The Best Places to See Sydney's Jacarandas Bloom This Spring
It's that time again — here's where to get a glimpse of Sydney's vibrant jacaranda trees in full bloom.
October 13, 2023
According to one urban myth, Sydney's jacarandas are the work of an unknown hospital matron who sent every new mother home with a seedling. Another states that soldiers brought the trees home as gifts on their return from World War II. The problem is that there's no evidence for either. So, no one really knows how Sydney came to have so many of these.
What we do know, though, is that, come late October, the city begins to transform into a vision of purple, as hundreds of jacarandas bloom. But they don't hang around for long — the flowers typically peak in mid-November and usually disappear by early December. So, if you're keen to see them, it's time to start planning a day out.
Here are a few spots — both in and near Sydney — where you can get your jacaranda fix this spring.
CIRCULAR QUAY AND THE ROCKS
The Rocks' heritage-listed sandstone provides a particularly striking backdrop to see blooming jacarandas in Sydney. Turn your adventure into a lovely walk by starting at the Royal Botanic Gardens and following the Harbour shore line to The Rocks, taking in the sights as you go. And while you're there, make a proper day of it by grabbing some drinks at The Glenmore Hotel's rooftop, a natural wine at Le Foote or a Nashville-style chicken burger at the Circular Quay outpost of Belles Hot Chicken.
Paddington's most famous jacarandas line is Oxford Street, just outside Victoria Barracks. But you'll find plenty more among the suburb's back streets and parks — especially around Five Ways. Grab a coffee and pastry from Funkis Koket Cafe or Padre, and take your time wandering around the neighbourhood streets on a sunny weekend.
While you're on the north shore, head a little west to take a stroll through Hunters Hill. For a local's perspective, jump on board a walking tour with the Hunters Hill Trust. But if you prefer to go at your own pace when checking out Sydney's blooming jacarandas, you can take the self-guided tour around Hunters Hill.
To see a purple sea against the brilliant blue of the Harbour, head to Lavender Bay on the lower north shore. Other spots to check out nearby include Wollstonecraft, Waverton and Kirribilli's famous (and always packed with photo-takers) jacaranda 'tunnel' on McDougall Street. Follow it up with a venture to The Greens for food, bevs and barefoot bowls in the sun.
Located six hours north of Sydney just above Coffs Harbour, Grafton should be top of any Jacaranda lovers' hit list for Spring. The regional town even hosts its own Jacaranda Festival every year, kicking off on Friday, October 27 in 2023. The festivities celebrate the violet-hued blooms and include a float parade, drag bungo and a long lunch underneath the colourful trees.
Images: Destination NSW.
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