Everguide’s Picks of the Best Places to Picnic

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Christmas and New Year’s may be behind us but the silly season ain’t over yet. What better way to while away the summer months than to hit the great outdoors with your mates? To help you get started we’ve put together a guide to the best picnic spots around the country.

MELBOURNE

Edinburgh Gardens

Nine out of ten north-siders agree Edinburgh Gardens is the place to be on a fine summer’s day. This is a popular destination so be ready to make a few new friends, get caught up in a game of frisbee, or fall in love with a rogue border collie. There’s also a basketball half-court, skate park, cricket pitch, lawn bowls club, and tennis courts so you can partake in some healthy competition.

Food/Booze/Loos

There’s BBQs for use if you fancy a cook up, but for the less organised amongst us there’s usually at least one food van parked along St George’s road. Booze is okay but if you’re getting a bit toasted make use of those drinking fountains. Remember, you’re in a public place and there aren’t any bouncers to send you home when you’re getting rowdy – keep it PG. The onsite toilets aren’t too bad but it’s always a good idea to bring a spare roll of loo paper.

Tips for First Time Users

The council is pretty strict on amplified music so you don’t want to upset the neighbours. This doesn’t mean you can’t play some tunes, just choose a spot away from the street. Or bring your guitar and have a sing along – who could object to that?

St Kilda Botanical Gardens

These gardens have been around since 1859 and have always had a sweet vibe on a hot day. There’s an array of seasonal flora displays and indigenous plants for you to set up next to. Not to mention a giant chessboard, the Rain Man fountain, and a bunch of covered areas so your fair skinned friends don’t have to miss out.

Food/Booze/Loos

There are public toilets aplenty and BBQs for use. You’re welcome to bring the esky down too but no glass is allowed. You also need to be finished by 8pm but that shouldn’t be a problem if you’ve been drinking since noon.

Tips for First Time Users

The garden is open seven days from sunrise to sunset. With the help of daylight savings this gives you plenty of leisure time, but if you find yourself packing up after dark you may be locked in. If so the turnstile exit onto Herbert Street is your only way out.

SYDNEY

Camperdown Memorial Park

On a nice day this park is absolutely packed with Newtown locals. You can wander the pretty old cemetery in its centre, make friends with some happy pups, or simply stretch out on the grass. The bustling atmosphere will make you feel like you’re at a festival.

Food/Booze/Loos

With King Street just a few minutes away you can grab your takeaway of choice before you settle in. You probably don’t want to have too many beers as there aren’t any public toilets. If you’re really thirst, you can head inside the Courthouse Hotel – without a doubt the best pub in Sydney.

Tips for First Time Users

The folks of Newtown are a diverse, colourful bunch. If you enjoy people watching then this park is definitely for you.

Mrs Macquarie’s Chair (Royal Botanic Gardens)

The best place to enjoy a view of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House.

Food/Booze/Loos

There are plenty of restaurants and cafes around the Botanic Gardens so you can pick something up, or bring your own basket of treats. Being in the heart of Sydney you shouldn’t have trouble finding a rest room.

Tips for First Time Users

This is a popular tourist destination so be prepared to lend a hand taking group shots and maybe even make some new foreign friends.

BRISBANE

New Farm Park

There’s nothing like a picnic by the river and the Brisbane River will serve as the perfect backdrop to your afternoon feast. Then after a lovely afternoon on the grass you can head to the Powerhouse or a little further to the Valley.

Food/Booze/Loos

There’s a few BBQs scattered around but you may have to wait your turn. The public toilets aren’t bad but it never hurts to bring the ol’ Detol with you. People have been known to drink a few brews by the river but the licensing laws aren’t clearly set out on the Brisbane City Council website so try giving them a call before you go.

Tips for First Time Users

In addition to cycling tracks, picnic tables, cafes, and a bi-monthly farmers market, this park also has wifi so it’s the perfect place to work, study, or just catch up on some YouTube videos.

ADELAIDE

Adelaide Himeji Garden

Being a city surrounded by parklands you won’t be short of choice for a picnic spot in Adelaide. If you’re keen to try something a bit different, consider a retreat to the stunning Himeji Gardens. These contemporary Japanese gardens were designed to celebrate Adelaide’s Sister City arrangements with the ancient Japanese city of Himeji and provide the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the CBD.

Food/Booze/Loos

Unfortunately there are no BBQs or toilets onsite but take a short stroll towards Greenhill Rd and you’ll find some in the recreation grounds.

Tips for First Time Users

While the picnic area is a great place to hang out, Himeji Gardens are for relaxing. Take a couple of friends for a quiet chat or go solo and enjoy the tranquility.

PERTH

Kings Park

The mother of all picnicking spots can be found in Perth’s Kings Park. The council reckon it’s one of the biggest and most beautiful urban parks in the world – and with sweeping views of the city skyline and the Darling Ranges to the east you’ll find yourself in agreement.

Food/Booze/Loos

There are BBQs available at various locations as well as cafes, restaurants, and a kiosk incase you forgot the tommy sauce. There are toilet facilities at all major visitor precincts and make sure you use them ‘cos fines apply for ‘improper use of bushland and gardens’. You can bring a few beers but the drinking zones vary depending on times and days of the year so check with the council to be safe.

Tips for First Time Users

Catch the view to the west before twilight and watch the sun set over the water – magic.

HOBART

Cascade Gardens

Tassie has a lot more than Mona to boast about. The beautiful city of Hobart is an absolute feast of natural beauty and Cascade Gardens is the perfect place to soak up some sun on a nice day. Lead your mates down the walking track to the BBQ area and you’ll find tables, covered areas, or comfy grass to set up on.

Food/Booze/Loos

There are two BBQs for you use and plenty of public loos. The park doesn’t appear to be licensed so drink at your own risk, or head to the Cascade Brewery, which isn’t far away.

Tips for First Time Users

With Mount Wellington as your backdrop, as well as plenty of rare and unusual plants, don’t forget to take some happy snaps, #nofilter required.

WORDS: Alix Palmer

Published by Everguide 6th January 2014.

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