Grafton is a city in the northern rivers region of New South Wales, Australia. It is located on the Clarence River, approximately 550 kilometres (340 miles) north of Sydney. Grafton is known for its rich history and heritage, as well as its beautiful natural surroundings and popular annual events, such as the Jacaranda Festival and the Grafton Bridge to Bridge ski race.
If you’re looking for an adventure in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, then look no further than Grafton. This city sits along the Clarence River, about 608 km north of Sydney. If you’re in the mood for a hike, you can head to the Clarence Gorge or Washpool National Park. The area around Grafton is also renowned for its natural beauty.
If you are looking for a place to relax, you should visit See Park in Grafton. This park boasts extensive facilities, including sheltered picnic areas, an artificial waterfall, public toilets, and a playground for kids. Its mature trees provide shade from the sun, and you might even catch a glimpse of lizards while you’re there. In addition, the historical society of the city has its headquarters at the elegant Schaeffer House, built by a pioneering German family.
In early summer, the streets of Grafton will be bathed in purple as the hundreds of Jacaranda trees burst into bloom. You’ll find several events celebrating this festival in the city, including fun runs, open gardens, afternoon teas, and the crowning of a Jacaranda Queen. If you have time to spend, don’t miss Jacaranda Thursday, when the CBD is adorned with market stalls and performers.
If you’re looking for things to do in Grafton, NSW, there are many wonderful activities and attractions. For a full day of fun, take a stroll through the gorge or visit one of the many local art galleries. The Coldstream Gallery, which has been operating since 1975, is the place to visit if you want to learn more about local art and culture. It also rents accommodation. And while you’re in town, you can take a scenic drive to Clarence Gorge, 90 minutes north of Grafton. There are several places you can explore, including an antique shop and a gallery on Coldstream Street.
North of Grafton is the Clarence Gorge, a breathtaking region of savage rapids and waterfalls. Three of the waterfalls are rainbow-shaped and offer swimming and fishing opportunities. The area is also well-known for its excellent fishing, and you can book overnight accommodations at one of the many hotels nearby. And while you’re in town, don’t forget to visit the historic town of Grafton, where the first Australian post was made.
Yuraygir National Park
If you are planning a trip to Australia, then a visit to Yuraygir National Park in Grafton is a must. This Australian national park is situated 482 km northeast of Sydney. It was established in 1980 following the merger of two previous national parks: Red Rock and Angourie. Both of these parks were originally established in 1975. The park is also home to the Yuraygir native animal sanctuary.
If you’re looking for a fun day trip from Sydney, consider taking your vehicle to the beautiful Grafton region. The park is accessible to most 4WD vehicles. You can reach the park via all-weather roads that begin at Grafton and end near Angourie Bay. The Brooms Head Road (25 km) connects the park to the Sandon River Camping Area. After exploring the park, you can drive down the sandy coast to find whale watching spots and enjoy some beach camping.
Yuraygir is a great place for fishing, with tailor and bream often caught in season. The headlands are also home to a variety of rock fish, and surfing is popular. The headlands offer some of the best surf spots on the north coast. The park’s beaches are ideal for swimming, and visitors can enjoy some bushwalking along the coast. One of Australia’s great nature walks, the Yuraygir Coastal Walk, is 65 kilometers long.
Washpool National Park
Located in the heart of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, Washpool National Park is home to some of the largest tracts of subtropical rainforest on the planet. You can spot ancient trees and rare species of mammals and birds. Wildlife watchers can look out for Parma wallaby, pouched frog, spotted-tailled quoll, and rufous scrub bird.
While in the area, make the most of the spectacular scenery and explore the local national parks. Washpool National Park is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, and the nearby Chaelundi National Park is perfect for hiking or mountain biking trails. For those who are not into hiking or cycling, you can also visit Ulmarra, a historic town which still operates a cable ferry on the Clarence River.
There are also some things to do in Grafton. This riverside town boasts colonial architecture and stately avenues lined with mature trees. In the spring, the town is ablaze with beautiful, fragrant jacaranda flowers. You can visit the Jacaranda Festival and gaze at over 2,000 jacarandas. The Jacaranda Festival is Australia’s oldest flora festival, attracting thousands of visitors each year.
Grafton Regional Gallery
Located in the heart of town, the Grafton Regional Gallery is a must-see on your things to do in Sydney trip. Its rotating exhibits showcase contemporary art. While you’re here, check out the many local artists’ studios, or take a tour of the gallery’s permanent collection. There’s always something new to see. The museum also features a cafe, restaurant, and art studios.
If you’d prefer to spend time outdoors, try visiting Yuraygir National Park, a remote national park located about 50 kilometres from Grafton. This park is home to many species of native birds, sweeping beaches, and ancient coastal landforms. There are dozens of hiking trails to choose from and even whale watching in winter. There’s even surf! And while you’re there, you can also enjoy the Grafton Regional Gallery, a thriving arts scene, and a variety of dining options.
