From beaches, lakes and islands, to botanic gardens and unforgettable views of Sydney Harbour, there’s always a great Sydney picnic spot near you!
It’s picnic season y’all! Anyone in Sydney who is fully-vaxed and not living in one of the 12 LGAs of concern, is allowed to meet up with up to five other members of the fully-vaxed elite for outdoor gatherings – that means picnics!
Raise a glass to spending time with friends and family again by bringing along this perfect outdoor cocktail kit, specially crafted by four local Aussie brands to celebrate getting back to nature and loved ones.
Sip on a refreshing Veneto spritz, courtesy of SOFI, Dal Zotto, and CAPI, as you take in the fabulous vistas at these gorgeous Sydney picnic spots, and keep it all chilled in a SunnyLife esky. Sounds like heaven!
So you don’t waste another second locked inside unnecessarily, we’ve rounded up the 13 best spots for an adventure picnic around Sydney so you can get out the door and into nature ASAP!
And if you want to hit any of these picnic spots any time soon, you know what you gotta do – vax up baby!
1. Cremorne Reserve
Suburb: Cremorne Point
Whether you arrive by ferry or on foot, Cremorne Reserve on Sydney’s North Shore is a spectacular spot for a picnic! A nice shaded grassy park sits right by the water’s edge, serving up crazy views of the most iconic Sydney vista – The Sydney Harbour Bridge, Opera House, and the city skyline.
Ride the ferry from Circular Quay across the harbour to Cremorne Reserve, or take the 3km Cremorne Point circuit walk to the southernmost point of the peninsula, passing Maccallum Pool and the cute Robertsons Point Lighthouse along the way.
2. Bare Island
Suburb: La Perouse
A tiny islet connected to the La Perouse coastline by a 130 year old wooden walking bridge, Bare Island is certainly a unique place to picnic. The island is home to a heap of old military fortifications and has recently been the setting of scenes from a blockbuster movie.
But even with all this history-packed onto a tiny island, there’s still plenty of grassy patches to lay down a picnic rug, plus word on the street is, there’s some great snorkelling in the surrounding waters, so don’t forget your flippers!
To get onto the island, you’ll need to book a guided tour through NSW National Parks and Wildlife, but there are stairs at the end of the bridge that lead to rock platforms around the edge of the islet if you’re happy to picnic on the rocks.
3. Observatory Hill
Suburb: Millers Point
Nestled between The Rocks and Barrangaroo you’ll find the lovely grass slope known as Observatory Hill, (and Sydney Observatory for which it was named of course).
With plenty of lush grass to spread out on, and a panoramic view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the city, Observatory Hill is a marvellous spot for a romantic picnic, with a glass of spritz in hand.
4. South Head
Suburb: Watsons Bay
The clifftops of South Head at the mouth of Sydney Harbour is a picturesque picnic spot, with just enough of a trek to reach it that you won’t be fighting off people for space.
To the west you have an expansive view back across Sydney Harbour, and to the east, an uninterrupted aspect of the Tasman Sea. Keep your eyes peeled for whales, especially between June and September!
Take the 1km South Head Heritage loop trail to get right to the edge of the headland, checking out the cute Horby Lighthouse and taking a dip at Lady Jane Beach on the way round.
5. Sydney Park
A family-friendly picnic spot in Sydney’s Inner West, Sydney Park is a green haven amongst the concrete jungle.
With an impressive kid’s playground, plenty of BBQ facilities, and bike and footpaths, all wrapped up in 40 hectares of rolling hills, wetlands, and landscaped gardens, Sydney Park will keep the whole family entertained. Even Fido – that’s right, this picnic spot is dog-friendly!
Cheers to that!
6. Barrenjoey Head
Suburb: Palm Beach
Barrenjoey Head stretches out to become the northernmost tip of Sydney, and on top of the hill, you’ll find Barrenjoey Lighthouse – an icon of Sydney Northern Beaches.
