Situated on the banks of the Clarence River, the city of Grafton is located approximately 630 km north of Sydney and 340 km south of Brisbane on the mid north coast of NSW. Grafton has a humid, sub-tropical climate, with average temperatures of 26 degrees in summer and 13 degrees in winter.
Discovered in 1831 by escaped convict Richard Craig, Grafton was first recognised as a rich source of lumber. The opportunity to make money from the surrounding cedar trees saw Craig pardoned and given a grant to establish a timber industry, This brought more settlers to the area and, in 1851, the NSW governor Sir Charles Augustus FitzRoy officially named the town ‘Grafton’, after his grandfather and former prime minister of the United Kingdom, the Duke of Grafton.
Grafton is sometimes known as the Jacaranda City, many of its streets are lined with jacaranda trees. The city is home to the annual Jacaranda Festival in October, when the trees are in bloom with their distinctive purple flower. Horse racing is very popular with the big event in July being the Grafton Cup. Grafton Gaol used to be notorious but today serves as a medium security prison.
Countrylink provide train services to Grafton from Sydney, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Byron Bay and Moree. Grafton railway station is located in South Grafton. Many bus companies also provide services from these major cities, as well as between other towns in the region.
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