Best Parks For Summer Barbecues In Sydney
Remember, pre-kids, when dining al fresco meant lazy lunches in the sun, sipping wine and soaking up the serenity? Fast-forward to life now and dining al fresco probably means frying up some sausages on a coin-operated BBQ in a park while the kids run wild. Would I be really lame if I said I enjoyed the latter more? I'm always on the hunt for a new park with a communal bbq where I can cook up a storm and enjoy a family meal in the fresh air. Bonus points for water views - those people dining at Catalina don't know what they're missing!
One of my all-time favourites when the sun is shining. The 8 barbecues on offer are always being fired up with the sweet mix of Aussie and international cuisine - man those Brazilians know how to cook a barbie! There are heaps of tables and chairs but it's still advised to get there early, otherwise, bring a picnic rug and sprawl out on the grassy hills and take in the beach views. Kids will love the old-fashioned miniature train ($5 per ride) while older kids can scoot around on the promenade or take a dip in the rock pool. There's also a great playground nearby.
Lane Cove National Park
Set up the snags on the banks of the slow-moving Lane Cove River. With over 40 designated picnic areas, you're sure to get a quiet spot. There are fireplaces and barbecues are provided or you can use portable barbecues in open areas if you bring your own wood. After you've eaten, hire a kayak or peddle boat and truly enjoy the national park. If you prefer to play on land, there are three children’s playgrounds at Lane Cove National Park, all of which are amazingly well-equipped and maintained.
Want to dine with stunning harbour views? Chowder Bay at Clifton Gardens is located on the ever-popular Taronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach walking track. This little cove also has a kids’ playground at Clifton Reserve and plenty of lovely picnic and BBQ spots. The surrounding park offers lots of space for running and a protected and netted beach perfect for an afternoon dip. Chowder Bay was named after whalers who used to make 'chowder' from the bay's abundant seafood, so kudos to you if you can cook up a seafood hot pot on your bbq!
Centennial Parklands provides eight free electric barbecues, each with two hotplates. Word of warning, they are popular and can't be booked so it's a first in, best-dressed kind of policy. After lunch, feed the ducks in the duck pond or go for a bike ride. Oh and don't forget to check out the new Wild Play playground!
Como Pleasure Grounds
Down in the Shire, they know how to throw a bbq! And we love this hidden getaway along the Georges River which makes the perfect place for a picnic or lunch overlooking the water and marina. While you're there check out the awesome pirate-themed playground. Or if you fancy a dip, the nearby Como Swimming Complex includes a 20m pool with free entry.
Just a hop skip and a jump (and possibly a ferry) from Manly is this gorgeous bbq spot. There are six communal barbies under the trees for you to get your grill on. The kids will love the calm waters of the beach and there's usually a great vibe and music coming from the park. If you're looking for something quieter and more secluded, our hot tip is to check out Manly Dam - it's a hidden gem for picnics and barbecues!
Blackwattle Bay Park
The inner west shouldn't miss out on a bbq lunch by the water! Head to the Glebe foreshore for some of the best-maintained and newest barbies around. You've got that million dollar view of the Anzac Bridge doubled with the Harbour Bridge and you can watch the rowers glide past all day. You can even take your pup for some off-leash fun.
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