. The slates of the Silurian have been bent into folds, and saddle reefs occur along the axis of the folds, as at Hargraves. Numerous quartz reefs occur both in the Silurian and Ordovician rocks. In these reefs the chief mineral is gold. Some schists, attributed to the Silurian, but possibly older, contain platinum; and associated with the limestones are beds of copper.

The rocks of the Devonian system rest unconformably upon the Silurian; but some beds of which the age is still uncertain are called Devono-Silurian. The Devonian beds are well developed in the Blue Mountains, where the lower Devonian sediments at Mount Lambie are estimated to be Io,000 ft. in thickness. They are extensively developed along the Cox river and along the slopes of Mount Canoblas. They are also developed in the New South Wales highlands, to the south-east of Goulburn. Some of the best-known exposures are in the ranges which rise above the western plains, such as the Rankin Range on the Darling and the Kokopara Range to the north of the Murrumbidgee. The Devonian rocks at Yalwal are sharply folded and are associated with a series of rhyolites and basic lavas. The lower part of this series is probably Lower Devonian; and it is covered by shales and volcanic rocks belonging to the Upper Devonian. In the extreme south-east of New South Wales, at the head of the Genoa river, are sandstones with Archaeopteris howitti, which are an extension of the Lower Devonian beds of Victoria; while farther to the east, at Eden and Twofold Bay, are Upper Devonian sandstones.

The Devonian system is separated from the Carboniferous by an interval, during which there were powerful earth movements; they produced a lofty mountain chain, running north and south across New South Wales. The highlands are the worn down stumps of this mountain line. In Lower Carboniferous times these mountains were snow-capped, and the valleys on their flanks were occupied by glaciers.

The Lower Carboniferous beds are represented by conglomerates and sandstones with some shales and limestones. The sandstones are characterized by Lepidodendron (Bergeria) australe. It is associated with beds of lava and volcanic ash, some of which contain copper ores. Granites and granodiorites were intruded at this period into the older rocks, and altered the adjacent Devonian beds into slates and quartzites, and formed gold-quartz veins, which have been worked in the Devonian rocks at Yalwal. The Lower Carboniferous rocks also occur in the Blue Mountains, along the Cox river and Capertee river; and a northern continuation occurs along the western slope of the New England tableland, from the Macintyre river to the Queensland border.

The Upper Carboniferous rocks are most important from their rich seams of coal. They occupy from 24,000 to 28,000 sq. m., which are best exposed in the Hunter river and around Newcastle.

Farther south they disappear beneath the Mesozoic sandstones, from which they again rise along the coast around Lake Illawarra and near the mouth of the Shoalhaven river. The Coal Measures have been reached under Sydney, by a deep bore at Balmain, which pierced a seam of coal io ft. thick, at the depth of 2917 ft. The Coal Measures are classified by Professor T. W. David as follows: Ft.

1. Upper or Newcastle Coal Measures, containing an aggregate of about 100 ft. of coal. .

2. Dempsey Series; freshwater beds, containing no productive coal. This series thins out completely in certain directions .

3. Middle, or Tomago, or East Maitland Coal Measures, containing an aggregate of about 40 ft. of coal.. .

4. Upper Marine Series; specially characterized by the predominance of Productus brachythaerus 5. Lower or Greta Coal Measures, containing an aggregate of about 20 ft. of coal. .

6. Lower Marine Series; specially characterized by the predominance of Eurydesma cordata. 13,650 Geologically, perhaps, the most interesting rocks in the Carboniferous are the glacial conglomerates, containing ice-scratched, erratic blocks. Some of the boulders are encrusted by marine organisms and must have been dropped by icebergs in the sea. The northern limit of the glacial beds is in dispute; they have been described as far north as Ashford. The Carboniferous beds contain numerous sheets and flows of basalt and andesite. A syenite massif of this age occurs at Mittagong; and leucite has been discovered in Carboniferous basalts by David.

The Mesozoic rocks of New South Wales begin with the Narrabeen Shales; they are covered by the Hawkesbury Sandstones, which are well exposed around Sydney; and they in turn are covered by the Wianamatta Shales. The Triassic age of the Hawkesbury Sandstone is supported by the evidence of the fossil fish; though, according to Dr Smith Woodward, they may perhaps be Rhaetic, .'But the fossil plants of which the chief are Taeniopteris daintreei and Thinnfeldia odontopteroides are regarded by Seward as Lower Jurassic. At Talbragar there is a bed containing Jurassic fish, which rests in an erosion hollow in the Hawkesbury Sandstone. The Talbragar beds, then, may be representative of the Jurassic; and the underlying Hawkesbury Sandstone may be Upper Triassic. The Cretaceous system is widely developed in the western part of the state, where it is represented by two divisions. The Rolling Downs formation is regarded as Lower Cretaceous. It consists of a thick series of shales containing marine fossils. It is covered in places by tablelands and ridges of the Desert Sandstone, the remnants of a sheet which doubtless once covered the whole of the Western Plains. The chief economic product of the Desert Sandstone is opal, which occurs in it at White Cliffs and Wilcannia. The opal beds contain Cretaceous fossils such as Cimoliosaurus. An occurrence of Upper Cretaceous beds occurs in the coastal district at Nimbin on the Richmond river. The Cainozoic rocks are best developed in the western districts, as the silts of the Darling and Murray plains. They include some Miocene, or perhaps Oligocene marine sands, formed in the northern part of an inland sea, which occupied the basin of the Lower Murray. The most significant point in the distribution of the marine Cainozoic rocks in New South Wales is their complete absence from the coastal districts; this fact indicates that while the Middle Cainozoic marine beds of Victoria and New Guinea were being deposited, Australia extended far eastward into the Tasman Sea. The Cainozoic series of New South Wales contains many interesting volcanic rocks, including leucite-basalts, nepheline-basalts and sodalite-basalts. In a basic neck of this period at Inverell, there are eclogite boulders, containing diamonds in situ; and it is doubtless from these basic volcanic necks that the diamonds of the New England tableland have been derived. The volcanic rocks occur on the tableland of New South Wales, and contribute much to the fertility of their soils.