Grafton Regional Gallery is the largest gallery on the North Coast and features a diverse collection of contemporary art. This gallery showcases over 40 exhibitions a year, and it also hosts major touring exhibitions. The gallery was originally a doctor’s surgery, but has since been converted into a gallery. With regular exhibitions, the gallery is one of the most popular destinations in the Clarence Valley.
Christ Church Cathedral
Christ Church Cathedral in Grafton, NSW is a heritage-listed Anglican cathedral complex. Designed by John Horbury Hunt, this cathedral was constructed by Reynold Brothers and G. J. T. Lawson. In 1894, the Cathedral was named an Australian National Heritage Building. The spire is a renowned landmark of the city, with many tourists visiting it each year to admire the architectural masterpiece.
The imposing red brick structure is home to a number of beautiful stained glass windows and exposed wooden beams. Inside, there are numerous dedication stones. The oldest one commemorates the Bishops of Sydney, Fairfax Bell, and J.F. Munnings. The Cathedral is a popular tourist attraction in Grafton, and a visit to this site is sure to be a memorable one. The church is also a significant symbol of the local aboriginal community.
The buildings in the Close are also historically significant. The oldest red brick cottage, which faces Duke Street, was constructed around 1856. It was restored in the 1980s, and is now used as the Cathedral’s Ministry Centre. The second cottage, built around 1910, is a private residence and houses the Music department of the Cathedral. The three buildings were once connected by a central courtyard, and the Cathedral is surrounded by an expansive park.
Schaeffer House Museum
The Schaeffer House Museum in Grafton is a heritage site that was constructed around 1900 and is the oldest museum in New South Wales outside of Sydney. Originally known as Kia Ora, Schaeffer House was designed by Grafton’s first city architect, F.W.C. Schaeffer. The house was originally constructed without water and was eventually converted into flats. In 1966, the city council purchased the house and began restoring it. It is now the home of the Clarence River Historical Society.
In addition to its beautiful colonial architecture, Grafton is a vibrant cultural centre with a variety of events and a thriving arts community. In October, the town holds the Jacaranda Festival, a celebration of the flower that is native to the area. The Schaeffer House Museum is home to the city’s first architect, and features beautiful antique furniture, maps, glassware collections, and memorabilia from the town’s history.
Remember When Grafton Cottage Museum
If you’re interested in historic homes, consider a visit to the Remember When Cottage in Grafton, NSW. Located just a short drive from South Grafton, this century-old cottage has been turned into a delightful museum. While you’re there, enjoy displays of Clarence Valley and dairy history, artwork from past decades, and retro clothing. And if you’re feeling particularly nostalgic, consider a game of horse shoe throw or quoits.
Best Places to Eat in Grafton
Grafton, located in New South Wales, is known for its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. But it’s also home to some amazing dining options. From traditional Australian fare to international cuisine, there’s something for every palate in Grafton. Here are some of the best places to eat in town:
- The Naked Bean Cafe: This popular cafe serves up delicious breakfast and lunch options, including fresh sandwiches, salads, and pastries. The coffee is also top-notch, making it a great spot to start your day.
- The Clocktower Hotel: The Clocktower Hotel is a local favorite, offering hearty pub-style meals in a relaxed atmosphere. Enjoy classic dishes like schnitzel, burgers, and steak, along with a cold beer or glass of wine.
- Coastal Indian Restaurant: If you’re in the mood for something spicy, head to Coastal Indian Restaurant. This cozy eatery serves up a range of authentic Indian dishes, including curries, biryanis, and tandoori meats.
- Toast Espresso Bar: Toast Espresso Bar is a great spot for a quick bite or a leisurely brunch. They offer a range of gourmet sandwiches, salads, and sweet treats, as well as great coffee and tea.
- 2BeNourished Cafe: 2BeNourished Cafe is a health-conscious eatery, with a focus on fresh, whole foods. They offer a range of salads, smoothies, and raw treats, as well as gluten-free and vegan options.
- New Oriental Chinese Restaurant: For a taste of Asia, head to New Oriental Chinese Restaurant. They serve up classic Chinese dishes like sweet and sour pork, kung pao chicken, and dumplings, as well as sushi and other Japanese favorites.
- Heart and Soul Cafe: Heart and Soul Cafe is a cozy spot for a casual meal, with a range of breakfast and lunch options. Try the delicious homemade pies, soups, and quiches, or indulge in a sweet treat like a slice of cake or a brownie.
- Clarence River Fishermen’s Co-op: If you’re a seafood lover, don’t miss the Clarence River Fishermen’s Co-op. They offer a range of fresh seafood, including prawns, oysters, and fish, as well as takeaway options.
