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Jacaranda Season! Lose yourself in a lovely dream!

Every now and then, you just have to stock up on the feelings that remind you that life – and the world – is beautiful. Grafton’s Jacaranda Season is a way to plug into that sense of wonder. 

In mid October and early November, the streets and parks of this Northern NSW city are transformed into something out of a dream when the Jacarandas explode in all their purple glory. 

Grafton’s just a few hours south of Brisbane, or an easy flight from Sydney, so come for a day or two, and recharge your senses.

Grafton Jacaranda Season

When can I see the trees?

Jacaranda season is surprisingly brief, which only makes the experience more rare and memorable. 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. Seeing as Nature ultimately makes the call on such matters as blooming and blossoming, we consulted widely with Nature to identify the season as accurately as possible. After speaking with a number of magpies, possums, and hugging several Jacarandas along Jacaranda Avenue, we’re declaring 18 October to 10 November as Grafton’s ‘Official’ Jacaranda 2019 season.


my clarence valley video thumbnail play video

Where are 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.

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. (And it’s scientifically proven that exposure to the colour purple makes humans ravenously hungry, fortunately Grafton has a splendid array of cafe’s, eateries and restaurants.) 

Why not pick up some delicious produce from a cafe, emporium, farmers market, or deli to have a picnic in your own patch of purple?

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

Get dressed up in your best gear and have a photo shoot, with your family, friends and loved ones. Best spot? Check out our Instagram for some ideas @myclarencevalley 

Here’s our favourite: How about doing nothing? Just for a moment. When was the last time you put aside your device, switched off from modern life’s distractions, stopped thinking, stopped doing? Being in the presence of these remarkable blossoms encourages stillness – even if only for just a few minutes.


Where are we?

Jaca tree Map

Charming Grafton

Day trips

Jacaranda purple

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 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.


The great outdoors

Jacaranda Festival

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

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