Lismore, New South Wales

Last updated

New South Wales
Lismore from helicopter, overlooking the Bruxner Highway and Lismore CBD
Australia New South Wales location map blank.svg
Red pog.svg
Coordinates 28°49′0″S153°17′0″E / 28.81667°S 153.28333°E / -28.81667; 153.28333 Coordinates: 28°49′0″S153°17′0″E / 28.81667°S 153.28333°E / -28.81667; 153.28333
Population27,569 (2016) [1]
Postcode(s) 2480
Elevation12 m (39 ft)
LGA(s) City of Lismore
County Rous
State electorate(s) Lismore
Federal Division(s) Page
Mean max tempMean min tempAnnual rainfall
25.5 °C
78 °F
13.2 °C
56 °F
1,343.0 mm
52.9 in

Lismore is a city in northeastern New South Wales, Australia and the main population centre in the City of Lismore local government area; it is also a regional centre in the Northern Rivers region of the State. According to the 2016 Australian Census, the population in the Lismore urban centre was 27,569. [1]

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 September 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.

City of Lismore Local government area in New South Wales, Australia

The City of Lismore is a local government area in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, Australia. The seat of the local government area is Lismore, a major regional centre of the state.

Local government in Australia is the third tier of government in Australia administered by the states and territories, which in turn are beneath the federal tier. Local government is not mentioned in the Constitution of Australia and two referenda in the 1970s and 1980s to alter the Constitution relating to local government were unsuccessful. Every state government recognises local government in their respective constitutions. Unlike Canada or the United States, there is only one level of local government in each state, with no distinction such as cities and counties.



The city of Lismore lies in the Bundjalung people's nation area. [2] However, the actual area of the Bundjalung people from Evans Head is currently under examination, as well as the actual origin of the name Bundjalung. It has been suggested that the Aboriginal people called the area Tuckurimbah meaning "glutton." [3]

Bundjalung people Aboriginal Australian people of northern coastal New South Wales

The Bundjalung people are Aboriginal Australians who are the original custodians of northern coastal area of New South Wales (Australia), located approximately 550 kilometres (340 mi) northeast of Sydney, an area that includes the Bundjalung National Park.

The European history of the city begins in c.1843: a pastoral run covering an area of 93 square kilometres (36 sq mi) was taken up by Captain Dumaresq at this time covering the Lismore area and was stocked with sheep from the New England area. Ward Stephens took up the run in the same year, but the subtropical climate was unsuited for sheep grazing, so it was eventually abandoned. In January 1845, William and Jane Wilson took it over. The Wilsons were Scottish immigrants, who arrived in New South Wales in May 1833. Mrs. Wilson named the property after the small island of Lismore, one of the Hebrides in Loch Linnhe,Argyleshire. [4]

New England (New South Wales) Region in New South Wales, Australia

New England or New England North West is the name given to a generally undefined region in the north of the state of New South Wales, Australia about 60 kilometres (37 miles) inland, that includes the Northern Tablelands and the North West Slopes regions.

In 1855, the surveyor Frederick Peppercorne was instructed by Sir Thomas Mitchell to determine a site for a township in the area. Peppercorne submitted his map of the proposed village reserve on 16 February 1856. [5] The chosen site was William Wilson's homestead paddock and the area was proclaimed the "Town of Lismore" in the NSW Government Gazette on 1 May 1856. The township was soon settled and its Post Office was opened on 1 October 1859. [6] Lismore was incorporated as a municipality on 5 March 1879, and was eventually proclaimed a city on 30 August 1946. [7] From the mid-1950s until the early 1960s Lismore hosted an annual Floral Carnival in early September. The week-long programme of events culminated in a street parade of decorated floats, crowning of the Floral Queen and a fireworks display. [8]

Thomas Mitchell (explorer) Scottish surveyor and explorer in Australia

Lieutenant Colonel Sir Thomas Livingstone Mitchell, surveyor and explorer of south-eastern Australia, was born at Grangemouth in Stirlingshire, Scotland. In 1827 he took up an appointment as Assistant Surveyor General of New South Wales. The following year he became Surveyor General and remained in this position until his death. Mitchell was knighted in 1839 for his contribution to the surveying of Australia.

Municipality An administrative division having corporate status and usually some powers of self-government or jurisdiction

A municipality is usually a single administrative division having corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional laws to which it is subordinate. It is to be distinguished (usually) from the county, which may encompass rural territory or numerous small communities such as towns, villages and hamlets.

Heritage listings

Lismore has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:

Colemans Bridge over Leycester Creek

Colemans Bridge over Leycester Creek is a heritage-listed road bridge at 544 Main Road, Lismore, City of Lismore, New South Wales, Australia. It was designed by Harvey Dare and built in 1907 by W. F. Oakes. The property is owned by Roads and Maritime Services, an agency of the Government of New South Wales. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 20 June 2000.

Lismore railway station is a heritage-listed former station on the Murwillumbah line at Lismore, New South Wales, Australia. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.

Leycester Creek railway bridge, Lismore

Leycester Creek railway bridge is a heritage-listed railway bridge on the mostly closed Murwillumbah railway line in Lismore, City of Lismore, New South Wales, Australia. The property is owned by RailCorp, an agency of the Government of New South Wales. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.


