The commercial and cultural centre of the Clarence Valley, Grafton is dominated by the elegant sweep of the Clarence River, which almost encircles the city.
Grafton has a population of more than 10,000 people, the median age is 41 years. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make up 6% of the population.
The city of Grafton is the commercial hub of the Clarence River Valley. It is located approximately 630 kilometres north of Sydney, 340 km south of Brisbane and approximately 35 km west of the Pacific Ocean coast.
Grafton is known as the Jacaranda City and is famous for its jacaranda trees, which were originally planted in the 1870s by a local seed merchant by the name of Volkers. Grafton celebrates the purple blooms of this lovely tree with the Jacaranda Festival.
Clarence Valley Regional Airport is located 12 km from Grafton’s town centre.
Regional Express Airlines (REX) operates more than 30 weekly direct flights to and from Sydney.
NSW Trainlink rail services provide access by train and coach from Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Byron Bay and Moree to Grafton and the towns of the Clarence Valley. The Railway Station is situated in South Grafton.
There are several bus companies servicing the Clarence Valley from major metropolitan and regional cities. Regular route bus services in the Clarence Valley link the major centres of Grafton, Iluka, Maclean and Yamba and surrounding villages.
The main industries people from Grafton work in are:
- Health care and social assistance
- Retail trade
- Public administration and safety
- Accommodation and food services
- Education and training
Grafton Base Hospital is a level 3/4 base hospital within the Northern New South Wales Local Health District. The Grafton Base Hospital has an acute medical and general surgical ward and provides services, such as, medical imaging, occupational therapy for children, paediatric ward, pathology, renal unit, women’s care unit. There is also a chemotherapy satellite unit.
Grafton is supported by NSW ambulance service.
Queen Street Clinic - Grafton
Grafton has three public and three private primary schools as well as one public and three private secondary schools.
- Grafton Public School
- Westlawn Public School
- South Grafton Public School
- St Mary’s Primary School Grafton
- St Andrew’s Christian School (K-12)
- Clarence Valley Anglican School (K-12)
- Grafton High School
- McAuley Catholic College
For tertiary education there is the North Coast TAFE, Grafton Campus.
For young families the Grafton region offers a wide range of options suitable for children from 6 weeks to school aged, for occasional care, long day care, family day care and preschool.
Grafton Shopping World houses a number of well know stores including Coles and Woolworths supermarkets, Target and Big W department stores, men’s, women’s and children’s fashion clothing and accessories, jewellers, entertainment and technology, health and fitness, homewares, cafes and eateries.
Grafton also has Aldi, Harvey Norman and Spotlight stores and boasts a wide variety of unique retail outlets.
Graton has a number of places of worship including Anglican, Australian Christian, Baptist, Catholic, Church of Latter Day Saints, Clarence Valley Community Church, Jehovah’s Witness, Presbyterian, Riverside Church, Salvation Army, and Uniting.
Grafton has historic architecture, shopping, restaurants and a vibrant artistic community. It serves as the commercial hub of the Clarence Valley.
The Grafton Regional Gallery, the premier cultural venue for the Clarence Valley. Housed at historic Prentice House the gallery boasts major exhibitions, a delightful Gallery Shop and an extensive events program. Located in the Art Gallery is Rosearia, a fine dining Italian inspired restaurant open for lunch and dinner.
Sporting facilities include a basketball stadium, hockey fields, Olympic and heated swimming pools, gyms, tennis courts and more. Golfers will love the 18-hole golf course, popular with the locals (including kangaroos and wallabies) and the golf driving range. There is also bowls, squash, and ten-pin bowling; and anglers will delight in the fresh and salt water fishing opportunities that the Clarence affords.