Australian Visa Bureau   »   Australia Resources   »   Australian State and Territory Government   »  New South Wales

New South Wales

Visa Bureau is not affiliated with the Australian Government but is a website.

New South Wales, on the south-east of the country, is the oldest and most populated state where you can live in Australia. Most of the population is based in Sydney, which is also the capital, and the state enjoys a temperate climate.


The estimated population of New South Wales is 6.9 million people, with the population growth set at 1.1% according to latest statistics (below the national average of 1.5%).

62.9% of NSW's population is based in Sydney, translating to just over 4 million. Of those, roughly 3,640,000 lived in Sydney's urban area, with Inner Sydney the most densely populated place in Australia with 4,023 persons per square kilometre.

Newcastle has a population of almost 290,000, although this figure could be seen as misleading, as the area represented extends beyond the Newcastle metropolitan area and includes both the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie local government areas as well as Fern Bay, a small southern suburb of Port Stephens Council.

470 miles north of Sydney is the smaller town of Byron Bay, which has a population of almost 6,000. However, it also acts as the centre for Byron Shire, which has a total population of 30,000.


The climate in New South Wales is temperate and mostly free from extremes of hot and cold. The coast experiences humidity during the summer months (December to February). The hottest area is the northwest part of the state, with the coldest region being the Snowy Mountains, where snow and frost persist for long periods during the winter months (June to August).

Sydney’s summer season has temperatures regularly hitting 35 °C. Winter days can also be warm, regularly in the 21-27 °C range, but can also be damp and chilly, with winter nights often cold. In Newcastle, average temperatures range between 18-27 °C.

Economy and Primary Industries

Despite its history as an industrial town, sectors such as steel and shipbuilding have largely disappeared from New South Wales. However, agriculture remains important, despite its share of the state’s income being smaller than in the past.

Many of Australia’s new industries, such as information technology and financial services, are largely centred in Sydney. Many international companies will have their Australian headquarters based in the Sydney CBD. Additionally, the Macquarie Park area of Sydney has attracted the Australian headquarters of many information technology firms.

Coal and related products are the state's biggest export. Its value to the state's economy is over AU$5 billion accounting for about 19% of all exports from NSW. Tourism has also become important, with an estimated worth of over AU$23 billion.

Sydney acts as the centre for tourism, but the North Coast and Hunter Valley are also popular destinations. 

New South Wales Immigration Options

Skilled workers wishing to emigrate to Australia have a number of Skilled Migration visa categories to which they can apply.

Those specifically wanting to emigrate to Australia to live in New South Wales can apply for the New South Wales Skilled – Regional Sponsored Visa (subclass 475). 

The Skilled - Regional Sponsored Visa (subclass 475) is a sponsored work visa for skilled people wishing to live and work in a regional or low population growth area in Australia.