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Central West (New South Wales) facts for kids

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Central West
New South Wales
Parkes Radio Telescope 09.jpg
The CSIRO Radio Telescope at Parkes
Population 209,810 (30 June 2016)
LGA(s) Bathurst Region, City of Orange, Cowra Shire, Parkes Shire, City of Lithgow, Oberon Shire, Mid-Western Regional Council, Forbes Shire, Cabonne Shire, Weddin Shire, Lachlan Shire, Blayney Shire
State electorate(s)
  • Bathurst
  • Cootamundra
  • Dubbo
  • Orange
  • Barwon
Federal Division(s) Calare


Localities around Central West:
Orana Upper Hunter Hunter
Orana Central West Greater Blue Mountains Area
South West Slopes Riverina Southern Tablelands

The Central West is a region of New South Wales, Australia. The region is geographically in central and 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). The region also includes the sub-region known as the Central Tablelands, located in the eastern part of the region. The region known as the Orana, which includes the area surrounding Dubbo is commonly classed as being a part of the Central West also.

Major population and service centres in the Central West include Bathurst, Cowra, Lithgow, Mudgee, Orange, and Parkes. Bathurst and Orange are home to campuses of Charles Sturt University, and Lithgow housing the University of Notre Dame Regional Clinical School.

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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