Grafton’s Jacaranda Season. It’s time to tick it off your bucket list.

It’s 2021 and it’s time to visit Grafton’s Jacaranda Season. It’s been on your bucket list for ages and this is the year to put that little tick (or big tick if that’s more your style) beside it.

We always like to think of Jacaranda Season as an opportunity to connect with a sense of wonder – seeing the trees do their purple freeze-frame fireworks display; a tree-lined avenue looking like something out of an impressionist painting; or just glancing up and seeing the sky through a curtain of purple blooms – there’s nothing like these moments to plug us into a sense of gratitude for the here and now.

After early consultation with the trees, it’s looking like the official season will be from 21 October through to 11 November. However, nature has been really off on its own path lately, so if we get an update we’ll let you know.

Stop press! Breaking News!

It’s official, the enchanting blossoming Jacaranda tree performance, usually only visible by day, will now be an evening spectacular!

The trees and blossoms are gorgeous to ponder and be with during the day, and this year, for the first time, all the Jaca trees that live in See Park Grafton, will be illuminated in all their blossoming glory. It’s going to be stunning … perhaps even uplifting … definitely worth being a part of.

Visit See Park in the evenings (after dusk) between 21 to 24 October and for the whole Jacaranda Festival 29 Oct – 8 November. Bring a picnic blanket and plan to stay around, to soak up the wonderous atmosphere.

The Jacaranda Festival Inc are organizing the ‘Illuminate’ event, Saturday 23 October. Visit jacarandafestival.com for all the details.

It’ll be bewdifullll!
Purple Icecream

OK, so existential musings aside, here’s some information about Grafton’s amazing, sublime and gorgeous Jacaranda Season!

When can I see the trees?

Jacaranda season is surprisingly brief, which only makes the experience more precious. Generally speaking, the purple blossoms start to show themselves in early-to-mid October.

The second half of October sees the Jacaranda-lined streets and parks of Grafton look like something out of a dream, with the trees in full bloom. By early November, the roads and footpaths are carpeted in fallen purple blossoms as the Jacarandas prepare to don their lighter, green summer outfits. As mentioned before: 21 October to 11 November is Grafton’s ‘Official’ Jacaranda 2021 season.

Where are the trees?

It might be easier to ask ‘where aren’t the trees?’ There are streets after streets lined with Jacarandas around Grafton. Whether you want to take a stroll, ride a bike or drive a car, we would like to make your experience as easy as possible. Below we have a link to a downloadable map so you can easily ‘lose yourself’ in the purple haze, (without, er, literally getting lost.)

Things to do in and around the Jacarandas

Although you can spend all day just admiring the magic of the Jacarandas and soaking up their simple beauty, Grafton offers some lovely activities to make your stay memorable.

First of all, you should be warned that – for reasons unknown to science – time spent in the company of Jacaranda Trees makes a person ravenously hungry. We’re happy to advise that Grafton has a splendid array of cafés, eateries and restaurants that will relieve you of this condition.

Further to this: there’s always the option of picking up some delicious produce from a cafe, emporium, farmers market, or deli, and having a good old-fashioned picnic in your own patch of purple. (Tip for young players, if you’re looking to prove your romantic credentials with a partner, organising a picnic under a Jacaranda Tree is an extremely worthwhile investment of your energies)

And speaking of old-fashioned – remember books? Pick up a novel, perhaps one set in Grafton itself ("The Mint Lawn", for example, written by our Clarence Valley Ambassador Gillian Mears), stretch out, start reading under the trees and let the blossoms fall as you while away the hours. You’ll feel like a character in your own novel.

If you’re more of an up-and-at-‘em kind of person (or couple, or family), perhaps the Jacarandas might fuel your sense of adventure. Use Grafton as a base from which to discover the delights of the Clarence Valley. (See this three-day itinerary to get you started).

OK, here’s a parting though (it’s a bit left-field, but go with us on this): Maybe one of the best things to do while visiting the Jacarandas is actually – just for a moment or two – to try to ‘be’ like a Jacaranda.
Think about it. Jacarandas (well, all trees, really) are excellent at just … being. So take a moment, put your device aside, take a few calming breaths and see if you can just … ‘be’.

It’s never easy to switch off the constant internal chatter of our minds, but in the company of these incomparably lovely trees, who knows, maybe we can find a moment or two of stillness. It’s time to tick it off your bucket list.


Where are we?

Jaca Map

Charming Grafton

A place to stay

A place to stay

Walk around Grafton Jacaranda streets

Jacaranda Season top 10!

01 SEE THE PURPLE TREES!

Presumably you’re here for Jacaranda Season, so number one on this list HAS to be experiencing the glorious, dreamlike ambiance of Grafton’s Jacaranda-lined avenues and parks. Too much purpleness is never enough! The Jaca Map (see link above) gives you a good indication of the streets to see.

