Only mild appreciation for Grafton but Susan Island's bats get a good review.
Only mild appreciation for Grafton but Susan Island's bats get a good review. Adam Hourigan

Lonely write-up for Grafton

GRAFTON shouldn't hold its breath waiting for Lonely Planet readers to flock to the city if the latest excerpt is anything to go by.

Described as a "mildly interesting apparition from an uncomplicated past", Grafton gets a mention on pages 148-149 of the Lonely Planet's latest East Coast Australia Travel Guide, published this month.

While the introduction is perhaps not the most inviting of descriptions, some iconic places do get a mention such as Roches Family Hotel, the Grafton Regional Gallery and the Clarence River Historical Society.

The book highlights our two major festivals, the July Racing Carnival and the Jacaranda Festival, and lists Gateway Village and Annies B&B as accommodation options.

But, it's the bats that steal the limelight. "Susan Island, in the middle of the river, is home to a large colony of fruit bats; their evening fly-past is an impressive sight," it reads.

Once visitors tire of bat-watching and deciphering the city's "uncomplicated past", tourists may opt for a meal at the recommended restaurant, Limonata.

But they might have a hard time finding the eatery at 1 Duke St which has since been sold and reopened as Austin & Co.

Hungry travellers may face the same difficulties if they head to Yamba for a pie as the featured restaurant Pie and Pea is also closed for business.

Luckily the editorial about Yamba and Angourie sums up the lower river region a bit better than Grafton and sells itself within the pages.

"The sleepy little fishing town of Yamba is slowly growing in popularity amongst those who favour a relaxed pace of life with access to great beaches and some excellent eateries," it reads.

"Its neighbour Angourie, 5km to the south, is a tiny chilled-out place that has long been a draw for experienced surfers."

The Bundjalung National Park gets a decent plug alongside the Yamba River Markets, Blue Dolphin Holiday Resort, Clubyamba and more.

But with five pages inside the publication, the Clarence Valley can't complain too much - we'll leave that to the tourists when they can't find the feed they were promised.

The book

Lonely Planet East Coast Australia (5th Edition)

536pp, 90 maps

RRP: $41.99

Available now from all good bookstores



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