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Discover Grafton: A List of Fun Activities in and Nearby the Town
Grafton is approximately 50 km inland from the Northern NSW Coast and is one of our amazing R&R locations around Australia. Grafton has many working options, including within the hospital and the correctional facility, Clarence Correctional. Working and expanding your experience to include correctional work is a great step and allows you to develop skills in the primary health care system and care for unique individuals and understand a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds. Grafton itself is a small town of around 20,000 people. Grafton can often be a sleepy town, however, the sights around Grafton make the location ideal for travelling, days off and enjoying the sun and coast. Most of the time the town is quiet by 8 or 9 pm but they have all the essentials you need including a number of shops and one shopping centre in the town square. It is also located along the Clarence River, meaning there are some beautiful spots to visit and see nearby. Taking a drive along the Clarence River is such a beautiful escape and if you are exploring more of the coast outside of town you will find yourself travelling along Big River Way which hugs the river all the way up to the coast. You will find other smaller towns like Ulmarra that have cute little coffee shops and knickknack shops along the way!! Take your time and enjoy it all.
Within Grafton, there are a few highlights that are a must-visit. The Australian Hotel in South Grafton is the hot spot on certain nights for its awesome meal deals. Tuesday night is Schnitty night where they have cheap schnitzels with “pick your own toppers”, from parmigiana to mushrooms to seafood marinara… the options are endless and delicious. This is a place where a lot of local workers go for after-work drinks and food.
You can find their page and information on more of their deals on Facebook via the link here:
The area also has some great walking areas. A large amount of Grafton is flat, providing a perfect opportunity for walks and runs around the area. You can spot many cows and wildlife when you are walking around and find some peace between your crazy shifts. Fig Tree Avenue located a little bit out of town is a beautiful street where there are GIANT fig trees that have been there for hundreds of years. It is super beautiful and worth a visit.
Random extra hot tip… I had amazing facials whilst in Grafton and still dream about them! Visit the team at Serenity Skin Clinic | Welcome if you want a pamper! They also do a whole range of beauty treatments too!
YAMBA – approx. 65 km north of Grafton on the coast (approx. 50 mins)
Funny story, when I went to Yamba I got a delicious coffee from Summi’s Ash + Kaan (@summisyamba) • Instagram photos and videos. It was a beautiful spot where they sell coffee inside a little surf shop. I proceeded to walk down to the beach and DROPPED it EVERYWHERE. It was the saddest moment of my life! Fabulous start to my day. I decided to just sit and bring in the serenity anyway and fly my drone and get some breathtaking shots of Yamba. I then ventured into the town centre for lunch and found another great café that had yummy food BEAN SCENE CAFE YAMBA | Yamba NSW | Facebook
There are MANY cafés and shops in Yamba and basically gives you the feel of a mini-Byron Bay, just much less touristy. It’s relaxed, with casual beach vibes, and is an amazing spot to de-stress and unwind. I loved Yamba and was sad I didn’t go back more! They also have great running and walking paths, but pack your sunscreen because it is HOT and VERY sunny! They also have an outdoor ocean pool as well for a dip.
BYRON – approx. 165 km north of Grafton on the coast (approx. 1hr 45 min)
Byron is one of my favourite locations, for its diversity and adaptability to whatever holiday or trip you are feeling like. Byron has many things to offer, from relaxing, healing holidays, to fun, jam-packed action holidays! You can go to retreats, find incredible yoga studios, get your tarot cars and future read or go sky-diving over the stunning coast. There are different accommodation options including caravan parks, hostels, and cute Airbnb’s. The Surf House is an impressive location to stay with many accommodation types – one of the best hostel-style places I have ever stayed in.
Also, the Glen Villa is another amazing spot, within walking distance of town and has a whole range of accommodation options including colourful mini houses!
Some amazing places to eat include:
This place had exceptional food and many fun events including Drag & Dine on Sundays, Oyster night Wednesdays and so much more. It overlooks the main street of Byron so you can do some people-watching as well as enjoy an amazing cocktail and food. All round fun!
This place is one of my food highlights of Byron! You must book far in advance though, as it books out very quickly.
If you are a fan of fresh sushi and seafood this is definitely a must!
The Beach Hotel is good for EVERYTHING! It is great for lunch, a Sunday afternoon family affair or a drink with some mates, or even a Saturday night out. It has live music almost always, it has great cocktails (the absolute best is the passion fruit sour, try it and I promise you will dream of it forever. It has foam on top that is passion fruit meringue flavour!!) Don’t forget to bring your ID though, as they are pretty strict with checking there.
For more relaxed, live music vibes, the Railway is great and has delicious food and a great atmosphere.
If you are an early bird or want to experience magic, do the lighthouse walk at sunrise. It is beyond beautiful and undoubtedly worth the walk up! There are cafés along the way too so you can stop in for brekky on the way back.
Woolgoolga – approx. 60 km south of Grafton on the coast (approx. 40 mins)
Some of the staff lived and stayed in Woolgoolga and travelled to work and had such a great work-life balance. There is a lot to do there including many great pubs including Bar & Dining | Seaview Tavern which has great live music and is close to the beach! Another great location is Corindi Beach which is 50 km south of Grafton on the coast and is approx. 35 mins away, with another great pub with pool tables and fun activities, and delicious food! AMBLE INN BISTRO, Corindi – Menu, Prices & Restaurant Reviews – Tripadvisor
I hope this has given you some insight into the area of Grafton and the beauty that surrounds it. As an agency nurse, it is important to find beauty in every area. Some areas are isolated, run-down or sleepy towns but they often have such great beauty only a stop away and are located near some of the most beautiful places in Australia.
My top tip for going to a new location is to research AROUND the location as well because with your days off you can explore all the hidden treasures of the area!
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