New South Wales
New South Wales (NSW) is Australia’s oldest state. It is home to more than 30% of the country’s residents, 7.192 million people (2009). Covering an area of 809,444 square kilometres, the state is bordered by South Australia, Victoria and Queensland, with the Tasman Sea on its east coast. It was here, in 1770, that the expedition of James Cook came ashore, who declared all the lands he discovered to be the property of the British crown and named them New South Wales. The first colonists, prisoners who lacked space in British prisons, arrived at Botany Bay in early 1788. They founded the settlement of Sydney, just north of where they landed, which eventually became one of the largest and most expensive metropolises on the planet. The state is also home to Canberra, the official capital of the Commonwealth of Australia.
It’s no exaggeration to say New South Wales is Australia’s most industrialised state. On the one hand, its traditional industries are well developed, including mining, engineering, shipbuilding, timber, chemicals, steel and non-ferrous metals. In the region are concentrated largest in Australia deposits of hard coal and non-ferrous metals, as well as companies that produce about 80% of steel and iron. On the other hand, from the early 80s, the information and communication technology and financial services sectors rapidly developed in the state. For example, the Sydney Futures Exchange is among the 20 largest in the world.
But the contribution of agriculture, which accounts for 80% of the state’s land, to the New South Wales economy should not be underestimated. Cereals are grown in the east: wheat (38% of Australia’s total), barley, corn and oats. Vegetables and fruits, sugarcane and cotton, rice and alfalfa, sunflowers and nuts, and grapes are also grown here. The region also leads the country in the number of livestock (sheep, pigs and cattle) and the amount of unwashed wool.
A large watershed ridge divides the state into two parts. Because of this, its climate varies greatly to the west and east: the steppe climate, drier and cooler, changes to subtropical as you get closer to the coast. Although temperatures sometimes reach 40°C in the summer, which, combined with high humidity, can be difficult to bear, the overall weather conditions in New South Wales are quite favourable. Even on winter nights, the temperature usually doesn’t drop below +10°C, and in the summer it averages around +25°C.
There is much to see for the tourist traveling through New South Wales. Eight percent of the state is made up of about 780 national parks, reserves and protected areas, some of which are World Heritage sites. The list of untouched places to see is huge. You can dive the world’s southernmost coral reef – a fantastic experience with numerous packs of fish, green turtles and colored corals guaranteed. Watch dolphins in Port Stephens or humpback whales on Byron Bay and Sapphire Coast paradises. You can get your adrenaline pumping by surfing on the Central or South Shore. Connect to Aboriginal culture and history with the world’s oldest ceremonial burial grounds in Mango National Park. Test your strength by skiing some of Australia’s highest trails in the Charlotte Pass, or tackling Mt Kosciuszko, Australia’s highest peak, which sits in a unique biosphere reserve. Fishing, cycling, horseback riding, hiking in scenic areas, white water rafting, paddle boat tours or a trek along “The Poacher’s Trail” are just some of the activities for the active, sporty visitor.