The most important mineral in New South Wales is coal, of which the state has probably a larger available supply than any other country in the southern hemisphere. The coal-fields occupy 24,000 sq. m. The coal is present in such vast amount as to offer the possibility of very economical working of the abundant iron ores of Australia. Kerosene shale occurs in the Blue Mountains to the west of Sydney, in the Upper Carboniferous rocks. Gold is widely distributed through the highlands. It was first recorded by James McBrien in 1823, as occurring in grains in the sands of the Fish river, between Rydal and Bathurst; and though further discoveries were made, they were kept secret as far as possible. The first discovery of gold in mining quantities was made by Hargraves in 1851, at the junction of Lewis Ponds and Summerhill Creek, in what was called the Ophir Diggings, near Bathurst. The gold mines are very numerous and widely scattered, but individually they are mostly small and of no great depth. The total value of the gold raised since 1850 is over £50,000,000. The output of alluvial gold is now increased by the employment of dredges. The gold-quartz veins are mainly in the Ordovician and Silurian rocks; but some also occur in the Devonian, and there are impregnations of gold in tufas of Devonian age. Deep leads beneath the basalts occur at Kiandra.

The silver-lead mines of New South Wales are famous owing to the importance of Broken Hill. The mines there occur in gneiss and schists, which are probably of Archean age; the lode has in places been worked for a width of over 200 ft. The zinc ores associated with the silver-lead long lay unutilized, as the problem of their separation from the associated rhodonite has only recently been overcome. Tin is worked in the rivers of the New England tableland as at Vegetable Creek. The chief copper field is at Cobar in the north-western plains. Bismuth, platinum, molybdenum and antimony are obtained in small quantities.

The geology of New South Wales has been described in the Monographs, Memoirs and Records of the Geological Survey, which in the fullness and high scientific character form the most valuable contribution to Australasian geology. Pittman's map of the state in two sheets, on the scale of 16 m. to the inch, was issued by the Survey in 1893. The economic geology has been admirably summarized in a work by E. F. Pittman, The Mineral Resources of New South Wales (1901). Numerous geological memoirs have appeared in the Rep. Austral. Assoc. for the Advancement of Science, the Journ. R. Soc.

N.S. Wales and the Proc. of the Linnaean Soc. N.S. Wales. A systematic account of the minerals has been published by A. Liversidge, The Minerals of New South Wales (1888), and to him is due a valuable chemical study of the meteorites and gold nuggets. Contributions on the palaeontology of New South Wales are contained in the Rec. Austral. Museum, Sydney. A bibliography of the economic geography has been issued by W. S. Dun, Rec. Geol. Surv.

N.S. Wales, vol. vi., 1899, and of the Cretaceous geology, also by W. S. Dun, in Journ. of Proc. Royal Soc. N.S. Wales, 1903, vol. xxxvii. pp. 140-153. (J. W. G.) Artesian Water. - Before actual boring proved that the belief was well founded, it had long been scientifically demonstrated that water would probably be obtained in the Cretaceous formation which underlies the whole of the north-west of New South Wales; and it is probable that the artesian water-bearing - basin extends much farther south than was previously supposed. It may, indeed, be yet found to extend approximately along the course of the Lower Darling. Artesian water is also obtainable in other than Cretaceous rocks. This is shown by palaeontological evidence; and some of the most successful bores, such as those at Coonamble, Moree, Gil Gil and Euroka, have pierced rocks of Triassic age, corresponding with the Ipswich Coal Measures.


The population on the 1st of July 1906 was 1,504,700, viz. 799,260 males and 705,440 females. The total includes 105,000 Chinese and 7500 aborigines and half-castes. Since 1860 New South Wales had added more largely to its population than any of the other Australian states. In 1860 the population was 348,546; in 1890 the number was 1,121,860. From 1890 to 1901 the population increased 238,083, or at the rate of 21-2%. By far the largest part of the increase is due to excess of births over deaths, for out of the increase of over 1,000,000 since 1860, only 350,000 was due to immigration. In 1905 there were 39,572 births and 14,980 deaths; these figures are equal to 26.78 and 10.13 per thousand respectively. The birth-rate has fallen very much, especially since 1899. In 18611865 it was 42.71 per 100o; in1896-1899it was 27.92, and in 1906 it had fallen still further to 26.78. The marriage rate for 1905 was 7.40 per thousand, and the persons married 14.80 per thousand. The mean for 20 years was 7.39. The chief cities are Sydney and suburbs, population in 1906, 535,000; Newcastle and suburbs, 56,000; Broken Hill, 30,000; in 1901, Parramatta, 12,568; Goulburn, 10,610; and Maitland (East and West), 10,085. There are nine other towns with between 5000 and io,000 inhabitants each.


The proportions of the leading denominations in 1901 were: - Church of England, 46.6%; Roman Catholic, 26.0; Presbyterian, 9.9; Wesleyan and other Methodists, 10.3; Congregationalist, 1.9; Baptist, 1.2; Jews, 0.5; others, 3.6. Sydney is the seat of Anglican and Roman Catholic archbishoprics;. the Anglican archbishop is also primate of Australia and Tasmania.


The state has in its employ 3135 male and 2424 female teachers, and maintains 2901 schools. The law requires that all children over six years and under fourteen years shall attend school, and in 1904, 220,000 children of these ages, as well as 39 :00o others below or beyond the school ages, were receiving instruction, making a total of 259,000. Of this number 211,000 were in state schools and 48,000 in private schools. The majority of the private schools are controlled by one or other of the religious bodies. The Roman Catholic Church has 361 schools, with 1835 teachers and an attendance of 33,000 pupils. The total expenditure of the state on public instruction, science and art during the year ended 30th June 1906 was £911,000. During the calendar year 1906 a sum of £840,000 was expended on primary instruction. The fees from pupils 1,150 2,000 570 5,000 130 4,800 amounted to £82,000, making the actual cost of primary instruction £75 8, 000. There are a university and a technical college in Sydney.


