The Clarence River is a coastal river in the northeastern area of New South Wales, Australia, rising in the McPherson Range near the Queensland border, flowing south and northeast for 245 mi (394 km), before emptying into the Pacific 40 mi below Grafton. Its primary tributaries are the Timbarra, Mitchell, and Orara. Woodford, Chatsworth, and Harwood are the largest islands within the river range, most of which are susceptible to flooding.
Smaller vessels can navigate the Clarence far as Grafton; which is commonly enjoyed by small boat owners. The river was known as ‘the Big River’ for many years in the past and was seen as a gateway to freedom for convicts who escaped their confinement from the nearby prison and made it across the river.
New South Wales, Australia
Grafton is a city and port in northeastern New South Wales, eastern Australia. It is located approximately 40 miles (65 km) from the mouth of the Clarence River (and its port at the Pacific Ocean, Yamba), in the North Coast district.
Lumber workers in 1838 first coined Grafton as a settlement in 1838; as they looked to continually harvest the area’s cedar forests. The area was granted city status in 1885 and grew in stature in 1956 as it merged with South Grafton – allowing the city to span both banks of the river.
Grafton is seen as a hub of infrastructure with excellent access to other major metropolitan areas including Brisbane and Sydney via highways, rail, and air routes all serving Grafton. Additionally, the city is close to many national parks which the local government uses to promote tourism.
Farmers of Grafton are known for yielding high-quality sugarcane, fruits, timber, corn, vegetables, and even some seafood. The food industry, therefore, is very important to the city; as well as brewing and mining efforts. The city has also become famous for its Jacaranda Festival which takes place every year in October/November. Pop. (2006) urban centre, 17,501; (2011) urban centre, 16,598.