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The Best Picnic Spots in Melbourne & Surrounds to Dine Alfresco

Outdoor feasting with a view, these are the best picnic spots in Melbourne (and surrounds) to soak up the summer sun.

Carlton Gardens (Image Credit: Kelsey Harrington)

Whether you’re looking to dial up the romance or gather a few of your friends for outdoor beers and nibbles, there’s nothing quite like dining on the grass in the basking sun. So ready your rug and pack that hamper; Melbourne’s best picnic spots are ready and waiting for endless alfresco fun.  

It's cheaper than dining out, there's no bookings needed in advance, you can curate the food and drinks menu, and work on your tan while catching up with friends. You can't can't beat a good picnic. Here’s where to dine out on fresh air, delicious feasts and plenty of chilled prosecco.

The Best Picnic Spots in Melbourne: CBD

Carlton Gardens (Image Credit: Kelsey Harrington)

Carlton Gardens

The perfect spot to escape on your CBD lunch break, Carlton Gardens are something of an oasis within the hustle of inner-city Melbourne. With ample grassy space, and the splendour of the Royal Exhibition Building as a backdrop – all that’s left to do is kick back, spread out your picnic fare and forget where you are for a little while. 

1-111 Carlton Street, Melbourne

Royal Botanic Gardens (Image Credit: Visit Melbourne)

The Royal Botanic Gardens

Arguably one of Melbourne’s most iconic al fresco dining spots, the picturesque Royal Botanic Gardens offers everything from forest walks to cacti gardens and a tropical glasshouse across an impressive 38-hectare site. With so much room to move, you’ll have no trouble finding your group a private little corner to spread out your blanket and feast in style amongst breathtaking scenery.

Birdwood Avenue, South Yarra

Treasury Gardens (Image Credit: Running Tours Melbourne)

Treasury Gardens 

A stone's throw from the beloved Fitzroy Gardens, the equally enchanting Treasury Gardens sit invitingly on the south-eastern corner of Melbourne's CBD, ready and waiting to be dressed up in a sea of tartan rugs and eager picnic-goers. 

It's a serene landscape with plenty of mature, leafy trees providing shade for those blistering summer days. Heritage-listed and established in the middle of the 19th century, it's layered, beautiful and one of the oldest public gardens in the state, offering lovely vistas of Victoria's Parliament House. Take it all in on a post-picnic stroll, as the sun begins to set. 

2-18 Spring Street, East Melbourne

The Best Picnic Spots in Melbourne: Northern Suburbs

Fairfield Park Boathouse

Fairfield Park Boathouse

Giving us serious Notebook vibes, the Fairfield Boathouse is the perfect spot for a romantic picnic for two. Head out onto the calm waters of the Yarra and sail (or in this case row) off into the sunset. The Insta-worthy hand-built rowboats were designed by an English shipwright and are the only ones of their kind in the Southern Hemisphere. If you prefer to stay on dry land, roll out the blanket and perch on the riverbank for an equally serene setting.

Fairfield Park Drive, Fairfield

Edinburgh Gardens (Image Credit: Kelsey Harrington)

Edinburgh Gardens

Pizza and wine picnic, anyone? The place to see and be seen come summertime, Edinburgh Gardens, or 'Eddy Gardens' as locals call it, is the picnic spot of choice for stylish North-siders (and their equally hip pets). Lush, green and complete with tennis courts, a skate park and bowls club for added action – the gardens get extra points for being surrounded by some of Melbourne’s best bakeries, bottle shops and independent grocers should your stock run low. 

Alfred Crescent, Fitzroy North 

Darling Gardens (Image Credit: Adobe Stock)

Darling Gardens 

Something of a local favourite (and a fiercely guarded one at that), the quaint Darling Gardens is the stuff picnickers’ dreams are made of. Flat green grass, lots of space and large, shady trees make it the perfect spot for a fancy picnic for two, with an ice-cold bottle of sparkling and an elaborate cheeseboard.

Gold Street, Clifton Hill

Abbotsford Convent (Image Credit: Beth Wilkinson)

Abbotsford Convent 

Abbotsford Convent's heritage garden and grounds are a truly beautiful setting for that quaint picnic experience dreamed up out of an Jane Austen novel. Extra points if you wear lace and pack a brolly for sun protection...and pack a wicker basket and cucumber sandwiches. Oh, and try and lay your rug out under the one Quercus robur (English Oak) on-site.

