New South Wales

[Australia] area: 801,600 sq km
population: 6,051,400 people (1995)
density of population: 7.55 people per sq km (behind ACT and VIC third densiest populated)
New South Wales is the site of Captain Cook's original landing in Australia, and the place where the first permanent European settlement was established. Today it's Australias most populous state and it has the country's largest city, Sydney.
The state capital, with it's famous Opera House, harbour and bridge, is a good place to start your exploration of NSW. The first European settlement was established in 1788 at Sydney Cove, where the ferries run from Circular Quay today. So it's not surprising that Sydney has an air of history which is missing from many Australian cities.
The state divides into four regions. The narrow coastal strip runs between Queensland and Victoria and has many beaches, national parks, inlets and coastal lakes. The Great Dividing Range also runs the length of the state, about 100km inland from the coast, and includes the New England tablelands north of Sydney, the spectacular Blue Mountains west of Sydney, and, in the south of the state, the Snowy Mountains, which offer excellent winter skiing and summer bushwalking. West of the Great Dividing Range is the farming country of the western slopes and the dry western plains, which cover two-thirds of the state. The major rivers are the Murray and the Darling, which meander westward across the plains.
source: lonely planet travel survival kit, Australia

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