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The city of Grafton is the seat of Local Government, the Federal and State Government administrative centre, and the commercial hub of the Clarence River Valley. Established in 1851, Grafton features many historic buildings and tree-lined streets. It is located approximately 630 kilometres north of the New South Wales State capital, Sydney, 340 km south of Brisbane, Queensland and approximately 35 km west of the Tasman Sea coast. As at June 2015, Grafton had a population of 18,689.HistoryBefore European settlement, the Clarence River marked the border between the Bundjalung and Gumbaynggirr peoples, 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. Grafton was proclaimed a city in 1885. Local industries include logging, beef cattle, fishing/prawning, sugar, manufacturing and tourism.In the build up to your vacation in Grafton, plan trip itinerary minutiae using the visitor reviews, staff write-ups, and custom search fields on our Australia route planner.
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