Heading to Sydney with your family?
A relaxing picnic with loved ones is the perfect way to enjoy a beautiful Autumn day, and Sydney has some of the most picturesque locations to choose from. For the ultimate combination of food and breathtaking backdrops, pack your picnic basket and check out these amazing outdoor spots.
Located moments from the CBD and easily accessible by car or public transport, Centennial Parklands is made up of three major urban parks covering 360 hectares. The Parklands are aesthetically beautiful and historically significant, housing Australia’s Federation monument, The Federation Pavilion. The Parklands are home to over 15,000 trees, Australian wildlife, ponds, flowers beds, statues, and has a wide selection of cafes and restaurants. Visit the Parklands as the locals do – enjoy a picnic in the vast and beautifully maintained open green spaces, take a walk, hire a bike or go horse-riding.
Balls Head Reserve
Boasting 9 hectares of beautiful bushland, Balls Head Reserve is a hidden gem only 1.5 kilometres from the Sydney CBD. The Reserve is located at the southern end of Balls Head Drive in Waverton and can be accessed from Waverton railway station, which is a 10-minute walk away. The reserve is home to a number of different short bushwalking tracks that combine natural beauty with great views across Sydney Harbour, taking in the CBD skyline, the Harbour Bridge, Goat Island and surrounding peninsulas. One of the tracks, the Habour View Walk is suitable for wheelchairs and offers breathtaking views of the Sydney Harbour and the CBD.
Royal Botanic Gardens
Photo credit: Destination New South Wales
A short walk from Circular Quay and Hyde Park, the enchanting Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney is a tranquil oasis offering spectacular views of the Sydney Harbour, the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The garden houses thousands of plant specimens and a variety of wildlife including colourful birds, fruit bats and water dragons. Explore the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and discover the area’s rich Aboriginal history on a guided Aboriginal Heritage Tour where you will be able to discover traditional plant uses and taste some bush foods.
On the edge of beautiful Sydney Harbour, Barangaroo offers a wonderful mix of experiences. Named after a powerful Aboriginal woman in the British colony’s early days, Barangaroo Reserve was previously an industrial site but has now been transformed into a landscaped park with sandstone-edged tidal pools and 75,000 native trees and shrubs where you can enjoy a picnic on the lawns with spectacular views. The Reserve consists of several walking paths spread over multiple levels which can be enjoyed by travellers of all ages.
Royal National Park
Located about an hour’s drive from Sydney’s CBD, enjoy a picnic in the world’s second oldest national park, the Royal National Park. This is the place to kick back and settle into the Bonnie Vale picnic area that makes for a great day of water-based fun for the entire family. There’s easy swimming in the tranquil waters of Cabbage Tree Basin, and on weekends you can hire a canoe and paddle the waterways of Port Hacking, near Bundeena. There is also great fishing at nearby Jibbon Beach and barbeques so you can cook up the catch of the day and enjoy your meal in the great outdoors.
Alternatively, head to Wattamolla picnic area in Royal National Park. With loads of options to keep everyone happy, this is a popular place to base yourself while you’re exploring the park. The calm waters of the lagoon are perfect for snorkelling and swimming. Unpack your picnic basket under the shade of the cabbage tree palms and do some serious unwinding, or head to the beach for a spot of fishing.
Bradley’s Head Amphitheatre
Photo credit: Destination New South Wales
Situated on the beautiful Sydney Harbour National Park peninsula on the lower north shore, the picturesque Bradleys Head Amphitheatre offers panoramic views of Sydney Harbour, the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Other than offering amazing views, Bradleys Head Amphitheatre is a much-loved picnic area. After lunch, wander out to the old stone jetty for some fishing, or set off on one of Bradleys Head’s beautiful bush walks.
Note: Autumn season in Australia is from March – May.