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Grafton - Cities, Towns and Localities

‘Jacaranda City’

Famous for its Jacaranda Trees this stately town of nearly 20,000 people is located on the banks of the mighty Clarence River, the largest river system on the NSW North Coast. Other rivers draining into the Clarence include the Nymboida, Coldstream, Mann, and the Orara. NSW Governor Gipps named the river the Clarence in 1839.

A settlement was established in the same year in what is now known as South Grafton. A shipyard and other buildings was established. By 1849 10 years after the initial settlement a town plan was drafted and the settlement named Grafton after the then Duke of Grafton. By 1856 the population had grown to over 1000 people with schools, police and other facilities already well established.

The town flourished with the discovery of gold in the upper Clarence catchment and the establishment of dairying and sugar cane growing. Its location on the river made it an ideal place for the transport of goods via boat. Railways arrived which affected the amount of shipping in and out the river port.

Jacaranda Tree

Today the town is a vibrant community host to the annual Jacaranda Festival which commences the last Saturday of each October. Also the Grafton Jazz and Blues Festival held each Easter long weekend.

Check out our listing of Grafton accommodation, Clarence Coast accommodation and Far North / Northern Rivers region accommodation. In addition to our listed online travel guide information, contact the local tourism visitor centre for your destination for more attractions, tours, local maps and other information.

Information Centre

Clarence River Visitor Information Centre
Cnr Spring Street and Pacific Highway
Ph: 02 6642 4677

Clarence Coast Visitor Information Centre - Maclean

Grafton Attractions

Grafton Regional Art Gallery
• Grafton Regional Gallery occupies historic Prentice House - a fine example of the 19th century residences for which Grafton is celebrated. The broad verandas, beautiful gardens and extensive courtyard create an ambient setting for all visitors. Fine food and coffee are served by Georgies at the Gallery.
Susan Island
• This river island is adjacent to the main street and Memorial Park. The western end of the island is covered by rainforest that is home to a large colony of fruit bats. The eastern part of the island has picnic area, BBQs and toilet facilities. The island has strong links with the local aboriginal people. Walking trails are maintained on the island. Access is by private boat or hire boat. Charters also operate along the river. The island was named after the Susan the first ship to enter the Clarence River in 1838.
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Grafton Events

• New South Wales Events
Grafton Jacaranda Festival
• Ph/Fax: 02 6642 3959 • Email
• October/November
• First Festival held in 1935. A queen crowning ceremony is held on the last Saturday in October each year, heralding the start of the festival week. The final weekend features a spectacular street parade which falls on the first Saturday in November. Crowds flock to Grafton for weeks either side of these dates to view the trees and enjoy the many exhibitions and events. Each year thousands of visitors travel to enjoy the festivities.

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Grafton Distance

Distance to Grafton
• Following are some approximate distances by road to Grafton:
• Angourie 66.5
• Armidale 196.6
• Ashby 59.4
• Ballina 132.3
• Coffs Harbour 81.5
• Dorrigo National Park 122.6
• Glen Innes 160.1
• Iluka 76.0
• Lismore 129.5
• Sydney 613.7
• Tamworth 307.4
• Tenterfield 214.7
Distances given are only approximation, they should be verified with the appropriate maps.
The Australian Automotive Motoring Associations also offer select access to travel trip planners.

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Grafton Other Links

• Grafton Community/Local Government Links
• Grafton Related Links
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