Great Picnic Sites in Melbourne

Great Picnic Sites in Melbourne

A favourite pastime is eating outdoors and soaking up life's simple pleasures with a picnic. Roll out the picnic rug and produce with family and friends as you kick back at one of Melbourne's many picnic destinations:

With the state's lockdown laws relaxing, TimeOut and have given us Melbourne's Best Picnic Spots.

Only Edinburgh Gardens in Fitzroy North and Studley Park Boathouse in Kew made both lists but both are excellent picnic spots.

Melbourne is lucky to have plenty of lush parks and urban green spaces throughout the city perfect for rolling out the tartan picnic blanket. And there's just something about eating outdoors and with friends that makes food taste so much better. Pack a hamper and discover one of the best picnic spots in Melbourne.

Melbourne Picnic Spots

Melbourne Alexandra Avenue
Melbourne Ardrie Park
Melbourne Bundoora Park
Melbourne Catani Gardens
Melbourne Edinburgh Gardens
Melbourne Elsternwick Park
Melbourne Emerald Lake Park
Melbourne Fairfield Reserve
Melbourne Fitzroy Gardens
Melbourne Flagstaff Gardens
Melbourne Harmony Park
Melbourne One Tree Hill
Melbourne Princes Park
Melbourne Royal Botanic Gardens
Melbourne Royal Park
Melbourne Rippon Lea House and Gardens
Melbourne St Kilda Botanical Gardens
Melbourne Treasury Gardens
Melbourne Westgate Park

Melbourne's Best Picnic Spots

Abbotsford Convent


You can feel the weight of the past as soon as you step into the grounds and look up to the gothic spires of the Abbotsford Convent. The complex began as a convent in the late 1800s, and was also a commercial laundry, orphanage and aged care facility. These days, it's a hub for artists, makers, community radio broadcasters and teachers - as well as a beautiful place to relax with a park picnic.

Alexandra Avenue


What could be more picturesque than firing up the barbecue and unpacking the salads and bread rolls in front of a backdrop of Melbourne's city skyline? The banks of the Yarra River feature multiple barbecue spots, most with their own seating. The closest barbecues to the city are at Birrarung Marr, but if you're prepared to walk a bit further, there are some leafy family-friendly areas on Alexandra Avenue between Swan Street Bridge and Morell Bridge.

Ardrie Park


Malvern East's verdant jewel boasts epic views back over Melbourne, an excellent swing set and the chance to do some champion wedding photo bombing (not that you're a jerk, but hey). A long boulevard of trees runs through the middle and there are Japanese gardens in which to find a nook and/or quiet cranny if you like to pretend you're at the picnic at the end of the universe.

Bundoora Park


The 180-hectare park features expansive open spaces to enjoy a bite to eat, and four separate sheltered picnic areas with gas and wood barbecues. They can get busy on weekends, so perhaps try arriving before or after peak period (12pm-1.30pm) to increase your chances. Other activities within the park include a heritage village, wildlife reserve, a rustic children's farm and even a golf course.

Catani Gardens

St Kilda West

Want to enjoy your sausages and burgers with the intoxicating waft of sea breeze in the air? St Kilda West's Catani Gardens is just the ticket. The six-hectare gardens aren't the largest around; but they sit right above St Kilda Beach and several openings in the park provide direct access down to the sand. Full of those famous St Kilda palm trees, the gardens feature open-air barbecues and a path leading to the Edwardian-style rotunda, as well as plenty of shade.

Edinburgh Gardens

Fitzroy North

This one's a rite of passage for any inner-city dweller. Plenty of flat, grassy patches for your picnic rugs, ample pergolas, playgrounds for the little ones, a basketball court and the infamous Fitzy skate bowl.

This park is second only to the Fitzroy Pool for the number of hipsters crazily Instagramming their vintage picnic rugs. It's a magical wonderland of trees, crosshatched by bike paths with public toilets, a free skate park and free table tennis (BYO bats and balls). There's also a rotunda, which is handy if you're crap at giving directions on where to meet.

Elsternwick Park


When all you want is well-kept grass and some space for your 10 carefully-selected mates, Brighton's Elsternwick Park is the one. You'll find plenty of takeaway options close by should you need a coffee to perk up after doing nothing but laying in the grass, plus there's a lake which adds just the right amount of serenity.

Emerald Lake Park


Under an hour's drive south-east and you'll arrive at the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges in a town called Emerald. Emerald Lake Park is a picnicker's dream; you've got not one, but two lakes, grassy patches everywhere, plenty of BBQs and even two-seater paddleboats should you be trying to charm that special someone.

As you drive into the park, you'll see the main lake which acts as somewhat of a tourist trap. So park that car, and b-line east for the secondary lake called Lake Nobelius. The track gets a little muddy, but a few minutes trudging will be well-worth the scenery that you'll probably have all to yourself.

