Sydney’s Best Picnic Spots – Dine in Australia’s Parks & Beaches

in Australia, Trip Locations

Sydney is home to many of the world’s best restaurants overseen by leading chefs like Tetsuya Wakuda, Peter Gilmore, and Neil Perry. However dining at their establishments can quickly empty your wallet. But frugal travelers need not miss out on great food and water views while visiting the harbor city. Just bring your own and enjoy some of Sydney’s best picnic spots!

Soak up Sydney’s sun, surf, and sand with a picnic by the beach. The city has several great coastal parks that are perfect for families. Balmoral Beach in Mosman may be one of Sydney’s most famous, but it’s a reputation that’s well deserved. The Norfolk Island pine trees provide plenty of shade, and there’s a playground to keep the kids entertained. You can bring your own grub or grab some cheap fish and chips from one of the nearby takeaway stores.

If you enjoy peace and quiet you may prefer a less popular Australian beach like Chinaman’s Beach on nearby McLean Crescent. This coastal spot is a bit of a local secret, but the residents won’t mind you claiming a piece of parkland. There’s plenty of space for enjoying a game of frisbee or Aussie cricket. And of course the water’s not too far away either. The well-protected beach has small and gentle waves just perfect for tiny tots.

For a different kind of water view choose a spot near Sydney’s famous harbor. The Royal Botanic Gardens is a popular picnic spot for tourists and locals alike. The outlook is incredible, and the shady lawns, rose gardens, and fountains create an incomparable atmosphere. Admission to the gardens is free, and exploring them is a great way to work off your lunch.

The Royal Botanic Gardens can get crowded when the weather is fine though. If you’d prefer to stray from the tourist path, take a trip to Wendy’s Secret Garden in Lavender Bay. The whimsically named spot was created by Wendy Whiteley in memory of her husband, the late Sydney based artist Brett Whiteley. The large fig trees offer plenty of shade and a home for the resident parrots, kookaburras, and other birdlife.

Sydney is built around its waterways, but some of the city’s best picnic spots aren’t by the water at all. Centennial Park acts as an oasis in Sydney’s bustling inner east. With 189 hectares of space there’s plenty of room to spread out near the duck ponds and flower beds.

Picnic in Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens

Picnic in Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens

Things are a bit quieter at Lake Parramatta Reserve in North Parramatta. It’s a shade smaller at 73 hectares, but there’s still plenty of space for a family picnic. There are native birds and wildflowers for nature lovers, and rock shelters decorated with the hand-stencils of Sydney’s first indigenous inhabitants.

So who wants to sit inside a stuffy restaurant? A picnic in a park by the beach or the harbour is a much better way to soak up Sydney and save money!

[Image Source: Freddy Rhoads/Flickr]

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