The Purple Hues of Sydney: Best Jacarandas Viewing Spots (2024)

Welcome to my most favourite season of the year! It is the Jacarandas season in Sydney. A season where everything is pretty and purple / lavender. I have been going to different places in Sydney, over the years, to see the Jacaranda flowers and to take pictures with them.

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Jacarandas in Sydney
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About The Purple (Jacarandas) Season in Sydney

Sydney turns purple during the end of Spring / beginning of Summer seasons. It is the Jacarandas season and the streets of Sydney, especially on the northern side turn purple and lavender. The season starts from the end of October and lasts till December every year.

The lifespan of Jacaranda trees is 50 years. But I believe there are some of them that have lasted for up to 200 years in Sydney.

There is an interesting story behind how Jacarandas became so special in Sydney and how did it earn its place. The story goes that many years ago a hospital in the North Shore distributed Jacaranda seedlings to the new mothers encouraging them to plant them. This was a way to see the plant grow along with their child. And hence the result of so many Jacaranda trees on the northern side of Sydney.

Did you know that Tasmania has a lavender farm named Bridestowe Lavender Estate that you can visit to take pictures with the purple flowers and fields?

This is supposedly just an urban myth as there are no records of the seedlings being given to the new mothers. Even if it is just a myth, I would definitely comment that it is a very pretty myth and it helped in making Sydney so mesmerising during this time of the year. For more information on how the plants were introduced in Sydney, refer this article on Daily Telegraph.

Did you know that the Jacaranda trees have a vigorous deep root system?

Jacarandas season in Sydney
McDougall Street in Kirribilli, North Sydney

What are Jacaranda Flowers and Trees?

A Jacaranda tree is a sub-tropical tree with attractive indigo flowers. They thrive in tropical and warmer climatic conditions. Jacarandas are not Australian but are native South American trees. The Jacaranda seedlings were planted all around the globe because of their beauty.

Did you know that Pretoria in South Africa is home to almost 70000 Jacarandas and have been named as the Jacaranda city?

The Jacarandas represent wisdom, rebirth, wealth, and good luck. The legend says that if the flower falls on your head, then it is a good fortune for you. And the name Jacaranda has a Guarani origin, which means fragrant.

Even though Jacarandas are extremely pretty, some people consider it as a pest as the flowers are sticky and they stick to the cars, streets, and driveway. The stickiness is caused by aphids. Aphids are caused when insects extract the sugar content from the flowers and leave sticky droppings called honeydew.

It can take anywhere between seven to fourteen years for Jacaranda flowers to bloom.

Best Places to Visit to See Jacaranda in Sydney

  • Up-to-date information about the public transport can be found on the Transport for NSW website.
  • Be patient as there will be many tourists and photographers trying to capture the pictures and flowers.
  • Some of these streets have ongoing traffic. So, be mindful.
  • Park your vehicle and take a walk along the streets and gardens to witness the purple hues.

Even though most of the streets in Sydney are covered with purple blossoms and trees, these are some of the best places to visit to see Jacaranda in Sydney.

Kirribilli, North Sydney

The McDougall Street in Kirribilli, North Sydney is home to the Jacaranda Tree Tunnel. The entire street is filled with Jacaranda trees and is one of the very famous Instagram streets in Sydney. You will find a lot of people trying to take pictures of the Jacarandas as the McDougall Street is a hotspot during the Jacarandas season.

  • Nearest metro station: Milsons Point.

Note: Be careful of the ongoing vehicles.

The Royal Botanical Garden

Sydney’s first Jacaranda tree was planted in the Royal Botanical Garden in the late 1850s or early 1860s. Right next to the Sydney Opera House in Circular Quay, the Royal Botanical Garden is the one of the best places to find the Jacarandas in Sydney. And also this is where the history of Jacarandas started so what better place to witness the magic where it was first planted.

  • Entry to the gardens is FREE.
  • The gardens are open every day of the year.
  • Nearest metro station: Martin Place, Circular Quay, or St James.

