Australia's Top 25 Favourite Picnic Spots Revealed
Australia has an incredible 30,646 picnic locations to choose from. That’s a Park, Picnic Ground, or Botanical Garden for every 838 Australians. We’re truly blessed with some of the most scenic, stunning, and special places in the world.
We wanted to understand which places Australian’s loved the most for a picnic, which meant searching past the obvious places and analysing over 12,500 reviews from the past 2 years.
Our investigation has led to a ranking of Australia’s top 25 picnic spots, which are spread across 4 different states. With the most locations in the top 25 (9), Victoria hosts some truly incredible places for a picnic. They’re followed by New South Wales and Queensland with 7 locations, and Western Australia with 2.
You can see every location on Google Maps below, or keep scrolling to explore our summary of the top picnic spots in Australia. Do you think you could guess #1 without looking?
Fagan Park (Galston, NSW)
Fagan Park, situated in Galston, New South Wales, covers 55 hectares and was once the Fagan family’s estate. Today, it boasts picnic areas, playgrounds, themed gardens, and historical gems like the Netherby homestead. For just $6 for all-day parking, it’s a favorite for family picnics and unhurried walks, carving its place in Hornsby Shire’s leisure landscape. Families can make the most of their visit with the park’s picnic facilities, ensuring a memorable day of outdoor dining and relaxation amidst the park’s natural splendor.
Location: 38-48 Arcadia Rd, Galston NSW 2159
Visit: Hornsby Council
Maroondah Reservoir Park (Healesville, VIC)
Maroondah Reservoir Park, home to a 41-meter high dam wall, is a serene location for a picnic offering picturesque formal gardens, wooded hills, and a calm reservoir lake. You can enjoy picnics at one of Maroondah Park’s six rotundas or barbecue stations whilst picnic tables are scattered around the reserve. Follow Parks Victoria’s Facebook page to find out when the reservoir is overflowing as this creates a stunning cascading waterfall that isn’t to be missed.
Location: Maroondah Hwy, Healesville VIC 3777
Visit: Parks Victoria
Yan Yean Reservoir Park (Yan Yean, VIC)
Photo: David Hannah
Yan Yean Reservoir Park offers walking trails, shaded picnic spots, electric barbecues, rotundas, picnic tables, and ample parking, making it perfect for family outings. The park features wheelchair-accessible toilet facilities and a playground near the Valve House. Explore the wetlands to observe the rich birdlife or stroll the serene waterside trails for picturesque reservoir and mountain views.
Location: Recreation Rd, Yan Yean VIC 3755
Visit: Parks Victoria
Tamborine Mountain Botanic Gardens (Mount Tamborine, QLD)
Perhaps a surprising inclusion in the list, Tamborine Mountain Botanic Gardens are a stunning escape into nature just 45 minutes from the Gold Coast metro area. The gardens are entirely run by volunteers, with free admission to explore their mix of tropical and temperate plants. Whilst there are no BBQ facilities, you can enjoy a home-made picnic at their covered pavilion or at one of the many picnic tables spread throughout the gardens. Parking areas can get busy, so it’s advisable to arrive early on weekends and enjoy the gardens for longer.
Location: 25 Forsythia Dr, Tamborine Mountain QLD 4272
Visit: TM Botanic Gardens
Daisy Hill Conservation Park (Brisbane, QLD)
Photo: Queensland Government
Just a few kilometres south of Brisbane, Daisy Hill provides the most unique experience on this list.. a Koala sanctuary! Even better, visiting the Koala sanctuary is totally free, making it the perfect addition to a family picnic day out. There are plenty of picnic areas with shelters and electric BBQ facilities, along with ample parking and clean toilets. It’s not hard to understand why this is a favourite spot for many Brisbane locals.
Location: Daisy Hill Rd, Daisy Hill QLD 4127
Visit: Queensland Parks
Bobbin Head (Mount Colah, NSW)
Situated in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Bobbin Head is a beautiful picnic spot situated along Cowan Creek. There are plenty of barbecues, picnic tables, and shelters alongside a wide open green space that’s perfect for large families. A children’s playground along with rentable rowing boats helps keep the kids entertained. Since you’re in a national park, there’s also an incredible mangrove boardwalk nearby to walk off that post-picnic slumber.
