has long been the nation's fertile farming region where wheat and sheep are the primary industry. Mining has also played a part with gold, silver and various mineral deposits supporting towns throughout the state.
Bordered by the Great Dividing Range that separates the coast from the interior, central NSW
often suffers from long periods of drought. When the rains finally break there are other problems such as floods, mice and bugs but country folk take this all in their stride.
Many country towns in NSW have important historical significance. The discovery of gold throughout the country brought people in their thousands to places
far from the cities and thrust themselves upon this harsh country in search of their fortunes. With the gold diggers came the need for stores, bars, bakers, banks, schools, post offices, gaming rooms and so on. It didn't take long for great townships to take a hold.
West of the Blue Mountains
are the cental plains and the country towns of Bathurst
, Parkes, Forbes, Cowra, Young
, Dubbo and Mudgee
. Just 2 hours north of the state's capital, lies the Hunter Valley, a region famous as one of Australia
's premier wine growing districts and a popular short break getaway from Sydney
boasting an excellent array of accommodation and local attractions.
The Barrington Tops
is within this region and features rainforests with miles
of hiking trails, an extensive network of fire-trail ideal for four wheel driving and for most people is valued as a retreat where you'll find genuine peace and quiet.
On the northern tablelands the country towns of Armidale, Gunnedah, Glen Innes are predominantly rural in a wheat/sheep grazing belt with Tamworth
's country music capital, hosting a annual country music festival in January.
The majority of towns in central NSW
enjoy most of the modern conveniences of today such as fresh water, sewerage, telephone, some with mobile telephone services
, schools, hospitals and modern shopping facilities. There are numerous National Parks and some excellent attractions.
Each area seems different to the next, with a focus on either abundant water for irrigation and subsequent farming such as the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area around Griffith
and Leeton in the South West of the state that produces stone fruit, dried fruits, and vineyards or great natural formations such as the extinct volcano at the Border Ranges NP and the diversity of World Heritage Barrington Tops
in the North.
Typified by clear dark skies, central NSW
is highly regarded by radio astronomers and sky gazers with observatories at Parkes, Siding Springs, Narrabri and Molonglo. The southern sky has some of the most exciting objects including the centre of our own Milky Way Galaxy and our neighbours the Magellanic Clouds.
All travellers need to be aware that there is a zone across NSW, Victoria and SA called the "Fruit Fly Exclusion Zone". The Fruit Fly Exclusion zone means it is illegal to take ANY fresh fruit - including tomatoes, capsicum and avocadoes into any area within the zone. Random roadblocks operate within the zone and $200 minimum on the spot fines apply.
For more detailed information ring the TriState Fruit Fly freecall number 1800 084 881 (b/h).