With the Convent's iconic buildings as your backdrop, settle in post-picnic with a book, or simply soak up the surrounding sites. These are some of the most culturally significant grounds in the country after all, and are open 365 days of the year. 

1 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford

Quarries Park (Image Credit: Kelsey Harrington)

Quarries Park

Another picnic spot in Melbourne made for takeaway pizza and wine (thanks in part to it's proximity to Local Cellars and Pizza Shop - the little sister restaurant of Spensley's), Quarries Park also garners points for having one of the best views of Melbourne's skyline.

It consists of a network of parks and sports grounds linked by shared paths across Clifton Hill. It also connects to the Main Yarra and Merri Creek trails (part of the Capital City Trail).

The park has many open grass areas, including sports fields, which are suitable for football, cricket and soccer. What are you waiting for? Gather your friends, bring a ball or a bat, and let the fun of this magical picnic spot in Melbourne reel you in. 

Ramsden Street, Clifton Hill

Darling Square (Image Credit: Kelsey Harrington)

Darling Square 

A pristine little square hidden within the heritage homes of affluent East Melbourne, Darling Square is a little oasis made for a relaxing picnic with family, friends or your partner. 

Single cottages assemble on Grey Street, graciously overlooking this pretty square, which contrasts with the charming Victorian manors standing grandly upon Gipps Street. 

Bask it all in - the fresh smell of the grass in warm summer air, the leafy canopies above and the dappled sunlight freckling down upon your skin, hasty walkers chatting, families gathering, and like a beautiful beacon, the big century-old oak tree extending its wrinkled, welcoming arms out. 

There's something both nostalgic and romantic about this Darling Square, which is why it's one of our favourite picnic spots in Melbourne. 

1-41 Darling Street, East Melbourne

Queens Park (Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Queens Park

This picturesque Edwardian style park is another favourite spot in Melbourne for picnicking; a blissful retreat away from the busy streets surrounding. 

Stroll around the lake, along flat walking tracks, past the rose and sunken gardens, the bandstand, a swimming pool and bowls club, before selecting your favourite spot to lay out your rug.

Perpetually buzzing, it in no way loses its laid-back charm. Bring the whole family - there's even a fantastic playground for the kids to scramble happily upon. A real northside gem. 

Sitchu Tip: Do yourself a favour and grab a coffee to-go from nearby Convoy

9 Kellaway Avenue, Moonee Ponds 

Darebin Parklands (Image Credit: Kelsey Harrington)

Darebin Parklands 

This quiet parkland sits just ten kilometres north-east of the city, bound by Alphington and Ivanhoe. Like many of Melbourne’s larger green spaces, this was once a rubbish tip, but has been immaculately restored and regenerated by the local community over the past 50 years. Nowadays, it's a quiet, scenic escape abundant in grassy plains and waterways, and dotted with wattle trees, River Red gums and multiple wildlife habitats. Dogs are free to roam in off-lead areas (which makes them near impossible to resist petting) and there are undercover BBQ facilities suitable for a rainy day, sausage in bread combo. 

We recommend dropping your basket down alongside The Nest, a striking sculpture by artists David Bell and Gary Tippett, for a little dose of culture with your picnic finger food. 

Separation Street, Alphington

Coburg Lake Reserve (Image Credit: Laura Emerick, Film Victoria)

Coburg Lake Reserve 

This one's a hit with the local neighbourhood, offering a great variety of activities including picnicking, playgrounds, barbecue facilities, walking and bike paths and nature play all set in a beautiful heritage setting overlooking Coburg Lake.

Sitchu Tip: We're partial to a post-picnic game of bocce at the lake's public court. 

2A Gaffney Street, Coburg North

Westerfolds Park (Image Credit: Amanda Ryan)

Westerfolds Park

Situated in the outer north-east reaches of the city, beside the Yarra River in Templestowe, Westerfolds Park is a beautiful and expansive part of Melbourne’s open space offerings, with over 120 hectares of recreational and environmental parkland for visitors to experience and enjoy. That means ample opportunity for picnicking, but also cycling, jogging, walking, and even canoeing.

There are several peaceful picnic areas in the park, from the Westerfolds Ridge Picnic Area with its barbecues, picnic shelter, picnic table and playground, to the large picnic shelter with tables, and woodfired barbecues (with wood provided) of Red Stringybark Picnic Area. 

