Facts : New South WalesState Capital: Sydney
Population: 6.83 million (63% in Sydney)
Area: 802,000 sq km
Geography: Bordered to the west by South Australia, to the north by Queensland and to the south by Victoria, New South Wales also contains the two federal enclaves of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT, home to Canberra), and the Jervis Bay Territory. New South Wales can broadly be divided into four geographical areas – the narrow coastal strip running the length of the state from the border with Victoria in the south, to the border with Queensland in the north, home to numerous beaches, and national parks; the mountainous Great Dividing Range, which again runs the length of the state, about 60 miles inland; the inland agricultural plains west of the Great Dividing Range, covering two thirds of New South Wales; and finally, the arid Outback region around Broken Hill in the far north west of the state. The state capital, Sydney, is located on the coast
Climate: Generally speaking, the further north you go in New South Wales, the hotter is gets, and the further west you go, the drier it becomes. New South Wales enjoys a temperate climate however, without some of the huge variations that some of the other states may encounter. Average summer temperatures are around 28 degrees Celsius, winter temperatures around 15 degrees and most rainfall falls between March and July.
Time: GMT+10 hours
Sydney's Kingsford Smith International airport is Australia's busiest, and many visitors choose to begin or end their Australian adventure here. You can also fly into Sydney from all over Australia, using domestic airilnes such as Qantas and Virgin Blue.
For those with time to spare or travelling on a budget, Sydney is linked to most other cities by a number of coach routes, but travellers should bear in mind the distances involved - the journey to Brisbane is around 16 hours, Melbourne 12-13, and Adelaide around 20 hours. You can either plan your route in advance and purchase individual "sectors" of a journey, or if you want a bit of freedom and flexibility, then you can purchase a certain number of kilometres and travel up to your chosen distance on a variety of routes.