The Best Picnic Spots in Sydney

  • Family

No matter what time of year, a picnic in Sydney is a special occasion thanks to the abundance of wide-open spaces and picture-perfect views our gorgeous city has to offer. Not to mention there are plenty of cafes and snack stops dotted throughout the city to load up on the yummy goods!

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 happily take it over chasing toddlers through a fancy restaurant any day!

The Best Picnic Spots in Sydney

1. Centennial Park

Picnic spots in Sydney
The picture-perfect Centennial Parklands.

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.

RELATED: Best Picnic Hampers in Sydney

2. The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mt Annan

Mt Annan Botanic Gardens
The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mt Annan is another family-friendly picnic spot in Sydney.

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

Royal Botanic Gardens picnics
You can't beat the views at the 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. Balmoral Beach

Balmoral Rotunda
The iconic Balmoral Rotunda.

If the kids are desperate for a splash before their picnic, you can't beat Balmoral Beach.

There are multiple areas along the Balmoral promenade to choose your perfect picnic spot. The Rotunda at Balmoral Reserve gives you picture-perfect views of Balmoral Beach and the Rotunda itself projects some serious English-countryside picnic vibes. 

If the kids want to swim and play, the playground towards the southern end of Balmoral Beach (outside the Boathouse) is another popular spot and provides plenty of grassy and sandy spots to relax and picnic. 

5. Sydney Park, St Peters

Picnic spots in Sydney
The award-winning Sydney Park in St Peters.


Sydney Park in St Peters was named one of the most innovative parks in the world back in 2020, but that's not the only reason we're adding it to our list of the best picnic spots in Sydney.

The sprawling, 40 hectares of gardens, rolling lawns, wetlands, and waterways make for a fantastic outdoor adventure for picnicking families. BBQ facilities are on offer along with native animals frolicking all about and plenty of wide-open spaces to throw out a blanket and while the afternoon away. 

6. Royal National Park

Audley Weir
Audley Weir, 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.

7. Oatley Park

 Best Sydney picnic spots: Oatley Park Picnics
The huge playground at Oatley Park is an added bonus!

Oatley Park is a 112-acre reserve on the picturesque Georges River in the southern Sydney suburb of Oatley surrounded by natural bushland and waterways.

There is a fabulous 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.

8. 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.

9. Nielsen Park

The Nielsen
Views from outside The Nielsen.

Please note that Shark Beach adjacent to Nielsen Park will be closed from March to December 2022.

Another great picnic spot in Sydney for families who love being by the water, Nielsen Park delivers grass and water views for your weekend picnic. 

The impressive views across Port Jackson and Mosman, along with wide-open spaces, huge shady fig trees and access to snacks from the nearby cafe make Nielsen Park one of our favourite picnic spots in Sydney.

Please note that Nielsen Park gets very busy on the weekends and parking spots get snatched up quickly. Make sure you get there early to secure your spot! 

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. 

More Outdoor Fun in Sydney

Sydney's Best Free Water Play Parks
Best Pram-Friendly Walks In Sydney
The Best Adventure Playgrounds in Sydney

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