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Best Picnic Spots in Canberra for Soaking Up The Sun

Enjoy the warmer months outdoors and dine alfresco at the best picnic spots in Canberra!

Landscape view of National Arboretum in Canberra at sunset with orange and pink sky
National Arboretum (Image Credit: National Arboretum)

Whether you're socialising on a budget, looking for a romantic date idea or want to cater and tablescape your own outdoor soiree, few things are better than a picnic.

As the warm weather settles in to stay for the summer, we've put together a list of the most charming parks and the best picnic spots Canberra has on offer. So, pack up your basket, blanket and bestie and enjoy the great outdoors this weekend.

Tulips in red, purple, yellow and white line the Commonwealth Park in Canberra during annual Floriade Flower Festival
Commonwealth Park, Visit Canberra

Commonwealth Park, Lake Burley Griffin

The manicured parklands of Commonwealth Park run from the centre of the city to the edge of Lake Burley Griffin and provide countless spots for a picnic with friends. Choose from open grass areas, spots by a pond, amongst artwork and sculptures or under the shade of the many trees.

If you plan your picnic for spring you're in luck with the Floriade Flower Festival taking over the park with countless blooms on display. It's a photo opportunity you won't want to miss!

Commonwealth Avenue, Canberra

Friends toasting champagne flute glasses aboard Goboat Things to Do Canberra
GoBoat Canberra

Picnic on the Lake

Thanks to Go Boat Canberra, you can skipper your own boat and enjoy a picturesque picnic (and maybe a cheeky glass of wine) from the water on Lake Burley Griffin.

It's completely BYO, so you can bring as many pastries, gourmet cheeses and cold meats as you can manage, and enjoy beautiful views of the city as you cruise at a leisurely pace. No boat license is required, but be sure your skipper doesn't get carried away with the champagne!

Sailing from Queen Elizabeth Terrace

6 people walk 7 dogs on lead through pine trees and grassy areas with sun shining through at Haig Park Canberra
Haig Park Photo Credit: Martin Ollman for VisitCanberra

Haig Park

Sitting on the edge of the city, Haig Park has plenty of space for everyone to enjoy the great outdoors. One of the best picnic spots in Canberra for families and friends, the park is serviced by BBQ facilities, public bathrooms, fitness tracks and playgrounds, making it easy to spend an entire afternoon here soaking up the sun.

Be sure to take a stroll through the park and admire the hundreds of pine trees planted over one hundred years ago and discover beautiful art displays as you go.

Haig Park, Braddon

Two bike riders stopping by a lakeside cafe with blue and white cafe seating, taking in the views of the lake
Margot Bar

Margot Bar

Okay, we may be stretching the meaning of the best picnic spots in Canberra with this one, but this is worth it. Margot Bar sits on the west end of Lake Burley Griffin and provides the dreamiest al fresco bar and dining in the city.

Alongside a usual array of local wines, pastries and handpicked small goods, the team have added some summer fun to their menu and you can now score pizza and cocktails. We can't think of a better way to while away a summer afternoon than with tunes, lake views, slices of piping pizza and cold drinks. 

West Kiosk, Queen Elizabeth Terrace

Purple wisteria creates a canopy over a rotunda with white pillars inside the Old Parliament Gardens Canberra
Old Parliament House Gardens Photo credit: Visit Canberra

Old Parliament House Gardens

Imagine sitting amongst an abundance of roses in one of the most historical political landmarks in Australia, which also happens to be gorgeous on a sunny day.

Old Parliament House Gardens is the perfect picnic spot in Canberra to bring your pastries and champagne as you marvel at the beauty around you. There are plenty of spots to sit from open lawns and seating pavilions to gorgeous wisteria arbours. Be sure to take a wander through the gardens while you’re there to really appreciate its charm.

18 King George Terrace, Parkes

Landscape shot of National Arboretum Canberra Landscape with rolling green hills and a yellow hot air balloon
National Arboretum Canberra

National Arboretum Canberra

The National Arboretum Canberra is perched high up above town, with stunning views of Canberra and beyond. Encircled by green forest, the Arboretum has several walks you can do before (or skip straight to!) you indulge in a picnic at the Himalayan Cedar Forest BBQ area.

This little oasis is surrounded by 100-year old huge cedars and provides an abundance of shade for those sunny days, plus free electric BBQs.

Forest Drive, Molonglo Valley

Two young girls walk along a footpath surrounded by green fronds at the Australian National Botanic Gardens Canberra
Australian National Botanic Gardens

Australian National Botanic Gardens

If you’re a long-term Canberra resident, you may have delightful memories of picnicking at the Botanic Gardens with your family. It is the perfect place to enjoy lunch, amongst the 4,300 varieties of native flowers, trees and plants.

The soft grass at the Eucalyptus Lawns is one of the best picnic spots in Canberra, with more than 70 different types of eucalypts to shade you. The Burbidge Amphitheatre and Ducrou Pavilion are also great spots, as are the many picnic tables scattered throughout the gardens. Just make sure you don’t leave any scraps behind, as it can be hazardous to the wildlife.

Clunies Ross Street, Acton

Woman in yellow coat walks with a man in warm clothes thorugh park with orange and yellow leaves at Nara Peace Park Canberra
Canberra Nara Peace Park Photo credit: Visit Canberra

Canberra Nara Peace Park

Located within Lennox Gardens on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra Nara Peace Park is a tranquil escape. Enjoy a picnic on the grass or at the picnic tables amongst a Japanese-themed garden, gazebo, stone lanterns and several beautiful cherry blossom trees.

This gorgeous, shady spot has a deep and rich history and you can read about it within the park. You can see Black Mountain, the Brindabella Ranges and the city centre from Canberra Nara Peace Park – it truly is a beautiful place and one of the best picnic spots in Canberra.

Lennox Gardens, Yarralumla

Now you've discovered where to find the best picnic spots in Canberra, why not pick up some goodies for your al fresco feast? Stock up on pastries from Canberra's best bakeries, or indulge in delicious sweet treats from Canberra's best cake shops.

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