No Place Like Home

QantasLink Sprit - - Contents - Age 29 Oc­cu­pa­tion Mu­si­cian From Grafton, NSW

Mol­lie McC­ly­mont sings the praises of home town Grafton

About Grafton

Tucked into a bend of the Clarence River, 90 kilo­me­tres north of Coffs Har­bour, this tree-lined town is of­ten called the Jacaranda City. It is the birth­place of no­table mu­si­cians, in­clud­ing Cold Chisel’s Don Walker, who co-wrote Flame

Trees, in­spired by his home town. What are your fond­est mem­o­ries of Grafton?

My sis­ters Brooke, Sa­man­tha and

I spent most of our child­hood out­doors. We would have af­ter­noon bar­be­cues, swim in our back­yard pool and ride our bikes with the kids in the neigh­bour­hood. The Clarence River was a block away from our house and we’d walk there and jump off the wharf, go swim­ming and have pic­nics. It’s such a beau­ti­ful town. Describe grow­ing up there.

We feel so lucky to have had such an amaz­ing up­bring­ing. Our par­ents worked hard so we could do lots of af­ter-school ac­tiv­i­ties and it paid off. We learned tap danc­ing, man­dolin, har­mon­ica, pi­ano and, of course, singing. Ev­ery Christ­mas hol­i­day we went to Iluka, a sea­side town about an hour’s drive north. We’d stay in a car­a­van park and swim and eat prawns – and do it all again the next day. What took you away?

Our mu­sic. There were a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties in Syd­ney so we each de­cided to make the move when we left school. I moved to Botany. We’d been go­ing to Syd­ney to com­pete and per­form for years so it wasn’t too much of a shock. How of­ten do you go back?

Our dad and extended fam­ily are still there so we try to get back a few times a year to see ev­ery­one. Has it changed much?

Yes, quite a bit. There’s a new shop­ping cen­tre, the main street has been re­vamped and there are so many amaz­ing cafés and restau­rants now. What’s your favourite thing to do there? To meet friends for break­fast, cof­fee or lunch at Heart & Soul Whole­food Cafe in the main street. It’s so de­li­cious! The town has re­ally upped the ante when it comes to food. Crown Ho­tel Mo­tel is right on the wa­ter and that’s where we would hang out on the week­ends with friends. Vil­lage Green Ho­tel has a beau­ti­ful res­tau­rant, while the Clock­tower Ho­tel is the flash­est pub in town. I like to have a beer with Dad at the Al­bion Ho­tel down the road from our old house or go to the river for fam­ily pic­nics. What do you miss about Grafton? Our dad, friends, the warm weather, the jacaranda trees and walk­ing down the street and know­ing ev­ery per­son. Name some­thing about Grafton that you think would sur­prise out­siders. The homes are ab­so­lutely stun­ning and we have an iconic bendy bridge on the way into town. What are three things you think ev­ery vis­i­tor should do?

At­tend the Grafton Jacaranda Fes­ti­val or just go in Oc­to­ber or Novem­ber to see the flow­ers bloom. Head to the July Rac­ing Car­ni­val; the whole town goes and it’s such a fun time. Do your own pub crawl but I doubt you’ll be able to make it through them all – at last count, I think there were 13. The McC­ly­monts per­form at the Tam­worth Coun­try Mu­sic Fes­ti­val (tcmf.com.au) on Jan­uary 25, 2017, at the Tam­worth Re­gional En­ter­tain­ment and Con­fer­ence Cen­tre.

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