Guide to Family Friendly Picnic Spots in Australia

So you've got the entire weekend to spend with your family? Time for a picnic!

But where can you go?

Taking the kids with you for a quick get-away means you have to find a place that is fun and has the comforts of home (read: clean toilets).

Read on and choose from the 7 sweet picnic spots that we found. These places will take you a step closer to nature without roughing it.

1. Victoria Creek Reserve - Williamstown, Adelaide

Victoria creek reserve
 Photos by Weekend Notes

This reserve sits right smack in the centre of the town, making it close to eateries and shops. So if you head over there without much planning, you really won't have to worry about food.

Another reason why this place gets a spot on this list is that it has plenty of parking spaces!

Spending a day here would be lovely and hassle-free as BBQ facilities and shady picnic areas are strewn across the reserve.

There are easily-accessible toilets, beautiful gardens, and a playground for the kiddos.

What makes Victoria Creek Reserve different from typical concrete playgrounds you can find in the cities is that it has character.

Take, for instance, the wooden bridge and flowing water underneath - that's something you won't really find at city parks.

Do what here?

  • Feed the ducks! - There's a duck pond at Victoria Creek Reserve where you and your children can feed the ducks to their (and yours, too) hearts' content.

2. The Entrance - New South Wales

Surfing Beaches in New South Wales
Photo by CentralCoastAustralia.com

Next on the list is a place that has something for everyone - The Entrance.

This holiday town has surfing beaches, a lake, scenic lookouts, plus, there's a family-friendly mall close by!

The Entrance is the perfect place for families that want to feel closer to nature but still be close enough to the comforts of a hotel.

It is not a singular picnic spot to spend the day at but rather a small town you could go to enjoy an entire weekend (or week!).

Do what here?

  • Watch the Pelican Feeding - Every 3:30 in the afternoon, pods of pelicans gather at The Entrance where they are hand-fed while an informative commentary runs at the background. This spectacle will surely wow you and your kids.
  • Bike Path - Spend your morning riding around the beautiful Tuggerah Lake with your entire family. This lengthy path begins at Skate Park, goes through The Entrance, and ends at Chittaway Point.
  • Tuggerah Lake - Anglers will love the bountiful Tuggerah Lake. A wide array of fish - from Blackfish to flatheads - can be caught from its foreshores. And depending on the season, you can also catch prawns at night.
  • Wyrrabalong Lookout - Enjoy a long walk with your family that starts at Bateau Bay Rd at Blue Lagoon and ends at Wyrrabalong Lookout. That's 3.8 km of wonderful sights and refreshing breeze.

3. The Perth Hills Centre - Perth

The Perth Hills Centre
Photos by vanblr

The affordable and accessible Perth Hills Centre is a well-equipped camping ground. And by well-equipped, we mean clean toilets, hot showers and functional kitchens. 

It's less than an hour away from the city centre, and will hardly make a dent on your budget.

The camping ground is surrounded by a native forest so you and your family will feel like you are roughing it without really doing so. Also, during the colder months, kids can be treated to an open camp-fire.

It is also home to the Department of Environment and Conservation's Nearer to Nature program. So, a trip there can be a wonderful learning experience.

Do what here?

  • See Mundaring Weir - Take in the sights of this fantastic dam by going on the Weir View Walk - a 1.5 km walk that is not only visually rewarding but also pretty easy.

4. Wendy's Secret Garden - Sydney

Beautiful Wendy's secret garden
Photos by Teresa Parker

Enchanting is what comes to mind when you step into this beautiful garden. It is filled with flowers and plants in varying shapes and colours, statues, benches, and yes, picnic tables.

This is a place where your entire family can relax for an afternoon. However, there are no playgrounds here for smaller children. So it might not be very popular with them.

This picnic spot has once been a dump. Yep, you've heard that right, a dump with nothing more than tangled shrubs. That is until Wendy Whitely worked her magic on it after she lost her husband, the Australian artist Brett Whitely.

Do what here?

  • View the harbour - There is actually a fantastic view of the harbour at Wendy's Secret Garden.

  • Relax - If you want to wind down and just relax, you can sit on one of the benches and enjoy a good book.

  • Picnic - If you have your kids with you, you can have a small picnic since a few tables are available for use.

5. Rouse Hill Regional Park - New South Wales

Rouse Hill regional Park
 Photos by Sydney, Kids, Food and Travel (Seana Smith)

Spacious and kid-friendly, this park has a playground that is complete with swings, a maze, a cycling track for toddlers, and even a rope bridge.

It has lots of open spaces as well where you can play catch or even fly a kite! For the adults, there is a shared track for biking, rollerblading, and walking.

Your family can easily spend an entire day here without running out of things to do.

Picnic tables and free gas BBQ facilities are also available to help make your picnic more convenient.

Do what here?

  • Play with the kids - This is where you go when you want to have a blast with your kids. All the grassy open areas here are made just for that.

6. Barangaroo Reserve - Sydney City

 

 Children playing picnic

                                       Photo on Pixabay

Pack your picnic blanket because you will need it to sit on the green and lush Barangaroo grass. The spacious 6 hectares park has spectacular views across the harbour including Sydney's cityscapes

You can get to this fantastic picnic spot on foot, using a bike or via public transport.

There's plenty of parking space. Also, the Barangaroo Reserve is disability friendly.

Do what here?

  • Picnic - Take a picnic and enjoy watching Sydney's amazing cityscapes.
  • Children play - The vast ground presents an exciting opportunity for the young ones to run around as they play.

7. The Nielsen Park and Beach - Eastern Suburbs

 

Nielsen park

                             Photo on Nielsen Park

You've got to love the beautiful Nielsen Park. It has amazing shade, family picnics and safe netted swimming.

The surrounding parkland is a real beauty and is famous for larger family gatherings.

Amazingly, there are large trees offering shade close to the beach and some benches where you can sit and enjoy watching the boats go by.

There's a restaurant within the park, overlooking the bay. Therefore, you can expect to get some coffee or light meals conveniently.

Plenty of clean toilets and washrooms as well.

Noteworthy:

  • Dogs not allowed 
  • No open fires
  • Park open 5am - 10pm
  • Free parking

Do what here?

  • Hold mothers groups meetings 
  • Picnic as you catch up with friends 
  • Wedding and private events at the Pavillion overlooking Fig Tree Road

A Few Things to Remember:

Travel light 

You are going on a picnic, not camping. Bring only the essentials to avoid lugging around too many stuff.

Sun protection 

Yes, we are talking about sunscreen and something else too. If you expect to be staying in a sun-drenched spot for a long time, bring some shade with you.

The OZtrail Ultramesh Tarp is a versatile equipment that would be wise to bring along. You can use it as a temporary shade or even as protection underneath your picnic blanket.

Don't forget the food! 

Some of the places we have suggested have restaurants and eateries nearby. However, you can't pass the opportunity to show off your superb sandwich-making skills, can you?

Apart from sandwiches, there are also a bunch of other easy dishes that you can prepare. Health has compiled a list of the best and worst picnic foods here.

In conclusion

 A picnic is a great way for you to bond with family and friends. And evidently, there are plenty of picnic spots with amazing amenities for you to enjoy the outdoors.

But remember to always carry a gazebo for protection against the harsh Australian sun. Pick your favourite gazebo colour, go out and enjoy a picnic this weekend or week! 

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Originally Published: March 2018

Updated September 2018: Added two more picnic sites - Nielsen Park and Beach and Barangaroo Reserve.