New South Wales (abbreviated as NSW) is Australia's most populous state, located in the south-east of the country, north of Victoria and south of Queensland. It was founded in 1788 and originally comprised much of the Australian mainland, as well as New Zealand, Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island. During the 19th century large areas were successively separated to form the British colonies of Tasmania, South Australia, Victoria, Queensland and New Zealand.
An inhabitant of New South Wales is referred to as being New South Welsh, New South Walers or New South Welshman. New South Wales' largest city and capital is Sydney.
New South Wales can be divided geographically into four sections:
- A coastal strip, with climates warming from cool temperate on the far south coast to subtropical near the Queensland border, including the regions south of Sydney such as the Illawarra , the Shoalhaven near Nowra, Newcastle, the Central Coast and the North Coast.
- The mountainous areas of the Great Dividing Range and the high country surrounding them. Whilst not particularly steep, many peaks rise above 1,000 metres (3,280 ft), with the highest Mount Kosciuszko at 2,229 metres (7,308 ft). This includes the Southern Highlands, Central Tablelands and the New England regions.
- The agricultural plains that fill a significant portion of the state's area, with a much sparser population than the coast, includes the Riverina area around Wagga Wagga.
- The arid plains in the far north-west of the state, which feature a few small settlements.
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.
New South Wales' three major cities are Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong which all lie along the coast. Other notable 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 large proportion of the Australia's fruit is grown and Coffs Harbour, a popular tourist destination.
New South Wales is home to several artistic bodies including: the Sydney Symphony (Australia's busiest and largest orchestra) and Opera Australia (head office in Sydney) both of which perform a subscription series at the Sydney Opera House. The Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), houses a significant collection of Australian art; other major spaces include the Sydney Jewish Museum, the Museum of Sydney and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Besides this Sydney is host to the Australian Ballet for its Sydney season (the ballet is headquartered in Melbourne). 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). The world famous Australian Chamber Orchestra has its headquarters in Sydney, however, spends most of its time touring both the world and Australia.
Wording courtesy of http://www.wikipedia.org/