02 GALLERY VISIT!

Once your senses have been invigorated by the Jacarandas, a visit to the Clarence Valley’s hub of fine art – The Grafton Regional Gallery – is a must. Prentice House (the heritage building that contains the gallery) is an art piece in itself. Plus you can pick-up more Clarence Valley information while you’re here at our Visitor Information Centre located at the Grafton Regional Gallery, 158 Fitzroy Street.

03 KAYAK TO SUSAN ISLAND

Enough culture for the moment! Hire a kayak and get on our big, beautiful river! It’s an easy paddle from town to Susan Island, where you can visit the subtropical rainforest Nature Reserve with massive Moreton Bay Fig trees. Or just paddle around the 23 hectare island. Susan Island is a registered significant site to the Aboriginal women of the Clarence Valley and the Nyami Julgaa are the cultural custodians of the island.Pontoons at end of Prince St Grafton or Skinner St South Grafton.

04 BRIDGE WALK

Sure, you can do the Sydney Harbour Bridge Walk, but the Sydney Harbour Bridge doesn’t change direction on a jaunty angle halfway along now does it? This makes the Grafton Bridge Walk clearly superior to its Sydney imitator. And that strange thing in the water, at the south-west end? … It’s a shipwreck! Here lie the remains of the Induna, which served as a rail-ferry before the bridge was completed in 1932.

Once Induna’s services were no longer required, it sank of a broken heart. (Not true.) Access the footbridge off Fitzroy or Greaves St Grafton or Bridge Lane South Grafton

05 TIME TRAVEL! (SORT OF)

Until we iron out some bugs with our backyard time machine, Grafton’s Walking and Cycling Heritage Trail is still the best way to visit another era. Set your co-ordinates to 1884 and marvel at the Christ Church Cathedral – (revolutionary at the time for breaking away from established religious design), or 1893 (The imposing Grafton Gaol). The many private residences let you imagine what life was like in this thriving country town in the 1900’s.

The Walking and Cycling Heritage Trail booklet is available at the Clarence Valley Visitor Centre.

06 STROLL FIG TREE AVENUE 

The Jacarandas may get all the glory but trust us, this  garden city has got more than one tree up its sleeve! This magnificent avenue of giant fig trees is a National Trust listed site. They form an arch about 30 metres above the asphalt, making it a lovely cool spot to wander and wonder. There’s a little green space for a snack or a picnic, where you can take in the water. 

Stroll Fig Tree Ave, Grafton

Briemba Street Grafton, access ‘Fig Tree Ave’ from Bacon Street. Green space is at corner of Briemba and Pound Street. 

07 WITNESS A FREAKY NATURAL PHENOMENON 

Each dusk, the sky over the Clarence River becomes a swarming black beast as Susan Island’s flying fox colony wake from their daytime slumber and go in search of their evening meal … (of fruit). Watch the spectacle from a riverside pub (The Crown Hotel in Grafton or Walkers Marina Hotel in South Grafton) or Memorial Park. 

08 HANG OUT AT THE COOL SIDE OF TOWN 

A little bit vintage, authentically retro, South Grafton’s main street has a quirky, interesting vibe. 

Eclectic cafes, recycled clothing stores mix with rural supply providers. Colourful murals and arty street blisters reflect local Gumbaynggirr history and culture. The boulevard right by the river marina provides shady trees, picnic facilities and BBQs. And you might catch a play or local musician at the Pelican Playhouse, Skinner Street, South Grafton 

09 EAT AND DRINK!

We should have put this at number two after the Jacarandas! Here in G-Town there are myriad epic places to eat, drink and relax. There’s top class coffee, great seafood (the coast is only a hop, skip and jump away), and all your dietary requirements will be catered for. 

10 ROAM THE REGION!

And why not extend your stay and experience the delights of the Clarence Valley. Grafton’s not far from the coast, including the gorgeous coastal towns of Yamba, Wooli and Iluka (only 40 minutes away) and the rather well kept secret of the Clarence Valley hinterland is just a short (and very picturesque) drive. Make sure you have a look through our My Clarence Valley site to discover all of the amazing things you can do to make your visit to the Jacarandas truly memorable experience.

Delve into a little purple. You'll feel better for it.


The great outdoors

Day trips

Towns and villages

Eat, drink and be happy

Eye Candy

Check out our Instagram feed below for a taste of what you'll find in Clarence Valley.
And then, make sure you come and see for yourself!


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Part of me wants to keep it a secret, part of me wants to tell everyone I know, the Clarence Valley is paradise.

ADRIANNA BUTLER