Central Tablelands

Last updated

Central Tablelands
New South Wales
Localities around Central Tablelands:
Northern Tablelands Upper Hunter Hunter
Central West Central Tablelands Blue Mountains
South West Slopes South West Slopes Southern Tablelands

The Central Tablelands in New South Wales is a geographic area that lies between the Sydney Metropolitan Area and the Central Western Slopes and Plains. The Great Dividing Range passes in a north–south direction through the Central Tablelands and includes the Blue Mountains. The region shares borders with the Hunter, Central West Slopes and Plains, Southern Tablelands, North Western Slopes and Plains, the Sydney Metropolitan Area and the Illawarra.

New South Wales State of Australia

New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In December 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 8 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.

Sydney Metropolis in Australia

Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds Port Jackson and extends about 70 km (43.5 mi) on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west, Hawkesbury to the north, the Royal National Park to the south and Macarthur to the south-west. Sydney is made up of 658 suburbs, 40 local government areas and 15 contiguous regions. Residents of the city are known as "Sydneysiders". As of June 2017, Sydney's estimated metropolitan population was 5,230,330 and is home to approximately 65% of the state's population.

Great Dividing Range mountain range in the Australian states of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria

The Great Dividing Range, or the Eastern Highlands, is Australia's most substantial mountain range and the third longest land-based range in the world. It stretches more than 3,500 kilometres (2,175 mi) from Dauan Island off the northeastern tip of Queensland, running the entire length of the eastern coastline through New South Wales, then into Victoria and turning west, before finally fading into the central plain at the Grampians in western Victoria. The width of the range varies from about 160 km (100 mi) to over 300 km (190 mi). The Greater Blue Mountains Area, Gondwana Rainforests, and Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Areas are located in the range.

Contents

Several main State highways pass through the Central Tablelands including the Great Western Highway, Mitchell Highway, Golden Highway, Castlereagh Highway and the Mid-Western Highway. The main western railway line from Sydney passes through the Central Tablelands, east to west direction initially on the Blue Mountains railway line, then continuing with the Main Western Railway line.

Great Western Highway Highway in New South Wales

The Great Western Highway is a 201-kilometre-long (125 mi) state highway in New South Wales, Australia. From east to west, the highway links Sydney with Bathurst, on the state's Central Tablelands.

Mitchell Highway highway in Queensland and New South Wales

The Mitchell Highway is a state highway located in the central and south western regions of Queensland and the northern and central western regions of New South Wales in Australia. The southern part of the Mitchell Highway forms part of the National Highway A32 corridor, which stretches from Sydney to Adelaide via Dubbo and Broken Hill. The Mitchell Highway also forms part of the shortest route between Sydney and Darwin, via Bourke and Mount Isa; making it an important road link for the transport of passengers and freight for regional New South Wales and Queensland.

Golden Highway highway in New South Wales

The Golden Highway is a 313-kilometre (194 mi) highway, located in the Hunter and Orana regions of New South Wales, Australia.

The main towns within the Central Tablelands, listed by population, include Orange, Bathurst, Lithgow, Mudgee, Cowra, Wellington, Blayney, Oberon. Gulgong, and Portland.

Orange, New South Wales City in New South Wales, Australia

Orange is a city in the Central West region of New South Wales, Australia. It is 254 km (158 mi) west of the state capital, Sydney [206 km (128 mi) on a great circle], at an altitude of 862 metres (2,828 ft). Orange had an estimated urban population of 39,755 as of June 2016 making the city a significant regional centre. A significant nearby landmark is Mount Canobolas with a peak elevation of 1,395 m (4,577 ft) AHD  and commanding views of the district.

Bathurst, New South Wales City in New South Wales, Australia

Bathurst is a city in the Central Tablelands of New South Wales, Australia. It is about 200 kilometres (120 mi) west-northwest of Sydney and is the seat of the Bathurst Regional Council. Bathurst is the oldest inland settlement in Australia and had a population of 36,801 at June 2018.

Lithgow, New South Wales City in New South Wales, Australia

Lithgow is a city in the Central Tablelands of New South Wales, Australia and is the administrative centre of the City of Lithgow local government area. It is located in a mountain valley named Lithgow's Valley by John Oxley in honour of William Lithgow, the first Auditor-General of New South Wales.

