Cairns Campus

Aerial shot of Cairns Esplanade

Close to 3,000 students study at JCU Cairns, including 335 international students.

These students are immersed in a dynamic learning environment with opportunities available for study, work, and play. With academic staff committed to student support and success, a careers team ready to assist students with work both during and post study, and a myriad of academic and sporting clubs on offer, students at JCU Cairns have a world of experiences available to them.

JCU Cairns, Smithfield campus has been named Nguma-bada (pronounced nom-ah-bud-ah), which means belonging to tomorrow: "Place for tomorrow's learning, knowledge and wisdom" from the Yirrgay (Yirrganydji) coastal dialect of Djabugay.

Conveniently located 15 kilometres (9 miles) north of the city centre, the campus is surrounded on three sides by rainforest-covered mountains and is close to the northern beaches. Students enjoy a tranquil learning environment due to the abundance of lush greenery and spacious areas.

Located in the heart of city, JCU Cairns, CBD campus has been named Bada-jali (pronounced bud-ah-jal-lee) and means flowering of the Cocky Apple tree: “Place and time for new beginnings and growth”, also from the Yirrgay (Yirrganydji) coastal dialect of Djabugay. The campus offers a range of flexible study, teaching, and meeting areas.

Studying in Cairns provides access to two World Heritage-listed natural environments – the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and the Wet Tropics ancient rainforests. Students can develop specialised skills during field trips and expeditions to distinctive research locations.

JCU Cairns, Nguma-bada campus, Smithfield houses teaching and research facilities, the JCU library, cafés, bars, fitness and sporting facilities and a wealth of student clubs and societies.

Study facilities can also be accessed at the JCU Cairns, Bada-jali campus, City.

Gigs, social events, sports, academic workshops, market day, BBQs – whatever your interest is, we've got it covered.

The JCU Student Association and JCU International Student Association provide a range of social, sporting and academic clubs and societies meaning there are plenty of ways to meet like-minded students. Take advantage of the outdoor lifestyle and join the Rock climbing or Dive Club or contribute to the local community through JCU’s Amnesty Association. Learn more

JCU Cairns, Smithfield (Nguma-bada) has a gymnasium, basketball courts, sporting fields, and a world-class mountain bike track,  plus plenty of sporting clubs for participating and making friends. Learn more

There is easy access to an abundance of fresh local food and cuisines from around the world on campus – whether you want a sit down meal at a cafĂ©, something on the go, or just a cup of coffee!

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JCU Cairns, Smithfield (Nguma-bada) is home to John Grey Hall of Residence, purpose built, on-campus facility. A range of accommodation options are located close to campus. Learn more