The revenue of the state is derived from four main sources, viz. taxation; sale and lease of lands; earnings of railways, tramways and other services; and share of surplus revenue returned by the commonwealth. During 1906 the income derived under each of these heads was: from taxation £1,297,776; from lands £1,729,887; from railways and other services £5,856,826; from commonwealth £2,742,770; these with miscellaneous collections to the amount of £655,823 made up a total revenue of £12,283,082. The direct taxation is represented by a tax of one penny in the pound on the unimproved value of land, sixpence in the pound on the annual income derived in the state from all sources, except the use and occupation of land and improvements thereon. There are also various stamp duties. The land revenue is derived partly from the alienation of the public estate, either absolutely or under conditions, but mainly from the occupation of the public lands. There is also a small revenue from mining lands, timber licences, &c. The state still holds 146 million acres out of a total of 196 million acres, having alienated about 50 million acres. The principal heads of expenditure were: interest and charges on public debt, £3,291,059; public instruction, £911,177; working expenses of railways and tramways, £2,954,777; other services working expenses, £208,242; other services, £3,900,726. The public debt in 1906 was £85,641,734, equal to £56, I's. per inhabitant; the great proportion of this debt has been incurred for works that are revenue producing, only about £t 1,000,000 was not so expended. Of the total debt in 1903 about £66,000,000 was held in London. The net return from public works in excess of expenditure in 1906 amounted to nearly 31% on the whole public debt, and the interest paid averages 3.6%.


The political constitution of New South Wales is that of a self-governing British colony, and rests on the provisions of the Constitution Act. The governor is appointed by the crown, the term of office being generally for five years, and the salary £5000. The governor is the official medium of communication between the colonial government and the secretary for the colonies, but at the same time the colony maintains its own agent-general in London, who not only sees to all its commercial business but communicates with the colonial office. The powers of the state parliament have been since 1901 restricted by the transfer of certain powers to the commonwealth of Australia. In the legislative assembly there are 90 members. The principle adopted in distributing the representation is that of equal electoral districts, modified in practice by a preference given to the distant and rural constituencies at the cost of the metropolitan electorates. The suffrage qualification is a residence of twelve months and the attainment of the age of 21 years. Women are entitled to the franchise: there are the usual restrictions in regard to the pauper and criminal classes. An elector has only one vote, which is attached to the district in which he resides. Members of the Legislative Assembly are allowed a salary of £300 a year. There were in 1906 about 700,000 electors. Each electoral district returns one member. The Legislative Council consist of persons nominated for life by the governor, acting on the advice of the Executive Council; the number of members is not fixed by law but in 1906 it was 55. Parliaments are triennial. Local government was extended in I g05 and 1906 to the whole state, excepting the sparsely populated western division; formerly it was confined to an area of about 2800 sq. m. There are altogether about 55,000 m. of road communications, but not more than 15,000 m. are properly formed. The various local bodies are municipalities or shires, the former is the term applied to closely peopled areas of small extent endowed with complete local government, and the latter is the designation of the more extensive districts, thinly peopled, to which a less complete system of local government has been granted.

Federal Capital

In 1908 the Seat of Government Act provided that the federal territory and capital of Australia should be in the Yass-Canberra district of New South Wales, and that the territory should have an area of not less than goo sq. m. and easy access to the sea. In 1909 a Board appointed to consider the several possible sites within this district reported in favour of Canberra, on the Molonglo river, near Queanbeyan, as the site for the new city, and the basins of the Molonglo, Queanbeyan and Cotter rivers were indicated as suitable to form the federal territory. Jervis Bay was recommended as offering a site for a port for the territory. Bills were passed in 1909 by the legislative assembly of New South Wales and by the federal parliament, transferring this territory to the federation.


New South Wales might be described as essentially a pastoral country, and the cultivation of the soil has always beC' secondary to stock-raising. But the predominance of the pastuial industry is not by any means so marked as it was even as late as the last decade of the 19th century. The want of progress in agriculture was not to be ascribed to defects of climate or soil, but chiefly to the great distance of Australia from the markets of the world. This difficulty has, for the most part, been removed by the establishment of numerous important lines of steamers trading between Australia and Europe, and recent years have therefore seen considerable expansion in all forms of agriculture.

In 1882 the area of land under cultivation was 733,582 acres, which is slightly less than I acre per inhabitant. In 1900 the total area under cultivation was 2,439,639 acres, and in 1906 it had risen to 2,838,081 acres, which is a little short of 2 acres per inhabitant.

The area devoted to each of the principal crops was as follows: Acres. Wheat 1,939,400 Maize 189,000 Oats. 38,500 Sugar Cane 21,500 Hay. 438,000 Vines. 8,100 The average yield per acre of crops may be set down as follows: - Bushels.

Wheat Maize .

Oats. .

Sugar Cane tons, cane Hay.. I ton Wine. 185 gallons The total value of production in the year 1906 may be set down at £6,543,000, which works out at £2, 6s. id. per acre.

Although the coastal districts are still important, as the crops yielding the largest returns per acre are grown there, as regards the total area under crop these districts are of much less importance compared with the whole state than formerly.

The area under crop on the coast districts is about 320,000 acres; on the tablelands 375,000 acres; on the western slopes, i,Ioo,000 acres; the Riverina district, 750,000 acres; the western plains, chiefly in the central portion, 270,000 acres; and less than 20,000 acres in the western division, which comprises nearly half the total area of the state. The soil in that part of the country is, for the most part, suitable for cultivation, and there are large areas of rich land, but the rainfall is too light and irregular for the purpose of agriculture.

