One of the highlights of the season in my view is the stunning display of lilac flowers by the jacaranda trees. You will find them all around the South East coast of Australia. The jacaranda is a rather humble and not exactly noteworthy tree for nine months of the year, but come October, November and December it suddenly transforms into an absolute star tree thanks for its vibrance in colour.
And all the ooh’s and aah’s are well deserved – the colour of the jacaranda flowers are pretty much unreal. The brightest purple you could imagine, heightened by the fact that the trees are not carrying a lot of green leaves at that time of the year either, so there is a full explosion of purple with very little green in between. Even when they start losing their flowers, the magic is still real – when the floor is sprinkled with the petals it turns any street and any garden into a purple wonderland.
Jacarandas make me happy wherever I go at this time of year. They are lining the streets and they are the star attraction in front yards and parks. They make beautiful photo subjects.
Now is the time that you will notice them more and more often around you, and also in social media they will pop up more frequently as everyone in Sydney will appreciate the short-lived beauty of these trees.
If you want to explore some jacaranda hot spots yourself around Sydney or indeed the whole of New South Wales, here are some suggestions:
I’ve just come back from Kirribilli on Sydney’s North Shore, an area that is well-known for its appeal during the jacaranda blooming season. The suburbs of Lavender Bay, Greenwich, Waverton, Hunters Hill, Woolwich, Longueville and Wollstonecraft in particular are home to a number of jacaranda lined streets, and the trees are often found in the quiet front yards of the affluent homes. Pack for a picnic in one of the parks or walk the purple lined streets for some spectacular views.
If you cannot make it across the bridge, have a look around the Eastern Suburbs. Suburbs such as Paddington, Woollahra and Double Bay are all jacaranda hot spots, in particular Oxford Street and Five Ways in Paddington are popular destinations for jacaranda enthusiasts.
If you are visiting Sydney as a tourist, make sure you include the Royal Botanic Gardens in your itinerary. There is one tree in particular which is just stunning, about half-way around Farm Cove, looking towards the South. But also all around Circular Quay and The Rocks you will notice these beautiful trees which can be the star in your photo of such iconic Sydney landmarks as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Opera House, the harbour and the historic cobblestone streets of The Rocks.
Did you know that one of the best known jacaranda trees can indeed be found at the University of Sydney? Due to its giant size it is so important to science that the University has cloned it to ensure it lives on. And while you are there, enjoy a stroll around Glebe and Erskineville which are also displaying some wonderful blue hues in spring.
If you are planning a weekend trip, think about visiting Grafton around this time of year. Historic Grafton is located on the majestic Clarence River on NSW’s North Coast and boasts in total more than 6,500 jacaranda trees. No wonder it is also home to the popular Jacaranda Festival which takes place this year from 31 October to 7 November 2015. Festival events include the coronation of a jacaranda queen, a street parade with themed floats, markets, live performances and fireworks.
Do you love taking pictures of the jacaranda as much as me? Then make sure you share them on social media and tag them by using the hashtag #iloveysydney or #newsouthwales – if you are lucky you get featured by the official tourism board!
Let me know in the comments if you have found a particularly beautiful jacaranda tree in Sydney – I am always keen to explore more!
Have a look at my Sydney Blog with lots of cool information here!
Photos courtesy of Destination NSW