In 1770 Captain James Cook sailed into what is now called Botany Bay. Cook later claimed a section of Australia's East Coast for Great Britain under the name of New South Wales. The colony became a state in 1901 after Australia was officially declared a nation.
The original inhabitants of NSW, the Aboriginal peoples, have lived in the area for more than 45,000 years and many reminders of this period still exists today. In Sydney and the surrounding regions alone there are more than 2,000 Aboriginal rock engraving sites and many of Sydney's suburbs have Aboriginal names such as Woolloomooloo, Parramatta and Yagoona.
Flags, Symbols and Emblems
- The New South Wales State Flag has been in use since 1876. It includes the Union Jack and the NSW badge.
- The New South Wales Coat of Arms is based on the Southern Cross with the British Lion in the centre and symbols of agriculture in the corners.
- The official New South Wales colour is sky blue - sky blue pantone 291.
- NSW State Emblems are the Waratah, Kookaburra, Platypus, Blue Groper and the Black Opal.
- State Arms, Symbols and Emblems Guidelines - permission to use the State arms and symbols.
NSW is the most populous and heavily industrialised state in Australia with a highly urbanised population.
The Parliament of NSW is situated in Sydney and is the oldest parliament in Australia.
Professor Bashir, Governor of NSW, is the first woman to be appointed and took up her office on the 1st of March 2001.
The service industry in NSW is among the best in the world, the most prominent sectors being business and financial services, along with information and communication technology. Minerals production, agriculture and manufacturing are also prominent economy drivers, while new industries such as biotechnology and aquaculture are also flourishing.
Geography & Maps
The national parks, state conservation areas and marine parks of NSW are home to a vast array of exotic birds, animals and plant life including many threatened and endangered species.
Australia's highest mountain, Mount Kosciusko, towers 2,228 metres above the snowcapped ski fields in the southern alps of NSW while Australia's longest river, the Darling River, flows 2, 740km from northern NSW to join with the Murray River near the Victorian border in the state's south-west.
NSW lies in the temperate zone so generally the climate is free from extreme hot and cold temperatures - the annual average being between 12°C and 21°C, with a rainfall average of 1,138mm.