Daniel Scott surveys the state's best houseboating holidays.
Lance Richardson surveys the patchwork of farms, gardens and suburbia on the western frontier of Sydney.
Wagga Wagga (including Wantabadgery and Forest Hill)
Major city in the heart of the Riverina
Situated on the Murrumbidgee River, Wagga Wagga is NSW's largest inland city and is considered the capital of the Riverina area of NSW. Halfway between Sydney and Melbourne and a two-and-a-half hour drive from Canberra, it is 214 m above sea-level and has a population of approximately 57 000. The name derives from a local Aboriginal word meaning 'place of many crows'.
Tiny village between Nyngan and Bourke
The tiny village of Coolabah lies on the Mitchell Highway 76 km north of Nyngan and 656 km northwest of Sydney. The village is now nothing more than a few houses. However this disguises a history interesting enough to have produced a substantial local history when the town celebrated its centenary in 1984.
Wellington (including Montefiores, Lake Burrendong, the Wellington Caves, Nurea, Bakers Swamp, Arthurville and Geurie)
Major centre west of the Blue Mountains
The attractive rural centre of Wellington, the second-oldest town west of the Blue Mountains, is located 369 km north-west of Sydney and 304 m above sea-level. It is a relatively large centre having a population of about 5700 with a considerable, and increasing, Aboriginal population.
Quiet rural township on the Macquarie River
Warren is a very typical and quiet rural town on the Macquarie River with a population of about 2200 people. It is located on the Oxley Highway, 545 km north-west of Sydney, 80 km west of Gilgandra and 197 metres above sea-level.
Narromine (and Tomingley)
Attractive service town located on the Macquarie River.
Narromine is located near the Macquarie River at the eastern edge of the vast western plains of NSW. It is 39 km west of Dubbo and 458 km north-west of Sydney, at the junction of the Mitchell and Newell Highways, 235 metres above sea-level. The current population is 3500. The Narromine silo, owned by the New South Wales Grain Corporation, dominates the town. Wheat, citrus, fruit, vegetables, fat lambs, wool and especially cotton are the economic focus of the shire.
Nyngan (and Canonba)
Pleasant country town and service centre on the Bogan River
Nyngan is a country town of some 2500 people, situated by the Bogan River on the eastern edge of the Great Outback. It is located on the Mitchell Highway between Narromine and Bourke, 583 km north-west of Sydney and 173 metres above sea-level. The Barrier Highway also starts at Nyngan, heading west to Cobar. Wool, wheat and cattle are the primary local produce in what is a very productive pastoral and agricultural shire.