Welcome to New South Wales
New South Wales (NSW) borders three states, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria, and has more than 780 national parks and reserves. It is the most populated state in Australia with over 7 million residents and has a diversity of activities including wine tasting tours, surfing, exploring National Parks and World Heritage Centres, whale watching, outback adventure tours and believe it or not even skiing in the Perisher Valley. The most popular areas in NSW are Sydney, Byron Bay, Coffs Harbour, Newcastle, Hunter Valley and Outback NSW.
New South Wales, which contains Australia's oldest and most vibrant major city, Sydney, is the country's premier state. It has the highest population, attracts the most visitors and has a range of experiences to offer the tourist that is unrivalled by most countries, let alone states, in the world. Breathtaking beaches and coastlines, World Heritage National Parks, a taste of the real Australian outback, snow-capped mountains, lush farming country, Aboriginal culture and dazzling city lights - all are on offer in New South Wales.
The state was named by Captain James Cook when he first stepped ashore in Australia at what is now Sydney Harbour and claimed the country for the British in 1770. The epicentre of New South Wales is the huge, sunny, sexy and sophisticated city of Sydney, characterised by its white-sailed Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Beyond the slick city life though, New South Wales also offers the chance to escape to the Snowy or Blue Mountains, drive through the rolling wine farm country of the Hunter Valley, enjoy get-aways to the historic villages of the southern highlands or indulge in whale-watching, surfing and swimming at free-spirited coastal villages and towns.
Information & Facts
The climate in New South Wales is temperate and mostly free from extremes of hot and cold. The coast experiences humidity during the summer months (December to February). The hottest area is the northwest part of the state, while the coldest region is the Snowy Mountains where snow and frost persist for long periods during the winter months (June to August).
English is the official language of Australia.
The Australian Dollar (AUD) is divided into 100 cents. Banks and bureaux de change exchange most foreign currencies. Travellers cheques are also welcome everywhere, but banks take a small commission and it is better to take cheques in major currencies (e.g. US dollars or Euros) to avoid additional charges. Credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are freely available throughout the country. Banking hours are generally 9.30am to 4pm Monday to Thursday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Friday, but some banks offer extended hours and some are open on Saturday mornings.
GMT +10 (GMT +11 from last Sunday in October to first Sunday in April). GMT +9.5 (GMT +10.5 from last Sunday in October to first Sunday in April) for the Broken Hill Area.