Grafton in the Northern Rivers region is elegant, from the colonial buildings to the leafy streets. More than 2,000 Jacarandas blossom in spring, creating a sea of mauve for the famous Jacaranda Festival, the oldest flora festival in Australia. The city is also a gateway to wilderness adventure.

On the banks of the Clarence River, Grafton is rich in Victorian and Edwardian architecture. You can explore the beautifully preserved buildings on the Grafton Heritage Trail. Stop at the Clarence River Historical Society and explore the museum in Schaeffer House, a magnificent federation homestead.

Street view of the two-storey heritage post office, Grafton

Jacaranda trees in Grafton date back to 1879 when seed merchant Henry Volkers, who owned a local nursery, introduced the exotic species. Over the years more jacarandas were planted, attracting visitors from far and wide for the spring bloom. The first Jacaranda Festival was celebrated in 1935.

The Grafton Regional Gallery is in the Prentice House, built in 1880. The gallery has a wonderful collection, including works by Ken Done, Doris O’Grady and contemporary indigenous artists. There are regular exhibitions and the Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award is a prestigious biennial award.

Check out the vibrant events calendar for exhibitions, markets, shows and sports, such as the thrilling Grafton Bridge to Bridge Ski Classic. The lovingly restored Saraton Theatre is a National Trust-classified building. Built in 1926, the 950-seat venue hosts concerts and other performances.

Woman gazing over Clarence Gorge from Hayley Lookout, near Grafton

You can browse fresh seasonal produce at the Grafton Farmers’ Market, held every Thursday morning in the carpark of the heritage-listed Christ Church Cathedral. You’ll find charming cafes, delicious restaurants and heritage pubs. A short drive northeast is the 1906-built Ulmarra Hotel.

You’ll find accommodation to suit various budgets in Grafton, a great base for exploring the wild rivers, stunning gorges and ancient rainforest. Kayaking, canoeing and rafting are all popular in the Nymboida National Park. The exquisite Clarence Gorge is 90 minutes’ drive northwest of Grafton.

Getting to Grafton in the Clarence Valley, on the NSW North Coast, is easy. The drive south from Brisbane is 3h 40min and north from Sydney 6h 40min. You can fly to the city and rent a car, or arrive by train. The gorgeous ocean beaches at Iluka, Yamba and Wooli are less than an hour away.

Grafton Airport

Fly into Clarence Valley Regional Airport, Grafton

Clarence Valley Regional Airport is located 12 km from Grafton’s town centre. Use the taxi services available at the terminal to make the short trip northwest. Alternatively, rent a car from the hire services available at the airport and explore the region at your own pace.

Regional Express operates more than 30 weekly direct flights to and from Sydney. For other major Australian cities, connect via Sydney for travel into Grafton.


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  1. Grafton Farmers Market

    Thursday 20 December 2018 to Thursday 27 July 2028 , Grafton

    Discover the flavoursome taste of seasonal fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs just harvested, much of it grown organically, chemical free and local, purchased directly from the grower. Enjoy the wonderful assortment of condiments in the…

    20 Dec - 27 Jul
  2. CLB3X3 Grafton

    Thursday 20 December 2018 to Saturday 22 December 2018 , Grafton

    Three Days of 3X3 Basketball action on an official FIBA half court. All ages, all abilities - fun for everyone! Bring the family, enjoy a picnic, music, connect four games, three point shoot outs and a family friendly atmosphere. …

    20 Dec - 22 Dec
  3. Grafton Cinema Under the Stars

    Friday 01 February 2019 , Grafton

    Newcastle Permanent's Cinema Under the Stars is Australia's largest free outdoor cinema program and is returning to Grafton! The event kicks off at 5.30pm with a fantastic line-up of family friendly entertainment and activities before…

    01 Feb