Lismore is the central city of the Richmond River region of north-eastern NSW, which extends from the head of the river in the shadow of Mt Lindesay to the mouth at Ballina. It is situated on the Wilsons River, formerly known as the North Arm of the Richmond. The region encompasses the former Big Scrub area east of Lismore, national parks, grazing and farming country, as well as cities, towns and villages with a population of 140 000.
Aboriginal people arrived in this area about 60,000 years ago. European exploration of the area started in 1828 but white history did not begin until the late 1830s and early 1840s with the arrival of squatters and cedar cutters.
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