History

In May 1813 explorers Blaxland, Wentworth, and Lawson setout to discover the inland to the west of Sydney, over the Blue Mountains. The group climbed the mountains and on reaching the top of the ridges they continued west to a point later named Mount Blaxland (south of present-day Rydal). This was the first access by Europeans to the area now known as the Central Tablelands. Governor Macquarie ordered a second expedition, in November 1813, led by government surveyor George Evans, this second expedition travelled further and reached the site now known as the city of Bathurst.

Gregory Blaxland English explorer in Australia

Gregory Blaxland was an English pioneer farmer and explorer in Australia, noted especially for initiating and co-leading the first successful crossing of the Blue Mountains by European settlers.

William Wentworth Australian poet, explorer, journalist and politician

William Charles Wentworth was an Australian explorer, journalist, politician and author, and one of the leading figures of early colonial New South Wales. He was the first native-born Australian to achieve a reputation overseas, and a leading advocate for self-government for the Australian colonies.

William Lawson (explorer) Australian pastoralist and explorer in New South Wales

William Lawson, MLC was an English-born Australian explorer, land owner, grazier and politician who migrated to Sydney, New South Wales in 1800. Along with his close friends and colleagues Gregory Blaxland and William Wentworth, he pioneered the first successful crossing of the Blue Mountains by European settlers.

Geology and Landforms

The Central Tablelands region of New South Wales lies largely within the Lachlan Fold Belt tectonic zone.

The Lachlan Fold Belt (LFB) or Lachlan Orogen is a geological subdivision of the east part of Australia. It is a zone of folded and faulted rocks of similar age. It dominates New South Wales and Victoria, also extending into Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and Queensland. It was formed in the Middle Paleozoic from 450 to 340 Mya. It was earlier known as Lachlan Geosyncline. It covers an area of 200,000 km2.

Eastern portion (surrounding Katoomba)

The eastern portion of the Central Tablelands covers the area known as the Blue Mountains, New South Wales to the west of the Sydney basin. The area is drained by many creeks and rivers, including Cox's River, Jenolan River, Kanangra River, and Kowmung River which in turn flow into the Hawkesbury-Nepean river system. The Blue Mountains are an extensive Triassic sandstone plateau rising to 1,100 metres (3,609 ft) near Mount Victoria. The Blue Mountains terminate in a north–south line of cliffs that form the eastern edge of the Hartley, Kanimbla and Megalong Valleys. [1]

Jenolan River river in New South Wales, Australia

The Jenolan River, a perennial river that is part of the Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment, is located in the Central Tablelands region of New South Wales, Australia.

The Kowmung River, a perennial river that is part of the Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment, is located in the Central Tablelands region of New South Wales, Australia.

Hawkesbury River river in New South Wales, Australia

The Hawkesbury River, is a semi–mature tide dominated drowned valley estuary located to the west and north of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The Hawkesbury River and its associated main tributary, the Nepean River, virtually encircle the metropolitan region of Sydney.

Western portion (surrounding Bathurst)

Two physical components comprise the Central Tablelands region surrounding Bathurst; the Bathurst Basin and the Tablelands areas. They are drained by the Macquarie, Turon, Fish and Campbells Rivers to the north and Abercrombie and Isabella Rivers to the south. The central basin area of the Bathurst area is mainly granite soils while in the north area sandstone, conglomerates, greywacke, siltstones, limestones and minor volcanos predominate. The south is more complex geology with siltstones, sandstones, greywacke, shales and chert, basalt and granite intrusions and embedded volcanic and limestones. Underlying Bathurst is the dominant feature of Bathurst granite (intruded in the Devonian period) and at Mount Panorama and Mount Stewart basalt occurs. [2]

Topography of the region ranges from slightly undulating to rough and very steep country, approximately 30 km to the east of Bathurst is the folded and faulted sedimentary and metamorphosed formations of the Great Dividing Range which runs roughly north–south. [3]

Northern portion (surrounding Mudgee)