Location: Apple Tree Bay Carpark Rd, Mount Colah NSW 2079
Visit: NSW National Parks
La Balsa Park (Sunshine Coast, QLD)
This beautiful waterfront park runs along the banks of the Mooloolah river as it runs out towards Point Cartwright. There are multiple electric barbecues and picnic shelters dotted throughout the park, along with 3 playgrounds for the kids. A wheelchair-friendly path runs through the park, making it a perfect picnic spot for all ages. If you don’t feel like making your own food, One on Balsa is a highly rated cafe just a few metres from the park.
Location: Harbour Parade, Buddina QLD 4575
Visit: Sunshine Coast
Wilson Botanic Park (Berwick, VIC)
Wilson Botanic Park is a versatile haven for nature lovers. Families find it particularly appealing with its kid-friendly amenities, including well-equipped playgrounds and ample picnic areas. The park is incredibly peaceful, boasting serene ponds and even a cozy café. Visitors can enjoy the park’s suitability for picnics, barbecues, and hosting events. While parking can be a tad tricky during peak times, the park’s lush greenery, calm lakes, and picturesque walking trails make it a top choice among locals and tourists alike.
Location: 668 Princes Hwy, Berwick VIC 3806
Visit: City of Casey
Noosa Botanic Gardens (Lake Macdonald, QLD)
Considering just 35 years ago this was a wasteland used to dump rubbish, it’s amazing to see what the ‘Friends of Noosa Botanic Gardens’ team of volunteers has achieved. Whilst there are no barbecue facilities, there are plenty of picnic spots (4 shelters, 8 tables) throughout the gardens to enjoy. With scenic lake views over Lake Macdonald and multiple walking tracks, this is a great place to spend a sunny day. There’s no doubt this is the best hidden gem within our top 10 picnic spots in Australia.
Location: Lake MacDonald Dr, Lake MacDonald QLD 4563
Visit: Noosa Council
Coburg Lake Reserve (Coburg North, VIC)
Just a 20 minute train ride from Southern Cross station (Upfield line, get off at Batman), you’ll quickly forget you’re still in the city. Overlooking Coburg Lake, there are 9 barbecue spots, a playground, and multiple shelters to keep you protected from the elements. Enjoy watching the swans and ducks on the lake, which is also home to some turtles if you look closely enough. Kids will enjoy the 2 playgrounds, one of which includes a flying fox… easily the most fun thing you can find in a playground.
Location: Gaffney St, Coburg North VIC 3058
Visit: Merri-bek City Council
Braeside Park (Braeside, VIC)
Staying in Melbourne, Braeside Park is a little further out then Coburg Lake Reserve. Around an hours drive from central Melbourne, this stunning park is just a few minutes away from Moorabbin airport. There are a few electric barbecue stations, as well as plenty of picnic tables, shelters, and grassy areas to sit. The highlights of visiting Braeside Park include walking through their wetlands, birdwatching, and trying to spot the occasional echidna. Despite being surrounded by some busy Melbourne suburbs, this park is a peaceful escape from the city.
Location: Lower Dandenong Rd, Braeside VIC 3195
Visit: Parks Victoria
Cardinia Reservoir Park (Emerald, VIC)
Melbourne contributes #13 to our list as well, with Cardinia Reservoir Park about 45 minutes drive east of Melbourne city centre. This park sits on the western shores of Cardinia Reservoir, with breathtaking views across the water. For picnics, visitors will find spacious picnic grounds, barbecue facilities, and picnic tables alongside a kids playground. Anyone who visits should also take a walk down the Kangaroo Viewing Trail to see a few mobs of Eastern grey kangaroos enjoying their day.
Location: Cardinia Reservoir Access Rd, Emerald VIC 3782
Visit: Parks Victoria
Lysterfield Park (Lysterfield, VIC)
Yet another Melbourne entry, Lysterfield Park is only a few kilometres away from Cardinia Reservoir Park but offers a totally different picnicking experience. Plenty of picnic tables and electric barbecues are located in two main picnic areas, whith incredible views over Melbourne’s CBD on offer if you’re willing to make a small hike up the hill. If you want a more active day, Lysterfield Park is also a great watersports destination along with 24km of mountain bike trails.
