October colours Australia purple as the jacaranda trees in different states start blooming. Up and down roads, lilac flowers paint a picturesque tapes-tree worthy of many an Instagram post. Because of their growing conditions, jacarandas thrive mostly in mild temperate climates — but they’re the perfect excuse to drop everything and kick off spring by checking out the breathtaking view they create.
Jacaranda trees are actually native to South America, but they’ve existed in Australia for over 150 years. This sub-tropical tree blooms in late spring to early summer, showing off its signature lilac blossoms. At their tallest, they can reach 20m, making for a truly impressive display.
You can always grow a jacaranda in your garden — and get some professional gardening help, because these trees can get big — but you can also pack the car for a road trip to see some of the breathtaking jacaranda sights around the coun-tree.
New South Wales
If you’ve ever wanted a festival dedicated to jacarandas, then head to Grafton, NSW. From late October to early November, the city celebrates the fleeting beauty of the jacarandas for ten days. Alongside the blossoming of hundreds of lilac flowers, Grafton also hosts art exhibitions, live gigs, and parades. There are activities for everyone — all backdropped by the jacaranda trees in full bloom.
For the most Instagram-worthy photos, head to the Jacaranda tree tunnel on McDougall Street, Kirribilli. This location is one of the best for jacarandas in Sydney, with flowering trees lining both sides of the road, making a breathtaking lilac sight. Just be careful if you’re taking that iconic middle-of-the-road shot — no photo is worth getting injured!
Not to be outdone, drop by the University of Sydney. Their 88-year-old jacaranda tree may have been uprooted (what a traves-tree), but there’s a clone growing in the quad so that you can still enjoy its purple glory come springtime.
What’s in a name? Lavender Bay is perfect for a walk or a picnic under the bursts of lavender flowers. Just mind the falling flowers (they’re not edible) and the bees they attract — and remember that bees are friends!
“The Intersection” in Paddington (meaning the Oxford Street – Glenmore Road intersection) is a must-see for anyone in the area, as two jacaranda-lined roads come together for an explosion of lilac. This shopping high street is perfect to show off your new outfits against one of the best backgrounds nature has to offer.
Lastly, it may be full of flowers, but the jacaranda trees in the Royal Botanical Gardens still ‘fern it up’! Then head on down to Circular Quay and The Rocks to enjoy the jacarandas along the harbour — and white sails and seas beyond.
From Brisbane to the Gold Coast, spring means a shower of purple all around Queensland’s cities as the jacarandas put on a show. The University of Queensland can match that of Sydney — particularly the ones near UQ Lakes. Feel free to explore and even make a game of finding as many jacarandas around campus as you can!
Jacaranda Park, Yeronga is a no-brainer — it’s named for the beautiful trees that cover its grounds. Some of its trees have been lost to storms, but there are still plenty to enjoy while you meander. You can even take your kids — there are jacarandas all around the playground!
Dockside Walk, Kangaroo Point sees a lot of early bloomers, so start your season with a walk along the water. You can’t ask for a more pic-tree-esque sight than jacarandas on one side of a path and the river on the other.
For an old-time classic, head to New Farm Park, which has one of the oldest and largest clusters of jacaranda trees in Brisbane. The park is famous for its purple flower displays, so make sure to go at a good time or you’ll get crowded out — try late afternoon on a weekday to snag the perfect photo spot!
If you want just the jacaranda trees in focus, take a drive down to the Scenic Rim. There, the jacarandas dot the otherwise bare landscape, backdropped only by the clear blue skies and thriving in the Aussie sunlight.
The historic mining town of Herberton also lights up purple in spring, right after the golden wattles start wilting. Take a tour of all their sights, from the Mining Museum to the Mine Walk, while admiring the jacarandas all around, too!
And then there’s Goodna in Ipswich, which boasts its own jacaranda festival at the end of October. Drop by to celebrate with the rest of the city, or head to Evan Margison Park anytime in spring to enjoy one of the most spruced-up displays in Southeast Queensland.
From spring heading into summer, several of Perth’s suburbs see bursts of purple bloom. Just a few kilometres from the Perth CBD, for example, sits Hyde Park, one of the best places to lay out a blanket and sit under a falling shower of lavender petals. Bring a book or podcast, a pair of sunglasses, and your best OOTD to sit under the springtime sun and bask in the view.
The Avenues are five streets lined with beautiful jacarandas, right in Inglewood. Start from Sixth Avenue and make your way down to Tenth — and feel free to take your time to stop and enjoy the flowers as you wander.
Old Jacaranda Way is named after the gorgeous trees — that’s how prolific their blooms are. This tiny street off Salvado Road in Subiaco boasts some of the best displays of lilac flowers out west — although the rest of the suburb is teeming with colour wherever you go!
From the river, head south to Applecross Village where — no surprise — they too have their own jacaranda festival. Every year on the fourth Saturday of November, the city comes to life with some 150 stalls and entertainment shows for everyone of all ages. Plus, entrance is free — so you can enjoy the festival and flowers to your heart’s content.
Marlborough Street, East Perth might not be big, but its flower display sure catches the eye. This quaint location is perfect for a little photoshoot, and you can then head on down to the Swan River for another equally pretty view.
Adelaide turns purple in spring — the best incentive to head out for a walk in the warmer weather. There are even jacarandas in the heart of the Adelaide CBD — check out Grote Street, Carrington Street, and Wakefield Street to start!
L’Estrange Street, Glenside is a great choice for a spectacular lilac view, although many places in Burnside boast gorgeous jacarandas for you to enjoy.
Yet another school, the University of Adelaide, sees plenty of purple (petal) rain. They’re scattered all over campus, but there’s a cluster near Bonython Hall that’s perfect for hanging out with friends.
North Adelaide features Lionel Avenue and Clifton Street, Blair Athol, with flowering jacarandas lining the sidewalks. Or stop at LeFevre Terrace beforehand for another jacaranda display — and many other places in between.
Melbourne is the latest of the cities to bloom, with jacarandas only bursting into purple colour in December. But the University of Melbourne is full of lilac blossoms when summer rolls around, making a stunning backdrop for students and visitors alike.
Melbourne’s own Botanical Gardens are also worth a visit — for its collection of flowering plants, yes, but its gorgeous jacarandas too. These are some of the best displays in the city, making it the perfect place to spend an afternoon wandering around and exploring.
Then there’s the Parliament Garden Reserve out east, with jacarandas lining the park walkways. It makes an excellent getaway from the city for a day or a weekend to enjoy the flowers, and give yourself a little break before returning to your busy life.