Grafton City lies in the scenic Clarence Valley and on the banks of the Clarence River, the largest river system on the east coast of New South Wales. The majestic Clarence River flows through deep ravines, broad fields, ancient forests and green farmlands, drawing water skiers from all over the world, together with everyone with a love of water sports and the environment. Grafton also hosts wonderful historic structures, traditional country pubs, and a captivating floral festival like no other.
Grafton is known as the Jacaranda City, with its beautiful jacaranda tree-lined streets full of culture and history. The town shines in purple as the jacaranda trees flower in late Spring. The famous Jacaranda Festival runs from the last weekend of October to the first weekend of November, and is the earliest known floral festival in the country, dating back to 1935. For Jacaranda Thursday, the town comes to a standstill with a parade, markets, entertainment and more.
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If you’re looking for a place rich in art and culture, look no further. Witness the town’s stunning Victorian and Edwardian architecture on the Grafton Heritage Trail. Walking or cycling through their streets offers tourists the ability to experience and ‘feel’ the heritage and culture of Grafton in a suitably peaceful and reflective way. Built in 1915, Grafton ‘s famous Bendy Bridge has a walkway which is a great way to experience the mighty Clarence River, especially at sunset.
Turn back the clock at Schaeffer House, a magnificent federation homestead, in the Clarence River Historical Society. The house, which was originally built in 1900, is open to the public. It is a great example of fine fittings and finishes. The grounds feature sculptures, rare plants and a sunken garden. The museum displays exquisite china, glassware, and furniture offered through the years to the society. The quality of the exhibits and the excellent design ensure a truly satisfying experience.
Prentice House, a beautifully preserved building built in 1880, is home to the Grafton Regional Gallery. Over 3,000 works are held in the Gallery collection, such as significant work representations by Doris and Gladys O’Grady and Ken Done. It aims at stimulating and developing the distinct culture of the Clarence Valley region.Remember When Cottage is one hundred years old, moved from Grafton and put at picturesque Waterview Heights, a short ten minute drive from South Grafton. The cottage has been lovingly restored and converted into a lovely museum that includes exhibits of fascinating photos, artworks, documents, equipment and agricultural objects showing a rich history of dairy products.
For the adventurers who want to get away from it all, Grafton has got you covered! Immerse yourself in nature, trek spectacular natural scenery, canoe down rapids and discover Nymboida National Park ‘s geological past. This amazing park will reward you with views of spectacular rock formations, excellent opportunities for bird watching, challenging white waters and an unmatched feeling of being a long way from everyday life. Clarence Gorge features roaring waterfalls and wild rapids that mingle with deep pools and calm waters. The landscape is beautiful, and it provides great fishing opportunities.
The Grafton Bridge to Bridge Ski Classic, held in October, is a 108 kilometre run from Grafton to Harwood Bridge. It constantly sees skiers reaching speeds of more than 120 kilometres per hour. Towing two skiers, and being considered one of the hardest water ski events, the sport draws participants from all over the world.
You’ll also find plenty of cafes, restaurants and heritage pubs, as well as other leisure activities you can do near and in the city. The Clocktower Restaurant has everything for everybody, whether you love the completely air-conditioned indoor dining area that can handle up to 140 people and the outdoor alfresco veranda where you can admire the sights of Market Square, Clocktower and Prince Street while enjoying the wonderful weather of Grafton.The Saraton Theatre is a heritage-listed building, originally built in the 1920s and completely restored ten years ago. It serves as a three-cinema facility as well as a room for up to 900 people in the theater for live performances.
At the Grafton Farmers ‘ Market, held each Thursday morning in the heritage-listed Christ Church Cathedral car park, you can buy fresh seasonal produce. On the north side of Grafton, the cathedral itself is the parish church for Anglicans, and its origins date back to 1842 when a small wooden church was erected on the site. It offers a place where people of all faiths and even people of no faith are welcomed for quiet and peaceful reflection.
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