Grafton, New South Wales

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Grafton
New South Wales
Graftonbridge1.jpg
Grafton is located in New South Wales
Grafton
Grafton
Coordinates 29°41′0″S 152°56′0″E / 29.68333°S 152.93333°E / -29.68333; 152.93333Coordinates: 29°41′0″S 152°56′0″E / 29.68333°S 152.93333°E / -29.68333; 152.93333
Population 17,501 (2006 census)[1]
Established 1851
Postcode(s) 2460
Elevation 5 m (16 ft)
Location
LGA(s) Clarence Valley Council
State electorate(s) Clarence
Federal Division(s) Page
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
25.8 °C
78 °F
12.7 °C
55 °F
992.3 mm
39.1 in
Grafton is reachable by road from Sydney and Brisbane on the Pacific Highway (Highway 1)

The city of Grafton is the commercial hub of the Clarence River Valley. Established in 1851, Grafton features many historic buildings and tree-lined streets. Located approximately 630 kilometres north of Sydney and 340 km south of Brisbane, Queensland, Grafton and the Clarence Valley can be reached by road, rail or air. At the 2006 census, Grafton had a population of 17,501 people.[1]

History[edit]

Before European settlement, the Clarence River marked the border between the Bundjalung[2] and Gumbainggir people, and so descendants of both language groups can now be found in the Grafton region.

Grafton, like many other settlements in the area, was first opened up to white settlement by the cedar-getters. An escaped convict, Richard Craig, 'discovered' the district in 1831. With the wealth of 'red gold' cedar just waiting for exploitation, he was given a pardon and one hundred pounds to bring a party of cedar-getters on the cutter 'Prince George' to the region. Word of such wealth to be had did not take long to spread and one of the arrivals was pioneer John Small on the 'Susan' in 1838, and he first occupied land on Woodford Island. 'The Settlement' (as the embryonic Grafton was then imaginatively named) was established shortly after.

In 1851, Governor FitzRoy officially named the town "Grafton", after his grandfather, the Duke of Grafton, a former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.[3] Grafton was proclaimed a city in 1885. Local industries include logging, beef cattle, fishing/prawning, sugar, manufacturing and tourism.

The town is also known for its double-decker road/railway bridge, opened in 1932, completing the standard gauge rail connection between Sydney and Brisbane, and also forming a vital link for the Pacific Highway. This bridge is a one of a kind and is a major feature on the Clarence River in Grafton.

Culture[edit]

Grafton is also known as the Jacaranda City, in reference to its tree-lined streets and annual Jacaranda Festival, held in October/November.

Grafton is also well known for the Grafton Cup horse race, held yearly on the second Thursday in July. A half day holiday is observed in Grafton for this event.

Grafton is the birthplace of several renowned country music players. Local artist, Troy Cassar-Daley received four Golden Guitar awards at the 2006 Tamworth Country Music Awards – the largest and most prestigious country music awards in Australia. At the same event Samantha McClymont, the 2005/2006 Grafton Jacaranda Queen and sister of Brooke McClymont, also received an award for her country music talent.

A vision of Grafton with its numerous brilliantly-flowered trees in bloom, is immortalised in Australian music culture in Cold Chisel's song Flame Trees.

Notable buildings[edit]

Christ Church Cathedral, designed by John Horbury Hunt was opened in 1884 and is the seat of the Anglican Diocese of Grafton.[4]

Schaeffer House is a historic 1900 Federation house and contains the collection of the Clarence River Historical Society which was formed in 1931.

Transportation[edit]

The MurwillumbahByron BayLismore railway (opened in 1894) was extended to Grafton in 1905;[5] for details, see Murwillumbah railway line. The North Coast Line reached South Grafton from Sydney in 1915. Pending the opening of the combined road and rail bascule bridge in 1932, Grafton had a train ferry to connect the two railways. Clarence Valley Regional Airport is the airport that services Grafton.

The Grafton Bridge over the Clarence River showing the bascule span lifted to let shipping through. (Postcard from about 1932; the Southern Cross aeroplane has been added to the photograph.)

Grafton also lies on the Pacific Highway, the main North-South road route through Eastern Australia, and links it to the Gwydir Highway, one of the primary East-West routes through Eastern Australia.

Industry[edit]

Harwood Mill is the oldest working sugar mill in New South Wales.

Newspapers[edit]

The daily newspaper of Grafton is The Daily Examiner, owned by media conglomerate Australian Provincial Newspapers (APN), part of the media empire controlled by Irish magnate Tony O'Reilly.

