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Central West (New South Wales) facts for kids

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Central West
New South Wales
The Lachlan River at Cowra
Population 175,351 (?)
LGA(s) Various
State electorate(s) Dubbo, Burrinjuck, Orange, Bathurst
Federal Division(s) Calare
Localities around Central West:
Orana Upper Hunter Hunter
Orana Central West Greater Blue Mountains Area
South West Slopes South West Slopes Southern Tablelands

The Central West is a region of New South Wales, Australia. The region is geographically in eastern New South Wales, in the area west of the Blue Mountains, which are west of Sydney. It has an area of 63,262 square kilometres (24,426 sq mi).

Major population and service centres in the Central West include the cities of Bathurst and Orange; and the large towns of Cowra and Parkes. Bathurst and Orange are home to campuses of Charles Sturt University, the only main provider of university education for the region.

Cities and towns

The Central West includes three cities: Bathurst, Dubbo and Orange; three large towns: Cowra, Parkes and Lithgow; other smaller centres, which include Oberon, Mudgee and Forbes; and other small towns and villages such as Canowindra, Cudal, Molong, Grenfell, West Wyalong, Condobolin and Eugowra.


The Central West's east is higher, wetter and hillier and supports orchards, vineyards, vegetable-growing and pastoralism. The west is flatter and drier and supports grain crops and pastoralism.


The Central West area was originally inhabited by the Wiradjuri people. The first white explorer, George Wilson Evans, entered the Lachlan Valley in 1815. He named the area the Oxley Plains after his superior the surveyor-general, John Oxley. In 1817 he deemed the area unfit for white settlement. A Military Depot was established not long after at Soldiers Flat near present-day Billimari. Arthur Ranken and James Sloan, from Bathurst, were amongst the first white settlers on the Lachlan. They moved to the area in 1831.

In the 1850s many gold prospectors passed through headed for gold fields at Lambing Flat (Young) and Grenfell.

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