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Regional New South Wales: dynamic, productive and connected

New South Wales (NSW) has a population of 7.9 million people (including Sydney), and it’s predicted that it will increase to over 9.0 million by 2027/2028.

It also has the largest and most diverse regional economy of all Australian states.

The cost of both doing business and living in regional NSW is lower than in major cities and the lifestyle is generally more relaxed.

When you base your business in regional NSW, you’ll still be able to take advantage of efficient connections to Sydney, as well as Australian and international markets through multiple world-class rail, road and air corridors. This makes it a cost-effective alternative to Sydney and other major cities.

Regional NSW’s key economic and export sectors include agribusiness and food, high-value manufacturing, resources and clean energy, health and aged care, medical technology, tourism and transport.

NSW state key facts

An overview of the nine regions of NSW

Regional NSW consists of nine areas, each of which offers a different lifestyle and local economy, as well as different opportunities for investment.

Central Coast

Central Coast An hour from the Sydney CBD, the Central Coast is known for its relaxed beachside lifestyle. Key industries include international food processing, transport and logistics. It offers investors a skilled, mobile workforce and great work life/balance. Visit Invest in Regional NSW — Central Coast.

Central West

Central West and Orana — The Central West and Orana offers a rural lifestyle and is recognised for agribusiness and mining production, as well as its growing tourism, gastronomy and wine industries. Visit Invest in Regional NSW — Central West and Orana.

Far West

Far West — NSW’s Far West is an acknowledged leader in mining, with expanding agribusiness, renewable energy and tourism industries. Visit Invest in Regional NSW — Far West.


Hunter — Home to Newcastle, NSW’s second largest city, the Hunter region is the state’s largest regional economy. Its diverse industries include advanced manufacturing, mining, health services, defence, wine, food and tourism. The Port of Newcastle is the largest port on Australia’s East Coast and the world’s leading coal export port. Visit Invest in Regional NSW — Hunter.


Illawarra-Shoalhaven — Wollongong is the Illawarra-Shoalhaven’s major city. The region’s key industries include advanced manufacturing, tourism and professional services.The Shoalhaven is also home to two navy bases and boasts a strong naval defence sector. Visit Invest in Regional NSW — Illawarra-Shoalhaven.

New England and North West

New England and North West — New England and the North West has a thriving economy built on premium agribusiness, as well as emerging renewable energy, tourism and services sectors. Visit Invest in Regional NSW — New England and North West.

North Coast

North Coast — The North Coast is an international surfing and tourism hotspot. The region’s diverse economy is also strong in tourism, manufacturing, tech and agribusiness. Located on the state’s border with Queensland, the North Coast offers great connections to Brisbane and the Gold Coast, as well as to Sydney. Visit Invest in Regional NSW — North Coast.


Riverina-Murray — The Riverina-Murray is known as one of Australia’s main food producing and agribusiness regions. It is also home to a developing cluster of agricultural technology businesses and has strong manufacturing, forestry and defence industries. Visit Invest in Regional NSW — Riverina Murray.

South East and Tablelands

South East and Tablelands — Featuring an Alpine climate in parts, the South East and Tablelands region is NSW’s renewable energy powerhouse and linked to the nation’s capital city, Canberra. The region boasts growing investment opportunities in tourism (including snow tourism), agribusiness and aquaculture. Visit Invest in Regional NSW — South East and Tablelands.

Living and working in regional NSW

University of Wollongong Innovation Centre

Regional NSW is as diverse as it is scenic and liveable.

Spectacular coastlines and beaches, 900 national and regional parks, the outback, and the country’s largest ski fields are all available in regional NSW.

The cost of living is lower than in Sydney however the same excellent health and education facilities abound, as well as an overall appreciation for arts, culture, sport and entertainment.

Quick facts: regional NSW at a glance

  • There are over 1600 schools, 104 Technical and Further Education (TAFE) facilities and 5 major universities across regional NSW
  • Regional NSW experienced 5.3% employment growth between April 2015–September 2017
  • Regional NSW has successfully lifted and diversified its services-share of economic activity: 57% of the regional NSW workforce is employed in services, the highest of all Australian states
  • University of Newcastle and University of Wollongong both rank in the top 300 universities in the world in the 2018 Times Higher Education index (out of over 26,000 universities in the world)
  • Regional NSW is home to some of Australia’s largest international ports which receive cruise ships, imported vehicles, containers, wood chippers and log ships and export grain, coal and containers
  • There are more than 70 public airports in regional NSW which service both passengers and airfreight

Investment opportunities in regional NSW

A booming NSW regional wine industry

With a 20-year vision for economic growth; regional New South Wales is ready to maintain its role as NSW’s great provider. Right now, our region is a fantastic place to raise a family, establish and grow a business, get a meaningful job and engage in sport or community activities. Regional NSW is a place where you can access quality healthcare and education, and look forward to a bright tomorrow.

When you establish a business here, you enjoy a range of unique benefits including direct access to an investment concierge for expert and tailored guidance. The Investment Concierge Service advises you of opportunities, sites and relevant government assistance.

We also support companies that establish or move a business here by offering relocation assistance for qualified workers. Relocation grants of up to $10,000 per worker are available to help attract skilled employees to regional NSW businesses operating in eligible industries.

Additionally, businesses that operate in eligible industries, and create or retain jobs in Special Activation Precincts, may qualify for grants and interest-free loans.

Now, more than ever, regional NSW is the starting point for people, businesses and ideas that go further. Read more about current and future infrastructure investment opportunities available in regional NSW on the Regional NSW Investment website.

New South Wales

Contact the NSW Investment Concierge if you'd like to know more about doing business in Sydney or New South Wales.