Fitzsimons Lane, Templestowe

The Best Picnic Spots in Melbourne: Eastern Suburbs

Fawkner Park (Image Credit: Fawkner Park)

Fawkner Park 

An English 'village green' atmosphere permeates around popular Fawkner Park, which has remained largely unchanged from its original design of 1875. Strike out along one of the formal pathways, avenues or lawns and find your perfect picnic spot; whether that be beside an Art Deco sporting pavilion or sports field, or just out past one of the paths lined with Moreton Bay figs, elms, poplars and oaks. 

On a summer weekend, cricket matches often take place; be a part of the conviviality as spectator, by making use of the free on-site barbecues and cheering on the game with your friends from prized location on the neighbouring lawn. 

24-88 Commercial Road, South Yarra

Como House & Garden

Como House & Garden

Looking for a luxe picnic experience without the fuss of having to prep and cook and pack it all up in the car? The Stables of Como at Como House & Gardens is your boujee answer. 

Encapsulating the inspiring and aristocratic history of the 160 year old Como property, The Stables has become a much-needed refuge from the hectic Melbourne city lifestyle, without needing to travel outside of the city fringe. Their gourmet picnic hampers are stacked and piled high with a delectable menu to be devoured amongst the five acres of beautifully manicured gardens.

They come complete with picnic rugs, crockery and a blanket to keep you cosy (additional items can be hired on the day).

Of course, you can always bring your own picnic and wander through the immaculate grounds, but we think a fancy picnic sesh never hurt anyone!

$100 per picnic hamper (add Champagne for additional $98)

Como House & Garden, South Yarra

Anderson Park, Hawthorn East. Image credit: Kelsey Harrington

Anderson Park

Another beautiful Melbourne park serving up stellar views of the city skyline, this hidden gem in the heart of Hawthorn is guaranteed to elevate your next picnic date. Step foot into the charming and sloping Anderson Park; it's interlaced with majestic heritage trees and wide open green spaces at the top of the hill, made for lazing away the day with friends and family. It then descends into an upper oval with a lush surface and terraced steps, ideal for playing or watching a game of sport. On a perfect day, you'll never want to leave. 

5 Anderson Road, Hawthorn East

Hedgeley Dene Gardens (Image Credit: Assemble Papers)

Hedgeley Dene Gardens

Set amidst beautiful residential gardens and period houses, Hedgeley Dene Gardens is one of Malvern's most beautiful and popular gardens.

As an established and well-maintained combination of lawn, deciduous and broadleaf trees and an ornamental lake, it links Central Park and the Gardiners Creek parklands...and is simply one of our favourite picnic spots in Melbourne. Take yourself on a solo date with a good book and a pastry and coffee from nearby Juliette Coffee & Bread; peaceful and pristine doesn't even begin to cover it. 

Sitchu Tip: Another beautiful picnic spot set in Malvern? The Malvern Public Gardens are a must; a leafy English style garden with serpentine paths, a gracious avenue of English oaks, and boasting one very fancy ornamental pond and fountain. An idyllic retreat, perfect for your next family picnic. 

Tollington Avenue, Malvern East

Caulfield Park (Image Credit: Kelsey Harrington)

Caulfield Park

The spacious Caulfield Park has something for everyone, making it an easy choice for your next picnic in Melbourne. There's a lake with duck and geese, play areas, a cricket field, and barbecue areas. This ensures a full and fun day out, so don't skimp on adding extra snacks into the basket. 

Fun fact: Most of the large trees at the western end of the park are around 100 years old - and it has more different species of native and exotic plants than in any other park in Victoria excepting only the Royal Botanic Gardens! 

280 Balaclava Road, Caulfield North 

Victoria Gardens

Victoria Gardens 

Nestled between High and Murray streets in Prahran, Victoria Gardens is an idyllic green oasis away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Set over two hectares, the gardens were designed in 1885 and offer plenty of shade and well-tended blooms to admire. It's truly a lovely nook of the city, that you can enter via one of the entrances made up of beautiful stone pillars and wrought iron gates. There are also a large number of different and beautiful trees, a good number of paved paths, a sunken oval, public toilets and a children's playground. All in all, it has all the ingredients for a perfect picnic session. 

361-381 High Street, Prahran

Alexandra Gardens

Alexandra Gardens 

Alexandra Gardens are definitely worth packing a blanket and picnic basket to lose a few hours in. They've been around for over 100 years, first laid out by British born gardeners, George and Thomas Pockett, as a fine example of the Edwardian Landscape style.

