Top Spots for a Boxing Day Picnic in Sydney

  • Preschoolers
    Mums & Bubs

After the hustle and bustle of Christmas Day, Boxing Day is all about rest, relaxation and recovery. So load up the esky with leftovers and chill out on a family picnic at one of Sydney’s great parks or beaches.

We’ve put together our favourite spots for Boxing Day picnics to help you make the most of the public holiday.

Please consult the current NSW Government's current COVID-19 Guidelines before visiting these parks.

Where to go for Boxing Day Picnics in Sydney

Sydney CBD

Victoria Park

Victoria Park
Victoria Park is an inner city oasis with abundant space, a playground and pool access

Victoria Park is ideal for picnics with large grassy areas, surrounded by a lake with waterbirds, where you can relax. If the weather heats up, take an afternoon dip at Victoria Park Pool (open 7 am - 4 pm on Saturday 26th December 2021), which features a 50-metre swimming pool and children’s wading pool. There's also an excellent playground with plenty of equipment ideal for children of all ages.

Prince Alfred Park

The award-winning upgraded 7.5-hectare Prince Alfred Park is a great spot with ample green space and loads of recreational options. There are new paths, benches and lights, new barbecue and picnic areas, fitness stations, basketball courts, tennis courts and a really sweet little children’s playground featuring beautiful, hand-crafted rides. There is the added bonus of Prince Alfred Park Pool (open 7 am - 4 pm on Saturday 26th December 2021) with a splash deck for toddlers, new café, bleachers, umbrellas, sky-lit change rooms, shaded areas and landscaped space.

Boxing Day Picnics in the Eastern Suburbs

Nielsen Park

Nielson Park Sydney
Nielsen Park is a natural wonderland with a stunning harbour beach and a nice cafe

For most of us Sydney-siders, Boxing Day is synonymous with The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.  If you’re keen for some yachting action, one of the best vantage points is Nielsen Park. It’s on the foreshore of the harbour and right alongside the start line of the race. Let the kids splash in the shallows of the netted swimming area of Shark Beach and claim a picnic spot under the canopy of one of the many Moreton Bay Fig Trees with stunning harbour views. There is also a lovely harbourside café. Bear in mind, Nielsen Park gets busy on Boxing Day so catch the bus or be prepared for a bit of a walk. Open 7 am to 7 pm daily.

Bronte Beach and Park

Join the throngs of families and backpackers at beautiful Bronte Beach & Park. The mood here is festive and, while it’s crowded, you’ll always find a place to lay your picnic blanket. There’s a great playground for the kids to play in and the famous kid-friendly Bogey Hole to swim in. There is a seaside kiosk and loads of cafes close by.

Strickland House

Strickland House
The grounds of Strickland House offer expansive harbour views and access to Milk Beach

You cannot beat the view from the grounds of the historic Strickland House. The imposing house isn’t open to the public but the stunning and extensive grounds give access to two small harbourside beaches including the beautiful Milk Beach directly below, with unrivalled views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Shark Island. Perfect for picnicking! You can also access the Hermitage Foreshore Walk, which runs from Rose Bay to Watsons Bay. The grounds and garden are open from sunrise to sunset.

Centennial Park

Our top pick for a picnic, join in the fun at one of  Sydney’s favourite picnic spots at Centennial Park. With a convenient inner-city location, ample parking, five great playgrounds, plenty of shade, picnic tables, BBQs and of course, resident ducks, geese and pelicans, it’s easy to see why this lovely old park is a hit with children and adults. The Pantry, out the back of the Centennial Homestead, offers delicious, elegant and great value-for-money pre-packaged picnic hampers.

Parsley Bay

One of the most idyllic park-playground-beach combos in the East, the lovely and shady Parsley Bay reserve leads into a beautiful, clean flat beach then into the most perfect wave-less shallow bay with a protected swimming area. This iconic reserve, with its famous picturesque suspension bridge, is an ideal safe relaxing play spot for your little ones. There are no BBQ’s but plentiful picnic tables under the trees and a maze of serene nature walks. The small car park fills up quickly so get there early or be prepared for a bit of a walk.

Boxing Day Picnics in the Inner West

Glebe Foreshore Walk

Have a wander around the Glebe Foreshore Parks and take your pick of one of the beautiful waterside parks that it encircles - Federal Park, Jubilee Park, Bicentennial Park and Blackwattle Bay Park. 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. The parks provide plenty of opportunity for both high energy recreation and lazy lolling about on lawns. There are kids’ adventure playgrounds, native wetlands, beaches and off-leash areas for dogs. The foreshore walk takes you to the Sydney Fish Markets, so if you’re feeling energetic reward yourself with a Boxing Day lunch of fresh seafood!

