Outdoor dining with a view
Summer is officially here and going to the beach isn’t the only thing you can do! It’s time to dust off your picnic basket and head on down to these 10 most scenic picnic spots in Sydney for a lovely meal in the beautiful Australian outdoors.
1. Shark Island
With a long list of things to do, Shark Island is a small island of big experiences. Have a seat on the lavish lawns or take advantage of their picnic facilities whilst enjoying the movie-like landscape of Sydney.
With ferries conveniently running from Darling Harbour or Circular Quay, Shark Island is an exciting outdoor adventure great for all Sydney Siders. Whether you’re looking to paddle, cycle, fish, and snorkel with the kids, visit Captain Cook’s landing place and the Aboriginal sites with friends or have a dip and a meal with your significant other, Shark Island is the venue that caters to all. Enjoy these activities before or after your picnic and you’re sure to have a fun filled day right in the harbour!
Make sure to make a booking and check out the fee per person before your visit, and keep in mind that barbecue facilities aren’t available. Even so, with all the activities presented for your pleasure, Shark Island is the island picnic you need.
Address: Shark Island, Point Piper NSW 2027
2. Nielsen Park
With a view of Shark Island, and another one of Sydney Harbour National Parks, Nielsen is another scenic spot to try by the harbour. With the emerald green and coral blue waters surrounding the foreshore, you can follow the walking tracks to take in the stunning views.
If you’d like to get up close to the colourfully inviting water, you can hire a kayak or dive right into the bright hues for a swim. After a day’s worth of outdoor explorations, the shady grassland or the sandy shore will seat you well for a lovely picnic.
As it’s part of the national parks, if Nielsen isn’t to your liking, you’ll have other picnic sites such as Bottle and Glass Point as well as Shakespeares Point to try out in close proximity. Don’t worry though, rare it is that anyone dislikes Nielsen Park – it’s a recreational haven for all!
Address: Greycliffe Ave, Vaucluse NSW 2030
3. Wendy’s Secret Garden
From a heartbreaking death to a garden inspired by love, Wendy’s Secret Garden is the result of Wendy Susan Whiteley’s eternal love for her husband, Brett Whiteley. Despite her garden was literally built from rotting wreckage, her artistic creation is now one of Sydney’s beautifully heart-warming spots. In theme with Wendy’s eternal love, it’s a popular venue for weddings and dates.
The soft green of the grass and trees, and the lively colours of the flowers create a tender atmosphere perfect for a couple’s escape in the midst of the city. Even if other people are around, you’ll feel a comforting sense of seclusion and privacy with your partner. As you have your picnic among the pleasant flora, take in all of Wendy’s carefully crafted creations such as the intricate footpaths laced around the garden, carefully positioned benches facing fantastic views like the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and the beautiful ponds that complement the surrounding green.
Although a romantic spot, the idea of Wendy’s Secret Garden is to celebrate love so it welcomes families and friends just as much. Visit this secret treasure at Lavender Bay and enjoy a memorable picnic with your loved ones!
Address: Lavender Bay NSW 2060
4. Mrs Macquarie’s Chair
Grab a seat right next to Mrs Macquarie’s for an ideal picnic. Located across the harbour, you’ll get arguably the best panoramic view of the harbour side, of course featuring the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. Picturesque spots like these are the reasons Instagram was made; you’ll be snapping photos like the kinds you see on postcards!
With strips of inviting green grass laid out ready to be relaxed on, you’ll find plenty of space despite many avid picnic goers.
While you grab your own spot on the grass, don’t forget to check out Mrs Macquarie’s chair, hand carved from sandstone in 1810. It’s said that that’s where she sat to look out for ships sailing from Great Britain to the harbour. With a historical artwork and a picture-perfect view from the peninsula, Mrs Macqurie’s Chair is the spot not to miss!
Address: Mrs Macquaries Rd, Sydney NSW 2000
5. Royal Botanic Gardens
Located between Mrs Macquarie’s Chair and Circular Quay is another lovely spot for a picnic, the Royal Botanical Gardens. A haven in the middle of the busy city, this picnic venue is the perfect place for a peaceful day filled with gloriously themed gardens, fields of stretched grass ready for you to stretch out on, and guided tours and soothing strolls of the sight. Possibly the best nature sanctuary in the midst of Sydney’s city, you can escape from the busy buzz any time you like.
With cafés, a garden gift shop, and several sporty and recreational areas, here you’re bound to have a wonderful date with your friends, date, or family! If you’re planning to have a picnic or a garden party of more than 20 people you’ll have to make a booking on their website below. But for a spontaneous getaway from the city or a relaxing picnic lunch on the grass, pop by the Royal Botanical Gardens without a booking for what can only described as a true oasis!
