The Most Amazing Waterfalls & Picnic Spots In & Around Sydney

  • Kids

By: Phoebe Ackland, ellaslist

Just imagine the long, lazy Summer days that could be spent bonding and exploring at a magical waterfall or nature-filled picnic spot in Sydney.

Pile the kids into the car, leave the screens at home, and enjoy all the natural beauty that this city has to offer. Pack some ice cold drinks, plenty of sunscreen, and set off on an exciting picnic this Summer. Happy adventurin'.

1. Collins Beach Waterfall

Nestled between North Head and Little Manly Cove, you can only get to this little, secluded gem by foot (or boat!). Scenic harbour views and calm waters accompany this small but beautiful waterfall. You might even spot a passing ferry, or a fairy penguin! Not a bad spot for a romantic (sans-kids!) picnic either...

via NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service

2. Centennial Parklands

What Eastern-suburbs based family doesn't have memories of feeding ducks at the duck pond, riding bikes around the cycle tracks or sitting down to a picnic in these gorgeous, sprawling parklands? The good thing about Centennial Parklands is that there are just so many darn great picnic spots around its perimeter. With multiple playgrounds and cafes, families are at no lack of beautiful, shady spots to set down the picnic blanket. You can even pre-order picnic hampers from the Centennial Homestead to make it a truly seamless experience. 

3. Upper Gledhill Falls

Just a 5-minute walk from McCarrs Creek Road, Ku-ring-gai Chase is a tall waterfall surrounded by lush greenery, feeding into an enchanted-looking 10-metre wide pool ideal for swimming. The stream is larger after rainfall, but if not, just enjoy the gentle splashes. You can even hop on the rope swing into the water if you're feeling brave! 

via Mitchell Goosen/flickr

4. Wendy Whiteley's Secret Garden

If fairies exist, we're sure this is where they'd be found. After her ex-husband’s death, Wendy Whiteley transformed a weed-ridden wasteland into this little piece of magic. She intended for it to be enjoyed by the community, and after a 30-year lease granted to the council by the state government, her legacy lives on. You can find this enchanting picnic spot at the top of a set of stairs in the gorgeous Lavender Bay.

via Wendy's Secret Garden

5. Jump Rock, Macquarie Pass

Not to be confused with Manly’s Jump Rock, this one can be found after a 45-minute walk after parking at the base of Macquarie Pass. There are ropes and various rock climbing grips installed to help you as you clamber across the rocks (probably ideal for older families). The waterfall flows into a deep swimming pool where people love to jump into from the various ledge heights (from 3-10 metres) surrounding the pool.

via Pioneer Walks

6. Mount Annan Botanic Gardens

As well as the awesome nearby playground with a flying fox, these Botanic Gardens are perfect for a picnic and exploring nature. After a yummy packed lunch, you can feed ducks in the lake, and follow the meandering paths throughout this expansive green space, playing eye spy to hunt for sunbathing lizards. 

7. Lizard Log, Western Sydney Parklands

The awesome nature playground isn't the only drawcard for families at Lizard Log. In Sydney's west, this awesome picnic spot boasts 10 purpose-built coal barbecuing stations, 24 electric barbeques, scenic walking and cycling tracks, a pavilion and amphitheatre, toilet facilities and 20 picnic shelters- 10 of which are free to use without a booking. Mickey's Ice Cream Van is also known to frequent Lizard Log on weekends and school holidays, the perfect post-picnic treat.

via Western Sydney Parklands

8. Glebe Foreshore Parks

Take a walk around the Glebe foreshore and pick one of the four dazzling waterside parks (Jubilee, Bicentennial, Federal & Blackwattle Bay) along the way for a picturesque family picnic. 

via Travel + Leisure