Experience the Northern Rivers NSW with Southern Cross University

The Northern Rivers offers stunning beaches, beautiful hinterland, creative flair and innovation in industry.

A panorama of the hills and mountains of the northern rivers at sunset

Located in the heart of the Northern Rivers, our Lismore campus is a teaching and research hub

From the ancient forests that surround us to the beating heart of culture within, studying with Southern Cross University in the Northern Rivers is an experience like no other.

Study and research intertwine in a region where rivers collide and the environment teems with biodiversity. The heritage of this land lives in the stories and knowledge of the Bundjalung nation, the traditional owners of the Northern Rivers.

The region derives its name from the great rivers that flow through it, from the Tweed and Nambucca rivers to the Clarence and Macleay. These rivers were key forms of transport that saw the establishment of the region's industries and the growth of its diverse communities.

Our place within Northern Rivers NSW


Studying in Lismore is an experience that integrates teaching and learning within our communities. It happens in the marine and environmental science field trips looking into the rich biodiversity of rockpools at the beaches of Lennox Head through to the local creeks and forests of the Northern Rivers. It happens in the Lismore-based National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine exploring new frontiers in complementary medicine and practice. It happens as our health science and nursing students do their placements in local hospitals and health services, becoming part of the workforce that will sustain our healthy communities into the future, and where they enjoy 5-star graduate employment rates*. And it happens when engineering students enjoy world-class facilities, ranked as the best in Australia* while they test their smarts on real-world projects that are relevant to our regions, like converting a 1970s Kombi into a fully electric, long-range vehicle on campus. (*Good Universities Guide 2022).


Our research seeks to restore and sustain the land we live in, focusing on managing the natural environment. We strive to be a leader in our community in environmental sustainability, from designing new technology that measures water quality within the Richmond River to understanding how these same water systems produce greenhouse gases. Within our research laboratories, our scientists investigate everything from soil biology and coastal cropping systems through to the genetics of macadamia trees and their origins. Our research integrates with our unique environments, driving local solutions with global relevance. The latest Excellence in Research for Australia results showed our research is well above world standard in 14 individual fields that included Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences, Nursing, Forestry and Fishery Sciences, Oceanography and more.


From festivals to community events to partnerships, creativity and community is in our DNA. The Northern Rivers bursts with colour and is renowned for its electric synergy of art and style and its strong sense of community. It resonates loudly at our Lismore campus, in our decades-long partnership with the Byron Writers Festival, where creativity, social conscience and intellectual rigour converge. We also engage with NORPA, the Northern Rivers leading theatre company, to provide networking and experience for students. Our reach extends into the film and media industry, partnering with Screenworks, who help support and develop the screen industry across regional Australia, providing professional development, networking initiatives and mentoring opportunities for content creators. Our on-campus Health clinics provide vital services to the community and we partner with major events like PRIMEX where our farming research and agriculture degrees are a natural fit. 

Agriculture and Industry

Food and farming make up the heart of industry within the Northern Rivers, from growing macadamias to cattle and sugar cane. We partner with industry to deliver solutions to environmental problems associated with agriculture, better crop genetics and more efficient farming models, from blueberries to sea urchin roe. We also partner with industry to evolve our circular economies with outcomes for the whole community like the ReCirculator waste management project. We're at the forefront of regenerative agriculture education, the first University to offer a degree in this emerging practice. We strive to equip people to farm more sustainably, and our involvement with sustainable farming expo Primex helps to see new technologies blended with the right programs and resources to support education and innovation for future generations. We have also initiated an award-winning Farming Together Program that gives back to the farming community through industry mentoring to tackle supply chain issues, drought, and climate change.

On offer in the Northern Rivers