Every year 2.5 million visitors flock to Sydney, the capital, to experience NSW. One of the most beautiful places in the city is Harbour Bridge – despite its considerable age, it is still one of the largest arched bridges in the world. Another visiting card of the capital is considered the building of the Sydney Opera House, breaking all canons of classical theatrical architecture. Must-see attractions include: The Sydney Aquarium, the Sydney TV Tower, the Australian National Maritime Museum, the Justice and Police Museum, and the national shrine, the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
New South Wales (State)
History of the state
Discovery of Australia by Europeans occurred in the second half of the XVIII century. Before that about 45 thousand years on its eastern shore lived the aborigines of the Cadiz. In 1770, James Cook (1728-1779) visited the island. He named the local bay Botany Bay after his friends, the botanist Joseph Banks (1743-1820) and Daniel Solander (1733-1782). He christened the coastline New South Wales and spent a week mapping it. His opinion and the data received from the expedition encouraged the British government to resolve to establish the colony. In 1788 British ships of the British First Fleet, which was created to take forces to explore Australia, sailed to the distant continent. The voyage lasted more than six months, and as a result, from January 18 to 20, 11 ships with a total of 1,487 passengers docked at the new land: 2 warships, 6 transports, and 3 freighters They decided to disembark not at Botany Bay, where the water and salt supplies proved scarce, but at nearby Port Jackson. It was a fine time when, having discovered a new land, one could feel free to declare it the possessions of his country and himself its governor. So did Arthur Philip (1738-1814), captain of the First Fleet. The natural harbor of Port Jackson served as a good place for the first settlement, Sidney, named after the British Secretary of the Colonies, Lord Sidney. Most of the arrivals were convicts, but this did not embarrass the captain in the least. He only decided to guard against their rampant drunkenness and brought grape stalks from the Cape of Good Hope, with the idea of diverting the attention of the prisoners from rum to wine. He succeeded in drawing attention to the drink and began the Australian wine industry, which eventually developed a strong presence on the world market. And yet in Sydney in 1808 there was a Rum Revolt The command of the new lands was tried militarily: first with the help of a detachment recruited in England, the New South Wales Corps, then with the help of the 73rd Scottish Regiment. The officers of the new corps began to use liquor as currency for wages, getting the population drunk and turning them into subservient slaves. Governor William Bligh (1754-1817) tried to put a stop to this. As a result, the forgotten officers were punished, but Bly was deposed as well. The next governor, Colonel Lachlan Macquarie (1762-1824), did much for the city. He introduced reforms, began active construction, and brought in architects to plan the city’s streets. Macquarie also sent detachments to explore inland, and the intelligence they brought brought brought new perspectives to the region. Prisoners, both men and women, arrived here, as they did in other parts of Australia, in torrents until 1840, when it was to New South Wales that the expulsion of convicts ceased. There were few political ones. Convicts were placed on community service, but for “good behaviour” they had a chance to be free to work for themselves. Few returned home, and the state’s population gradually multiplied. Till 1840 convicts made up 40% of the population, though after the Napoleonic wars the inflow of free citizens increased. The settlers were engaged in agriculture, chiefly sheep breeding, which was the mainstay of the local economy until the mid-20th century. In 1820-1850 wool exports were a good source of income, and frozen meat, introduced in 1879, was exported to Great Britain. The state’s history changed in 1851.
The discovery was made by Edward Hargraves (1816-1891), an explorer who discovered gold placers in the river Bathurst. Explorer Edward Hargraves (1816-1891) was fortunate to discover the placer gold in a river near the town of Bathurst. The area around it was named “Ophir”, he was appointed “special commissioner”, and in just four months about a thousand gold prospectors arrived at the mines. In 1851 the state gave the country 26.4 tons of pure gold. Gold mining took on an even greater scale in the neighboring state of Victoria. Every second adult male in the country became a gold miner. For years of the Australian “gold rush” number of inhabitants on the continent tripled, economy grew, the extensive territories of the state and all country were united by railroads and telegraph connection. In 1855 the independent state acquired its own government. But others strove for independence as well: since the middle of the 19th century considerable areas were torn away from the vast territory of NSW in favor of its neighbors. Against the background of active gold mining the most important sector of the economy remained sheep breeding: in 1887 over 3.2 million hectares of land belonged to sheep breeding farms. The prosperity of cattlemen put an end to the crisis of 1891-1901, when world prices for wool fell, overgrazing and lack of moisture created an abundance of dust storms, the land was abandoned, and the number of sheep decreased by 33%. In 1929 the state experienced its own “great depression” in the form of mass unemployment. It wasn’t until World War II, when war orders boosted industry and led to increased employment, that the situation recovered. Since then, New South Wales has become a developed industrial state, especially the steel and shipbuilding industries. Coal mining accounts for 11.4% of export earnings. Information technology and the financial services sector have grown rapidly since the 1970s. Fifty kilometers from Sydney begins the Blue Mountains (named so because of the rugged wall of blue eucalyptus trees), the lungs of the city and the pride of the state. The names of the three explorers who blazed the trail to the mainland in 1813 are now preserved in the names of roadside towns: Blaxland, Wentworth, Lawson. With the preservation of a grove of blue gums in the Grose Valley, bought in 1932 by tourists from a farmer who wanted to cut it down, the conservation movement began here, was established Wallamie National Park. Thanks to this, 1 million hectares of wilderness have been preserved, some parts of which are still untouched by humans. In 1994, a grove of Wollemi conifer was discovered here, which was thought to be extinct 60 million years ago. Amazingly, the naturalists keep its location sacred, and those who want to photograph the curiosity are delivered by helicopter blindfolded. In the state, as elsewhere in Australia, it is easy to combine the incongruous. The entrance to the Southern Highlands region is opened by the picturesque Gib Rock. It also marks the proximity to industrial Mittagong, home to Australia’s first steel mill, Fitzroy Ironworks (1848-1880). And near there, in the town of Baurale, is a fashionable resort with an exquisite tulip festival. The snowy mountains retain traces of glaciers and supply the entire southeastern part of the country with hydroelectric power. The south coast of the state is the center of the steel, cheese, processing and coal industries. But it is also a resort and fishing center.