- Thai Square Restaurant: Thai Square Restaurant offers a range of authentic Thai dishes, with a focus on fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Try the classic Pad Thai, Tom Yum soup, or Massaman curry, and enjoy the cozy atmosphere.
- New Italian Restaurant: New Italian Restaurant serves up classic Italian dishes like pizza, pasta, and risotto, as well as delicious antipasto platters and desserts. The cozy atmosphere and friendly staff make it a great spot for a romantic dinner or family meal.
Whether you’re a local or a visitor, these are just a few of the best places to eat in Grafton, NSW. With so many great dining options, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your taste buds in this charming city.
Best Places to Stay in Grafton
Located in the picturesque Clarence River Valley, Grafton is a charming city in New South Wales that offers a range of accommodation options for visitors. From luxurious hotels to cozy bed and breakfasts, there’s something for every taste and budget in Grafton. Here are some of the best places to stay in town:
- The Crown Hotel Grafton: The Crown Hotel Grafton is a historic hotel located in the heart of Grafton. With stylishly appointed rooms and modern amenities, it’s a great option for travelers looking for a touch of luxury. The hotel also features a restaurant, bar, and gaming room.
- Quality Inn Grafton: The Quality Inn Grafton offers spacious and comfortable rooms, along with a range of amenities including an outdoor pool, restaurant, and conference facilities. The hotel is located close to the Grafton Regional Gallery and other popular attractions.
- Hi-Way Motel Grafton: The Hi-Way Motel Grafton is a budget-friendly option for travelers on a tight budget. The motel offers clean and comfortable rooms, along with basic amenities like free Wi-Fi and on-site parking.
- The Grey House: The Grey House is a stylish and cozy bed and breakfast located in the heart of Grafton. The property features beautifully appointed rooms with modern amenities, as well as a garden and outdoor seating area for guests to relax in.
- The Grafton Lodge Motel: The Grafton Lodge Motel is a great option for families and groups, with spacious and well-appointed rooms that can accommodate up to six guests. The motel also features an outdoor pool, BBQ area, and free Wi-Fi.
- Bent Street Motor Inn: Bent Street Motor Inn is a modern and stylish motel located just a short walk from the center of Grafton. The property offers a range of amenities including an outdoor pool, BBQ area, and conference facilities.
- Clarence River Bed & Breakfast: Clarence River Bed & Breakfast is a charming and cozy property located just outside Grafton in the nearby town of Copmanhurst. The property features comfortable rooms, stunning river views, and a range of amenities including a garden and outdoor seating area.
- Grafton Central Motel: Grafton Central Motel is a budget-friendly option located in the heart of Grafton. The motel offers clean and comfortable rooms, along with basic amenities like free Wi-Fi and on-site parking.
Whether you’re looking for luxury or budget-friendly options, these are just a few of the best places to stay in Grafton, NSW. With its charming atmosphere, rich history, and stunning natural beauty, Grafton is a must-visit destination for any traveler to Australia.
10 interesting facts about Grafton NSW
- Grafton is a city located in the Clarence Valley region of New South Wales, Australia. It is situated on the Clarence River and is the largest city in the valley.
- Grafton has a rich history, with the first Europeans settling in the area in the early 1800s. The city is named after the Duke of Grafton, who was the Governor of New South Wales at the time.
- One of the main attractions in Grafton is the Jacaranda Festival, which is held every year in November to celebrate the blooming of the city’s famous jacaranda trees. The festival features a parade, live music, and a range of other events.
- Grafton is home to a number of historic buildings and landmarks, including the Grafton Bridge, which was completed in 1932 and is the longest bridge on the Pacific Highway. The bridge spans the Clarence River and is a popular spot for fishing and picnics.
- The city is also home to the Grafton Regional Gallery, which houses a collection of artworks by local and regional artists. The gallery hosts a number of exhibitions and events throughout the year.
- Grafton is a major agricultural center, with a range of crops grown in the area, including rice, cotton, and sugar cane. The city is also known for its dairy and beef industries.
- The city is located in a region with a subtropical climate, with hot and humid summers and mild winters. The region experiences high rainfall from January to March, with the rest of the year being relatively dry.
- Grafton is home to a number of parks and nature reserves, including the Grafton Nature Reserve and the Grafton Regional Park, which are popular spots for hiking, picnics, and birdwatching.
- The city has a number of sporting facilities, including the Grafton District Services Club, which is home to a range of sports, including cricket, rugby, and soccer.
- Grafton is located close to a number of beaches, including Minnie Water and Wooli, which are popular for swimming, surfing, and fishing. The region is also home to a number of national parks, including Yuraygir National Park and Border Ranges National Park, which are popular for camping and bushwalking.