Sydney’s Jacaranda Season and Why We Need To Talk About It

Every November, Sydney turns purple. Well, not literally, but the Jacaranda trees bloom. It’s beautiful – you see pops of purple all over the city.

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There are a few great spots to see the trees in all their glory, one of them being in Kirribilli.

As a North Sydney resident, I joined the North Sydney Facebook group and saw that people were dreading this time of year. There were posts on there as soon as the first Jacaranda tree began to bloom warning others that the time for Jacaranda’s was almost upon us. I couldn’t understand the hysteria, but when I went to the street it became clear.

(Before I continue, I want to point out that I went to see the trees twice – one evening with Jack and one day because my friend Ela and I walked the bridge and were in Kirribilli. It’s my first year in Sydney and they’re a bit of an icon so I wanted to see them. I’m glad I did – they were as pretty as people told me they were. On both occasions, when there were no cars, I went into the middle of the road for a picture.)

Tourists were EVERYWHERE… E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E! Bearing in mind that this is just a normal, residential street, it was a bit overwhelming to see so many people milling around. On top of this, a big, neon sign was erected saying slow down for pedestrians and cars using the road were told to expect delays. For a few weeks a year, a slight delay might be fine, but honestly when I saw the things people were doing for photos and the way drivers were being treated, I was shocked.

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I saw people lying in the middle of the road, people refusing to allows the cars to pass as their friend was ‘posing’, people telling other people to get out of the way of their shot. I saw people repeating the same photo again and again even when cars were backed up trying to get through, people running out of nowhere in front of traffic when people left the road for the cars to pass so that they could get a photo with no one in the background. People were literally causing cars to queue just so they could get their shot then being angry at the drivers who were wanting to get to the end of the road.

It was bizarre and, in all honesty, being in that chaos took away from seeing something so pretty and so unique. I couldn’t help but wonder what the point of it all was – why were people jumping out in front of cars for a photo? We were all there to see the blooms, but how many of us actually saw them? How many of us were more interested in getting the perfect shot for the ‘gram?

I like taking photos as much as the next person and for my blog I take a lot, but seeing that felt kind of… sad. We were meant to be looking at Sydney in bloom, not dodging traffic or making someone late home from work. We were meant to be in the moment, not thinking of the likes.

For anyone wanting to visit Sydney in November, the Jacaranda trees are beautiful. They are well worth going to find. But are they worth risking your life for? No. Are they worth lying in the road for? No.

Enjoy the moment – it’s far more beautiful than any photo ever could be.

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