New South Wales
New South Wales
most populous and oldest state, located in the southeast, north of Victoria
. It was founded in 1788
and originally comprised much of the Australian mainland. During the 19th century
large areas were successively separated to form the British
colonies of Victoria
, and South Australia
(which at that time included what is now the Northern Territory
). In 1901
these colonies plus Western Australia
voted to form an independent nation called the "Commonwealth of Australia".
New South Wales is known the world over for the picturesque harbour of its capital, Sydney. Sydney combines one of the twin hearts of the Australian financial sector with a population that loves the outdoor life from beaches to caving, to riding or sailing. Its three main cities from north to south are Newcastle, Sydney, and Wollongong which all lie along the coast. Other cities and towns include Albury, Broken Hill, Dubbo, Tamworth, Armidale, Ebor, Lismore, and Coffs Harbour.
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 enclaves: the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), and the Jervis Bay Territory. The national capital is Canberra in the ACT.
New South Wales can be divided physically into three sections:
- A thin coastal strip, with climates warming from cool temperate on the far south coast to subtropical near the Queensland border.
- The mountainous areas of the Great Dividing Range and the high country surrounding them. Whilst not particularly steep, many peaks rise above 2000 metres, with the highest Mount Kosciuszko at 2228 metres (7308 feet).
- The dry, semi-arid to arid plains that make up the majority of the state, in which very few people live. Some parts of far western New South Wales are as remote as any in Australia.
New South Wales is a constitutional monarchy
, with the Queen of Australia as its head of state; the Queen is represented in the state by a Governor. The State Parliament is composed of two houses, the Legislative Assembly (lower house), and the Legislative Council (upper house). The head of the State government is the Premier of New South Wales
, currently Bob Carr