The Best Picnic Spots on Australia Day 2023
Mums & Bubs
Pack your picnic baskets and blankets and head to one of these parks for a good ol' Australia Day picnic!
From picnic spots that are at the centre of Australia Day celebrations to ones that have the best playgrounds and kids' activities nearby, all of these places will give your day a special touch.
The Best Spots for Australia Day Picnics in Sydney 2023
1. Barangaroo Reserve
Barangaroo is a prime spot to immerse yourself in the heart of the CBD and soak up those good long weekend vibes. Bring a comfy picnic blanket, plenty of food, and get ready to camp out for the day!
2. Royal Botanic Gardens
You have a blend of stunning flowers surrounding you with the most spectacular harbour views at the Royal Botanic Gardens. You can explore the Royal Botanic Gardens at your leisure, wander over to Mrs Macquarie’s chair or head to the art gallery for a touch of culture.
3. Prince Alfred Park
Prince Alfred Park offers plenty of picnic areas and BBQs, tennis and basketball courts and two children’s playgrounds featuring beautiful, hand-crafted rides. Kids can take their scooters or bikes and ride along the path, and of course, there are plenty of picnic spaces.
4. Nielsen Park
Sadly, Shark Beach and the promenade are currently closed for a seawall refurbishment from March 2022 to 2023.
Along with harbour views, kids can splash in the shallows of the netted swimming area at Nielsen Park while you claim a picnic spot under the canopy of one of the many Moreton Bay Fig Trees. This park gets BUSY, so catch the bus or just be prepared for a bit of a walk.
5. Centennial Park
Centennial Park caters to all! There are playgrounds, ponds, walking tracks, multi-person hire bikes and horse riding in a large circular park, so you can drive the loop before settling on a location to stop.
The playground and BBQ area is the busiest spot for Centennial, so make sure you get there early. Sit in the quieter areas near the duck ponds or relax on the benches across from it.
6. Parsley Bay
Parsley Bay Reserve offers one of the most idyllic park-playground-beach combos in the east.
This lovely and shady reserve leads into a beautiful, clean flat beach, then into the most perfect wave-less shallow bay with a protected swimming area. There are no BBQs but plenty of picnic tables under the trees and areas for a bush walk. The small car park fills up quickly, so get there early.
7. Glebe Foreshore Parks
Have a wander around the Glebe Foreshore Walk and take your pick of one of the four beautiful waterside parks that it encircles.
There is plenty of space to settle in for a relaxed picnic or BBQ with the family and enjoy the great views of Anzac Bridge. There are kids’ adventure playgrounds, native wetlands, beaches and off-leash areas for dogs.
8. Bicentennial Park
You’re certainly spoiled for choice at Bicentennial Park!
Spread your picnic blanket at Lake Belvedere or under a shady shelter and take advantage of the free BBQs. Let the kids run wild at the adventure playground with its sandpit, slide, climbing frame, swings and shade sails.
If it’s really hot, the kids can cool off at the splashing fountains and water spouts at the water play area! See the incredible views from the Treillage Tower or take the bushwalking trail.
9. Lizard Log
Lizard Log encourages creative play and greater interaction amongst visitors and the natural bushland setting, making it a great spot for some fun. The Children’s Nature Playground will keep them busy whilst you get the food ready on the available park BBQ. There are also picnic shelters and loads of parking.
10. The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah
Mount Tomah covers 28 hectares of rich acid clay loam. This fertile environment and the low temperature are perfect for showing plants from the world’s cooler regions and a wonderful place to picnic and explore with the kids!
South Sydney/St George
11. Carss Bush Park
Carss Bush Park has excellent sports fields, playground areas, picnic and BBQ facilities and an intertidal swimming area that promises plenty of fun for the whole family!
12. Taronga’s Main Entrance Plaza
This is a lovely spot for a family picnic, and access is FREE.
You can see some of Taronga Zoo’s wildlife exhibits, which are open to the public free of charge and best of all, you can take a free round trip on the Sky Safari where you’ll spot elephants, monkeys and, of course, the unbeatable iconic Sydney Harbour view.
13. Chowder Bay
This little cove 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.
14. Manly Dam
You’ll find plenty of activities on offer at Manly Dam, ranging from kayaking, swimming and fishing to water skiing and mountain biking.
There are picnic spots, shaded tables and BBQs along the waterfront. The picnic tables are bookable! Little lovers of nature will love the park’s easy Wildflower Walk and Nature Trail, and there’s a good kids' playground right on the shore of the dam.
15. Winnererremy Bay Flying Fox Park
Winnererremy Bay offers barbeques, picnic shelters, bike paths and a beach.
There is plenty of open space to throw a ball or play a good game of cricket/rugby. There’s also a fully-fenced playground that caters for young children and a separate playground for older children. Of course, the oversized Flying Fox is the main attraction here!
16. Bella Vista Farm Park
Bella Vista Farm has some lovely spots and a serene atmosphere. The atmosphere is a great one for families!
17. Woodward Park
The park usually hosts a fun-filled Australia Day program with non-stop entertainment on the main stage, kids stage and arena area, as well as a variety of family activities, rides, stalls and fireworks, so stay tuned for updates on the 2023 program!
18. Royal National Park
Really get away from it all and explore the world’s second-oldest national park.
Beautiful vistas, lovely bushwalks, amazing ocean views or quiet contemplation are all available at Sydney's Royal National Park.
Older kids will love exploring the coast track, the waterfalls and the paths at Wattamolla, while younger kids will work up an appetite wandering Lady Carrington Drive or Audley Weir. If you are out in the bush, facilities are limited, but peace is abundant. A permit is required to park in the park for the day.
If you're keen to visit more beaches in the area, check out five of our favourite Royal National Park Beaches.
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