The Grafton Jacaranda Festival 2023
Each year The Grafton Jacaranda Festival takes place in the small regional town of Grafton, NSW.
Streets lined with beautiful Jacaranda trees unveil a sea of lilac purple. Hundreds of incredible Jacarandas spring to life in the final weeks of October and early November, enticing visitors from all over to witness the spectacle. Making it even more special, the town of Grafton dedicates an entire festival to the natural event – The Grafton Jacaranda Festival.
Often compared to the Japanese cherry blossom event, we were fortunate enough to experience the natural display last year and would absolutely encourage everyone to venture to the Clarence Valley region and marvel in all of its beauty.
For those still skeptical on making the voyage to Grafton, let me assure you, this isn’t just a ‘oh yeah, there’s a couple of flowering trees and that’s it’ type of moment.
We’re talking ‘street after street, pathway after pathway and parkland after parkland chock-a-block’ type of deal.
It’s one of those visits that will undoubtedly keep you coming back year after year. It’s a trip filled with beautiful memories, all made even more special due to the relatively short time frame that the Jacaranda trees bloom. The Jacaranda Festival Grafton is a MUST SEE!
When to Visit the Jacaranda Festival
Due to the annual occurrence, Grafton hosts the Jacaranda Festival in honour of the one-of-a-kind experience, celebrating the sea of purple from the last weekend in October to the first weekend in November.
We timed our trip perfectly to coincide with the festivities. Toward the end of the short blooming period, the roads and pathways are carpeted in an incredible lilac blanket. Don’t worry if you can’t make the festival dates exactly – we’d recommend arriving a couple of days early to enjoy the display.
If you can’t make it prior to the Grafton Jacaranda Festival, there’s always time to see it in the days after. Whatever you do, just ensure sure you make the trip! If you still don’t believe me, take a look at our video below to give you a better look into what we’re talking about.
Update: The 2023 season is underway! Jacarandas have been reported on the 19th September 2023. We’d recommend travelling from the first or second week of October.
Grafton Accommodation for the Jacaranda Festival
The charming town of Grafton has an almost ‘Victorian’ feel. With so many chapels, churches, parks and ‘Queenslander homes’, it’s the perfect opportunity to choose from a variety of unique styles of accommodation to enjoy the Jacaranda Festival.
Our pick top pick, The Quality Inn & Cottages, Grafton. With only a couple of short days to explore and find our bearings, it was crucial for us to stay in a location that had great proximity to cafes, restaurants, park lands and of course, the Jacarandas! The Quality Inn & Cottages were PERFECT as far as proximity was concerned. For a list of other incredible stays in the region, consider checking out the following accommodation options here.
The Quality Inn & Cottages Grafton
The Andavine House Bed & Breakfast
Victoria Street Apartments
The Best Grafton Jacaranda Trees Locations
By far, the best location to capture Grafton Jacaranda images was around See Park and the corner of Pound Street and Turf Street. Turf Street and See Park provided the below image.
This street had the longest running sequence of Jacarandas and was by far the best street in Grafton for Jacarandas.
We’d also recommend walking down to the corner of Maud Street and Pound Street (opposite the train tracks) and face back toward the railway bridge. The below shot was what we captured from that particular angle.
We’d also recommend exploring the corners of Clarence Street and Fitzroy Street (just near the main bridge) on your way into the town center to capture the Grafton jacaranda trees.
The below shot of the jacarandas was captured closer to East Grafton, heading towards the river. Unfortunately we can’t quite remember the name of the street, so we’d thoroughly recommend going for a scenic drive around town and making note of your favourite Grafton Jacaranda locations.
Other great Grafton Jacaranda tree locations include North Street, Dobie Street, Mary Street and many, many more! Download the official Clarence Valley map here & (pictured below) for all of the best locations to find the perfect Grafton Jacaranda shot.
While the Jacarandas are without a doubt the highlight, there’s also a variety of other spectacular trees that are worth visiting for a look. On Victoria Street, you’ll find the most incredible pathways lined with towering fig trees. This was also the perfect place to enjoy a sunset. Victoria Street was also quite the surprise as we noticed a number of white and red jacarandas as well.
Best Cafes & Coffee Grafton
Personally, we frequented Heart & Soul Wholefood Cafe and Toast Espresso daily! Both cafes/restaurants were the pick of the bunch and offered delicious and well priced meals all day long. Both are within walking distance of The Quality Inn Cottages on Fitzroy Street.
What to Do in Grafton (Other Attractions)
If the see of purple becomes too much, there’s plenty of other outdoor activities to consider. We ventured out to Sherwood Nature Reserve where we hiked into this beautiful waterfall and natural swimming hole. We’d absolutely recommend making the short forty minute journey out to the reserve.
While the Grafton Jacaranda Festival is certainly Australia’s largest, we recognise that it’s not possible for everyone to make the trip. Other towns that celebrate Jacaranda season or at least offer many Jacarandas to admire include:
The river side pathways and parks of Brisbane.
‘The Jacaranda Tunnel’ McDougall Street, Kiribilli.
We hope you enjoyed this blog post and wish you all the best on your search for flowering Jacarandas this season.
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