Address: Mrs Macquaries Rd, Sydney NSW 2000
6. Clifton Gardens
More for a family visit, Clifton Gardens offer safe beach side picnics and outdoor activities. As you sit down for a picnic on the flat landscape just by the beach, you’ll be able to hear soothing sounds of the waves or the cheerful sounds of children’s laughter from the playground and basketball court. The fragrance of fresh air or slightly salted beach air will hug you tightly if not masked by the delicious barbecue other visitors might be cooking up. Clifton Gardens is truly a place of positively overwhelming senses!
With a partially enclosed beach for safety and an open beach beside, you can choose from several water activities. From swimming, snorkelling, fishing and more, if one activity tires, there’s always another waiting. Although there is a café at the end of the beach, many visitors bring their own picnic for a more personal day of fun. Truly a recreational getaway, this Clifton Gardens is the beach side scenic spot not to be missed!
Address: Clifton Gardens, Mosman NSW 2088
7. Royal National Park
A picnic on the fields, a picnic by the beach, a picnic in the forest, and a picnic by the falls, Royal National park has got it all! With around thirteen picnic sites to choose from, and not to mention the views, walks, and adventures that come with the park, an excursion is a must try.
Each picnic site offers their own unique experience: at Bonnie Vale, Pool Flat, Reids Flat, and Wattamolla picnic areas you can have water-filled fun with a swim, snorkelling, fishing, or paddling on a canoe; at Ironbark Flat, and Wattle Forest you can have yourself a barbecue and enjoy a game of footy on the wide grass while waiting for the grill, at Rustic Red Cedar Flat, and Watefall Flat you can enjoy the avian wildlife and bird watch while you eat, and at Garie Beach you can whale watch as you listen to the push and pull of the waves! With raw experiences of Mother Nature, the Royal National Park will give you a relaxing yet simultaneously adventurous outing!
Address: Audley Rd, Audley NSW 2232
8. Lane Cove National Park
Ready for you to unwind in the midst of nature, Lane Cove National Park is the Chatswood gem everyone’s talking about! With twelve different picnic sites, you’re bound to find a secluded nook to celebrate the outing without being disturbed and worrying about others.
If a packed basket isn’t the outdoor meal you’d like, you can help yourself to a good cookout at some of the other picnic sites such Carter Creek, Bakers Flat, and Cottonwood Glen. If you’re a fan of laying it all out on the grass with enough space to throw around a Frisbee or kick around a ball picnic areas such as Commandment Rock, Koonjeree, Moola, Jenkins Hill, and Tunks Hill will suit you well.
To accompany your picnic, there are several bushwalking sites, a cycling trail, and other recreational areas to stir up an appetite before the picnic or to work of the lunch after! Lane Cove will give you a time out from the hustle and bustle of the city; it’s the place to forget the office and have a day of leisure!
Address: Lady Game Dr, Chatswood West NSW 2067
9. Bradfield Park
Most picnic areas have trees or parasols for shade but at Bradfield Park, the Sydney Harbour Bridge has got that covered! You can enjoy a sunny day out with food, company, and a historical wonder.
Unlike other spots, it’s not necessarily nature’s sanctuary and it might not offer you an escape from the city. Don’t fret though, Bradfield Park is like the much-needed oasis among all the buzz. The perks of being surrounded by the always-busy harbour area is that you can buy your food and plop down on the greens for an outdoor eating. It’s a great place to people watch and take in the coming-and-goings of Sydney unfold right before you. Up close with Sydney’s icon, this scenic spot is sure to take your heart!
Address: 41 Alfred St South, Milsons Point NSW 2061
10. Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park
Adventure is out there! It sure is at Ku-ring-gai National Park where there are four picnic sites with plenty of activities available at each. For a picnic site near all the action, check out Bobbin Head and The Basin Head sites to have a blast canoeing, paddling, swimming, fishing or throwing a ball around while you tuck into your basket of goodies.
For a more relaxed ambience with a little bit of action, try Akuna Bay; it’s perfect for a lazy fishing trip or leisurely bird watching as the drift off to the coaxing waves. For a bit of a break from all the activities, Resolute picnic area is a great option to catch your breath with tranquil views to soothe your eyes.
Famous for their advanced bush walking tracks, if you’re an active explorer, Ku-ring-gai is definitely worth a go! With walking trails to try out at your own pace, viewpoints not to be missed, and several ‘explore’ tours both via foot and paddle, you’re bound to find activities to go with your picnic. Located right at Bobbin Head, once you see all that the magnificent park has to offer, you’re sure to be bobbing your head in excitement!
With this list, you’ll have a summer full of nature and a whole lot of food! If there are other scenic spots around Sydney worth a try, let your other picnic goers know and leave it in the comments below!