New South Wales is Australia’s oldest state and as such, it has a heap of fun facts that we want you to know about! New South Wales (or abbreviated to NSW) is also the most populated state and is home to some very famous places and landmarks.
Here are a few fun facts about New South Wales to get you started:
- Many famous movies are filmed around New South Wales, including Mission Impossible 2, Mad Max and The Matrix.
- The Capital city of Sydney was originally settled as a penal colony.
- Prior to1841 New Zealand was a part of the original colony of New South Wales.
Where is New South Wales?
New South Wales is located between the states of Queensland and Victoria on the east coast of Australia, and contains the Australian Capital Territory within its boundary.
How big is New South Wales?
New South Wales is around 800,000 km2 and has a coastline more than 1800 km long.
How many people live in New South Wales?
New South Wales is the most populated state in Australia, with more than 8 million residents. Most of these residents live in the capital city of Sydney with a population of more than 5 million.
When was New South Wales colonised?
Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders were the first inhabitants of New South Wales, here for more than 60,000 years before European colonisation. Captain James Cook discovered New South Wales in 1770 and it was then settled as a penal colony in 1788 when Captain Phillip arrived in Botany Bay.
The original colony was a colony of the British Empire and included parts of Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, the Northern Territory and even New Zealand.
New South Wales Politics
In 1901 New South Wales joined 5 other states to form the Commonwealth of Australia.
New South Wales is a federated state of Australia, meaning it is part of a group of other states that united to form the Commonwealth of Australia. New South Wales is run by the Premier who is the leader of the political party currently in power. Parliament House is located in Sydney.
New South Wales also has a Governor, a representative of the Monarch of Australia, who resides at Government House in Sydney and performs constitutional and ceremonial duties in New South Wales.
What language is spoken in New South Wales?
Like the rest of Australia, the official language of New South Wales is English, however the other major languages spoken include Mandarin, Arabic, Cantonese and Vietnamese.
What are the emblems of New South Wales?
The animal (faunal) emblem of New South Wales is the platypus, the bird emblem is the kookaburra and the floral emblem is the Waratah.
New South Wales’s flag is a dark blue flag with a Union Jack in the top left corner and a NSW badge on the right hand side. This flag has been used since 1876.
Geography of New South Wales
New South Wales can be divided into 4 geographically diverse regions, the coast, the mountains, and the central and western plains.
The Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains is a world heritage listed area located to the west of Sydney. These impressive mountains appear to be covered in a blue haze, which is actually caused from the sun heating up eucalyptus leaves which omit an oil mist.
The Ski Areas
It is in NSW that you can break out your snowboard and take it for a ride. The Snowy Mountains contain not only Australia’s highest mountain, Mt Kosciuszko, but also ski resorts including Thredo and Perisher. Mt Kosciuszko is 2,228 m in altitude and is covered in snow from June to August, or sometimes even longer.
Fun Fact – The Australian Alps actually receive more snow than the Swiss Alps!
It’s not surprising that New South Wales is home to stunning beaches (there are more than 1000 beaches in Australia!). Sydney alone has more than 100 beaches, including the famous Bondi Beach.
The New South Wales coastline varies from long sandy beaches to dramatic sandstone cliffs. It all depends on what you want to see, but the further from the capital city you go, the more likely you are to have the beach all to yourself!
Famous Landmarks of New South Wales
The Sydney Opera House
Arguably the most famous man made landmark of New South Wales, or even Australia, is the Sydney Opera House. The unique design reflects the designers love of sailing and shells. The construction timeline was estimated at 4 years however it ended up taking 14 years! It was also estimated to cost 7 million dollars, however it actually cost more than 100 million dollars!
Fun Fact – The Sydney Opera House has one million tiles on its roof!
The Sydney Harbour Bridge
This world-famous bridge connects the city and the north of Sydney across the beautiful Sydney Harbour and is affectionately known as the ‘Coathanger’ due to its unique design.
The actual arch of the bridge spans more than 500 m and the highest point is 134 m above the water. This incredible structure took more than 8 years to build.
What animals are found in New South Wales?
New South Wales is home to many animals, including wombats, birds, echidnas and kangaroos.
The platypus is the animal emblem of the state, and is an egg laying mammal. Platypuses can be found in freshwater rivers and streams but are usually quite hard to spot.
Fun Fact – Male platypuses actually have a venomous spur on their back legs!
Bandicoots are found along the coastal parts of NSW. Don’t mistake these mammals for rodents as they are quite different! They are a similar size to a rabbit and weigh around 1.5 kg.
Which sports are played in New South Wales?
Sport is big in NSW and rugby league, rugby union, soccer, basketball and cricket are just some of these sports. Rugby league is very popular, with 10 out of the 16 national teams having NSW as their home state.
The Sydney Cricket Ground hosts many major cricket tournaments as cricket is the predominant summer sport.
Every year on Boxing Day (December 26), the Sydney to Hobart yacht race begins by leaving Sydney Harbour and is watched by thousands, both in person and across media.
In 2000 Sydney hosted the summer Olympic games.
Last minute fun facts:
- The lowest recorded temperature in Australia was recorded in NSW and was -23 degrees celsius.
- Lord Howe Island, just a 2 hour flight from the coast, is also part of the state of New South Wales.
- More than 15,000 light bulbs are changed every year at the Sydney Opera House!
Do these awesome fun facts make you want to visit? We hope you loved learning about Australia’s original state, just as much as we did.