The New Student's Reference Work/New South Wales
New South Wales, the oldest colony in Australia, formerly included Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand, but now its area is 310,367 square miles and its population, including 10,000 Chinese, blacks and half-caste natives, is 1,664,644. The Australian Alps, Blue Mountains and Liverpool Range are some of the mountains scattered over the country. The Murray, Lothian, Nepean, Clarence, Shoalhaven, Darling and Macquarie are some of the chief rivers. The colony was established in 1788 by a party of transported prisoners from England. Then land was given to free colonists, and transportation ceased in 1840. Thereon followed a great social advance, stimulated by the discovery of gold in 1851. The country is covered with trees, as the eucalyptus, palm, pine and cedar, and vegetation is very rich. Kangaroos infest this as well as other regions in Australia; there are many lizards and snakes and birds of beautiful plumage. Gold was first worked in 1851 near Bathhurst, and is now found in an area covering 70,000 square miles, to an annual value of nearly $25,000,000. Silver abounds in Barrier Range; copper, tin, bismuth, manganese, antimony, mercury, zinc, cobalt and alum are mined; and precious stones are found in the granite formations. Yet the greatest mineral wealth is found in the coalfields, extending over 24,000 square miles and yielding 8,173,508 tons in 1910. Sheep and cattle are extensively raised, there being over 50,000,000 sheep now in pasture. The export of wool is nearly 300,000,000 pounds a year. While 140,000,000 acres are devoted to pasturage, only 1,000,000 are given to farming. The agricultural output is very small. Other exports include (beside gold, coal and the great wool crop), hides, skins, oranges, citrons, cane-sugar, wine, brandy, leather, tallow and meat, preserved and frozen. The colony has the largest trade, on account of its harbors and resources, of any of the Australian colonies. In 1911 it had 3,761 miles of railroad open for traffic. Public schools maintained by the state are now established, entirely unconnected with the church. Higher education is represented by the University of Sydney, with a staff of 80 professors and lecturers and 948 students. The laws are administered by a governor appointed by the crown, an executive council, a legislative council and legislative assembly. Sydney is the chief town. Population, including suburbs, 621,100. See T. A. Coglan's Wealth and Progress of New South Wales.