There were 76.000 occupiers of rural holdings in 1905, and the area occupied by them, exclusive of lands leased from the state, is 48,081,000 acres. The great majority, 80% in 1905, of occupiers are freeholders; the practice of renting farm' lands is not followed to any considerable extent, except in the dairying lands on the coast district. New South Wales took up its position amongst wheatexporting countries in 1900; the bulk of the grain exported goes to the United Kingdom. Hay crops and maize rank next in importance to wheat. The cultivation of fruit is receiving increased attention, but the growing of sugar cane and tobacco and the production of wine, until recently so promising, are, if not declining, at least stationary, in spite of the suitability of the soil of many districts for these crops.

Grazing and Dairying

The grazing industry still holds a chief place amongst the productive industries of the state. In 1906 the number of horses was 507,000; of sheep, 40,000,000; of cattle, 2,340,000; and swine, 311,000. There were considerable losses of sheep in 1902 owing to the drought of that year, but the flocks in 1906 were of better quality than at any previous period and little short of the number of 1898. The vast majority of the sheep are of the merino breed, but there are about a million long-woolled sheep and between two and three million cross-bred. Dairying made very great strides in the ten years preceding 1906, and ranks as one of the great industries of the state. There were 644,000 dairy cows in 1906, and the numbers are increasing year by year. The production of wool was 300,000,000 lb, as in the grease; tallow, 493,000 cwt.; butter, 500,000 cwt.; cheese, 42,000 cwt.; and bacon and hams, 110,000 cwt.


The mining industry has made great strides. In 1905 there were about 38,000 men engaged in the various mines, besides 33 00 employed in smelting. Of these, 10,700 were employed in goldmining; in coal-mining there were 14,100; silver, 7100; tin, 2750, and copper, 1850. The value of mining machinery may be approximately set down at £2,900,000. The following summary shows the value of the various minerals won in 1905. It is impossible to separate the values of silver and lead contained in the ore obtained at Broken Hill; the two metals are therefore shown together.





Gold. .. .. .. oz. fine



'*- Silver



Silver, lead and ore. .. ton



Lead, pig, &c.. ... „



Zinc spelter and concentrates



Tin ingots and ore. .. „



Copper ingots and ore.. „



Antimony and ore. ... „















Platinum. .. ... oz.




Coal. .. .. .. ton



Coke. .. ... „



Kerosene shale. ... „






Limestone flux. ... „



Ironstone flux. .. .. „

. 6,801



. .


Diamonds. .. .. carat



Opal. .. ... ... .

. .


Sundry mineral

. .


Total .


The value of gold won varies from year to year, but from 1894 to 1906 in only two years did it fall below £I,000,000. About onefourth of the gold won is alluvial. The yield of gold from quartz mines was in 1904 II dwt. 14 grs. per ton, which was somewhat below the average for the previous ten years. The Broken Hill silver lode is the largest as yet discovered; it varies in width from 10 ft. to 200 ft., and may be traced for several miles. The Broken Hill Proprietary Company owns the principal mine, and at Port Pixie in the neighbouring colony of South Australia erected a complete smelting plant; the problem of the recovery of the zinc contents of the ore having been satisfactorily solved, the company made extensive additions to the plant already erected, and in 1906 the manufacture of spelter was undertaken. From the commencement of mining operations on a large scale in 1885 to the end of 1905 the value of silver and lead ore won was £40,000,000. The production of tin rapidly declined after 1881, when the value of ore raised was £569,000: the production varies both with the price and the occurrence of rain, but the principal cause of the decreased production was the exhaustion of the shallow deposits of stream tin, from which most of the ore was obtained. The principal deposits of copper are in the central parts between the Macquarie, Bogan and Darling rivers. The copper lodes of New South Wales contain ores of a much higher grade than those of many well-known mines .worked at a profit in other parts of the world, and, with a fair price for copper, the production largely increases. Iron is widely diffused, principally in the form of magnetite, brown haematite, limonite and bog iron. Coal mining is carried on in three districts. In the northern or Hunter river district there were 63 collieries, employing 10,500 men, and the quantity of coal raised was in 1904 about 4,100,000 tons; in the southern district there were fifteen collieries, employing 3100 men and raising I,600,000 tons of coal. The western or mountain collieries were seventeen in number, employing 540 men and raising about 418,000 tons. About 52% of the coal obtained is exported. Kerosene shale (torbanite) is abundant and is systematically worked.

No. of


Value of





Plant and


18 95












Manufacturing.-There are a large and rapidly increasing number of manufactories, but in 1905 only about 250 employed more than 50 hands. The following gives a statement of factory employment for eleven years: About 5.3% of the males and Io 6% of the females employed are under sixteen years; the total number of male employees in 1905 was 56,117, and of females, 16,058. About two-thirds of the hands are employed in Sydney and the adjacent district. The total value of the articles produced in manufactories, and the increased value of materials after undergoing treatment, was £30,028,000 in 1905, of which £17,500,000 represented value of materials used and 600,000 the value of fuel: the total wages paid was £5,200,000.

Commerce.-During 1905, 2725 vessels entered New South Wales ports from places outside the state; their tonnage was 4,697,500; the value of goods imported was £29,424,008; and the value of exports was £36,757,002. The average value of imports per inhabitant was £20 and of exports £24, 17s. The bulk of the trade is carried on with the other Australian states; in 1905 the value of such trade was, imports, £14,938,885, and exports, £12,263,472 the British trade is also considerable, the imports direct from Great Britain being valued at £8,602,288 and the exports £10,222,422. With all British countries the trade was, imports, £25,989,399, and exports, £25,994,563. New South Wales maintains a large trade with foreign countries aggregating £3,434,609 imports and £10,762,439 exports. France, Germany, Belgium and the United States are the principal foreign countries with which the state trades.













