While it has been a while between park hangs—as of Friday 15 May, picnicking and park time is officially allowed in Sydney.
And even though the temp has dropped a little, we know you are all eager to rug up and enjoy the great outdoors—and Sydney's prettiest parks—so while you're busy planning your spread of sangas and chocolate-coated strawberries, we've been busy rounding up the best spots for an epic outdoor feast. Yep, with bottles of bubbly in hand, it's time to enjoy the alfresco dining life.
Here are our top picks when it comes to the best picnic spots in Sydney.
Royal Botanic Gardens
Located in the heart of the CBD, the Royal Botanic Gardens is an obvious choice for the perfect picnic experience. Ideal for those of you who are workin’ hard in the city and just fancy a quick break with Mother Nature, or if you are planning a romantic rendezvous sipping champagne with that special someone, this is the place for you. Even more fabulous, Mrs Macquaries Point in the Gardens offers a panoramic view of the Opera House to Harbour Bridge, so this would the perfect place to set the mood, if you know what we mean. The Royal Botanic Gardens has a ridiculous amount of exotic plants, flowers, trees, (and those ibises that are everywhere, sorry), so you will be spoilt for choice for spots to set up your picnic. Enjoy.
Wendy’s Secret Garden
Wendy’s Secret Garden (that’s maybe not so secret now) is a great place to sit back and relax with some tasty nibbles and a refreshing pomegranate and elderflower tonic. At Wendy’s you can enjoy the interesting sculptures dotted around the garden, some abstract and some made from recycled materials, while also admiring the fabulous view looking over the harbour. Overflowing with beautifully unique plants, flowers and trees of all different colours shapes and sizes, it’s picnicking in style.
For generations Centennial Park has been the place to picnic amongst Sydneysiders, so why not keep up the tradition and bask in the sun on your blanket while munching on a packed lunch. Perfect for the whole family and even the dog (they make like 184% better), Centennial Park has a great community vibe, which welcomes everyone into this friendly and safe environment. Also offering bookable picnic sites that are close to amenities, this will help you avoid the mad scramble for that perfect picnic spot. Believe us, picnickers can cause a bit of carnage when luscious grass is involved. With great views and surrounded by wildlife, Centennial park really does have it all.
This newly transformed and spectacular 6-hectare headland is a great open space for all visitors to enjoy. So grab your blanket, those sunnies, some wine, a big feast and bring it along to Barangaroo where you’ll be able to find an idyllic picnic spot amongst the landscaped native trees and shrubs, while looking out over the city’s iconic Harbour. Even more perfect, you can sip on your lemon and honey tea or simply enjoy the sweet atmosphere while sitting next to the stunning rock pools that bless the park created from 10,000 blocks of honey-coloured sandstone.
If you are the type of picnicker that likes to go the extra mile, why not hop on the short ferry and venture to Cockatoo Island to dine alfresco? This is the largest island in Sydney’s harbour and is truly a haven, filled with spots to sit back, relax and watch the world go by. First explore around the island by foot and then stop for a long picnic lunch break, while soaking up the vistas in the scenic spots. If you fancy an overnight stay on the island, what could possibly be better than devouring some red wine and French cheese as your sit on your blanket under the stars? Nothing. The best kind of boozy is getting picnic boozy.
EG Waterhouse National Camellia Gardens
Escape the city, grab that bottle of savvy b (picnics are better with booze), head down to the south of Sydney for your picnic and make a day of it. Located in Caringbah, the National Camelia Gardens has views that span the magnificent Yowie bay and is a fav amongst Shire locals and visitors alike.
Head up to Mosman for a picnic locale that is quite simply, stunning. Situated next to a sandy white beach and turquoise blue ocean, set yourself up on the luscious grassy area with a blanket and relax with a chilled beer in one hand and a tasty burger in the other (that’s been BBQ’d on the facilities nearby).
Sydney Harbour National Park
Bradleys Head amphitheatre has one of the most fabulous lookout areas and boasts some of the city’s most amazing views, spanning the harbour across to the Opera House. Be warned: you will see on the horizon picnickers flocking for miles. Finish the walking trail from Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay, then chill out on your blanket and enjoying that well-deserved glass of dry pinot noir rosé. Bottoms up, picnickers!
Image credit: Jennie Clavel