New South Wales

New South Wales is one of the states of Australia. It is 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.

New South Wales
alt text for flag alt text for coat of arms
Flag Coat of arms
Slogan or nicknameThe First State
The 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 citySydney
GovernmentConstitutional monarchy
 • GovernorMargaret Beazley
 • PremierChris Minns (Labor)
Australian state 
 • Established as Colony26 January 1788
 • Responsible government6 June 1856
 • Became Australian state1 January 1901
 • Australia Act3 March 1986
 • Total809,444 km² (5th)
312,528 sq mi
 • Land800,642 km²
309,130 sq mi
 • Water8,802 km² (1.09%)
3,398 sq mi
(March 2019)[1]
 • Population8,071,071 (1st)
 • Density10.08/km² (3rd)
26.1 /sq mi
 • Highest pointMount Kosciuszko
2,228 m (7,310 ft)
Gross state product
 • Product ($m)$593,275[2] (1st)
 • Product per capita$74,955 (3rd)
Time zone(s)UTC+10 (AEST)
UTC+9:30 (ACST)
(Broken Hill)
UTC+10:30 (ACDT)
(Broken Hill)
UTC+10:30 (LHST)
(Lord Howe Island)
UTC+11:00 (LHDT)
(Lord Howe Island)
Federal representation 
 • House seats48/150
 • Senate seats12/76
 • PostalNSW
 • ISO 3166-2AU-NSW
 • FloralWaratah
(Telopea speciosissima)[3]
 • AnimalPlatypus
(Ornithorhynchus anatinus)
 • BirdKookaburra
(Dacelo gigas)
 • FishBlue groper
(Achoerodus viridis)
 • Mineral or gemstoneBlack Opal
 • FossilMandageria fairfaxi
 • ColoursSky blue
(Pantone 291)[4]
New South Wales showing highways
630 lb (285 kg) gold unearthed in 1872 from Hill End during the Gold Rush

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 dairy cattle and vegetables crops, as well as sugar cane and bananas in the north.

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,[7] lower than the national rate of 1.5%.

62.9% of NSW's population is based in Sydney.[8]

A portion of the eastern end of the Newcastle foreshore
Lookout over Wollongong from the Illawarra Escarpment
Sydney with The Rocks on the left and Darling Harbour on the right
Rank Statistical division/district June 2007 population[9]
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


New South Wales Media


  1. "Australian Demographic Statistics, Mar 2019". 19 September 2019. Retrieved 19 September 2019. Estimated Resident Population – 1 March 2019
  2. "5220.0 – Australian National Accounts: State Accounts, 2017–18". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 16 November 2018. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  3. "Floral Emblem of New South Wales". Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  4. "New South Wales". Parliament@Work. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  5. "New South Wales". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  6. "NSW State Flag & Emblems". NSW Government. Archived from the original on 18 September 2015. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  7. "3101.0 - Australian Demographic Statistics, June 2007". Archived from the original on 2018-12-25. Retrieved 2009-06-11.
  8. 1338.1 - New South Wales in Focus, 2007
  9. "3218.0 - Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2006-07". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 31 March 2008.

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