18 95









Wool is the staple export, and represents, in most years, one-third the value of the exports. Gold coin and bullion form one of the principal items in the export list, but only a small portion of the export is of local production, the balance being Queensland and New Zealand gold sent to Sydney for coinage. The course of trade from 1880 to 1905 was as follows: The principal articles of export in 1905 were: Woo, £ 1 3,44 6, 260; gold, £3, o 53,33 1; silver and concentrates, £2,407,142;, lead, £I,072,858; butter, £817,820; coal, £I,565,602; copper, £I,280,599; breadstuffs, £1,345,589; leather and skins, £1,559,033; meats, £761,235; tallow, £464,330; timber, £353,265; tin, £466,049.

Year .

Amount on


Average per










18 7 0

























Banking.-The banks of issue number thirteen; their paid-up capital amounts to £13,918,000 and the capital and reserves to £19,319,000, but of this sum only about £9,000,000 is used in the state. On the 30th of June 1906 the coin and bullion in reserve amounted to £8,192,000 and the note circulation to £1,462,000. The banks had on deposit £23,325,730 bearing interest and £ 1 5,773, 88 3 not bearing interest, representing a total of £39,100,000. The savings banks had on their books at the close of 1905 about 355,7 1 4 depositors, with £13,500,000 to their credit. This represents £9, is. 6d. per inhabitant. The total deposits in all banks therefore amounted to £52,600,000. The progress from 1860 to 1905 was as follows: Postal and Telegraph Service.-The postal business of 1905 was represented by the carriage of 102,292,888 letters and postcards, 44,599, 10 4 newspapers and 23,077,094 parcels and books; the telegrams despatched numbered 3,837,962. To transact the postal business of the country, mail conveyances travelled 12,000,000 m. The income of the postal and telegraph department in 1905 was £1,065,618 and the expenditure £933,121, but there were some items of expenditure not included in the sum named, such as interest charges, &c., and cost of new buildings. Th.e administration of the post office is under the commonwealth government Railways.-The railways are almost entirely in the hands of the state, for out of 3471 m. open in 1906 the state owned 3390 m. The capital expended on the state lines open for traffic was £43, 626, 000, of which sum £7,400,000 was expended on rolling stock and equipment and £36,226,000 on construction of roads, stations and permanent ways. The net earnings amounted in 1906 to £1,926,407, which represents a return of 4.41% upon the capital invested. The state pays, on an average, 3.69% for the money borrowed to construct the lines, and there is therefore a considerable surplus to the advantage of the revenue. The year 1906 was, however, a very excellent one as regards railway working, the operations of the ten previous years showing an average loss of about a quarter of i %. (T. A. C.) History New South Wales was discovered by Captain Cook on hoard the " Endeavour," on, loth April 1770. After he had observed the transit of Venus at Tahiti, he circumnavigated New Zealand and went in search of the eastern coast of the great continent whose western shores had long been known to the Dutch. He sighted the Australian coast at Gippsland, Victoria, near Cape Everard, which he named Point Hicks, and sailed along the east coast of Australia as far north as Botany Bay, where he landed, and claimed possession of the continent on behalf of King George III. He then continued his voyage along the east coast of Australia, and returned to England by way of Torres Strait and the Indian Ocean. The favourable reports made by Captain Cook of the country around Botany Bay induced the British government to found a penal settlement on the south-eastern part of what was then known as New Holland. An expedition, consisting of H.M.S. " Sirius" of 20 guns, the armed trader " Supply," three store-ships and six transports, left England on 17th May 1787, and after touching at Tenerife, Rio de Janeiro, and the Cape of Good Hope, arrived at Botany Bay on the 20th of January 1788, under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip, R.N., with Captain John Hunter, R.N., as second. The persons on board the fleet included 564 male and 192 female convicts, and a detachment of marines, consisting of Major Ross, commandant, 16 officers, 24 non-commissioned officers, an adjutant and quartermaster, 160 privates and 40 women. There were in addition five medical men and a few mechanics. The live stock consisted of one bull and four cows, a stallion and three mares, some sheep, goats, pigs and a large number of fowls. The expedition was well provided with seeds of all descriptions.

The shores of Botany Bay were found to be unsuitable for residence or cultivation, and Captain Phillip transferred the people under his command to Port Jackson, half a dozen miles away, near the site of the present city of Sydney. For some years the history of the infant settlement was that of a large gaol; the attempts made to till the soil at Farm Cove near Sydney and near Parramatta were only partially successful, and upon several occasions the residents of the encampment suffered much privation. But by degrees the difficulties inseparable from the foundation of a remote colony were surmounted, several additional convictships landed their living freight on the shores of Port Jackson, and in 1793 an emigrant-ship arrived with free settlers, who were furnished with provisions and presented with free grants of land. By the end of the 18th century the inhabitants of Sydney and its neighbourhood numbered 5000. Immediately after the arrival of the first fleet, surveys of the adjacent coast were made; the existence of a strait between Australia and Tasmania was discovered by Surgeon Bass; and before the retirement of Governor King in 1806 Australia had been circumnavigated and the principal features of its coast-line accurately surveyed by Captain Flinders, R.N. The explorations landward were, however, not so successful, and for many years the Blue Mountains, which rise a few miles back from Sydney, formed an impenetrable barrier to the progress of colonization. Penal establishments were formed at Newcastle in New South Wales, at Hobart and Launceston in Tasmania, and an unsuccessful attempt was made to colonize Port Phillip. The most noteworthy incident in the first decade of the 19th century was the forcible deportation by the officers of the New South Wales Corps, a regiment raised in England for service in the colony, of the governor, Captain Bligh, R.N., the naval officer identified with the mutiny of the " Bounty." For some time the government was administered by the senior officer of the New South Wales Corps, but in 1809 he was succeeded by Captain Macquarie, who retained the governorship for eleven years.

