National Marine Science Centre, Australia

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National Marine Science Centre, Coffs Harbour, Australia

The National Marine Science Centre (NMSC) is part of the School of Environment, Science and Engineering, at Southern Cross University. Located in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, on the east coast of Australia and adjacent to the Solitary Islands Marine Park, where both tropical and temperate currents meet. This interesting setting provides practical opportunities in the study of marine science and management for both students and researchers.

The NMSC has a state-of-the-art flow-through seawater supply system. Drawing water from Charlesworth Bay, high quality filtered seawater is available on tap in the laboratories, hatchery, aquarium rooms and tank farm. Identified as one of the best systems in Australia, the supply of seawater supports a range of experimental research activities and specialist laboratories, and is backed up by a standby generator and an elaborate alarm system.


Undergraduate and graduate courses are offered by Southern Cross University.

  • Bachelor of Marine Science and Management
  • Bachelor of Environmental Science/Bachelor of Marine Science and Management
  • Bachelor of Science with Honours
  • Master of Marine Science and Management

Research is undertaken by resident scientific staff. Principal areas are:-


The Centre was opened on 15 November 2001 by John Anderson MP, Deputy Prime Minister of Australia. Originally a collaboration between the University of New England and Southern Cross University, it took its first students in 2002. The centre was funded from the Government of Australia's Centenary of Federation Fund. The Centre became solely managed through Southern Cross University in 2010.

The Centre is sited within the grounds of the Novotel Pacific Bay Resort, a few kilometers north of Coffs Harbour. The building was at one time the resort's sports centre, gymnasium, squash courts, and alfresco restaurant.

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Coordinates: 30°16′04″S 153°08′15″E / 30.2677°S 153.1374°E / -30.2677; 153.1374