|New South Wales|
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New South Wales, known as the Premier State, is the oldest and most populous state of Australia. It is situated on the eastern seaboard, with Queensland to the north and Victoria to the south. East of the Great Dividing Range, its landscape is characterised by coastal slopes, plateaux and river flats while to the west is semi-arid desert.
The state is divided naturally into four areas - the sparsely populated Outback western plains, the lush highlands of the Great Dividing Range, the farm country of the range's western slopes, and the rich sub-tropical coastal region.
The capital, Sydney, is a vivacious and cosmopolitan city, on a sparkling harbour and is a major financial, political and cultural centre. Situated west of Sydney, the Blue Mountains are a spectacular range, with a series of small villages surrounded by national park. The mountains are a high sandstone plateau dissected by deep, heavily forested valleys, canyons, plunging waterfalls and sheer cliffs.
The Blue Mountains stand as a gateway to the New South Wales plains stretching to the state border. Here farm country rolls into the outback where visitors can explore the historical, outback towns. North of Sydney, visitors find many a blue-water paradise as the central and north coast beaches provide a playground for any holiday. Vineyards, rainforests and country music also abound in the northern part of the state.
South of Sydney, the state unveils attractive townships, dotted with farms, lakes, forests and beaches providing spectacular scenery year-round. In the winter months, southern New South Wales also allows for snow skiing in the Snowy Mountains.