You know you’re knee deep into Spring when pockets of Sydney start exploding into a sea of jacaranda purple. Peaking in mid-November and finishing in mid-December, jacranda trees magically turn even the city’s plainest streets into magical photo-ops. Get out there with your camera and check out Sydney’s most spectacular jacaranda blossom viewing spots.
Instagram Icon: McDougall St, Kirribilli
McDougall St is easily one of the most recognisable jacaranda blossom viewing spots in Sydney. It’s also the hardest location to get a good photo because of the crowds it attracts. Once there, it’s not hard to see why. The jacaranda themselves are nothing short of breathtaking. Dozens of willowy trees guard this suburban street, making a beautiful archway of lavender hues.
Photo tips: With closed Australian borders due to COVID-19, it’s likely that the crowds will be smaller this year. But if you’re after that enviable shot for your socials, the best time to visit will always be early morning. Do be careful of street cars and mindful of noise levels since you are on a suburban street.
While you’re there: After you’ve taken enough photos, grab a window seat at Celsius Coffee Co. This cafe sits right on the water and has stunning views of Sydney’s glistening harbour. Word on their street is that their waffles are just as good as the views!
Hidden Gem: Cathedral Street, Woolloomooloo
If big crowds and early starts just don’t work for you, Cathedral Street in Woolloomooloo is the perfect jacaranda blossom viewing spot for you. The crowds have yet to jump on this location and so you can take your time admiring the sea of purple. Make your way up Dowling Street and you’ll find yourself walking through a tunnel of lush purple blossoms.
Photo tips: For a seriously stunning shot, head towards the Old Fitzroy Hotel and shoot the jacarandas with the Sydney Eye Tower peeking through the blossoms.
While you’re there: Check out Artspace, home to Australia’s contemporary art scene. It’s set inside the historic Gunnery Building and features between 24 and 30 gallery projects each year showcasing the very best in modern art. Check out their site for the latest exhibition details.
The Classic: The University of Sydney, Camperdown Campus
If you’re looking for several jacaranda blossom viewing spots within the same vicinity, The University of Sydney has you covered. There’s bursts of purple everywhere you look, whether it be against USYD’s signature sandstone buildings or just casually chilling outside a cafeteria.
Most visitors will have their heart set on seeing the looming jacaranda in The Quadrangle. Historically, The Quad’s manicured lawns turn into a blanket of purple once Semester 2 exam season starts. Sadly, the original jacaranda tree is no more after it fell in 2016. Its genetic clone stands in its place and has started to bloom faint violet petals in the past few years.
Photo tips: The most spectacular photo spot for jacarandas on campus is arguably on Physics Road. When in full bloom, the trees there explode into a fanciful shade of lilac.
While you’re there: Sydney University is a well-loved tourist and Instagram spot. Take your time exploring the campus and take snaps of The Quad, Fisher Library, Law Building and Business School Building.
Kid Favourite: Tote Park Playground, Zetland
Among all the Inner East apartments in Zetland are the jacarandas that surround Tote Park. This location is one of the the better jacaranda blossom viewing spots in Sydney to take young kids after a lazy weekend lunch. Not only will they delight in the gorgeous purple jacarandas but there’s a play set and park where they can hang out for an hour or two.
Photo tips: Get here around sunset and capture the blossoms turn slightly golden against a purple/pink sunset backdrop
While you’re there: Visit Green Square Library which has become a well-loved photo spot in its own right. Not only is there more space for the kids to explore and learn, the library’s architecture is exactly what we love about new urban spaces — functional yet sleek and chic.
Super Stunner: The Rocks, Circular Quay
Hop off the train at Circular Quay and you won’t miss the splattering of jacaranda trees on your left towards The Rocks. When in full bloom, there’s nothing more spectacular than the lush display of deep purple against heritage-listed sandstone.
Photo tips: The Cahill Expressway pedestrian walkway offers a bird’s eye view of the trees with the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background.
While you’re there: enjoy Sydney’s alfresco revolution at The Rocks with 19 pubs, bars and restaurants bringing their seating outdoors. Toast to almost making it through 2020 with a cold one on the rooftop at The Glenmore or enjoy some freshly baked scones from The Tea Cozy — whatever tickles your fancy!
DAY TRIP: GRAFTON, NSW
Just beyond Sydney lies a rural town that’s completely painted in lavender when Spring rolls around. Each year, Grafton offers the country’s largest jacaranda display with each street corner and avenue turning a heavenly shade of violet. The city boasts hundreds of jacaranda trees, so take your time finding your favourite spot while exploring this charming town. The most popular locations for jacaranda viewings are the very appropriately named Jacaranda Avenue, Raymond Terrace Bowling Club and the Old Rectory.
Photo tips: In need of a (very delicious!) photo prop? I-Scream, a well-loved local ice creamery, sells a blueberry flavoured ice cream in an eye-popping jacaranda shade during this time of year. Quickly snap some photos before gobbling it all up on a warm spring day!