The Hunter Valley region is home to horse breeding and winemaking and more than 10 national parks, reservations and protected forests, even though the state’s coal mines and power plants operate there. And the New England region lives up to the conservative traditions of the metropolis: horseback riding, polo, tweed. In short, anyone who comes to New South Wales, business or leisure, will find something to interest them. Sydney alone hosts over 2.5 million visitors a year.
State status: since January 1, 1901. Form of government: constitutional monarchy. Administrative-territorial division: 152 local government areas (2005); unofficially they are grouped into 14 regions, and regions are divided into counties, cities and urban areas, councils, municipalities and municipal councils. This system is periodically restructured. Capital City: Sydney, Population: 4,575,532 (2011). Language: English. Ethnicity: about 30% are Australians, about 30% are Australians with English ancestry, about 30% are Australians with other European ancestry, and about 10% are Asians, aborigines, and mixed nationalities. Religions: Catholicism is 28.2%, Anglicanism is 21.8%, atheism is 14.3%, and other Protestants besides the Anglicans mentioned are 35.7%. Currency is Australian dollar. The largest cities are Sydney and Newcastle. The largest river is the Murray (Murray) River with a branched tributary, the Darling River. The largest lake is Ukombin. Most important port: Sydney. Most important airport: Kingsforth Smith International Airport (Sydney).
Area: 809 444 km2 . Population: 7,272,200 (2010) Population density: 8.98 persons/km2 . Highest point: Mount Kosciusko (2229 m). The state is home to 33% of Australia’s population. In terms of livestock, the state accounts for 1/3 of sheep, 1/5 of cattle, and 1/3 of pigs.
Climate and weather
Most of the territory – arid and semi-arid, in the eastern part – temperate and humid, in the south-east coast – subtropical, in the mountainous areas – alpine. The average temperature in January (summer) is +22°C. The average temperature in July (winter) is +13°C. The average annual rainfall: up to 1,250 mm on the coast, and less than 250 mm in the central areas.
■ GDP: $401.7 billion (2009-2010). Industries: mining (coal), metallurgy (aluminum, etc.), steel, shipbuilding, information technology, forestry. Agriculture (2/3 of the state territory): animal breeding (cattle, sheep, pork, dairy and wool-farming), poultry farming, plant growing (fruits, beans, alfalfa, corn, nuts, rice, vegetables, bananas), production of vegetable oil and sugar. Centers of thoroughbred horse breeding. Breeding of oysters. Winemaking. Fishing. Services: tourism, financial, trade, transportAttractionsCity of Sydney: Sydney Opera House (1959-1973), Royal Botanic Gardens (1816), Parliament of New South Wales, National Library, Mint, Art Gallery, Sydney Harbour. ■ MuseumsRailroads (representing Australia’s oldest locomotive dating from 1864), Tamora Puppet Museum (2,000 puppets). ■ LandscapeCape Echo and the Three Sisters rock formation (Leira), the Broken Castle rock massif, the Theater of Shadows in the Blue Mountains Gorge, the old zig-zag railway line, Lake Thurlmer National Park, the Wirimbirra Nature Reserve, Mount Gibraltar Nature Reserve, the volcanic World Heritage Sites of Lord Howe and Balls Pyramid, Lord Howe Marine Park; ■
National Parks: Morton (Glow Worm Valley), Kosciusko, Wallemi. Blue Mountain, Ben Boyd National Park.