: Grafton (New South Wales)
Grafton is a city in northern New South Wales, Australia. One of Australia's most beautiful provincial cities, Grafton is renowned for its Jacaranda trees, graceful old buildings, sporting and cultural facilities, and its location on the banks of the Clarence River. The city was founded in 1855 and has a population of slightly less than 18,000.
Grafton is 630km north of Sydney and 320km south of Brisbane.
Rex Airlines has daily flights directly into Grafton from Sydney and Taree.
A variety of bus services stop in Grafton on their trips between Sydney and Brisbane.
Most major car rental services can be found in the city. 4wd are recommended if travelling to remote National Parks and beaches, but most can be accessed by 2wd vehicles and campervans.
XPT trains stop daily in Grafton from Sydney and Brisbane. Very comfortable trains and great views.
Cars or 4wd's are the best option but there are many local buses provided by Busways.
Lying on two sides of the Clarence River, the town is connected by a single, unique bridge. Completed in 1932, the bridge is a dual-level railway(bottom)/road(top) bridge plus a center bascule section (essentially a drawbridge).
- Beautiful Parks and Gardens. Grafton has a number of very beautiful parks and streets lined with amazing trees and native gardens. The best time of year to visit is late November or early October when the jacaranda trees are in full flower
- Amazing National Parks, . Grafton is the central point to visit the most amazing and secluded National Parks in Australia. Huge areas have been set aside as nature reserves ranging from the rugged Great Dividing Range to the coast.
- Jacaranda Festival, . The world-renowned Jacaranda Festival is held yearly in Grafton, Northern Rivers New South Wales, from the last weekend in October to the first weekend in November. In 2009 the festival officially starts on Friday, October 30th and concludes on Sunday, 8th November. Inaugurated in 1935, this was the first of Australia's folk festivals and is based upon the magnificent spectacle of the hundreds of lilac-blossomed trees which grow in Grafton's broad tree lined avenues. It expresses the people's thanksgiving for the generosity with which nature blesses this part of the globe.
- Fishing. Grafton is close to both freshwater and saltwater fishing environments. Bass, Bream, Flathead, and Cod can be found in the Clarence River or in the smaller creeks and streams that surround. Be aware that the Clarence River Cod is an endagered species and must be released when caught.
- Sailing. The Clarence River is one of the best sailing rivers in the world. Wide, deep, and with the beautiful afternoon sea breezes in summer, it is the perfect place to launch a boat or sail in through the large ocean bar. Clarence River Sailing Club race every Saturday from 1PM (except winter). The club is located under the north side of the bridge. A great bunch of people who welcome new and experienced sailors.
Grafton Shoppingworld provides some specialty shops, as does the nearby main streets.
South Grafton also has its own local shops.