During the regime of this able administrator New South Wales was transformed from a penal settlement to a colony. Before the arrival of Macquarie schools and churches had been erected, a newspaper, the Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, had been started, and attempts had been made to acclimatize the drama. But he was the first governor to open up the country. He constructed permanent buildings at Sydney and Parramatta, formed roads and built bridges in the districts along the coast, and commenced a track across the Blue Mountains, which had been crossed in 1813 by Wentworth and others, thus opening up the rich interior to the inhabitants of Sydney. It was during Captain Macquarie's administration that the first banking institution, the Bank of New South Wales, was founded. The final fall of Napoleon in 1815 gave the people of the United Kingdom leisure to think about their possessions at the Ante podes; and in 1817 free settlers commenced to arrive in coy siderable numbers, attracted by the success of Captain Joh i M'Arthur, an officer in the New South Wales Regiment, who had demonstrated that the soil, grass and climate were well adapted for the growth. of merino wool. But although the free settlers prospered, and were enabled to purchase land on very easy terms, they were dissatisfied with the administration of justice, which was in the hands of a judge-advocate assisted by military officers, and with the absence of a free press and representative institutions. They also demanded permission to occupy the vast plains of the interior, without having to obtain by purchase or by grant the fee-simple of the lands upon which their sheep and cattle grazed. These demands were urged during the governorships of Sir Thomas Brisbane and General Darling; but they were not finally conceded, together with perfect religious equality, until the regime of Sir Richard Bourke, which lasted from 1831 to 1837. At the latter date the population had increased to 76,793, of whom 25,254 males and 2557 females were or had been convicts. Settlement had progressed at a rapid rate. Parramatta, Richmond and Windsor had indeed been founded within the first decade of the colony's existence; Newcastle, Maitland and Morpeth, near the coast to the north of Sydney, had been begun during the earlier years of the 19th century; but the towns of the interior, Goulburn, Bathurst and others, were not commenced till about 1835, in which year the site of Melbourne was first occupied by Batman and Fawkner. The explorations which followed the passage of the Blue Mountains opened up a large portion of south-eastern Australia. Van Diemen's Land was declared a separate colony in 1825, West Australia in 1829, South Australia in 1836 and New Zealand in 1839; so that before 1840 the original area of New South Wales, which at first included the mainland of Australia and the islands in the South Pacific, had been greatly reduced. In 1840 the press was free in every part of Australia, trial by jury had been introduced, and every colony possessed a legislature, although in none of them except New South Wales had the principle of representation been introduced, and in that colony only to a very limited extent. The policy of granting land without payment, originally in force in New South Wales, had been abandoned in favour of sales of the public lands by auction at the upset price of twenty shillings per acre; and the system of squatting licences, under which colonists were allowed to occupy the waste lands on payment of a small annual licence, had been conceded. In 1851, when separate autonomy was granted to Victoria, New South Wales had a population of 187,243, the annual imports were £2,078,338, the exports £ 2 ,399,5 80, the revenue was £575,794, and the colony contained 1 3 2 ,437 horses, 1,738,965 cattle and 13,059,324 sheep.

Gold was discovered at Summerhill Creek, near Bathurst, in February 1851, by Edward Hammond Hargraves; and at the end of June the first shipment, valued at L3500, left Sydney. This discovery made an important change in the position of the colony, and transportation, which had been discontinued during the previous year, was finally abolished. The first mail steamer arrived in August 1852, and in 1853 a branch of the Royal Mint was established at Sydney. The New Constitution Bill, passed during the same year by the local legislature, provided for two deliberative chambers, the assembly to be elected and the council nominated, and for the responsibility of the executive to the legislature. The Sydney University, founded in 1850, was enlarged in 1854, and the first railway in New South Wales, from Sydney to Parramatta, com menced in 1850, was opened in 1855. In the same year the Imperial parliament passed the New Con- meat. ' '1856. stitution Act; and in June 1856 the first responsible government in Australia was formed, during the governorship of Sir William Denison, by Mr Stuart Alexander Donaldson.

The first administration lasted only for a few weeks, and it was some years before constitutional government worked smoothly. The powers of the new parliament were utilized t 4 Dr extending representative institutions. Vote by ballot was troduced; the number of members in the assembly was creased to 80, and the franchise was granted to every adult male after six months' residence in any electoral area. Meanwhile the material progress of the colony was unchecked. A census taken at the end of 1857 showed that the population of Sydney was, including the suburbs, 81,327. Telegraphic communication was established between Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Tasmania in 1859; and during the same year the Moreton Bay district was separated from New South Wales and was constituted the colony of Queensland.

During the regime of Sir John Young, afterwards Lord Lisgar, who succeeded Sir William Denison in 1861, several important events occurred. The land policy of previous govern- Young's ments was entirely revised, and the Land Bill, framed by Sir John Robertson, introduced the principle of deferred payments for the purchase of crown lands, and made residence and cultivation, rather than a sufficient price, the object to be sought by the crown in alienating the public estate. This measure, passed with great difficulty and by bringing considerable pressure to bear upon the nominated council, was the outcome of a lengthened agitation throughout the Australian colonies, and was followed by similar legislation in all of them. It was during the governorship of Sir John Young that the distinction between the descendants of convicts and the descendants of free settlers, hitherto maintained with great strictness, was finally abandoned. In 1862 the agitation against the Chinese assumed importance, and the attitude of the miners at Lambing Flat was so threatening that a large force, military and police, was despatched to that goldfield in order to protect the Chinamen from ill-treatment by the miners. At this time, the only drawback to the general progress and prosperity of the country was the recrudescence of bushranging, or robbery under arms, in the country districts. This crime, originally confined to runaway convicts, was now committed by young men born in the colony, familiar with its mountains and forests, who were good horsemen and excellent shots. It was not until a large number of lives had been sacrificed, and many bushrangers brought to the scaffold, that the offence was thoroughly stamped out in New South Wales, only to reappear some years afterwards in Victoria under somewhat similar conditions.

