New South Wales

POP: 8,158,000 people

AREA: 801,150 km²

GPS: 33.8688° S, 151.2093° E (Capital of Sydney)

CUR: Australian Dollar

New South Wales is a southeastern Australian state, 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.

 

Sydney, capital of New South Wales is Australia's largest city, is best known for its harbourfront Sydney Opera House, with a distinctive sail-like design. Massive Darling Harbour and the smaller Circular Quay port are hubs of waterside life, with the arched Harbour Bridge and esteemed Royal Botanic Garden nearby. Sydney Tower’s outdoor platform, the Skywalk, offers 360-degree views of the city and suburbs.

Sydney Mardi Gras is one of the most famous gay festivals in the world as well as one of the oldest. It started in 1978 on Oxford Street as a morning protest with just 500 people, calling for an end to police harassment against homosexuals and the repeal of the anti-gay laws. The second Mardi Gras in 1979 was more successful with over 3,000 people attending and no arrests.

Today the Sydney Mardi Gras takes over the entire city with around 500k people attending. If that's not enough, it has become so popular that stars like Cher, Kylie Minogue, Cyndi Lauper and George Michael have performed there.