Lismore and surrounding towns were once part of the rainforest referred to as the "Big Scrub", of which less than one percent remains following settlement. A section of this rainforest is viewable in the grounds of the Southern Cross University and at Wilsons Nature Reserve on Wyrallah Road.

The Big Scrub was the largest area of subtropical lowland rainforest in eastern Australia. It was intensively cleared for agricultural use in the 19th century by colonists. Only a few remnants survived the clearing, with less than 1% now existing.

Southern Cross University (SCU) is an Australian public university, with campuses at Lismore and Coffs Harbour in northern New South Wales, and at the southern end of the Gold Coast in Queensland.


Molesworth Street, Lismore Molesworth Street, Lismore.jpg
Molesworth Street, Lismore

Lismore is located on the Bruxner Highway and it lies at the confluence of the Wilsons River (a tributary of the Richmond River) and Leycester Creek, The state capital city of Sydney is located 764 km (475 mi) to the south by highway. [12] Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland, is 200 kilometres (124 mi) to the north.

Lismore's central business district is located 35 kilometres (22 mi) from the eastern coast, and 46 kilometres (29 mi) southwest of Byron Bay. The coastal town of Ballina is 36 kilometres (22 mi) away. There are a number of rainforest patches in the area, remnants of the Big Scrub. These are preserved today, with a small pocket known as Boatharbour Reserve just east of town on the Bangalow road. The nearest large and publicly accessible national park is Nightcap National Park.


Lismore experiences a humid subtropical climate with mild to warm temperatures all year round and ample rainfall. Temperatures in summer range between 20  °C (68  °F ) and 35 °C (95 °F). The subtropical climate combined with geographical features means the urban area is unusually humid when compared with surrounding areas, with humidity levels often reaching 100% in summer. Lismore has 109.6 clear days annually.

Although no major environmental hazards affect the area, Lismore is renowned for frequent floods. One of the worst of these occurred in 1974, when waters rose to a height of 12.1 metres (40 ft). In 1954, Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh almost became flood-bound by one such inundation when they were staying at the Gollan Hotel. [13]

In 1999 a government-funded scheme to protect the CBD and South Lismore from a 1-in-10-year flood event was approved. This proposal would mean that most of the smaller floods would not enter the central area of Lismore and substantially improve the time available for the evacuation of residents and the business community in larger floods. [14] Nonetheless, around 3000 residents of Lismore were evacuated after floods affected much of the area on 30 June 2005, [15] many being temporarily housed on the campus of Southern Cross University. However, the new levee that had been completed two weeks prior limited damage and stopped the water reaching the Central Business District.

In the aftermath of Cyclone Debbie in March 2017, Lismore was again badly affected by flooding of up to 3.5 metres (11 ft) through all CBD businesses. Wilsons River reached 11.6 metres (38 ft) and the levee was overtopped for the first time since its completion. [16] [17]

Lismore is often hit by severe storms in spring and summer. For example, there was a severe hailstorm on 9 October 2007. A tornado is an extreme rarity, but later that same month one struck nearby Dunoon. It was captured on video as it hit an electrical transformer station there. [18]

Climate data for Lismore
Record high °C (°F)43.4
Average high °C (°F)29.9
Average low °C (°F)18.8
Record low °C (°F)11.6
Average rainfall mm (inches)155.4
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2mm)12.913.915.612.511.
Average afternoon relative humidity (%)58616058595651464550515554
Source #1: Bureau of Meteorology [19]
Source #2: For February record high: Weatherzone [20]


According to the 2016 census of Population, there were 27,569 people in Lismore.


The Northern Star is a tabloid newspaper based in Lismore. It covers the region from Casino to Ballina and up to Murwillimbah and Byron Bay. The Northern Rivers Echo is a free weekly community newspaper for Lismore, Alstonville, Wollongbar, Ballina, Casino, Nimbin and Evans Head.

The commercial radio stations of Lismore are Triple Z (Hit Music) and 2LM 900 AM (also broadcast on 104.3FM). Both are run by Broadcast Operations Group. The community radio station is River FM 92.9 which offers an independent alternative media voice playing a diverse range of music. Other radio stations are JJJ 96.1 FM, Radio National 96.9 FM, Classic FM 95.3 and ABC North Coast 94.5 FM.

All major television Network channels are available in Lismore and in the general Northern Rivers region. The networks and the channels they currently broadcast are listed as follows:

Subscription television services are provided by Austar.


The Norco Co-operative has its headquarters in Lismore. The main campus of Southern Cross University is in Lismore.


Lismore and the surrounding area is home to a number of public and private schools, including:

Sport and recreation

The Lismore Marist Brothers Rams is the local rugby league club that competes in the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League competition.

Sister cities

Lismore formed a sister city relationship with the Japanese city of Yamatotakada in Nara Prefecture in 1963. The first such relationship established between Australia and Japan, it was initiated by Lismore-born Marist priest and writer Paul Glynn. Lismore is also a sister city of Eau Claire, Wisconsin and Lismore, County Waterford, Ireland.


Notable people

Notable people from or who have lived in Lismore include:

Lismore is featured in the first verse of the original version of Geoff Mack's "I've Been Everywhere" and also mentioned in the Midnight Oil song "Outside World".

See also

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