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.
As the thriving commercial hub of the Clarence Valley, Grafton has a range of quality accommodation including motels, B&Bs, self-contained apartments, hotels and caravan parks.
Outdoors, every turn reveals a stunning vista. Manicured gardens glow with seasonal blossoms and, throughout the year, Grafton's stately streets and parks host festivals and community celebrations that attract thousands of visitors.
the clarence river
One of Australia's most majestic waterways, the Clarence River is a dominant feature in Grafton's landscape and lifestyle. Visitors travel from all over the world to compete in dragon boat, sail, and power boat racing, the Head of the River rowing regatta in December and one of Australia's premier water skiing events, the famous Bridge to Bridge Ski Race, in October. See our events section for more information.
You can explore the River at a more sedate pace on a hire boat or canoe enjoy a bird's eye view as you use the pedestrian foot-bridge to cross the famous "Bendy Bridge", an engineering marvel built in 1932.
Many of Grafton's buildings have been classified by the National Trust, including the Christ Church Cathedral, the infamous Grafton Gaol, and some fine historic homes.
Schaeffer House Museum exhibits the treasures of the Clarence River Historical Society in a glorious century-old homestead and the gracious Prentice House, built in 1880, is now the Regional Art Gallery.
Alumny Creek School Museum set in magnificent grounds has a beautifully restored school that recreates a slice of 19th century life.
Explore the rich history of the city and surrounding area through one of the many museums open to the public.
Visit our heritage trail section for information on the Grafton Heritage Trail and download the brochure to explore the rich history of this river city.
festivals & events
Grafton hosts a range of festivals throughout the year. The Jacaranda Festival, Australia's longest running floral festival, is held in October when the streets are lined with vibrant purple blooms.
Grafton has something for everyone, and annual events include the Bridge to Bridge Ski Race, the Weekend of Trucking and Artsfest, a highly acclaimed series of workshops, concerts and exhibitions.
Check out the events section of our website to get information on the major events occurring in Grafton and the Clarence Valley or download our 12-month Calendar of Events.
Grafton's aquatic events are complimented by a full calendar of terrestrial spectaculars including the Grafton to Inverell Cycling Classic and the July Racing Carnival, which draws many top horses and jockeys.
The feature race of the Carnival, the famous Grafton Cup, is the richest horse race in rural Australia.
Golfers will love the 18-hole golf course, popular with the locals (including kangaroos and wallabies) and the golf driving range. There's also bowls, squash, and ten-pin bowling; and anglers will delight in the fresh and salt water fishing opportunities that the Clarence affords.