Boxing Day Picnics in the Greater West

Lizard Log

Lizard Log
Voted the best playground in NSW, Lizard Log is a natural wonderland

Lizard Log in the expansive Western Sydney Parklands is referred to as 'Nature’s Wonderland'. Renowned for encouraging creative play and greater interaction amongst visitors and the natural bushland setting, this play space and parkland is an ideal place for a visit with the family. It was even voted NSW’s BEST playground! It has a massive sandpit, climbing and rope walls, slides, water spouts, a triple flying fox and basket swings. There are stretches of adventurous paths for walking and scootering, with natural features like mountains, lookouts and dams. There are plenty of picnic tables, electric BBQs and a bathroom for an all-day visit.

The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden

The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden in Mount Tomah is a 28-hectare fertile environment with a low temperature that makes it perfect for showcasing plants from the world’s cooler regions. A beautiful 90minute drive from Sydney, the breathtaking sanctuary is the only botanic garden in the world located in a World Heritage Area and a wonderful place to picnic and explore with the kids!

Bicentennial Park

Bicentennial Park Homebush
A lush, palatial parkland in Sydney Olympic Park, Bicentennial Park is a hive of activity!

A prime parkland in Sydney Olympic Park, you'll be spoilt for choice at Bicentennial Park. Spread your picnic blanket at Lake Belvedere or under a shady shelter and take advantage of the free BBQs, then let the kids run wild at the adventure playground with its sandpit, slide, climbing frame, swings and shade sails. If it’s really hot they 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. Open daily sunrise to sunset.

Boxing Day Picnics on the North Shore

Blues Point Reserve

As far as views go, Blues Point Reserve has one of North Sydney’s best! This popular local spot in McMahons Point has plenty of great picnic spots, sprawling fig trees and a lovely maritime-themed custom-designed playground to keep the kids happy while you soak up the scenery and spectacular views of the city and harbour. There are picnic tables, a bubbler and toilets.

Wendy’s Secret Garden

Wendy's Secret Garden
Wendy's Secret Garden is an enchanting hidden gem full of whimsy and wonder

One of our family’s faves for a picnic, Wendy’s Secret Garden is a quirky and quiet haven with something around every corner to delight children and adults alike. While there is no play equipment on offer here, the surprisingly large garden is lush and has amazing harbour views. There are no BBQs but picnic tables are scattered throughout the garden and all kinds of quirky statues and random objects add charm to this living work of art.

Check out more of The Best Secret Gardens in Sydney.

Taronga Zoo

Taronga’s Main Entrance Plaza is a lovely spot for a family picnic and access is FREE. You can see some of the Zoo’s wildlife exhibits 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 from the heights of Sydney’s only cableway experience. The zoo is open 9.30 am to 5 pm daily.

Chowder Bay

Located on the ever-popular Taronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach walking track, Chowder Bay 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.

Boxing Day Picnics on the Northern Beaches

Forty Baskets Beach Manly
Forty Baskets Beach in Manly

​Forty Baskets Beach

If your Boxing Day picnic has to be right by the water, then head down to Forty Baskets Beach in Manly Cove along the Spit to Manly walkway. Parking is available at Beatty Street in Balgowlah Heights and we recommend heading over early in the morning to nab a great spot in front of the crystal-clear waters.

Manly Dam

If you’re after a more active Boxing Day, head to Manly Dam. You’ll find activities 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 so you don’t have to arrive before dawn to get a spot. 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.

Clontarf Beach

Clontarf Beach
Clontarf Beach is ideal for little ones with a playground and enclosed beach swimming

Clontarf Beach is one of Sydney’s best spots for a family day out. It is a fabulous spot right on the foreshore of Middle Harbour with BBQs, toilets, cafe and netted swimming area (in the harbour). There is also a well equipped and shaded playground with activities for both toddlers and older children and a toddler bike path around the sandy play area.

Winnererremy Bay Flying Fox Park

The Parkland at Winnererremy Bay Flying Fox Park is well equipped for a family day out with BBQs, picnic shelters, bike paths and a beach. There is plenty of open space to throw a ball or fly a kite-whatever takes your fancy. There’s also a first-class, 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.

North Harbour Reserve

North Harbour Reserve
North Harbour Reserve is a popular spot with plenty of open space and a playground

A lovely park with plenty of shade, BBQ’s, picnic tables and bike track and shaded playground perfect for the under 10’s, North Harbour Reserve in Balgowlah is on the scenic harbour foreshore walk that runs from Manly through to The Spit so it is perfect for burning off some of those Christmas kilojoules!

More Great Sydney Spots For Families

Sydney’s 6 Best Picnic Spots
Six Of Sydney’s Best Rock Pools
Sydney's Secret Beaches

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Arif Javed

Oct 03 2016

I love to visit with family there