Situated on the banks of the Clarence River, Grafton is the commercial and service centre for the Clarence Valley's extensive agricultural, pastoral and coastal districts, which include the fast-growing townships of Yamba, Maclean, Lawrence and Wooli. Located 40 kilometres from the coast, at the junction of the Pacific and Gwydir Highways, the city of Grafton was originally developed as a port- and ship-building region to support its emerging timber industry. The Clarence Valley is home to the second-largest commercial fishery in New South Wales, as well as the Harwood Sugar Mill and Refinery, a major contributor to Australia's domestic sugar market. The core industries of Grafton and the Clarence Valley are:
Well-known for hosting Australia's longestrunning floral festival and the richest regional horse-racing carnival in the country, Grafton and the greater Clarence Valley region offer a relaxed lifestyle in an enviable climate – a place where life-long locals and sea- and treechangers mix, to create a vibrant social and economic scene.