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New South Wales 

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New South Wales

New South Wales can rightly claim to be the oldest state in Australia, since it was the one first settled by those pioneers that came hard on the heels of Captain Cook’s discovery. It is also the most populous of all states and that must be at least in part, due to its magnificent climate. In nearly all areas of New South Wales the temperatures are moderate in winter and summer, though there is the odd heat wave in summer when temperature soars to 40C - more in some places.

Then there are the inland and mountainous regions where the winter temperatures can reach below freezing, but rarely below -10C. Here the summers are mild and inhabitants rarely suffer from any heat waves. In New South Wales, as in most other states, much of the population remains on the coastal fringe, preferring close proximity to major towns and cities. This allows the advantages of the educational and work opportunities that most people seek during their lifetime.

Of course, New South Wales has an ‘outback’ too, though since this state does not reach quite as far into the heart of Australia as some of the others, is a little different to the other outbacks, but still has its unique features. One of these has to be the Mungo National Park that can be said to have a unique lunar-type landscape when viewed by a full moon. Here were found some ancient human remains now called Mungo Man and Mungo Woman. They are said to be over 40,000 years old.

Apart from the emus and opal mines - Lightning Ridge being the only location worldwide where black opal is mined in large quantities - the wonderful, rich colours and vibrant light attracts artists and film makers from across the globe. And if you want to stand at the junction of three states then travel to Cameron’s Corner, the official junction. From here you’ll be able to see the longest fence in the world; 5,614 ks of fencing designed to keep dingoes out - though from which side is debatable.

Tibooburra is an old goldmining town from which you can see the masses of desert wildflowers in season - along with aboriginal artefacts and an art gallery housed in what was the local gaol. But don’t expect to be cool, as this is rated as the hottest town - weather-wise, of course - in Australia.

New South Wales really has every kind of environment located within its boundaries. Between the outback plains and the coast can be found a range of mountains aptly named the Blue Mountains due to the blue haze that they seem to be shrouded in on most days. Some experts declare this is the result of tiny droplets of eucalyptus oil hanging in the air above the many gum trees that cover the mountains. Certainly, when bushfires rage throughout the mountains something seems to cause those devastating fireballs that explode well ahead of the main fire fronts.

Within the mountain ranges can be found many tourist attractions such as the spectacular rock formations called the Three Sisters and caves such as the Jenolan Caves, where tourists may explore to their heart’s content. As with most mountain areas, there are deep, hidden gorges and spectacular waterfalls to be explored too. These are only a few of the wonderful attractions of New South Wales available to tourist and local alike.