People[edit]

Notable people from Grafton include:

Climate[edit]

Grafton has a humid subtropical climate with hot, wet and humid summers, and mild, drier winters. Rainfall is lower than in stations directly on the coast, but monthly rain totals can often surpass 300 millimetres (11.81 in). The wettest month since records began was March 1974 when Cyclone Zoe produced a monthly total of 549.0 millimetres (21.61 in), whilst during periods of anticyclonic control and strong westerly winds monthly rainfall can be very low; for instance in July 1972 only 0.3 millimetres (0.01 in) fell. Grafton gets around 115.2 clear days on an annual basis.

Climate data for Grafton
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 43.8
(110.8)
42.1
(107.8)
39.0
(102.2)
36.7
(98.1)
31.7
(89.1)
30.5
(86.9)
28.2
(82.8)
36.3
(97.3)
38.3
(100.9)
39.3
(102.7)
43.8
(110.8)
43.4
(110.1)
43.8
(110.8)
Average high °C (°F) 30.1
(86.2)
29.3
(84.7)
28.3
(82.9)
26.2
(79.2)
23.1
(73.6)
20.8
(69.4)
20.5
(68.9)
22.1
(71.8)
24.8
(76.6)
26.7
(80.1)
28.1
(82.6)
29.7
(85.5)
25.8
(78.4)
Average low °C (°F) 19.7
(67.5)
19.7
(67.5)
18.0
(64.4)
14.9
(58.8)
11.3
(52.3)
8.1
(46.6)
6.3
(43.3)
7.3
(45.1)
10.4
(50.7)
13.7
(56.7)
16.2
(61.2)
18.4
(65.1)
13.7
(56.7)
Record low °C (°F) 12.8
(55)
12.7
(54.9)
10.8
(51.4)
3.6
(38.5)
0.5
(32.9)
−2.0
(28.4)
−2.2
(28)
−0.2
(31.6)
1.8
(35.2)
3.9
(39)
6.7
(44.1)
7.0
(44.6)
−2.2
(28)
Rainfall mm (inches) 138.9
(5.469)
145.3
(5.72)
129.8
(5.11)
89.2
(3.512)
81.8
(3.22)
69.1
(2.72)
39.2
(1.543)
39.5
(1.555)
36.7
(1.445)
80.1
(3.154)
104.4
(4.11)
120.5
(4.744)
1,074.5
(42.302)
Avg. rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm) 10.7 11.0 11.1 8.0 7.7 5.7 4.6 4.3 5.3 7.4 9.3 10.1 95.2
 % humidity 56 60 59 57 57 54 49 43 44 49 52 54 52.8
Source: [9]

Radio and television[edit]

Radio stations

  • 2GF 1206 AM/103.9 FM (commercial)
  • FM 104.7 (commercial)
  • JJJ 91.5 FM/96.1 FM
  • ABC Northern Rivers 738 AM/94.5 FM
  • Classic FM 97.9 FM/95.3 FM
  • Radio National 99.5 FM/96.9 FM
  • Racing Radio 101.5 FM
  • Life FM 103.1 (community)
  • Raw FM 87.6

Television channels

Pay television services are provided by Austar.

Education[edit]

Public schools

  • Gillwinga Public School
  • Grafton High School
  • Grafton Public School
  • South Grafton High School
  • South Grafton Public School
  • Westlawn Public School

Independent schools

  • Clarence Valley Anglican School (formerly The Cathedral School)[10]
  • McAuley Catholic College
  • St. Joseph's Primary School
  • St. Mary's Primary School
  • St. Andrew's Christian School

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Grafton (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 28 September 2009. 
  2. ^ Tindale, Norman (1974) "Badjalang" in his Catalogue of Australian Aboriginal Tribes. South Australian Museum
  3. ^ a b c d "The romance of Australian place names.". The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982) (1933 - 1982: National Library of Australia). 27 May 1964. p. 59. Retrieved 14 October 2013. 
  4. ^ Diocese of Grafton. "Grafton Cathedral". Retrieved 19 May 2006. 
  5. ^ Grafton – Rail Centre of the Clarence for 100 Years Milne, Rod Australian Railway Historical Society, November 2005, pp. 443–463
  6. ^ http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/20318515?versionId=24002940
  7. ^ https://researchers.anu.edu.au/researchers/colless-mm
  8. ^ University of Melbourne. "Essex-Cohen, Elizabeth Annette". Retrieved 18 June 2008. 
  9. ^ "Climate statistics for Grafton". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  10. ^ "History of the Cathedral and the Close". Christ Church Cathedral Grafton. Retrieved 1 January 2014. 

External links[edit]

Preceding station   NSW Main lines   Following station
towards Border Loop
North Coast Line
towards Maitland
Preceding station   NSW TrainLink   Following station
towards Casino or Brisbane
NSW TrainLink North Coast
towards Sydney