Location: Horswood Rd, Lysterfield VIC 3156
Visit: Parks Victoria
Bungarribee Park (Bungarribee, NSW)
Photo: Blacktown City Council
Bungarribee is a stunning 200-hectare park in Western Sydney, right next to Sydney Zoo. Perfect for a family picnic, there are 18 picnic shelters (including 10 bookable shelters), 26 electric barbecues, and 7 coal barbecue stations. There’s plenty of parking spaces, and multiple playgrounds for the kids. Bungarribee Park is also host to one of Sydney’s largest off-leash dog areas, the Warrigal Dog Run.
Location: Doonside Rd, Bungarribee NSW 2767
Visit: Western Sydney Parklands
The Australian Botanic Garden (Mount Annan, NSW)
At 416 hectares, the Australian Botanic Garden in South-West Sydney is full of rolling hills, lakes, lawns, and gardens to explore. Perfect for a family day out, there are multiple picnic areas with playgrounds and BBQ facilities. There are plenty of walking trails around the gardens, including paths suitable for strollers and wheelchairs. There’s even an on-site Cafe if you don’t want to take your own picnic food. Best of all, entry to the gardens is totally free.
Location: 362 Narellan Rd, Mount Annan NSW 2567
Visit: Botanic Gardens
Places #16 - 25
#16 Lake Alford (Monkland, QLD)
#17 Deerubbun Reserve (Mooney Mooney, NSW)
#18 Kent Street Weir Park (Wilson, WA)
#19 Seawinds Garden (Arthurs Seat, VIC)
#20 Hervey Bay Botanic Gardens (Urangan, QLD)
#21 Emerald Lake Park (Emerald, VIC)
#22 Cormorant Bay Reserve (Lake Wivenhoe, QLD)
#23 May Drive Parkland (Kings Park, WA)
#24 Blacktown Showground (Sydney, NSW)
#25 Tench Reserve (Jamisontown, NSW)
Northern Territory, South Australia & Tasmania's Top Picnic Spots
It’s fair to say that our investigation favours picnic locations closer to large cities and population centres. The fact more people visit them means more people are likely to love each spot. However, we shouldn’t ignore the fact our less populous states have some incredible picnic spots.
That’s why we’re sharing the top 3 picnic locations for the NT, SA, and TAS.
#1 Darwin Waterfront Precinct (Darwin City)
#2 Sanctuary Lakes Park (Gunn)
#3 Darwin Botanic Gardens (The Gardens)
#1 Mount Lofty Botanic Garden (Crafers)
#2 Thorndon Park Reserve (Paradise)
#3 Wittunga Botanic Garden (Blackwood)
#1 Deloraine Train Park (Deloraine)
#2 City Park (Launceston)
#3 Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens (Hobart)
How We Identified Australia’s Favourite Picnic Spots
We didn’t want to create just ‘another list’ of picnic spots in Australia, sharing the same exact spots that everyone’s heard about before. Often, these spots aren’t actually great for a picnic! For example, Centennial Park in Sydney ranked #262 in our analysis, but finds it’s way to the top of most lists simply by being a popular park.
No, we wanted to know which places Australian’s LOVED to picnic. That was a little more complex to find out.
First, we needed to know all of the places in Australia you might want to picnic. So, we pulled all google listings for any Park, Botanical Garden, or Picnic Ground in the whole country. 30,646 places.
It just simply isn’t possible to visit each of these places ourselves, so we relied on Google reviews to guide our analysis. Starting by filtering our list of locations to places with more than 100 all-time reviews. Any fewer than 100 reviews would leave our analysis open to outliers due to small sample sizes.
This left us analysing 3,187 places. However, we only wanted to know if they were good for a picnic.
We analysed every review made in the last 2 years, for every location on our list, that contained the word “picnic”. A total of 12,564 unique reviews by Australians. Now we had our data, we needed to find a combined ranking that considered:
- The location’s overall popularity (total number of reviews).
- The location’s popularity for picnics (total number of reviews with the word ‘picnic’ included).
- How popular the location was for picnics compared to its overall popularity (metric 2 / metric 1).
- How much picknickers loved the location (average rating of reviews with the word ‘picnic’ included).
With each venue ranked from top to bottom on each of these 4 metrics, we simply combined all of these rankings with each weighting to find Australia’s favourite picnic spots.
About The Researcher
For the last 4 years, David (Food Box Mate) has been reviewing meal delivery services in Australia to help people solve the challenges of getting nutritiously balanced meals delivered without breaking the bank. Think reviews of services like HelloFresh or My Muscle Chef.
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