Orana (New South Wales)

Orana, a region in central northern New South Wales, Australia, had an estimated population of 113,824 people as of June  2015.[1] The largest region in New South Wales, it has an area of 198,561 square kilometres (76,665 sq mi),[1] comprising approximately 25% of that state. The major localities include Dubbo, Cobar and Mudgee.[2]

New South Wales
Localities around Orana:
Far West North West Slopes North West Slopes
Far West Orana Central West
Far West Riverina South West Slopes

The Orana region encompasses twelve local-government areas: the Dubbo Regional Council, the Mid-Western Regional Council, and the Shires of Bogan, Bourke, Brewarrina, Cobar, Coonamble, Gilgandra, Narromine, Walgett, Warren and Warrumbungle.[2][3][4] This region corresponds approximately with the Australian Bureau of Statistics North Western Statistical Division.


The term 'Orana' is said to mean "welcome" in an Aboriginal language, perhaps that of the local Wiradjuri group,[5] but this is contested. Orana was popularised as an Australian Aboriginal word in the carol Orana to Christmas Day, released in 1948, though its true origins are obscure. Linguist David Nash suggests that Orana's true origin may be a Polynesian language, noting that Kia orāna is a common greeting on Rarotonga, the largest of the Cook Islands.[6]


Agriculture is the predominant industry in the Orana region, with 86% of the area under agricultural land use.[7] This land makes up 27% of the total agricultural land in New South Wales.[7] The output equals approximately A$658 million or 11.7% of the state's agricultural production.[7] Agriculture industry jobs provide over 20 percent of the employment in the region.[7]


  1. "3218.0 – Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2014-15: Population Estimates by Local Government Area (ASGS 2015), 2005 to 2015". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 30 March 2016. Retrieved 8 November 2016. Estimated resident population, 30 June 2015.
  2. "Orana". NSW Regions. NSW Department of Trade & Investment, Regional Infrastructure & Services. 19 July 2011. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
  3. Orana Region Business Enterprise Centre Dubbo City Online website, accessed 11 November 2006
  4. Map of LGAs department of local government website, accessed 11 November 2006. The LGA boundaries shown on this map correlate with the map of the region on the Dubbo City Online website. Mergers have done away with "Mudgee Shire" (now a part of Central West Region), and "Coolah" and "Coonabarabran" shires have merged into Warrumbungle Shire.
  5. "The Orana region". Regional Development Australia Orana.
  6. Nash, David (June 2016). "Orana: an Australian welcome for a Polynesian word?" (PDF). Placenames Australia: 1, 5–7. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  7. Regional Overview ORANA Development & Employment Council (ODEC), accessed on the Orana Regional Development Board website 12 November 2006

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