The earl of Belmore became governor in 1868, and it was during his first year of office that H.R.H. the duke of Edinburgh visited the colony in command of the " Galatea." An attempt made upon his life, during a picnic at Clontarf, caused great excitement throughout Australia, and his assailant, a man named O'Farrell, was hanged. A measure which virtually made primary education free, compulsory and unsectarian came into operation. A census taken in 1871 showed that the population was 503,981; the revenue, £2,908,155; the expenditure, £3,006,576; the imports, £9,609,508; and the exports, £11,245,032. Sir Hercules Robinson, afterwards Lord Rosmead, was sworn in as governor in 1872. During his rule, which lasted till 1879, the Fiji Islands were annexed; telegraphic communication with England and mail communication with the United States were established; and the long series of political struggles, which prevented any administration from remaining in office long enough to develop its policy, was brought to an end by a coalition between Sir Henry Parkes and Sir John Robertson. Lord Augustus Loftus became governor in 1879, in time to inaugurate the first International Exhibition ever held in Australia. The census taken during the following year gave the population of the colony as 751,468, of whom 411,149 were males and 340,319 females. The railway to Melbourne was completed in 1880; and in 1883 valuable deposits of silver were discovered at Broken Hill. In 1885 the Hon. W. B. Dalley, who was acting Premier during the absence through ill-health of Sir Alexander Stuart, made to the British government the offer of a contingent of the armed forces of New South Wales to aid the Imperial troops in the Sudan. The offer was accepted; the contingent left Sydney in March 1885, on board the " a. i er Ib " and cc Australasian," and for the first time a British colony sent its armed forces outside its own boundaries to fight on behalf of the mother-country.

In July of the same year Dr Moran, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Sydney, became the first Australasian cardinal. Lord Carrington, who was appointed governor in 1888, opened the railway to Queensland, and during the same year the centenary of the colony was celebrated. The agitation against the Chinese, always more or less existent, became intense, and the government forcibly prevented the Chinese passengers of four ships from landing, and passed laws which practically prohibit the immigration of Chinese.

In 1889 the premier, Sir Henry Parkes, gave in his adhesion to the movement for Australasian federation, and New South Wales was represented at the first conference held at Melbourne in the beginning of 1890. Lord Jersey assumed office on the 15th of January 1891, and a few weeks afterwards the conference to consider the question of federating the Australian colonies was held at Sydney, and the great strike, which at one time had threatened to paralyse the trade of the colony, came to an end. A board of arbitration and conciliation to hear and determine labour questions and disputes was formed, and by later legislation its powers have been strengthened. (For the labour legislation of the state, see AUSTRALIA.) A census taken on the 5th of April 1891 showed that the population was 1,134,207, of whom the aborigines numbered 7705 and the Chinese 12,781. In 1893 a financial crisis resulted in the suspension of ten banks; but with two exceptions they were reconstructed, and by the following year the effects of the depression had passed away. Federation was not so popular in New South Wales as in the neighbouring colonies, and no progress was made between 1891 and 1894, although Sir Henry Parkes, who was at that time in opposition, brought the question before the legislature. The Rt. Hon. Sir William Duff, who followed Lord Jersey as governor, died at Sydney in 1895, and was succeeded by Lord Hampden. In 1896 a conference of Australian premiers was held at Sydney to consider the question of federation. The then Premier, Mr Reid, was rather lukewarm, as he considered that the free-trade policy of New South Wales would be overridden by its protectionist neighbours and its metropolitan position Attitude interfered with. But his hand was to a great extent forced by a People's Federation Convention held at Bathurst, and in the early portion of 1897 delegates from New South Wales met those from all the other colonies, except Queensland, at Adelaide, and drafted the constitution, which with some few modifications eventually became law. The visit of the Australian premiers to England on the occasion of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee gave an additional impetus to federation, and in September 1897 the convention reassembled in Sydney and discussed the modifications in the constitution which had been suggested in the local parliaments. In January 1898 the bill was finally agreed to and submitted to a popular referendum of the inhabitants of each colony. Those of Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania agreed to the measure; but the majority in New South Wales, 5458, was not sufficient to carry the bill. The local parliament subsequently suggested certain amendments, one of them being that Sydney should be the federal capital. The general election returned a majority pledged to federation, and after some opposition to the federal Bill by the legislative council it was again referred to the electors of the colony and agreed to by them, 107,420 votes being recorded in its favour, and 82,741 against it. One of the provisions of the bill as finally carried was that the federal metropolis, although in New South Wales, should be more than zoo m. from Sydney. The Enabling Bill passed through all its stages in the British parliament during the summer of 1900, all the Australian colonies assenting to its provisions; and on the 1st of January 1901 Lord Hopetoun, the governor-general of Australia, and the federal ministry, of which the premier, Mr Barton, and Sir [GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS William Lyne, Home Secretary, represented New South Wales, were sworn in at Sydney amidst great rejoicings. Large contingents of troops from New South Wales were sent to South Africa during 1899 and 1900. (G. C. L.)

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

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Proper noun

New South Wales


New South Wales

  1. One of the six states of Australia, situated in the south-eastern part of the continent, with its capital at Sydney.
  2. (historical) (1770 - 1850s) The original name conferred on Australia by Captain James Cook, and used to describe the entire eastern portion of the continent.
  3. (historical) (1788 - 1901) The colony that was founded in 1788, which grew progressively smaller as other colonies were separated from it, and became a state in 1901.



Up to date as of February 01, 2010

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New South Wales is the most populous state of Australia. Capital city is Sydney.

