Whether you need a spot for a long awaited catch-up or a romantic outdoor date, the humble picnic is a summer staple. Roll out your picnic rug at Melbourne's most beautiful parks and gardens.

Once your location's locked in, stock up on essentials and graze all day on Melbourne's best picnic hampers. Think epic cheeseboards, homemade lemonade and antipasti for days. Or DIY from one of Melbourne's best local delis.

Two people having a picnic in a sunny outdoor garden

Queen Victoria Gardens

Have your picnic lunch alongside the lucky ducks who call this picturesque park home. Spot John Olsen’s bronze frog leaping from the water. And snap perfect summer pics with the giant floral clock. Then it's just a short walk to hidden Lake Waterfall for post-picnic adventuring.

Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens.

Carlton Gardens

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.

Groups of people sitting outside a pond

Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria

Bursting with summer growth, Royal Botanic Gardens is home to plenty of perfect 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 duckling viewing over lunch.

A park bench in an open garden

Flagstaff Gardens

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.

An old conservatory building in a large outdoor garden

Fitzroy Gardens

Escape to this green oasis on the edge of the city. Enjoy fresh air among avenues of elm trees and quirky fountains. Then head to the park’s southern section to nab a picnic spot by the gurgling stream. Let kids loose on the kitsch dragon slide and double-necked giraffe swing.

Lake and trees at Royal Park.

Royal Park

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.

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Last updated on Tue 4 Jan 2022

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Westgate Park

A great place for birdwatching, a casual picnic or an escape from the city.

Trin Warren Tam-boore

An urban wetland over five hectares on the edge of Royal Park.

JJ Holland Park

Home to kids playgrounds, a skate park and the local community centre.

Alexandra Gardens

A great spot to laze around or have a barbecue by the Yarra River.