Beautifully manicured, the gardens are a natural fit for families, with cute play equipment for kids including an awesome little helicopter. There are also huge trees, a pretty gazebo, vine-covered stone archways, bridges and ponds, tables and chairs, walkways, and more. Remember this spot for your next al fresco meal. 

70 Cotham Road, Kew

The Best Picnic Spots in Melbourne: Bayside Suburbs

St Vincent Gardens (Image Credit: Eric Lau)

St Vincent Gardens

Nestled between some of Melbourne’s loveliest (and priciest) streets, English heritage-inspired St Vincent Gardens is a beautiful place to while away a sunny afternoon over nibbles. Smaller than the city’s better known picnic hot spots, this is just the spot to impress someone special someone. There’s even a lawn bowls club at hand should you want to up the ante.

St Vincent Place, Albert Park

Catani Gardens (Image Credit: Walking Perspective)

Catani Gardens

For those looking for a picnic spot close to the coast, Catani Gardens gives you the chance to feast alfresco on the St Kilda foreshore. Set up on a cosy patch of grass, and watch the locals stroll by as you sip your wine and feast on olives and cheese.

Beaconsfield Parade, St Kilda West

Green Point Reserve

Green Point & Brighton Beach Gardens

This picturesque park located just a short stroll from Brighton Beach offers lush grassy areas and shaded picnic tables. It's an ideal spot for families and friends to enjoy a meal while overlooking the sparkling waters of Port Phillip Bay. It's even better with a sundowner glass of sparkling in hand. 

Brighton, Melbourne 

The Best Picnic Spots in Melbourne: Western Suburbs

Williamstown Botanic Gardens (Image Credit: Kelsey Harrington)

Williamstown Botanic Gardens

Nestled by the sea, complete with rare and significant trees, a formal palm avenue and a charming Edwardian ornamental pond among its many attractions, the Williamstown Botanic Gardens provides a peaceful setting in which to enjoy a picnic, take a stroll along the intricate pathways or just relax and daydream on the cool green lawns. 

Giffard Street & Osborne Street, Williamstown

Footscray Park (Image Credit: Days Out With George)

Footscray Park 

Providing views to the city skyline, Flemington Racecourse and connections to the Maribyrnong River Trail, Footscray Park is a lush little spot that's one of the largest and most intact examples of an Edwardian park in Australia. 

The 15-hectare park sits pretty on the south bank of the Maribyrnong River. It's notable for its botanical collection, ornamental ponds and garden structures. Settle in for a long, languid afternoon out of the sun, perhaps with a banh mi style picnic, with goods collected from To's Bakery. 

40 Maribyrnong Boulevard, Footscray

The Best Picnic Spots in Melbourne: Out of Town

Rosalind Park, Bendigo

Rosalind Park

Located in the heart of Bendigo, Rosalind Park is the city's premier park. It is a significant site for its historic trees, buildings, structures and landscapes that are reflective of Bendigo’s character. Retreat to its cool green lawns and fernery with basket in hand, walk its avenues, discover historic relics and structures and the displays in the unique conservatory. It's one of the best spots to picnic outside of Melbourne. 

Pall Mall, Bendigo

Garden Spritz Picnics at Domaine Chandon

Domaine Chandon's Garden Spritz Picnics

Make yourself comfortable out on the lawn at Domaine Chandon, overlooking the vines and the stunning Yarra Ranges in the distance. Let all your troubles drift away while you soak up some sun and indulge in a glass of their delicious Garden Spritz. Book ahead to reserve this perfectly curated picnic session, only available during the warmer months of the year. Their perfectly curated picnic basket is filled with a range of locally-sourced and house-made delicacies to nibble on as you while away the afternoon.

Friday through Monday

727 Maroondah Highway, Coldstream

Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens (Image Credit: Parks Victoria)

Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens

Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens is the original garden of the historic Burnham Beeches estate, renowned for its extensive water features. They are delightful all year round, and you can choose your own adventure along the many linking paths beneath the canopy of giant Mountain Ash trees. You should definitely make your way down to the picturesque lake for a picnic by the quaint boathouse; it's an Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens must. The post-picnic stroll through the forever changing landscape of blooms and foliage will also captivate. 

1A Sherbrooke Road, Sherbrooke 

Loving our pick of the best picnic spots in Melbourne? Make sure you check out our favourite beaches, waterfalls, and scenic hikes around Victoria, all ready and waiting for you to explore.

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