Fairfield Reserve


Perched on one of the Yarra River's dog-leg turns, and home to the Fairfield Boathouse, Fairfield Park is another inner-city spot primed for a picnic. You'll find enough BBQs for everyone to make use of and plenty of space along the river to while away an afternoon with your 10 mates.

Fitzroy Gardens

East Melbourne

Mosey east out of the city grid and you'll hit the pristine Fitzroy Gardens within a minute or two. The place is kept immaculately and should be considered when planning any picnic if you live close to the CBD. Check out the series of fountains if you want some showmanship while you're snacking away, otherwise park up in one of the ornate pergolas.

Flagstaff Gardens

West Melbourne

Brilliant for on-a-whim barbecuing. Next time you're in the city, grab some bits and bobs from Vic Markets and head to the barbecues on the William Street side of the gardens, close to the Flagstaff Tennis Courts. Wander around the gardens to explore a memorial to Melbourne's pioneers erected in 1871, and contemporary art installations.

Harmony Park


Gaffney Street, Coburg is best known for its huge homemaker centre, but continue past the hordes of Bunnings shoppers, north of Sydney Road, to Harmony Park. The community gardens were revamped in 2008 to include the area's best skate park and an adventure playground. There are huge shaded sails over the public barbecue area, and ample benches near the covered sandpit. Plus, the entire park offers free wireless internet access, so you can update your Facebook status with one hand as you turn the snags with the other.

One Tree Hill

Upper Ferntree Gully

You'll find One Tree Hill at the top of Melbourne's famed 1000 Steps. That sounds like a lot of effort for a picnic ground, but it truly is idyllic up there. Put in the leg work and you'll be treated to views overlooking the nearby national park as you buddy up with the local wildlife.

If the 1k steps sound daunting, it's worth keeping in mind that there's actually only around 770 of them. Regardless of the number, a well-earned bev of your choice should be opened as you take in the view from upstairs.

Princes Park


Princes Park is huge and a fabulous spot for activities needing a little room. Frisbee, cricket, footy, or anything else to wear off lunch.

Royal Botanic Gardens

South Yarra

The Royal Botanic Gardens could be considered Melbourne's crown jewel of picnic spots. Park up by the lake for a while if you plan on charming someone special, find a spot by the cactus garden if things get prickly or get comfy with the natives.

Royal Park


The oft-forgotten sibling to Princes Park and Edinburgh Gardens, Royal Park is just several km's out of the CBD, though you'd feel you're much further out of town with its rugged native fauna. There are some BBQs and facilities available here, but this one's best enjoyed stretched out between some of the gumtrees with that BYO basket you've so carefully packed for the day. Keep an eye out for one of the many native White's skinks that call Royal Park home.

Rippon Lea House and Gardens


This is the Downton Abbey of picnic spots. The enclosed grounds are heritage listed and there's a huge mansion in the middle as well as stables and a lake with a boathouse. They even rent out croquet sets for proper high falutin' revelry. Chef Ben Shewry grows a lot of the goods for Attica here, so chances are you'll see his crew plucking leaves and herbs for service. Entry to the grounds costs $4 for kids and $10 for big kids. You can't barbecue or booze on, but, this is one of the best-looking patches of grass Melbourne has.

St Kilda Botanical Gardens

St Kilda

Giant chess! If that's not enough of a reason to hit up St Kilda's 150-year-old beauty mark, perhaps we can interest you in the conservatory, grey-headed flying foxes, and the acres and acres in which to run, arms outstretched, like a toddler or agitated swan? You can bring your dog if you've got one, and should the weather be looking ominously Melburnian, there are plenty of shelters.

Treasury Gardens

East Melbourne

Head to the scenic Treasury Gardens amidst Melbourne's busy cityscape to kick back metropolis style. You'll be sandwiched beside Spring Street, the tranquil Fitzroy Gardens and even Parliament station, which is great location wise, and there's plenty of green patches to spread out on no matter the size of your group. Do be careful if your day picnic slides into night territory however, as Treasury Gardens is notorious for its large colony of brushtail possums.

Westgate Park

Port Melbourne

It's not hard to work out why this Port Melbourne park has the name it does: the vibrant wetland and nature sanctuary literally sits under the Westgate Bridge. Enter via Todd Road for easy access to the barbecues and picnic area, where you may find yourself sharing your bread rolls with some of the bird species that call Westgate Park home; including ibis, spoonbills and pelicans. The 54-hectare park also has freshwater and saltwater lakes, beautiful indigenous plants and several walking and cycling paths, plus striking views of the bay and city.

Last updated: - May 2020 - Review By Monica 2008


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Great Picnic Sites in Melbourne

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Great Picnic Sites in Melbourne