New South Wales

       
Bar Beach, south of the Newcastle CBD, is a popular swimming and surfing beach

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New South Wales (abbreviated as NSW) is a state of Australia, located in the east of the country. It is bordered by Queensland, Victoria and South Australia to the north, south and west respectively. To the east, the state is bordered by the Tasman Sea, which forms part of the Pacific Ocean. New South Wales encompasses the whole of the Australian Capital Territory. The state capital is Sydney, which is also the state's most populous city. As of June 2010, the estimated population was 7,238,819, which was 34.5% of the population of Australia, making it Australia's most populous state. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.
 
The colony of New South Wales was founded in 1788 and originally comprised much of the Australian mainland, as well as Van Diemen's Land, Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island, in addition to the area currently referred to as the state of New South Wales, which was formed during Federation in 1901. New Zealand briefly became a part of New South Wales when it was annexed by Britain in 1840. During the 19th century, large areas were successively separated to form the British colonies of Tasmania (established as a separate colony named Van Diemen's Land in 1825), South Australia (1836), Victoria (1851) and Queensland (1859).
 
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. Originally named The National Park until 1955, this park was the second National Park to be established in the world after Yellowstone National Park in the U.S. Kosciuszko National Park is the largest park in state encompassing New South Wales' alpine region.
 
The National Parks Association was formed in 1957 to create a system of national parks all over New South Wales which lead to the formation of the National Parks and Wildlife Service in 1967. This government agency is responsible for developing and maintaining the parks and reserve system, and conserving natural and cultural heritage, in the state of New South Wales. These parks preserve special habitats, plants and wildlife, such as the Wollemi National Park where the Wollemi Pine grows and areas sacred to Australian Aboriginals such as Mutawintji National Park in western New South Wales.

 

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