Some tourist attractions are manmade and others are natural. Sydney and NSW is enjoying a natural variety that is turning many places a delightful shade of blue.
The jacaranda season continues throughout much of November, signalling one of the most beautiful times of year and a great time to visit.
Sydney’s Eastern suburbs, North Shore and CBD are awash with blooms as is the historic town of Grafton on the NSW North Coast. Grafton is often referred to as the jacaranda capital of Australia, it hosts the annual Grafton Jacaranda Festival, and is home to Australia’s largest jacaranda tree, measuring 30 metres high with a six metre circumference and crown of around 36 metres.
Jacaranda is native to tropical and subtropical regions of Central America, South America, Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica and the Bahamas. It grows widely in Africa and the main square in Harare, Zimbabwe is filled with jacarandas.
Australians don’t have to travel that far to see them.
“NSW is home to thousands of jacaranda trees which create a natural spectacle each year when they are in full bloom. Grafton alone has 2000 trees and the annual Festival is the longest running flower festival in Australia attracting 20,000 visitors each year,” says Destination NSW CEO Sandra Chipchase.
Senior Arborist for the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and Centennial Parklands, Ted Hoare says Sydney’s Harbour backdrop makes the jacaranda season so spectacular.
“It’s a truly beautiful sight to view the vibrant blue flowers are set against a Harbour backdrop. We have 16 trees in the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, including a unique white flowering jacaranda, and nine trees in Centennial Parklands.
“Jacaranda trees are becoming synonymous with Sydney and as this year is the Garden’s 200th birthday, I highly recommend coming down for a visit and seeing our trees in bloom.”
Here is a list of Destination NSW’s picks for jacaranda spotting in NSW:
- North Shore: Pack a picnic and head to Kirribilli, Lavender Bay, Greenwich, Waverton, Hunters Hill, Woolwich, Longueville and Wollstonecraft for a long, lazy lunch under the trees
- Eastern Suburbs: Head to Oxford Street, Glenmore Road and Five Ways in Paddington which always have a great selection to view. Nearby Woollahra and Double Bay also boast stunning lilac hues
- Sydney City: Take a do-it-yourself 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
- Inner Sydney: An absolute must is a visit to the giant jacaranda tree at the University of Sydney which is so iconic that growers at the University have cloned it to ensure it lives on. This tree is one of Sydney’s most famous jacarandas and well worth a visit during the season. Neighbouring suburbs of Glebe, Camperdown and Erskineville are also worth exploring
- Grafton: The historic town of Grafton located alongside the Clarence River on NSW’s North Coast, is home to the Grafton Jacaranda Festival, taking place from 29 October to 6 November 2016. Highlights include the coronation of a jacaranda queen, a street parade with themed floats, markets, live performances and fireworks.
Share your jacaranda sightings with Tourism NSW on social media by using the hashtag #iloveysydney or #newsouthwales
Edited by Peter Needham