New South Wales (often abbreviated as NSW) covers an area of 809,444 km2 and has a population of over 8 million, making it Australia's most populous state. It was originally founded in 1788 and comprised most of Australia's mainland, however, later, during the 19th century; many areas were separated to form the other Australian States. NSW is distinguished by its coastal cities and national parks. Sydney, its capital, is home to iconic structures such as the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Inland are the rugged Blue Mountains, rainforests and outback towns where opals are mined. Along the coastline are long surfing beaches. The Hunter Valley region, in the north, has dozens of wineries.
It was originally founded in 1788 and comprised most of Australia's mainland, however, later, during the 19th century; many areas were separated to form the other Australian States. The capital of New South Wales, Sydney, is Australia's oldest and largest city and is also a centre of international finance. It hosted the 2000 Olympic Summer Games and attracts more than 9 million tourists each year, both domestic and international. New South Wales can be divided up into four main areas, the coastal strip running from just below the Queensland border to the regions just south of Sydney, the mountainous area of the Great Dividing Range, the agricultural plains around Wagga Wagga, and the arid plains located in the far north-west of the state. New South Wales is bordered by the states of Queensland, South Australia and Victoria with its coastal area facing the Tasman Sea. Most of New South Wales\' economy comes from its strong property and business services, manufacturing, retail, and health and community services. Tourism also, plays a major role in maintaining a GDP of AU$39,950, per capita. Both the country and the city offer many attractions to satisfy many different tastes. From diving off the coast of Aslings Beach, just north of the town of Eden to snowboarding at the Perisher Blue Ski Resort. New South Wales boasts a climate of temperate summers and winters, mostly free from extremes of hot and cold. However, along the coastal region, humidity often occurs during the summer months (December through to March) while the Snowy Mountains experience snow and frost for long periods of time, during the winter months (June to August).