If you live within 5kms, explore all the grassy knolls, lakeside views and majestic Moreton Bay figs the city has to offer. Find the top spots for alfresco feasts, plus where to get provisions nearby. Keep an eye out for the new picnic circles to keep a safe distance.
Royal Botanic Gardens
Bursting with spring growth, the recently reopened Royal Botanic Gardens is home to some special picnic spots. Work up an appetite with a stroll through Fern Gully and around the Guilfoyle’s Volcano lava paths. Then head for the banks of Ornamental Lake for prime, black swan watching over lunch. Head to their website for more info on visiting.
Grab takeaway coffees and flaky pastries from Jardin Tan’s cute kiosk. Order ahead and pick up fish and chips or quiche of the week from the Botanical Hotel. Or make it a Parisian brunch date, with takeaway tarts and ham and cheese croissants from Entrecote’s Corner Store.
The heritage-listed Carlton Gardens make a grand backdrop for posh picnics. Wander around the 19th century flower beds, duck-filled ponds and ornate fountains. Then spread your picnic rug in the shade of an ancient canopy.
Start the day right with takeaway Cafe Babbo espresso. Grab top-tier bacon and egg rolls at too-cute kiosk Parco. Got four friends to feed? Stock up on picnic-ready artisan croissants and Japanese-style bread from Little Rogue.
Escape to this green oasis on the edge of the city. Melburnians all love Fitzroy Gardens‘ avenues of elm trees and quirky fountains. But head to the park’s southern section to nab a picnic spot by the gurgling stream. Take a wander to spy historic Cooks’ Cottage. Plus spot the kitsch dragon slide and double-necked giraffe swing in the playground.
Cute community cafe KereKere Green has got you covered with click and collect picnic baskets. Packed with cheese, fancy sangas and choc tops. Order a day ahead and pick up at lunch time. Birthday picnic planning? Order ahead and pick up pretty sweet treats from Laurent’s cake cabinet. Plus a bottle of bubbly from City Wine Shop.
Queen Victoria Gardens
Have your picnic lunch alongside the lucky ducks who call the picturesque Queen Victoria Gardens pond home. Spot John Olsen’s bronze frog leaping from the water. And snap perfect spring pics with the giant floral clock.
The Broad Bean Organic Grocer is your one stop picnic supplies shop. Grab organic salads, smoothies, cheese and fruit. Or takeaway gluten free cheese toasties. They even stock reusable straws, cutlery and lunch boxes.
Wander along under the avenues of elms and pick a glorious native eucalyptus or Moreton Bay fig tree to spread your blanket under. Melbourne’s oldest, Flagstaff Gardens has been parkland since 1862. Nab a new picnic circle on the grass to easily keep a distance.
Did you know there are wetlands in Royal Park? At 170 hectares, the city’s largest green space is all Australian natives. Trin Warren Tam-boore means ‘bellbird waterhole’ and is home to ibis and kookaburras. Wander along the trail and do some bird watching over lunch.
A short wander away you’ll find North Melbourne local fave Auction Rooms. Order online to takeaway burgers, bagels and brekkie rolls. Or swing by cute cafe Twenty and Six Espresso for a caffeine fix and avo-loaded brunch in a box.
More parks to picnic in
Restrictions across metropolitan Melbourne are starting to ease, but we must still stay within 5kms of our homes. Please, be smart, be safe and follow directions from the Victorian Government.