Grafton is located approximately 630 km’s north of Sydney and 340 km’s south of Brisbane and is the commercial hub of the Clarence River Valley. Established in 1851 it was named ‘Grafton’, by Governor Fitzroy after his Grandfather, the Duke of Grafton, and a former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. A city of heritage streetscapes and diversity, Grafton is renowned for its graceful old buildings, many of which are now classified by the National Trust, including Christ Church Cathedral and the infamous Grafton Goal. The town also has wonderful sporting and cultural facilities and hosts popular festivals held throughout the year. Grafton is known as the ‘City of Jacarandas’. The trees were originally planted in the 1870s by a local seed merchant by the name of Volkers. The town is at its very best when the trees erupt in mauve blossoms in spring. There are 24 parks in Grafton with more than 6,500 trees and the Jacaranda Festival is held annually in October through November. Also famous to Grafton is an engineering marvel, the double decker road / railway-bridge or the ‘bendy bridge’ which opened in 1932. It forms a vital link for the Pacific Highway and is a major feature on the Clarence River. Harwood Sugar Mill near the city or the ‘Sunshine Sugar Mill’ as it’s called, is located on Harwood Island on the Clarence River and began operations in 1874. It is the oldest sugar cane crushing mill still operating in Australia.View on Map
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