Around Grafton

The Gateway Village Holiday Park in Grafton, Northern NSW has some great local tourist attractions and local events. Please read on for more information…

The City of Grafton is a quiet, old city located on the Clarence River in the Clarence Valley on the Northern Rivers of New South Wales, Australia. Located just 1 hour from Coffs Harbour, and 45 mintues from Yamba.  Populated by approximately 18,500 people, Grafton is lined with Jacaranda Trees and Heritage Buildings and has many features and attractions.

Some of these include:

Festivals

Festivals

18 Hole Championship Golf Course

18 Hole Championship Golf Course in South Grafton NSW is a great attraction for holiday makers interested in golf. Grafton Golf Club offer a beautiful 18 Hole Championship Golf Course located in South Grafton. This beautiful course is open to the public. Full professional service is available with sales, repairs, club hire, motorised buggy hire and a free practice area.

Christ Church Cathedral

Many of Grafton’s buildings have been classified by the National Trust, including the Christ Church Cathedral.

Grafton Regional Gallery

Regional and contemporary art, travelling exhibitions, art activities and public programs are all set in heritage and contemporary buildings with
shady courtyards and gardens.

Clock Tower

Clock Tower

Schaeffer House Museum

Is a notable old homestead and carries a wide range of exhibits tracing the history of Grafton and the Clarence Valley.

Clarence River Gorge

The Clarence River Gorge provides some of the most rugged and spectacular scenery in NSW. Thundering waterfalls include the beautiful Rainbow Falls. Fishing, canoeing, horse riding and bush walking are popular pastimes.

Grafton Heritage Trail

A city since 1885, Grafton displays the rich traditions of a grand past that has successfully merged with the 21st Century without compromising its stately character. You are invited to experience and enjoy the uniqueness of Grafton with its trees of various species and heritage building of both commercial and residential character. The Heritage Trail will allow you to feel the special appeal of Grafton through its trees, parks and beautiful older buildings.

National Parks

There are many national parks within a one hour drive of Grafton. These include Yuraygir and Bundjalung on the coast and the World Heritage listed Washpool and Gibralter Range to the west. The Solitary Islands Marine Parks protects the coastline from Coffs Harbour to Sandon River. This park marks a zone where warm tropical ocean currents meet cool currents from the south to attract an incredible diversity of marine life. Deep-sea dive, fishing and whale watching charters operate from Wooli into this marine park.

Ski Racing

Ski Racing

Fishing

The Clarence River at Grafton alters salt levels with rainfall and salt or freshwater fish can be caught in this area at different times. The upper reaches of the river and its tributaries carry a range of excellent fresh water table fish including Australian Bass. Catch and release fishing is encouraged. You must have a Fishing Licence to fish in New South Wales.

Susan Island

Susan Island lies adjacent to Grafton’s main street and Memorial Park. The western end is covered by rainforest, housing one of the largest fruit bat colonies in Australia. The fruit bats provide a spectacle on dusk in summer as they depart in search of food.
The eastern section of the island has barbecues, picnics and toilet facilities. Access is by private boat or hire boat.

White Water Rafting

At Nymboida (25 mins from Grafton) a hydro-electric power station siphons water from the Nymboida River and then releases it into Goolang Creek, creating one of Australia’s most exciting white water canoe courses.

Dragon Boats

Dragon Boats

Beaches

Wooli and Minnie Water are the closest beaches to Grafton, around a 30 minute drive.
Yamba and Brooms Head are also beautiful beaches, these are approximately an hour drive from Grafton. Dive and Fishing.
Charters are available.

Shopping

Grafton City offers a great range of shopping opportunities for visitors. Modern shopping centers with major supermarkets and specialty shops are at Grafton Shopping world and Grafton Mall. The Grafton central business district reflects the City’s status as the region’s commercial center.

Jacaranda Trees

Jacaranda Trees

Markets

There is a Growers Market on in Market Square every Thursday where local farmers sell their produce.
3rd Saturday of the month there is a Community Market held at the Grafton Showground.
4th Saturday of the month the Old Schoolhouse Community Markets are hleld at the Alumy Creek Reserve.

Rowing

Rowing is a popular sport in the Clarence Valley. The water is flat and the scenery up and down the riverbanks is beautiful. An annual Head of the River Rowing Regatta brings people from all over New South Wales and Southern Queensland to experience the magic of the Clarence River.

Gliding

Every Sunday (weather permitting) visitors are welcome to sample this delightful experience with our local club, operating just off the
Gwydir Highway at Eatonsville. The best time is from 10.00am to noon, the cost is very reasonable.

Events

Another tourist attraction is the Jacaranda Festival, Jacaranda City, NSWArtsfest www.artfestgrafton.com
A weeklong group of workshops designed for artists of all styles and levels of experience. Held Autumn and Spring.

Jacaranda Festival

Last Saturday in October to First Saturday in November. First held in 1935, it is Australia’s longest running floral festival. A queen crowning ceremony is held on the last Saturday in October each year heralding the start of the major festival week. The final weekend features a spectacular street parade which always falls on the first Saturday of November. Crowds flock to Grafton for weeks either side of these dates to view the trees and to enjoy the beauty of the Jacaranda City.

Grafton’s Trees

6,500 trees line Grafton’s avenues and shade dozens of parks, contributing significantly to the beauty of the city. Some of the most popular parks are:

  • Market Square – adjacent to the Clock Tower in Prince Street, is a lunch time favourite and the focal point of many Jacaranda Festival activities. Shady tables and seats are provided as well as public toilets.
  • Memorial Park & Boulevard – at the river end of Prince Street is a beautiful park overlooking the river and Susan Island with shady seating and tables available.
  • See Park Arboretum – in Pound Street, is certainly a highlight of the City with beautiful ponds, suspension bridges, barbecues, pergolas and children’s playground.

July Horse Racing Carnival

The Grafton Cup rates as the richest horse race in Rural Australia. It draws top horses, jockeys, trainers, bookies and punters from all over Australia.

Grafton Bridge to Bridge Ski Race

The annual Bridge to Bridge Ski Race is held on the long weekend in October. The Clarence River is a wonderful venue for water skiers.