Geology of the area surrounding Mudgee and Gulgong forms part of the north eastern margin of the Lachlan Fold Belt tectonic zone. [4] This northern area is traversed by the Cudegong River which rises in the mountains of the Great Divide, flowing west into the Murray-Darling river system. At the head of the valley, to the east, high mountains are of volcanic origin, and capped in basalt lava flows deposited some 17 million years ago. Nullo Mountain is the most extensive, and Mount Coricudgy the loftiest at 1,256 metres (4,121 ft). The high mountainous eastern area is a spectacular landscape with basalt peaks, sandstone ravines and rainforest gorges. This high land falls to the west into wide basins of agricultural country. The Cudgegong River collects the fertile basalt enriched volcanics from the mountains and deposits them in the broad fertile alluvial flat agricultural lands to the west. [5]

Climate

Due to its location and elevation 390–1395 meters ASL the Central Tablelands has its four seasons. Summer can be quite hot with temperatures exceeding 40 °C (104 °F) on the hottest days, although afternoons in summer tend to cool down and most summer nights are around 13 °C (55.4 °F). Autumn is when the district starts to cool down. Around April frosts start occurring and temperatures below 0 °C (32 °F) may also occur. The district tends to be quite windy in autumn and days sometimes struggle to reach 18 °C (64.4 °F). Winter is the coldest season and daytime temperatures struggle to get above 7 °C (44.6 °F). When the south-westerly winds blow on winter nights the temperature can go as low as −8 °C (17.6 °F) and feel much colder. Severe frosts occur frequently during winter. In the higher parts over 1000 metres ASL, several snowfalls occur each winter. Spring is when the temperature starts to warm, although frosts and sometimes snow still occur in early spring. Around mid-spring the temperature can get as high as 24 °C (75.2 °F), sometimes even higher. Around spring all the crops and flowers start growing in the Central Tablelands. Nights in spring may still drop below 0 °C (32 °F), especially if the wind is blowing.

The area tends to be quite dry when it comes to rainfall. Rain can be expected any day of the year but usually the heaviest rainfall is around October. The average rainfall for the district is between 500 and 700 mm per year. Some years may even be wetter or drier.

The highest temperature in the Central Tablelands was 44.7° C (112.5° F) at Bathurst Gaol, in January 1878. The lowest temperature was −11.1° C (12.0° F) at Marrangaroo, in July 2018. [6]

Economy

Flora and fauna

Naming

New South Wales can be divided into four broad landform components:

The four geographic components are then typically divided into north, central and southern areas based upon their location relative to Sydney.

This two-way subdivision gives rise to the generic pattern of regions:

See also

Related Research Articles

Blue Mountains (New South Wales) Region in New South Wales, Australia

The Blue Mountains are a mountainous region and a mountain range located in New South Wales, Australia. The region borders on Sydney's metropolitan area, its foothills starting about 50 kilometres (31 mi) west of centre of the state capital, close to the major suburb of Penrith. The public's understanding of the extent of the Blue Mountains is varied, as it forms only part of an extensive mountainous area associated with the Great Dividing Range. Officially the Blue Mountains region is bounded by the Nepean and Hawkesbury rivers in the east, the Coxs River and Lake Burragorang to the west and south, and the Wolgan and Colo rivers to the north. Geologically, it is situated in the central parts of the Sydney Basin.

Greater Western Sydney Region in New South Wales, Australia

Greater Western Sydney (GWS) is a large region of the metropolitan area of Greater Sydney, New South Wales, Australia that generally embraces the north-west, south-west, central-west, and far western sub-regions within Sydney's metropolitan area and encompasses 13 local government areas: Blacktown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Camden, Campbelltown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, Hills Shire, Liverpool, Parramatta, Penrith, Wollondilly and the western portion of the City of Parramatta Council. It includes Western Sydney, which has a number of different definitions, although the one consistently used is the region composed of the nine local government authorities which are all members of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC). The NSW Government's Office of Western Sydney uses the broader Greater Western Sydney definition to refer to the region.

Snake River Plain valley in Idaho, United States of America

The Snake River Plain is a geologic feature located primarily within the U.S. state of Idaho. It stretches about 400 miles (640 km) westward from northwest of the state of Wyoming to the Idaho-Oregon border. The plain is a wide, flat bow-shaped depression and covers about a quarter of Idaho. Three major volcanic buttes dot the plain east of Arco, the largest being Big Southern Butte.

Castlereagh Highway highway in New South Wales and Queensland

The Castlereagh Highway is a 790-kilometre (490 mi) state highway located in New South Wales and Queensland, Australia. The highway's northern terminus is at a junction with the Carnarvon Highway, south of St George, Queensland. Its southern terminus is at a junction with the Great Western Highway at Marrangaroo, 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) north of Lithgow. From north to south the highway traverses South West Queensland and the North West Slopes, Orana, and Central West regions of New South Wales.

