12 of Melbourne’s Best Picnic Spots to Visit Any Time of the Year
Melbourne has the perfect picnic spot for any taste. Discover wild woodlands, artist gardens, or even an island covered in sculptures along the Yarra. We’re gathering our tartan blankets and making our way to one of these great spots. Grab a GoGet and check out our favourite Melbourne picnic locations.
1. Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne
The Royal Botanic Gardens are the best spot to get away from the chaos of the city centre without actually leaving it. Wide expanses of lawn with lots of room to lounge are interspersed throughout this 94-acre living museum of local and foreign plant species. Choose your favourite botanical setting for lunch from among native plants, cacti, ferns, and water lilies or sit by the lakes in the sun or the shade. A favourite location is Dog Flat, which looks out over the ornamental lake. You can also grab a bite from Terrace café if you don’t feel like packing a lunch. Take a stroll through Fern Gully and the lava paths surrounding the Guilfoyle Volcano to work up an appetite. After lunch, make your way to the Ornamental Lake shore for the best chance to see ducklings.
2. The Abbotsford Convent
As soon as you enter the grounds and turn to face the gothic spires of the Abbotsford Convent, you can sense the weight of the past hanging over you. In addition to being an orphanage, commercial laundry, and aged care institution, the complex had its beginnings as a convent in the late 1800s. Today, it serves as a gathering place for teachers, community radio broadcasters, artists, and crafters in addition to being a lovely location for a picnic in the park. Visit the Convent Bakery for loaded sandwiches, pies, and pastries if you forgot your meal.
3. St Kilda Botanical Gardens
This modest southside fixture, a tranquil escape from St Kilda’s bustle, is now Melbourne’s first public garden to maintain beehives. Visit throughout the week for more breathing room in between banquets as weekends ca get crowded. Picnic areas with sun, shade, or dappled light are available, and there is an oversized chess set! If you have a dog, you are welcome to bring them (just book a pet-friendly GoGet). There are also lots of shelters available should the weather turn alarmingly Melburnian.
4. Footscray Park
On the Maribyrnong River’s banks, Footscray Park is an Edwardian park with vistas of the CBD and Flemington Racecourse. As one of Melbourne’s first permanent picnic areas, it contains plant beds with lovely arches, walkways, a pond, and lots of open spaces for spreading out your picnic blanket. With play structures, a sandpit, and water play, the Footscray Park all-abilities playground is a great addition to the neighbourhood and perfect for families.
5. Treasury Gardens, Melbourne CBD
Parliament Station is a short stroll from Treasury Gardens and is a great place to take in views of the city skyline. You will be sandwiched between Spring Street and the peaceful Fitzroy Gardens. No matter the size of your gathering, there are plenty of grassy spaces to spread out on. Treasury Gardens is renowned for its sizable population of brushtail possums, so keep an eye out if your daytime picnic veers into a night-time event. You can also pick up your picnic supplies in a variety of locations in the city, including Spring Street Grocer (don’t miss the gelato!).
6. Edinburgh Gardens, Fitzroy north
One of the city’s favourite green spaces is the inner north’s community backyard; Edinburgh Gardens. Even though it spans 60 acres, its close proximity to supermarkets and local eateries makes it ideal for impromptu picnics. It’s a magnificent forest of trees with public restrooms, bike routes, a free skate park, and free table tennis (BYO bats and balls).
7. Ardrie Park & Hedgeley Dene Gardens, Malvern East
The English-style garden of Ardrie Park is tucked away between two residential streets in the suburb of Malvern East. It’s one of Melbourne’s most magical picnic spots and offers spectacular views of the city, a great swing set, and the opportunity to photobomb a wedding like a champ (there’s always a wedding shoot going on). The centre is divided by a lengthy avenue of trees and the picnic area is naturally shaded by elm trees. There are drinking fountains, restrooms, BBQ and picnic areas, and a playground that is completely walled. Another popular picnic spot in the area is Hedgeley Dene Gardens, a charming linear park that hasn’t changed much since it was created during the interwar years. There are Monet-like bridges to span the lake, and cast-iron lampposts from the 1930s scattered throughout the walks. Exotic deciduous and evergreen trees predominate in the gardens, which also have a well-kept grass for picnics. All leashed dogs are welcome.
8. Queens Park, Moonee Ponds
Who doesn’t love having a picnic beside a lake? Queens Park in Moonee Ponds is a lovely green area with a sizable lake that has a floating pavillion and fountains in Melbourne’s north-west. There are numerous enormous shady trees and tables spread out across the park. A 50-meter swimming pool is also available for summer swimming. You can get takeout from Moonee Ponds cafés like Brother Hen, which are open seven days a week, or you can grab a bite from onsite café, Curators Collective.
9. Yarra Bend Park, Kew & Studley Park Boathouse
Yarra Bend Park has plenty of area for picnics with its 642 acres; there are numerous grassy knolls and riverbanks, as well as shared barbecues and tables, parklands, and sports fields. The largest park with natural bushland in Melbourne, Yarra Bend Park, offers views of the river making it a great place for picnics.
Enjoy a picnic in the lush surroundings, then explore the area’s various paths on foot or by bicycle. It also happens to be one of the most romantic picnic sites in Melbourne and you can even rent a canoe and paddle upstream from the old Studley Park Boathouse.
If you didn’t bring your own picnic basket, the Studley House Boathouse cafe and kiosk offers take-out picnic baskets. To rent a rowboat, cross Kane’s Bridge and go to Studley Park Boathouse.
10. Fitzroy Gardens
East Melbourne is extremely fortunate to have several picnic places and just past Treasury Gardens you’ll find Fitzroy Gardens, where you can set up a picnic area away from other people among lovely old trees, a playground, and plenty of open space. Get away to this lush haven on the outskirts of the city. Enjoy the fresh air while passing by elm tree avenues and unique fountains. Then make your way to the southern part of the park to choose a picnic place besides the bubbling stream. Kid-friendly attractions include the double-necked giraffe swing and a kitsch dragon slide.
11. Royal Park, Parkville
Did you know that Royal Park contains wetlands? The city’s largest green space, at 170 hectares, is entirely made up of native Australian plants. Ibis and kookaburras can be seen in Trin Warren Tam-boore, which means “bellbird waterhole.” Gatehouse Street usually offers the best parking options for this Melbourne picnic location, but it is advisable to check the notice since many parks have time restrictions.
12. Herring Island (between Richmond and South Yarra) & Yarra River Melbourne
This challenging-to-reach island in the midst of the Yarra River has lots of privacy if you’re looking for seclusion. On weekends and holidays from January to April, you can depart from Como Landing on the Parks Victoria punt boat. But other times, you’ll need to rent a kayak or use your own boat. The largely unknown island features walking routes, replanted native bushland, and artwork. It is split between a nature reserve and an environmental sculpture park. There are a few shelters with running water and free barbecues. All trash must be taken home with you. For an easier to reach spot by the river, pack your picnic blanket and head for a grassy patch along the Yarra River in Melbourne. Located in the heart of the city, the Yarra River is a popular spot for picnics, with plenty of grassy areas and scenic views to enjoy. Visitors can enjoy a picnic on the banks of the river, or on one of the many grassy knolls that offer stunning views of the city skyline.
Melbourne is a great city for a picnic, with plenty of beautiful parks, gardens, and waterfront locations to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful spot in the Royal Botanic Gardens or a picnic with a view along the Yarra, there’s always a perfect spot for a leisurely lunch outdoors in Melbourne. If you’re a GoGet member, then there’s nothing standing in your way! Book a car today and GoGet out there. No Membership? No problem! We’ve got the perfect plan for you!