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State Emblems

Published 24th October, 2016

NSW has its own state flower, animal, bird, fish and gemstone.

Animal Emblem: Platypus


The Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus), is the animal emblem of New South Wales. The platypus is a furry creature, about 30cm - 38cm long, it has webbed feet and a large duck-like bill which it uses to gather its food from the bottom of rivers.

Fossil Emblem: Mandageria fairfaxi

Mandageria fairfaxi - NSW state fossil

The 370 million year old fossil fish, Mandageria fairfaxi, is the NSW State Fossil Emblem. The fish was a large, air-breathing lobe-finned fish from the Canowindra Fish Bed in central NSW. The fossil is nicknamed Fred to honour Fred Fewings who recovered the fossil.

Bird Emblem: Kookaburra


The Kookaburra (Dacelo gigas) is the bird emblem of New South Wales. This great brown kingfisher is sometimes called a 'laughing jackass' because of its distinctive territorial laughing call. Meat eaters, they hunt snakes, lizards, fish and insects and live at forest edges, in clearings.

Gemstone Emblem: Black Opal

Black Opal

The Black Opal was proclaimed the State gemstone of NSW in 2008. It is the most rare and valuable type of opal.

Floral Emblem: Waratah

The Waratah (Telopea speciosissima) is the floral emblem of New South Wales, a large (10-12cm across) and spectacular scarlet flower growing in the bush in clumps of tall stems. The Waratah is protected by law.

Fish Emblem: Blue Groper

Blue Groper

The Blue Groper (Achoerodus viridis) was proclaimed the State fish of New South Wales in 1998. A friendly but powerful coastal fish that often follows divers. It can be up to a metre long and weigh between 2 and 15kg, though some specimens may reach 40kg or more.

Published 24th October, 2016
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