Sydney Basin Region in New South Wales, Australia

The Sydney Basin is an interim Australian bioregion and is both a structural entity and a depositional area, now preserved on the east coast of New South Wales, Australia and with some of its eastern side now subsided beneath the Tasman Sea. The basin is named for the city of Sydney, on which it is centred.

Central West (New South Wales) Region in New South Wales, Australia

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).

Geography of Sydney

The geography of Sydney is characterised by its coastal location on a basin bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the east, the Blue Mountains to the west, the Hawkesbury River to the north and the Woronora Plateau to the south. Sydney lies on a submergent coastline on the east coast of New South Wales, where the ocean level has risen to flood deep river valleys (rias) carved in the Sydney sandstone. Port Jackson, better known as Sydney Harbour, is one such ria.

Bylong Valley Way road in New South Wales

Bylong Valley Way is a New South Wales country road linking the Golden Highway near Sandy Hollow to the Castlereagh Highway near Ilford. It is named after the Bylong Valley, through which the road passes.

Rylstone, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Rylstone is a small town in New South Wales, Australia, in the Central Tablelands region within the Mid-Western Regional Council local government area. It is located on the Bylong Valley Way road route. At the 2016 census, Rylstone had a population of almost 650 people.

The Main Western Railway is a major railway in New South Wales, Australia. It runs through the Blue Mountains, Central West, North West Slopes and the Far West regions.

The North West Slopes region of New South Wales, Australia refers generally to the area west of the Northern Tablelands, to the north of the Central West region and to the east of the Far West region. The region corresponds generally to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology's forecast area of North West Slopes and Plains.

Cumberland Plain plain in Australia

The Cumberland Plain is a relatively flat region lying to the west of Sydney CBD in New South Wales, Australia. Cumberland Basin is the preferred physiographic and geological term for the low-lying plain of the Permian-Triassic Sydney Basin found between Sydney and the Blue Mountains, and it is a structural sub-basin of the Sydney Basin.

Roman Catholic Diocese of Bathurst in Australia diocese of the Catholic Church in Australia

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bathurst is a Latin Church suffragan diocese of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Sydney, established in 1865, covering the Central West and Orana regions of New South Wales, Australia.

In the state of New South Wales, Australia, there are many areas which are commonly known by regional names. Regions are areas that share similar characteristics. These characteristics may be natural such as the Murray River, the coastline, or the Snowy Mountains. Alternatively, the characteristics may be cultural, such as a viticulture land use. New South Wales is divided by numerous regional boundaries, based on different characteristics. In many cases boundaries defined by different agencies are coterminous.

Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve Protected area in New South Wales, Australia

The Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve is a protected nature reserve that is located in the Central Tablelands region of New South Wales, in eastern Australia. The 5,934-hectare (14,660-acre) reserve is situated on the Great Dividing Range, 35 kilometres (22 mi) north-east of Mudgee. The Castle Rocks walking trail reveals pagoda-like sandstone formations.

NSW TrainLink operator of passenger rail services in New South Wales (exclusive of the Sydney suburban network)

NSW TrainLink is an Australian brand for the medium and long distance passenger rail and coach services in New South Wales. It operates services throughout New South Wales and into the neighbouring Australian states and territories of Victoria, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory. Train services are operated by the government agency NSW Trains, while coach services are contracted to private operators. NSW Trains is an agency of Transport for NSW.

Central Ranges is a wine zone and Australian Geographical Indication in the Central West of New South Wales. It lies on the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range, west of the Blue Mountains.

References

  1. Keith, D.A. (1988). "Floristic lists of New South Wales". Cunninghamia 2(1): 39-73. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  2. "Bathurst Statistical Profile" (PDF). Bathurst Regional Council. 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 October 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2011.
  3. Grant, C (April 2001). "Sedementary case study". Archived from the original on 10 April 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
  4. "Regional Geological Setting" (PDF). Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  5. "Mudgee & Surrounds". Website. Greater Blue Mountains Drive. Archived from the original on 23 July 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  6. Whitaker, Richard (2010). The complete book of Australian weather. Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin. ISBN   9781741757347.