Lavender Bay

As the name says, the Lavender Bay is one of the popular spots to find the Jacaranda trees. Lavender Bay is a suburb on the Lower North Shore of Sydney. The best place to find Jacarandas in Lavender Bay is Wendy’s Secret Garden.

  • Entry to the gardens is FREE.
  • The gardens are open every day of the year.
  • Nearest metro station: North Sydney.

Oxford Street, Paddington

The Paddington Reservoir Gardens on Oxford street and Vanclause House in Paddington are other great spots to see the Jacaranda trees. Paddington is a busy and lively area in the Sydney Central Business District (CBD).

  • Nearest metro station: Edgecliff.

Definitely visit the heritage-listed Vanclause House for amazing pictures.

University of Sydney

Known for its historical sandstone building, and lush green spaces, the University of Sydney is another location to find the line of purple trees.

  • Public can enter the university campus.
  • Nearest metro station: Redfern.

Celebrating the Jacarandas through Jacaranda Festival Sydney

We love our Jacaranda flowers so much that Sydney hosts an annual Jacaranda festival, between November 22 and 24, to celebrate the season. It is a festival where people celebrate with live music, afternoon and night markets, and when the sun goes down the trees are lit up that make a spectacular sight.

Tips for the Perfect Jacaranda Experience

  • As the parks and the streets look absolutely stunning with the purple flowers, this is the perfect time for a family and friends picnic at the parks.
  • Consider visiting these spots either early morning or during the sunset for perfect and magical experience.
  • And do not forget to take your camera or mobile phones so you can capture this magic.

Experiencing Jacarandas in Different Neighborhoods and Cities

Jacaranda trees are not limited to just Sydney and its suburbs. There are many locations around Australia and the world where you can see these purple pretty flowers and trees.

  • Grafton in Australia – In fact one of the most amazing places to see Jacarandas is Grafton. It is so popular and there are plenty of trees that the city celebrates the Grafton Jacaranda Festival (just like Sydney).
  • Pretoria in South Africa – Usually referred to as the Jacaranda City because of the large number of trees on its streets, Pretoria is another great place to witness the purple blossoms.
  • Lisbon in Portugal – With cute and charming streets with Jacaranda-lined boulevards, Principe Real in Lisbon is a must visit place to see the flowers.
  • Los Angeles in the United States of America (USA) – Home to many Jacaranda trees, Los Angeles, city on the west coast of the USA, has suburbs such as Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and Pasadena that bloom with Jacarandas during the spring season.

The Cultural Significance of Jacarandas in Sydney

Jacaranda trees and flowers hold significance in Sydney’s culture and traditions. The flowers are the most favourite and iconic feature in the city’s landscape.

One of the most well-known traditions (superstition) involving the Jacarandas is associated with University of Sydney. During the exam period, there is a superstition that if the flower falls on a student’s head, then they would fail that exam. And hence, students avoid walking under the trees during that time.

Many weddings take place under the canopy of the Jacaranda trees as they make for stunning pictures. It is also a cultural tradition for both amateur and professional photographers to document the city’s streets adorned with purple blooms.

Is Sydney safe for solo female travelers?

Yes, Sydney, especially the North Shore, is very safe for travelers including the solo female travelers. I have been living here for many years now and I have not faced any issues. And I have traveled in Sydney alone many times. Sydney is traveler friendly and has all the facilities required. However, like any other place, I would be cautious especially at nights, and would always trust my instinct.

Be careful of the ongoing traffic and vehicles when on the streets.

Closing notes

It is totally worth chasing these streets and places around Sydney to get a glimpse of this beauty. The Jacarandas are spectacular and make amazing photographs. If you love these purple flowers, then you will definitely love the Cherry Blossom season in Sydney too.

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The Purple Hues of Sydney: Best Jacarandas Viewing Spots (2024)
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    Jacarandas in Sydney
    PIN for later reference – Best places to find Jacarandas in Sydney