Grafton, located in the Clarence Valley on the NSW North Coast, is a town renowned for its vibrant violet blooms. With over 2000 jacarandas planted throughout the town, the region is home to the nation’s oldest floral festival, the Jacaranda Festival, which attracts thousands of visitors from home and abroad each October. 

Jacaranda trees in full bloom in the town centre of Grafton. Image courtesy of Destination NSW.

Here’s how to spend 48 hours in Grafton. Book your stay with Choice Hotels.

Have breakfast on Prince St.

The cafe hub of Grafton, Prince St. offers a mouth watering selection of coffee shops, restaurants and cafes. Try the Dirty Dandy Chai (made with roasted dandelion root, chai spices, a hint of raw cacao and herbs, served with local raw honey) alongside an organic porridge made with medjool dates, coconut yoghurt and almond mylk at Heart & Soul Wholefood Cafe, or the garlic mushrooms with persian fetta, thyme, parsley, baby rocket and poached free-range locally grown eggs at Toast Espresso.

Visit the Grafton Regional Gallery

Grafton Regional Art Gallery. Image courtesy of Destination NSW

The Grafton Regional Gallery holds the largest collection of artworks on the North Coast of NSW. Current exhibitions for 2021 include Collection, developed by local First Nations curator Danielle Gorogo, The National Photographic Portrait Prize (2020), CVIAA: The Clarence Valley Indigenous Art Award, and Playback: Watching and Making Recent Video Art in Australia. The Grafton Regional Gallery is open daily from 10am and entry is free.

Grab lunch at the Grafton Farmers Market

If you’re lucky enough to be starting your long weekend in Grafton on a Thursday, make sure you stop by the Grafton Twilight Farmers Market, open from 3:30pm at Market Square every Thursday afternoon. The Grafton Twilight Farmers Market offers fresh local and seasonal produce, as well as an array of food stands, preserves, oils and artisan bread.

Have dinner and a drink at the Roches Family Hotel

The Roches Family Hotel, Grafton. Image courtesy of Destination NSW

Built in 1870, the Roches Family Hotel is the oldest pub in Grafton. Pop on over to enjoy a classic pub meal, game of pool, trivia on Wednesday nights, social club raffle on Thursday, and of course, happy hour.

Have brunch at the Ulmurra Hotel

The Ulmurra Hotel is located in the small town of Ulmurra, 12km north of Grafton. Built during the Australia’s federation period, the pub features a beautiful wrap-around verandah on the second floor that was ranked #5 best beer garden in NSW by The Daily Telegraph. The pub is open every day for lunch and dinner, and serves Toby’s Estate coffee alongside a selection of local and draught beers.

Explore Washpool National Park

Scenic views overlooking Washpool National Park, Glen Innes. Image courtesy of Destination NSW

Washpool National Park is home to some of the least disturbed rainforest in NSW. With steep gorges, giant red cedar, an ancient rainforest, and the worlds largest stand of coachwood trees, the Washpool National Park is a must see for visitors to the Grafton region. Lucky wildlife watchers can expect to see the once-thought-to-be-extinct Parma wallaby, pouched frog, long nosed potoroo, spotted-tailled quoll, rufous scrub bird, and powerful owl, the largest owl on the continent which preys on possums, bats and flying foxes.

Enjoy dinner à la carte at Victoria’s Restaurant & Wine Bar

After a long afternoon exploring the regions local rainforests, relax and unwind at Quality Inn Grafton’s in house restaurant, Victoria’s Restaurant and Wine Bar. Located in an elegant setting with full length windows allowing for breathtaking natural light, Victoria’s Restaurant and Wine Bar offers a la carte dinner menus by experienced chefs who specialise in using fresh local ingredients. 

Need a place to stay?
The Quality Inn Grafton is centrally located in the heart of Grafton, with the main shopping centre located across the road and only two blocks from the main business district. The TAFE, Clarence River and Council are all within a two-minute walk. Book your next stay with Choice Hotels.

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