From the top of the hill, you’ll be in awe of the 360 degree view laid out in front of you. From Palm Beach and Broken Bay to Ku-Ring-Gai National Park, and across the sweeping Pacific Ocean.
No vehicles are allowed on the headland, so you’ll need to be ready to tackle the short but steep hike to the top. But you’ll be stoked you did once you’re sipping a Veneto spritz and watching the sunset over the water.
7. Hermit Point
Hermit Bay is a tiny little spot, often overlooked for more well-known harbourside beaches like Parsely Bay and Rose Bay, making it a nice quiet nook for a peaceful picnic.
The small, sheltered bay at Hermit Beach offers harbour views and the option to cool off with a dip (but maybe you prefer refreshing with a spritz!).
8. Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden
Suburb: Lavender Bay
This secret is well and truly out, but that doesn’t make Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden any less stunning.
Just a short walk from Milsons Point train station you’ll find this picturesque park with an unforgettable view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge peeking through the trees. Wander down the grassy slope and into the garden below for a totally different perspective.
Cobbled footpaths, hidden fairy houses, bright, blossoming blooms, and a towering canopy overhead make this secret garden, a special hideaway amongst the bustle of the city.
9. Audley Weir
Suburb: Royal National Park
Nestled within the Royal National Park, Audley is the ideal spot for a family-friendly picnic! With plenty of facilities, gorgeous grassy areas, plus the Hacking River to explore by vessel, you could easily spend an entire day here.
There are plenty of picnic tables and shelters, BBQs, boat and bike hire from the Audley Boatshed, plus the Weir Cafe and visitor centre nearby. All that’s missing is you, some mates, and your outdoor cocktail kit! What a way to spend the day!
10. Royal Botanic Gardens
Suburb: Sydney CBD
If you’re looking for a nature escape right in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, the Royal Botanic Gardens will deliver! The gardens stretch from near the steps of the Opera House, round the headland to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, and south to the Art Gallery of NSW.
Whether you want to immerse yourself among the foliage or find a picnic spot with a harbour view, there’s plenty of gorgeous places to lay down a picnic blanket, and kick back with family, friends, and a spritz!
11. Shark Island
Suburb: Depart from Rose Bay
Marooned in the middle of Sydney Harbour, Shark Island is an iconic spot for a picnic. To get there you’ll need to either have a boat (hmmm) or kayak (yep!), and pay $7 per person to land for the day.
Shark Island is around 1km from Rose Bay, so pack your outdoor cocktail kit and esky, glide on over!
Not only are there lovely spots for a picnic, but the foreshore beaches and grottos are ripe for exploring, and it’s a stunning spot for a swim! Don’t forget your cossies!
12. America Bay
Suburb: Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
The clifftop picnic spot and waterfall at America Bay may take a little more effort to get to, but the vista that awaits you is well worth it!
Hiding in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park in Sydney’s north-west, the short 1.8km return hike to America Bay follows a sandstone ridge and creek, past Aboriginal engraving sites, to a rock platform and your picnic spot for the day.
Drink in the unreal view of the Hawkesbury River, sandstone cliff faces, and stunning native forest.
13. The Australian Botanic Gardens
Suburb: Mt Annan
Way out on the western outskirts of Sydney, The Australian Botanic Gardens is a much-welcomed haven. Boasting over 400 hectares of gorgeous gardens and wide open space, it’s the perfect place for spreading out and enjoying a picnic.
You’ll find over 4000 plant species in the gardens, as well as cycling and mountain bike tracks, lots of local wildlife, and a playground for kids.
Picnic shelters can be booked in advance, but if you’re happy to supply your own picnic rug and esky, you’re welcome to find a spot of your own. There’s also a cafe onsite and regular walking tours around the gardens too.
This article includes affiliate links. We Are Explorers receives money based on clicks on these links, which helps keep the site free!
Feature photo by @caitlindelohery