Once a year a simple residential street on Sydney’s North Shore becomes a major tourist attraction. People stand, sit or lie in the road, phones in hand – and all because the street is lined with the gorgeous purple trees that flower right now creating a fantastically picturesque Jacaranda Tree tunnel that’s made for Instagram.
But where is the famous Sydney jacaranda street with its tunnel of purple trees? We have the answer…
When is Jacaranda Season in Sydney?
Jacaranda trees flower in Sydney just once a year between late October and during November and while there are Jacaranda trees, and places to photograph them, all over Sydney, one place has become the Instagram holy grail and the best place to see Jacaranda in Sydney – it’s the Jacaranda tree tunnel in McDougall Street, Kirribilli.
If you want to find the best display of Sydney Jacaranda trees, this is where to come.
Here the flowery purple trees grow on both sides and as more flowers appear the branches from either side arc over the road to form what looks like a perfect purple tunnel.
It’s even better when the flowers fall as they carpet the ground with purple as well.
It’s now so popular that every day hundreds of people line the street trying to get that perfect instasnap. When I went this afternoon there was a bridal photoshoot, people sitting in the road and even tour buses departing! I admit, it is super pretty so I can see why.
However, there’s no way around it. To get a good photo does require you standing in the middle of the road. You have to be very early, very lucky (or extremely good at photoshop) to get a picture without a car or another person in it. My solution to this was simply to start taking pictures of other people posing! The residents are extremely patient with all this hoo-hah, but you do need to keep your wits about you so no-one runs over your foot.
How to Get to Jacaranda Street, Sydney?
Jacaranda Street and the Jacaranda tree tunnel runs along McDougall Street in Kirribilli on Sydney’s North Shore.
The easiest way to get there is to take a train to Milson’s Point and then walk north along Broughton Street (that’s the away from the Harbour Bridge and past the Kirribilli Hotel).
Follow the road round as it curves and McDougall Street will be on your right. I think the best spot for pics is the southern end of the road towards the waterfront.
But also take a walk into the park next door, there’s a bright red flowering tree which makes a fantastic flowering contrast that demands your lens’ attention. Hurry though you’ve only got until the end of November to get your snaps before the sight disappears – until next year.
What Else is Near the Jacaranda Tree Tunnel?
If you’re over this side of town it makes sense to see something other than just the jacaranda street.
It’s also a short walk from Luna Park, the fairground with the fantastic face for an entrance.
Nature lovers visiting the jacaranda tunnel to appreciate the flowers should also take a side trip to Wendy’s Secret Garden. This labour of love has taken 25 years to create and was started by a local woman as a way to get over her grief when her husband died. It’s simply beautiful and a great shady spot to get out of the Sydney heat in Summer. Click the link above to find out all about the tragic love story that led to its creation, and all the cool hidden treasures you’ll find there.
Talking of keeping cool, Kirribilli is also home to North Sydney pool, a pool with probably one of the best views in the world. It’s located almost directly under the amazing Sydney Harbour Bridge.
And lastly, you’ll also get amazing views of the Sydney Opera House from the waterfront just a short walk north of Jacaranda Street. Look on your map for either Milson’s Point, Bradfield Park or Dr Mary Booth Lookout. They all have exceptional views.
Where Else to See Beautiful Jacaranda Trees in Sydney
Now, as I said above, the residents of McDougall Street have been very patient with people coming to see the purple trees, but as you can see from the comment below, patience is running thin – and, as I update this post just before Jacaranda season in 2020 it’s possible that this year might not be the best year to all crowd into the same place – so, where else can you see Jacaranda in Sydney – and yes, get some pretty Instagram pictures too…
The Intersection, Paddington
This row of trees the line the stretch of Oxford Street alongside the Barracks in Paddington are also becoming a hot photo stop for those hunting the perfect Jacaranda in Sydney photo.
You’ll need a photo buddy because of the ways the trees hang, but you don’t need to stand in the road to get the perfect picture. You’ll also find a line of trees in Greens Road nearby.
There’s heaps of other cool things to do in Paddington while you’re here – including some street art and a very cute garden if you want to add even more shots to your Insta-grid.
Or, you can just go shopping at the Intersection itself – it’s home to Australia’s best clothing designers.
Cathedral Street, Wooloomooloo
This spot up near the Old Fitzroy Hotel gives you the chance to shoot trees with the iconic Sydney Eye Tower in the background.
While you’re here you might also want to wander around to Judge Street nearby, where you’ll find a row of cute houses and a carpet of pretty purple blossoms.
Although do be careful whenever you do see a road of purple blossoms, Jacaranda flowers get very slippery if it’s wet or they’re crushed.
Just like with Paddington, there’s some fun things to do in Wooloomooloo if you have time between your flower chasing.
If you want a good selfie shot, then head toward the city end of Oxford Street at the junction of Riley Street.
You’ll see a set of steps on the map and just above these is the perfect place to stand to get you and jacaranda flowers in the same shot (I can’t take a selfie for the life of me so, have a nice shot of the tree instead!)
If you don’t have time to travel around Sydney hunting down Jacaranda’s there are two Jacaranda trees in Circular Quay you can check out, but they do line up quite nicely to get a shot of the Opera House in the middle of them.
You’ll have to be a better photographer than me though to get the light right so you can see the purple flowers.
They’re located on the western side of Circular Quay just by First Fleet Park.
If you’re looking for other things to do while you’re here, check out our guide to fun things to do in the Rocks which is just down the road from the trees in question.
There’s also some jacaranda in the Royal Botanical Gardens at the other side of the harbour. One of which gives you the perfect picture with the bridge and Opera House in the background.
Who Writes Differentville?
My name is Helen Foster and I’m a journalist and author living in Sydney.
My travel articles have been published in titles including The Australian, Body & Soul at the Sunday Telegraph, RAC Horizons, Jetstar magazine and more.
I like the weird, the wonderful and anything that makes me jump and down with glee like I’m about three. That’s what you’ll find here.
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Where’s your favourite place for photographing the Sydney jacaranda trees? Let me know in the comments. If you like this post, then please share it on social media. If you do no-one will stand in the way of your next selfie!