We’ve rounded up the best picnic spots in Sydney for a relaxing day in the great outdoors.
From beachside party BBQs to Sydney Harbour views, enjoy a relaxing day with your family and friends whilst taking in the breathtaking views of these locations. These are our top picks for Sydney’s best picnic spots.
At the end of Darling Point Road, Darling Point is McKell Park a picturesque hideaway situated on the shores of Sydney Harbour. Pack a picnic and take in the glistening harbour, city skyline and the Harbour Bridge all in one. The garden has tiered grass levels with lots of different spots but if you want a prime position to watch the sun set head down towards the water. You’ll often see people fishing off the sandstone wall while others relax in the sun reading a book or sipping wine. The perfectly manicured gardens also attract a number of wedding ceremonies in the warmer months. The gates close at sun down so make sure you don’t get too relaxed and make it out on time.
Centennial Parklands is one of the most popular spots to have a picnic in Sydney, and with good reason. The large open grasslands make it the ideal spot for family and friends. Another major draw card are the eight free gas-powered barbecues available for public use. Cook up a storm with plenty of mouthwatering sangas and steaks. Your four legged friends are also welcome, winning!
Blackburn Gardens is a beautifully restored heritage garden, tucked away just up from Double Bay. If you stand up and peak over the lush greenery you can see spectacular views of Sydney Harbour. The garden adjoins Murray Rose Pool (formerly Redleaf Pool) and Seven Shillings Beach. The garden features manicured lawn with a secret garden, sundial and water feature. It’s a short 5-10 minute walk from Double Bay wharf with some limited parking available nearby. If the weather is warm definitely pack your swimmers. Nothing beats cooling off with a dip in the ocean and you’re just a 1 minute stroll to the waters edge at this beautiful picnic spot.
There’s nothing quiet as iconic as the Royal Botanic Gardens when it comes to Sydney’s best picnic spots. It offers a tranquil escape for picnics and garden parties. There are so many different parts of the Gardens that makes for an awesome picnic including the Harbour View Lawn (small intimate lawn with a large shady fig tree and views across Sydney Harbour) and the Herb Garden and Pavilion (offers rain coverage for up to 20 people). If you’ve got less than 20 people joining you for a picnic you’re free to pop up anywhere you please. If you’re having a little picnic party you can reserve an area. The Royal Botanic Gardens opens at 7am each day and closes at different times during the year ranging from 5pm in June and July to 7.30pm in October.
Manly’s beloved East Esplanade Park is home to what locals have called ‘The Office’. Spreading right around Manly Cove, this stretch of grassland is an ideal summer picnic spot, with the ocean literally at your feet. With a few coin operated BBQs scattered around, be sure to get in early to secure a spot and get some snags cooking. You can even bring along some frosty cold beverages, with the consumption of alcohol legal between the hours of 6am and 4pm. If you’re still looking to drink after the sun goes down, Manly Wharf Hotel, 4 Pines and Manly Skiff Club are all within walking distance.
Hop on the ferry and spend the day wondering around Cockatoo Island’s picturesque attractions. Having worked up an appetite on a self-guided tour of the island, you can set up a picnic on the grass and enjoy those money-cant-buy views of Sydney Harbour. There are a few picnic areas to choose from, some of which have coin operated BBQs. Be sure to download the Cockatoo Island map and have a look to see which spot most takes your fancy. Unfortunately Cockatoo Island does have a strict no BYO alcohol policy. But don’t let that ruin your fun!
Who doesn’t love the romantic notion of a secret garden? Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden is a public garden situated in the heart of Sydney in Lavender Bay. Bring along a picnic basket with all your favourite goodies and set yourself up beneath the garden’s canopy. This garden is free and open to the public seven days a week.
You can BYO blanket, picnic and drinks (alcohol is allowed in the Reserve), or you can purchase a great range of picnic options from the food outlets at Barangaroo’s food and retail precinct. Bel and Brio have a lot of gourmet picnic products and you won’t need to carry them far.
Why not make a day out of it with a road trip north! There is an ideal picnic spot located on Bateau Bay Beach on the Central Coast. Sheltered and quiet, remember to also pack a towel. This little area is perfect for an after lunch dip or a chance to explore the rock pools.
Ku-ring-gai National Park (various spots)
There are a smorgasbord of picturesque picnic spots in the National Park including Akuna Bay, Apple Tree Picnic Area and Bobbin Head. Boat enthusiasts can dock at Akuna bay before indulging in a long picnic with the added benefit of BBQs on site. Apple Tree picnic area provides an easily accessible spot to re-energise before you head off into the park and explore one of the many tracks. You can buy drinks and food at the café or make use of the shaded picnic tables and barbecues. Located in the west of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Bobbin Head also has plenty of lush green space with inbuilt barbecues, picnic tables and shelters available.
Why not spend the day at Conjola Beach picnic area in Narrawelle Creek Nature Reserve. Situated in the South Coast, explore a range of remote beaches and make the most of the warmer weather with a spot of bush walking.
After indulging in a swim at the Clarence Coast’s Angourie Headland, stop off at the scenic Angourie Bay picnic area for a packed lunch with family and friends. The kids will love the park setting, giving you adults the chance to sit back and relax, letting your relaxing natural surrounds take over.
Bankstown has over 350 parks to choose from, with gorgeous pockets of native bushland making for the perfect picnic pit stop. One such area is Burrawang Reach Picnic Area. Set on the sandy shores of the Georges River, there’s ample room for a family catch up and you can use the barbecues or bring along a spread to share on the wide stretch of grass. The area also boasts a number of sporting reserves where you can enjoy activities such as water-skiing on the Georges River or simply stroll along the river foreshore.
Wattamolla Picnic Area (Royal National Park)
If you’re itching for a beachside picnic, it’s hard to pass up the extremely picturesque Wattamolla picnic area in the Royal National Park. Bring along your swimmers to make the most of the lagoon where you can also snorkel. There are also plenty of spots to set up your picnic up under the cabbage tree palms.
Perfect for a family picnic or a weekend getaway, Cattai Campground on the Hawkesbury River offers plenty of space for kids and the four-legged friends to run around. Those looking for a little more adventure can also partake in canoeing, fishing, bike riding and bird watching.
Garie Beach (Royal National Park)
You’ll quickly fall in love with this little spot, just an hour or so from Sydney. Pack a picnic, herd up the clan and get down there nice and early to grab a great spot at Garie Beach, in the southern end of Royal National Park.
Embark on an adventure in the Royal National Park. Kick back, relax and enjoy your picnic in the Bonnie Vale picnic area. A great day of water-based fun for family and friends, you can swim in the tranquil waters of Cabbage Tree Basin and on the weekends hire a canoe and paddle the waters of Port Hacking.