Six of the Best Picnic Spots in Sydney for Families
No matter the time of year, a picnic in Sydney is a special occasion thanks to plenty of wide-open spaces, picture-perfect views and an array of delicious eats to take out at every corner,
And let's not forget, a family picnic is a low-budget way to keep the kids entertained while you take a breather. We'll take it over chasing toddlers through a fancy restaurant any day.
So, here are six of the best picnic spots in Sydney along with our top tips on what to look out for for an incredible day.
1. Centennial Park
There is so much to see and do in Centennial Park, from lakeside picnic spits with resident ducks, swans and geese to a variety of playgrounds and bike tracks, plus walking trails, bike hire, horse riding, restaurants and kiosks. It is a large circular park with a one-way loop road so you can drive around and scope out your ideal location before settling on a spot. There are plenty of shady spots to set up camp and lots of open spaces for family football or cricket. There are eight free electric barbecues across the park and some idyllic picnic spots.
2. The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mt Annan
Mt Annan Botanic Gardens has so much space and lots of facilities, including a mountain bike track, walking and bike trails, the enchanting Gardens Playground, lakes, toilets, and covered shelters. Take some time out for a stroll to discover exotic native flora and wildlife. The café near the playground does great coffee! There are picturesque picnic spots with free barbecues that are easy to find and plenty of wide-open lawns for the kids to run wild.
3. Royal Botanic Gardens
There is nothing better than a picnic with the most spectacular harbour views and the sea breeze to keep you cool. For a touch of tranquillity in the middle of the city, meander through the Royal Botanic Gardens, explore the vibrant array of flowers and settle in for a picnic under the famous fig-trees, then venture to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair and down to the Opera House or The Rocks.
4. Royal National Park
Really get away from it all and explore the world’s second-oldest national park just south of Sydney. Royal National Park has beautiful vistas, lovely bushwalks, amazing ocean views and some family-friendly beaches. Older kids will love exploring the coast track, waterfalls and paths at Wattamolla, while younger kids will work up an appetite wandering Lady Carrington Drive or Audley Weir. You can find picnic tables and barbecues throughout the park. 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.
5. Oatley Park
Oatley Park is a 112 acres reserve on the picturesque Georges River in the southern Sydney suburb of Oatley surrounded by natural bushland and waterways. There is a fabulous new inclusive adventure playground. There are plenty of trees to provide shady picnic spots, plus covered tables, barbecue facilities, and toilets! You can bike ride on quiet roads and find the ‘castle’ or head down to the bottom of the park to explore the sandy beach on the waterfront with netted swimming baths and lots of scenic parklands to wander.
6. Lizard Log
Part of the Western Sydney Parklands, Lizard Log is a wonderland of abundant natural features including a fantastic playground full of fun features and backed by miles of paths for walking and scootering. The surrounding mountains, lookouts and dams make a serene backdrop ideal for exploring. There are free BBQs, really well looked after facilities and loads of parking. There is a nearby coffee shop and regular visits from the resident ice-cream van.
What Makes a Great Picnic Spot
It sounds obvious, but a great picnic spot depends on your needs and it pays to know what they are! You can go traditional with a shelter and BBQs, or rough it in the bush, however, there are some things to keep in mind to really make a picnic a fantastic day out. We can’t go without:
- Covered picnic tables for shade
- Free BBQs are fantastic but allow lots of time for cooking
- Sufficient bins which are emptied frequently so rubbish isn’t littered everywhere
- Somewhere for the kids to ride, play or explore. A playground, river, or beach are great entertainment while adults relax. Alternatively, a large expanse of grass can turn into a cricket or football game without too much effort.
- Clean toilets that are close and always stocked with toilet paper.
- A nearby café for a hot drink or a cold ice cream.
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