Grafton

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The major settlement on the delightful Clarence River is the graceful rural city of Grafton, characterised by the jacarandas which create a mauve blanket over the city in spring, and the rich Victorian and Edwardian culture. The jacarandas provided the inspiration for the annual Jacaranda festival, which has been running since 1935, making it the oldest floral festival in Australia. The festival beautifully showcases a cross-section of the culture and community of Grafton.

Explore the Victorian and Edwardian influence with a stroll along the Grafton Heritage Trail, which showcases spectacularly preserved buildings. Included within them is Shaeffer House, a federation homestead which houses fascinating collections of the Clarence River Historical Society.

The Clarence River offers fun activities, from boating to water sports to fishing. You can even opt to stay on a houseboat for an alternative type of holiday accommodation. Cast a rod in to discover an array of both freshwater and saltwater fish.

Grafton is home to 24 stunning parks that beg you to get outside, take a walk, and enjoy a picnic. See Park Arboretum offers a lovely day out for families, with a kids’ playground, barbeques, and suspension bridges. Accessible only by boat, Susan Island is another worthwhile place to spend a day, with a rainforest, and barbeque and picnic facilities.

Grafton also offers plenty of opportunities for retail therapy, with shopping centres and an array of speciality stores. The weekly Grafton Farmers Market is not to be missed for fresh seasonal produce and a peek into the community spirit of the city.