The British colony of New South Wales was founded in 1788 and originally comprised much of the Australian mainland, as well as Lord Howe Island, New Zealand, Norfolk Island and Van Diemen’s Land. The modern day state was formed during Federation in 1901.
New South Wales (abbreviated as NSW) has a population of 7.29 million (June 2012) which is over a third of the population of Australia, making it Australia’s most populous state. Over 4.5 million, live in the Greater Sydney area.
As Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales is home to a number of cultural institutions: the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Opera Australia. Both of these organisations perform a subscription series at the Sydney Opera House. Other major musical bodies include the Australian Chamber Orchestra.
Eleven universities operate in New South Wales. The University of Sydney, founded in 1850 is the largest and highest ranked university in New South Wales. Others include the University of New South Wales, Macquarie University, the University of Technology, Sydney and the University of Western Sydney. 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.
Kingsford Smith Airport (commonly referred to as Sydney Airport), located in the southern Sydney suburb of Mascot is the major airport for not just NSW but the whole of Australia. It is the national hub for Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar and the key arrival airport for numerous international airlines.
Major Sydney museums include the natural history-focussed Australian Museum, the technology and arts-and-crafts focussed Powerhouse Museum, the Australian National Maritime Museum focuses on Australia’s maritime history, and the history-focussed Museum of Sydney.
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. So NSW sits in the middle and as such has a middling in climate, as suvh it misses most of weather extremes – however over half of NSW is arid to semi arid, and yet most areas in the eastern portion have a temperate climate with higher rainfall, ranging from humid subtropical on the northern coast and oceanic on the southern coast. The Snowy Mountains region in the south-east has an alpine climate/highland climate, with cool to cold weather all year around and snowfalls in the winter. In fact the lowest minimum temperature recorded in mainland Australia was −23 °C (−9 °F) at Charlotte Pass in the Snowy Mountains on 29 June 1994. And yet the highest maximum temperature recorded was 49.7 °C (121 °F) at Menindee in the west of the state on 10 January 1939.
The Royal National Park on the southern outskirts of Sydney became Australia’s first National Park when proclaimed on 26 April 1879. Kosciuszko National Park is the largest park in state encompassing New South Wales’ alpine region.
Actually New South Wales has more than 780 national parks and reserves covering more than 8% of the state. These parks range from rainforests, spectacular waterfalls, rugged bush to marine wonderlands and outback deserts, including World Heritage areas.
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