Whether it's a long awaited catch-up or a romantic outdoor date, the humble picnic is here again from 18 September. These beautiful parks and gardens are the best spots in Melbourne to roll out your picnic rug.

Certain restrictions on outdoor gatherings and travel still apply. Make sure you check and follow all current guidance from the Victorian Government before making plans and heading out.

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 spring 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 spring 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.

A cheeseboard on a white table

Where to buy picnic hampers, blankets and more

Got your location locked in? Seal the deal with these delicious portable feasts. Think epic cheeseboards, homemade lemonade and antipasti for days. Or DIY from one of Melbourne's best local delis.

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Last updated on Thu 16 Sep 2021

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