New South Wales
New South Wales (abbreviated as NSW), Australia's most populous state, is located in the south-east of the country, north of Victoria, south of Queensland, east of South Australia and encompasses the whole of the Australian Capital Territory.
New South Wales' three largest cities, Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong, lie near the centre of a narrow coastal strip extending from cool temperate areas on the far south coast to subtropical areas near the Queensland border.
New South Wales has more than 780 national parks and reserves covering more than 8% of the state. These parks range from rainforests, spectacular waterfalls, rugged bush to marine wonderlands and outback deserts, including World Heritage areas.
The Royal National Park on the southern outskirts of Sydney became Australia's first National Park when proclaimed on 26 April 1879.
Most of New South Wales has an arid or semi arid climate. However, most of the eastern portion has a temperate, wet climate. The Snowy Mountains region in the south-east falls in the alpine climate/highland climate zone, with cool to cold weather all year around and snowfalls in the winter.
The highest maximum temperature recorded was 49.7 °C (121 °F) at Menindee in the state's west on 10 January 1939. The lowest minimum temperature was −23 °C (−9 °F) at Charlotte Pass in the Snowy Mountains on 29 June 1994.