New South Wales
The Lachlan River at Cowra
|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, Bland Shire, Lachlan Shire|
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.
The Central West includes three cities: Bathurst, Dubbo and Orange; four large towns: Cowra, Mudgee, Parkes and Lithgow; other smaller centres, which include Oberon and Forbes; and other small towns and villages such as Canowindra, Cudal, Molong, Grenfell, West Wyalong, Condobolin and Eugowra.
The following local government areas are contained within the region:
|Central West rank||Local Government Area||Population 30 June 2016||10 year growth rate||Population density (people/km2)|
|1||Bathurst Regional Council||42,389||14.8||11.1|
|3||Mid-Western Regional Council||24,569||13.5||2.8|
|4||City of Lithgow Council||21,524||6.6||4.8|
|7||Parkes Shire Council||14,946||2.4||2.5|
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 region is traversed by the Great Western Highway, the Mid-Western Highway, the Mitchell Highway, the Newell Highway and the Castlereagh Highway.
The Central West has several radio stations, including 97.9 2LVR (a community radio station), 105.1 2GZFM, 105.9 Star FM, 107.5 Community Radio, 103.5 Rhema FM and 1089AM — a commercial station that gets most of its programming from 2SM in Sydney. Other electronic media are represented by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation with both television and radio broadcasting; and by television stations Prime7, WIN, and Southern Cross Nine.
The Central Western Daily newspaper is published in Orange.
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.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Central West (New South Wales) .|