Of course I asked her about it and she told me it's called the jacaranda tree and that every year New South Wales has a Jacaranda Festival around this time of year when the trees are in full bloom. These trees grow in the U.S., Spain, Italy, etc. but I have never seen them before. They only grow where there is no threat of frost, so Australia is the perfect growing weather for this tree.
Another fun fact I learned was the blooming of these trees signifies a time of intense study in schools around Queensland, specifically the University of Queensland, due to the end of the school year!