Grafton is the southern gateway to Summerland Coast and Hinterland NSW situated on the banks of the Clarence River.
Grafton is somewhat like a large, French provincial town only typically Australian exuding loads of charm.
Also known at The Jacaranda City and known for its Jacaranda Festival in October, the streets are lined with graceful, large Jacaranda trees. In springtime when they are in bloom, the streets become an artist's dreamscape of purple-mauve and violet magnificence.
Grafton was originally home to the native tribes of the Bundjalung and Gumbainggir people and descendants of both tribes can still be found in the Grafton region.
Declared a city in 1885,
Grafton has a unique twisty double-decker bridge built in the "Bascule" style. Bascule is a French word meaning see-saw and the bridge spans the majestic Clarence River to provide an entrance into Grafton's thriving commercial hub.
How to get to Grafton
Grafton is inland about 30 minutes drive from the coast.
The closest beaches are Wooli and Minnie Waters. It is about an hour's drive from the town of Yamba to Grafton.
Yamba is a port and the mouth of the Clarence River.
Grafton is approximately 650 kilometres north of Sydney and 320 kilometres to the south of Brisbane. The XPT is the train that travels up the coast from Sydney to Grafton and bus services also operate daily between Brisbane and Grafton.
Where to stay in and near Grafton
Grafton offers the visitor an amazing array of accommodation options.
Whether looking for a city central apartment, Motel, Hotel or a peaceful and private guest house; there is plenty to choose from including boutique cottages or B&B's, Resorts as well as Caravan Parks.
Grafton literally, has something for everyone.
Search through our Grafton accommodation pages to find your perfect place to stay.
Where to eat and dine in Grafton
Grafton offers a range of restaurants, cafes and take-aways to choose from. Check out our where to eat in Grafton page for inspiration.
What to do whilst in Grafton
Grafton has an excellent Regional Art Gallery set in the restored 1880's Prentice House. Exhibitions are held here regularly and there is a gift shop and café/restaurant which boasts great coffee and fine regional foods.
Just east of Grafton is Yuraygir National Park teeming with wildlife, pristine beaches, freshwater creeks and paperbark lagoons. There are coastal walking tracks for visitors to the area. Yamba, Maclean and Iluka are small towns not far from Grafton offering a variety of things to see and do.
The Yarrawarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Corindi Beach, half-way between Coffs Harbour and Grafton is home of the Garby Elders and the Gumbaynggirr people. The Centre is surrounded by tranquil bushland and has a bush tucker cafe and a regional Indigenous gallery.
The Jacaranda Festival has been held in the last week of Oct and first week of Nov since 1935, coinciding with the annual flowering of the Jacaranda Trees.
Susan Island is a river island adjacent to Memorial Park. The western end of the island is covered by rainforest and home to a large colony of fruit bats. The eastern part of the island has a picnic area, BBQs and toilet facilities. The island is accessed by private boat or hire- boat. The island was named after the Susan, the first ship to enter the Clarence River in 1838.
Grafton and the surrounding Clarence Valley offer so much. Have a look through our what to do whilst staying in Grafton pages.
Don't forget to come back to the Summerland NSW website and write reviews on your Grafton experiences to share with locals and other travellers.
Explore Other Summerland Coast Destinations
Alstonville | Ballina | Bangalow | Brunswick Heads | Byron Bay | Casino | Coffs Harbour | Evans Head | Gold Coast| Grafton | Kingscliff and Pottsville | Kyogle | Lennox Head | Lismore | Maclean | Mullumbimby | Murwillumbah | Nambucca Heads | Nimbin | Tweed Heads and Coolangatta | Woodburn and Coraki | Woolgoolga| Yamba and Iluka