Lismore, New South Wales

New South Wales

Lismore from helicopter, overlooking the Bruxner Highway and Lismore CBD
Coordinates 28°49′0″S 153°17′0″E / 28.81667°S 153.28333°E / -28.81667; 153.28333Coordinates: 28°49′0″S 153°17′0″E / 28.81667°S 153.28333°E / -28.81667; 153.28333
Population 29,413 (2015)[1] (46)
Established 1856
Postcode(s) 2480
Elevation 12 m (39 ft)
LGA(s) City of Lismore
County Rous
State electorate(s) Lismore
Federal Division(s) Page
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
25.5 °C
78 °F
13.2 °C
56 °F
1,343.0 mm
52.9 in
The Rainbow Train in Heritage Park in Lismore

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. Lismore had an estimated urban population of 29,413 at June 2015.[1]


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]

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. One theory has it that Jane Wilson was responsible for naming the location for Lismore, Scotland, where the couple had honeymooned, whereas another one is that it was named after Lismore, Ireland because of the similarity in the scenery.[3]

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.[4] 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.[5] Lismore was incorporated as a municipality on 5 March 1879, and was eventually proclaimed a city on 30 August 1946.[6] 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.[7]


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


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.[8] 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.[9] Following a flood in 2001, the then Premier of New South Wales, Bob Carr, initiated a flood levee program to curb the problem.[10] Nonetheless, around 3000 residents of Lismore were evacuated after floods affected much of the area on 30 June 2005,[11] many being temporarily housed on the campus of Southern Cross University. However, a new levee that had been completed two weeks prior limited damage and stopped the water reaching the central business area.

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.[12]

Climate data for Lismore
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
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) 12.9 13.9 15.6 12.5 11.6 9.5 8.3 7.5 7.4 9.0 10.0 11.4 129.6
Average relative humidity (%) 58 61 60 58 59 56 51 46 45 50 51 55 54
Source: Bureau of Meteorology[13]


Lismore's population in 2015 of 29,413[1] reflects marginal growth at an average annual rate of 0.1 percent over the preceding five years.[1]


The Northern Rivers Echo is a free weekly community newspaper for Lismore, Alstonville, Wollongbar, Ballina, Casino, Nimbin and Evans Head. 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 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:

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


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

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 "3218.0 – Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2014-15: Population Estimates by Significant Urban Area, 2005 to 2015". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 30 March 2016. Retrieved 12 September 2016. Estimated resident population, 30 June 2015.
  2. "Local Tribes", History of Lismore, Lismore City Council
  3. 1 2 "The Romance of Australian Place names". The Australian Women's Weekly. National Library of Australia. 13 May 1964. p. 61. Retrieved 22 February 2011.
  4. Map R.6.1246, N.S.W. State Archives
  5. Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Retrieved 8 July 2008.
  6. Lismore Floral Carnival 3rd – 10th September 1955 Programme, pamphlet, 1955.
  7. Lismore 1960 September 3 – September 10 Floral Carnival Programme, pamphlet, 1960.
  8. "MapMaker". Retrieved 27 March 2008.
  9. Lismore, history and profile,
  10. "Big wet forces thousands to flee" by Stephen Gibbs, The Sydney Morning Herald, 1 July 2005
  11. "Thousands evacuated as floods hit NSW". The New Zealand Herald. 30 June 2005. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  13. "LISMORE (CENTRE STREET)". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology. March 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  14. A Brief History of SCU
  15. SCU International Students
  16. (1989) 63 Australian Law Journal 712.
  17. "Wharton, Ronald Harry (1923–1983)". Encyclopaedia of Australian Science. Retrieved 2011-06-28.
  18. "Biographical memoirs – Ronald Harry Wharton". Australian Academy of Science. Retrieved 2011-06-28.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lismore, New South Wales.
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