Its indigenous inhabitants have been around for about 40,000 years. Europeans began to settle in 1788. Its British colony status remained until in 1901 it became one of the states of the new Commonwealth.

See also

External links

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Facts about New South WalesRDF feed

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Simple English

New South Wales
File:Flag of New South File:New South Wales
Flag Coat of Arms
Slogan or Nickname: First State, Premier State
Motto(s): "Orta Recens Quam Pura Nites"
(Newly Risen, How Brightly You Shine)
File:New South Wales
Other Australian states and territories
Capital Sydney
Government Constitutional monarchy
Governor Professor Marie Bashir
Premier Kristina Keneally (ALP)
Federal representation
 - House seats 49/150
 - Senate seats 12/76
Gross State Product (2006-07)
 - Product ($m)  $321,325[1] (1st)
 - Product per capita  $46,816 (5th)
Population (End of September 2008)
 - Population  7,017,100 (1st)
 - Density  8.60/km² (3rd)
22.3 /sq mi
 - Total  809,444 km² (5th)
312,528 sq mi
 - Land 800,642 km²
309,130 sq mi
 - Water 8,802 km² (1.09%)
3,398 sq mi
 - Highest Mount Kosciuszko
2,228 m (7,310 ft)
 - Lowest Sea level
Time zone UTC+10 (UTC+11 DST)
(½-hour variations)
 - Postal NSW
 - ISO 3166-2 AU-NSW
 - Floral Waratah
(Telopea speciosissima)
 - Bird Kookaburra
(Dacelo gigas)
 - Animal Platypus
(Ornithorhynchus anatinus)
 - Fish Blue groper
(Achoerodus viridis)
 - Colours Sky blue
(Pantone 291)
Web site
File:Map of NSW
New South Wales showing highways
File:Bernhard otto holterman with 630lb gold from Hill
630 lb (285 kg) gold unearthed in 1872 from Hill End during the Gold Rush

New South Wales is one of the states of Australia. It the oldest state in Australia and is sometimes called the "Premier State". Of all Australian states, New South Wales has the most people. An inhabitant of New South Wales is referred to as a New South Welshman. The capital city of New South Wales is Sydney. Sydney is the biggest city in Australia.

The name New South Wales came from the journal of Lieutenant James Cook (later Captain Cook), who sailed up the east coast of Australia in 1770. He thought that the land looked like the south coast of Wales. He named it "New Wales" but then changed the name in his journal to "New South Wales".

New South Wales was founded (begun) in 1788, by the British who set up a small colony which became known as Sydney Town, and grew into the city of Sydney. The British colony of New South Wales originally included more than half of the Australian mainland, as well as New Zealand, Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island. During the 19th century large areas were separated to form the British colonies of Tasmania, South Australia, Victoria, Queensland and New Zealand.



New South Wales has four main geographical areas:

  • A coastal strip, which runs the whole length of the coast from the Queensland border to the Victorian border. In some places this is a wide plain. In other places it is just a very narrow strip of land between mountains and the sea. The regions of the coastal strip are the North Coast (which borders with Queensland), the Central Coast, the Newcastle region, the Sydney region (which is called the Cumberland Plain), the Illawarra (which is the region around the city of Wollongong) and the Shoalhaven around Nowra.
The climate of this area ranges from cool temperate on the far south coast to subtropical near the Queensland border. This whole of the coastal strip is affected by the sea. For this reason, the temperatures are often cooled in the summer by sea breezes, and warmed in the winter by the currents along the coast. This makes the climate less hot and less cold than that of the inland regions. There is also more rain than there is farther inland where it is often very dry. For this reason, the three largest cities are all on the coast. The coast also has more intensive agriculture than the inland areas, with dairying and vegetables crops, as well as sugar cane and bananas in the north.
  • The mountainous areas of the Great Dividing Range and the high country around them run parallel to the coast from Queensland to Victoria. This includes the New England region, the Central Tablelands, the Blue Mountains near Sydney, the Southern Highlands and the Snowy Mountains.
  • The agricultural plains fill a big portion of the state's area, with much less people than the coast, includes the Riverina area around Wagga Wagga.
  • The dry plains in the far north-west of the state, have few small communities.

The state is bordered on the north by Queensland, on the west by South Australia, and on the south by Victoria. Its coast faces the Tasman Sea. New South Wales contains two Federal Territories: the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), and the Jervis Bay Territory.

New South Wales' three big cities are Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong which all lie along the coast. Other settlements include Albury, a large town which borders with Victoria; Broken Hill, the most Westerly large town; Dubbo; Orange, Bowral, Bathurst, home of the Bathurst 1000; Port Macquarie, Tamworth, home to the country music festival; Armidale, Inverell, Lismore, Nowra, Gosford, Griffith, Queanbeyan, Leeton, Wagga Wagga, Goulburn, where a lot of Australia's fruit is grown and Coffs Harbour, a popular tourist destination.


The population of New South Wales at the end of June 2007 was 6.89 million people. Population grew by 1.1% over the preceding year,[2] lower than the national rate of 1.5%.

62.9% of NSW's population is based in Sydney.[3]

A portion of the eastern end of the Newcastle foreshore

[[File:|350px|right|thumbnail|Lookout over Wollongong from the Illawarra Escarpment]] [[File:|thumbnail|350px|right|Sydney with The Rocks on the left and Darling Harbour on the right]]

Rank Statistical Division/District June 2007 Population[4]
1 Sydney 4,336,374
2 Newcastle 523,662
3 Wollongong 280,159
4 Wagga Wagga 56,147
5 Tweed Heads 50,726
6 Coffs Harbour 50,726
7 Tamworth 44,970
8 Albury 44,787
9 Port Macquarie 42,042
10 Orange 37,333
11 Queanbeyan 36,331
12 Dubbo 36,150
13 Nowra-Bomaderry 32,556
14 Bathurst 32,385
15 Lismore 31,865



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