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Best Picnic Spots in Canberra for a Cosy Winter Adventure

Pack your beanie and a cosy blanket as you enjoy the best picnic spots in Canberra.

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.

Thankfully, Canberra is packed with stunning locations to throw down a rug and tuck into a delicious fare; just don't forget to pack a beanie and a cosy blanket. We've put together a list of the most charming parks and the best picnic spots Canberra has to offer. So, pack up your basket, blanket, and bestie and enjoy the great outdoors this weekend.

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

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

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 barbecue 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, admire the hundreds of pine trees planted over one hundred years ago, and discover beautiful art displays as you go.

Haig Park, Braddon

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 the usual array of local wines, pastries, and handpicked small goods, the team has added some cosy winter fun to their menu. Think mulled wine, soul-warming wine and DJ sessions every Sunday to play as the soundtrack as you soak up the breathtaking lake views. 

West Kiosk, Queen Elizabeth Terrace

Old Parliament House Gardens Photo credit: Visit Canberra

Old Parliament House Gardens

Imagine sitting amongst an abundance of roses in one of Australia's most historical political landmarks, 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

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 barbecue area.

This little oasis is surrounded by 100-year-old huge cedars, which provide an abundance of shade for sunny days and free electric barbecues.

Forest Drive, Molonglo Valley

Red Hill Nature Reserve

Red Hill Nature Reserve

If you fancy having a picnic with some of the best views in Canberra, Red Hill Nature Reserve boasts panoramic views of the capital city and even some of Canberra's Nature Park. With its expansive wooded landscape, the reserve provides a serene environment for picnics. Enjoy a leisurely day out with family and friends, and come autumn, revel in the reds and oranges of the trees. Enjoy some bird watching — the eucalypt hollows are favoured nesting spots for white-throated treecreepers and southern boobooks.

Red Hill Drive, Red Hill 

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

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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