The weather is fine, the picnic basket packed. Here are Time Out's top spots for whiling away an afternoon

Como Pleasure Grounds

Como

An Italian feast at Lake Como would be heaven, but an option closer to home is available. Pick up some Italian deli goods, head to the idyllic Como Pleasure Grounds, sit waterside and enjoy a homemade charcuterie plate. Bliss. 

Lady Robinson Beach

Abbotsbury

For a little Mediterranean seaside ambience in Sydney, head south. This is one of our longest beaches, and the perfect sandy expanse for walking off an indulgent picnic lunch. 

Windsor

Windsor

If you're planning to visit the green and pleasant hills of Windsor at Macquarie Park then remember to pack a Brit-inspired picnic and some Pimm's.

North Bondi Beach

Bondi

Give the main Bondi stretch a miss and head to the north end instead. This is where you'll find the locals surfing and paddling, and you'll encounter a lot less pesky tourists too. 

Auburn Botanical Gardens

Auburn

The beautiful and very serene Auburn Botanical Gardens is famed for its impressive Japanese Gardens. Be sure to check out the many bonsai plants while you're there.

Bradfield Park

Milsons Point

This northside spot is a very popular choice for wedding photos, and we can see why. It offers spectacular harbour views, and a close-up look at that engineering wonder, the Sydney Harbour Bridge. 

Cockatoo Island

Sydney Harbour

Take a ferry from Circular Quay across to Cockatoo Island. The former naval site has prime position in the harbour and invitingly manicured lawns. Explore the island's industrial buildings and work up a working man's appetite – it ain't just for Biennale, this. 

Strickland House

Vaucluse

One of the reasons the grounds of this 1850s harbourside villa is a top choice is it's practically unknown beyond a few in-the-know Sydneysiders (until now, oops). Set up camp at the discreet Hermit Bay or Tingara Beach, or keep on until you reach the Strickland House grounds and a dazzling view of the harbour. You can take a dip at Milk Beach or a walk all the way to Nielsen Park too.

EG Waterhouse National Camelia Gardens

Caringbah

A refreshing respite from the heat and hubbub of Caringbah traffic, this beautiful sanctuary is home to duck ponds, bridges, cascading water, an enclosed playground for kids, a teahouse and Australia's largest collection of camellias. So, basically, a touch of everything.

McKell Park (Darling Point)

Darling Point

McKell Park commands unique views of Sydney Harbour and the heritage-listed Canonbury Cottage forms the centrepiece. If the weather's warm, take a swim in the harbour via the sandstone steps, and set your picnic basket on the green grass right on the water's edge.

Mrs Macquaries Chair

Sydney

This is Sydney's most picture-perfect picnic spot and the ultimate place to impress your squeeze. Make sure you pack the bubbly (you may have to be sneaky with it). 

Blackwattle Bay Park

Glebe

Snaking along the shoreline all the way to the end of Johnson Street in Annandale, this waterside park offers one of the best views of the ANZAC Bridge – no ugly stepsister! As you tuck into your picnic you'll be getting the same view as those dining at the nearby Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay restaurant, but without the bill.

Wendy's Secret Garden

Lavender Bay

Like Strickland House, this Lavender Bay gem is known only to a handful of streetwise Sydneysiders. Created by Wendy Whiteley after the death of her husband, Sydney artist Brett, in 1992, the once derelict green space has been transformed into a spectacular space and prime picnic spot. Go, and go often.

Centennial Park

Sydney

A weekend trip to Centennial Park, especially in summer, reveals Aussies at their leisurely best. There’s an outdoor fitness station and you can hire rollerblades and bikes or even go horse riding. But even in peak season, when it seems every Sydneysider wants a piece of the park, the vast lawns mean that there’s always a secluded spot to claim as your own. Please people, no PDAs though, there are kids around!

Pirrama Park

Pyrmont

This former Water Police base, snaffled up by the City from under the noses of developers in 2005, is now 1.8 hectares of grasslands, tree-lined pathways, playgrounds and picnic/BBQ areas all with glorious views over Blackwattle Bay.

Hyde Park


Sydney

Right in the middle of the city, Australia's oldest park offers green grass, blue sky and tinkling fountains to harried CBD workers. Lunchtime picnic, anyone?

Lane Cove National Park

Lane Cove

Within this expansive national park you'll find over 25 individual picnic areas, meaning you'll never be short of a new place to sizzle your sausages. The Lane Cove River runs straight through the middle so if eating in a canoe or pedal boat is your thing, you'll think you've found char-grilled heaven on earth.

Nielsen Park

Vaucluse

Generations of Sydneysiders have been flocking to Nielsen Park for family get-togethers since the early 1900s. Sit on Shark Beach or the grassy slopes behind it, or climb the headlands either side for a great view across the harbour.

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First published on 22 Dec 2010. Updated on 14 Jan 2014.

By Time Out Sydney editors   |  
 

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