There are plenty of things to love about Sydney at this time of year. The weather is getting sunnier (but it’s still cool enough to sleep at night) the days are longer thanks to daylight savings and there’s an electrifying buzz in the air as everyone starts to get ready for the festive season. But perhaps the best thing about this spring-summer transition is when Sydney burst into bloom with the jacaranda trees. Nearly every corner of the city comes alive with the vibrant purple flowers—it’s basically the Aussie version of cherry blossom season! However, there are definitely a few places in Sydney that boast particularly spectacular views of the jacaranda.
Here, Destination NSW gives us the lowdown on the best places to spot (and snap!) the jacaranda trees, in and around Sydney.
Take a DIY Jacaranda walking tour through the city starting at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, passing through Circular Quay and The Rocks. View the stunning trees set against the backdrop of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour and historic cobblestone streets of The Rocks.
For one of Sydney’s most incredible views of the dazzling jacaranda, head to Oxford Street, Glenmore Road and Five Ways in Paddington. Don’t miss The Intersection, Paddington—the tree-lined point where Glenmore Road meets Oxford Street. The chic enclave is the home to high-end Australian designer boutiques and sits opposite the sprawling jacarandas on Victoria Barracks Lawn. Start at Jackie’s Café with a sunlit brunch in the leafy courtyard—their greenhouse-style bar opens during spring for cocktails. Nearby Woollahra and Double Bay also boast a stunning purple haze, along with the courtyard at historic Vaucluse House.
Pack a picnic and head to Kirribilli, Lavender Bay, Greenwich, Waverton, Hunters Hill, Woolwich, Longueville or Wollstonecraft for a picnic lunch under the trees. In the heart of Lavender Bay is heritage-listed Wendy Whiteley’s Garden, which has a spectacular view back to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Harbour foreshore dotted with Jacarandas.
There’s also a little piece of magic by the name of McDougall Street. During springtime, tourists and locals alike flock to the fairytale avenue in Kirribilli, where the spectacular arch of jacaranda trees creates a lavender-hued dome, perfect for spring selfies.
While most Sydneysiders only venture out to Sydney Olympic Park for concerts or footy games, there’s another surprising reason to head out there at this time of year. Amidst all the chaos and crowds, you’ll find one of Sydney’s most breathtaking hubs of jacaranda trees.
The urban landscape of the Inner West precinct also pops with purple foliage. The suburbs of Camperdown, Newtown and Glebe are worth a wander—pop into farm-to-table restaurant Acre Eatery or head to the Saturday Glebe markets and soak up the vibrant Inner West vibe.
The historical town of Grafton located alongside the Clarence River on NSW’s North Coast is known as the jacaranda capital. Grafton is home to more than 2000 Jacaranda trees and the annual Grafton Jacaranda Festival is the longest running flower festival in Australia. A great way to see the purple blooms in Grafton is by bicycle.
There are no steep hills in Grafton and minimal traffic, so riding the wide tree-lined streets under a canopy of blossoms is a magical way to experience the purple splendour. If you can’t bring your own bike, hire one in Yamba . For a truly unique experience, float over Grafton in a hot air balloon for a bird’s-eye view of the lilac-dotted landscape.