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.
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.
Where are the trees?
Things to do in and around the Jacarandas
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.
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 Gumbaingirr 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.
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Want to know more about the Clarence Valley's Jacaranda Season? Of course you do!
Part of me wants to keep it a secret,
part of me wants to tell everyone I know,
the Clarence Valley is paradise.