The 2023 Grafton Jacaranda Festival brought thousands of visitors to the region during the festivities between October 27 and November 5, and many of them embraced the opportunity to explore the Clarence Valley during their time in Northern NSW.
Michelle Anderson: My family and I live at Burleigh Heads. We spent close to two weeks in the Clarence Valley when the 2023 Grafton Jacaranda Festival was on, and it was one of the best holidays we’ve ever had. We stayed in Yamba, and along with going to some of the free community events in Grafton during the festival, we also took the time to explore Maclean and Ulmarra, and we discovered how beautiful those smaller townships are. I think that’s one of the overlooked benefits during the jacaranda season. Even though the festival is held in Grafton, the whole Clarence Valley has something to offer visitors.
Lachlan Munday: Every year, my partner and I bring our kids up from Sydney for a few days when the trees are all purple and the festival is going on. We usually stay in Grafton. This year, we decided to borrow my dad’s caravan, and we camped at Iluka and Yamba for a few days and drove between the coast and Grafton, and it gave us time to see Brooms Head, Maclean, and Ulmarra, which was terrific. It’s great to have the chance to see other parts of the Clarence Valley outside Grafton.
Brigitte Fitzgerald: I visited Grafton for the first time because I’d always wanted to see the jacaranda trees and experience everything that goes on during the festival, but some of the highlights for me were being able to visit other areas such as Wooli and Minnie Water. It really opened my eyes to how stunning the whole region is and how welcoming and inviting the residents are. I’m already planning a return trip in 2024.