Jacaranda Season – Grafton
It would be a mistake to focus on what is missing from Grafton at what is normally the city’s busiest time of the year but ignore the wonders that remain. While COVID-19 has robbed the locals of their beloved Jacaranda Festival with its special events, royal party and busloads of visitors, they are still able to enjoy the sight of the amazing annual purple haze. And the masses of mauve-coloured blooms mean a trip to the Clarence Valley is still worth your while.
“While there are no crowd-drawing events this year, there is still plenty of purple around the town,” says Jacaranda Festival manager Mark Blackadder.
“The shops have dressed their windows to make things look pretty and, of course, there are the trees that everyone wants to see.”
The seeds for Jacaranda Season were literally sown in the 1880s when Henry August Volkers was contracted to plant trees for Grafton Council. Nearly a century and a half later the streets he lined with the South American natives are turning on yet another memorable display.
“The trees are looking good and are probably a week out from full bloom,” Mark says.
“Some avenues are blooming a little bit later.”
The good thing about jacaranda flowers is that they are open every day of the week during their short life (Jacaranda Season officially runs from October 16 to November 11) so any day is good to see them. To make your trip extra special, Mark recommends timing it with a visit to the newly launched Twilight Farmers Market held in the jacaranda-ringed Market Square on Thursdays from 3.30pm to 7.30pm. JACA HQ is still open next door to the Saraton Theatre in Prince Street to sell a range of merchandise and answer any questions.
Learn more about Jacaranda Season here.