New South Wales has three main physical regions from north to south. The narrow strip of coastal lowlands is very aquatic region, while sediments and volcanic rocks characterise the eastern highlands and the interior western plains. The fertile western plains cover two thirds of the state and are used mainly for pastoralising and grain farming. Irregular river flow and rainfall produce a semi-arid to arid climate which is susceptible to severe and prolonged droughts.Forests of eucalyptus, pine, and tropical softwood are found on the coastal plain and in the highlands. In the eastern highlands lies a mountainous strip called the Great Dividing Range. It is a series of plateaus with an average elevation of 760 m that separates the narrow coast from the great plains to the west, making New South Wales a land of contrasts. The Great Dividing Range also has some of the best grazing and agricultural areas in the state. Mount Kosciusko is the maximum elevation point for the Great Diving Range and also the highest peak in Australia. Grass is the dominant vegetation in the vast semiarid interior.
To the east of the state is the Pacific Ocean, to the north - Queensland, to the south - Victoria, and to the west - South Australia.
The Murray, Murrumbidgee, Darling rivers are the major rivers in the state with the longest in the country being the Darling River (2617 km long). These rivers flow from the north of the state to the south-west to join with the Murray river near the Victorian border.
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