Best Parks for Picnics Around Melbourne

Best Parks for Picnics Around Melbourne

That sweet feeling of newfound freedom doesn’t seem to stop for Melbournians, and catching  up with loved ones just gets better each time! With long and sunny days, it’s prime time for picnics in the park with friends, family and all those new Covid puppies. Grab your cooler bag, picnic blanket and plastic cups, because we’ve narrowed down a list of top parks for picnics around Melbourne for you to enjoy a solid arvo sesh in the sun.

Plenty Gorge Park, Bundoora

A sprawling parklands 20 km north of Melbourne CBD, Plenty Gorge offers a variety of walking tracks and designated picnic areas. Red Gum Picnic Area has a children’s playground and toilets, while Middle Gorge offers more peaceful picnic areas along the river. With a stop by Blue Lake, you’ll feel like you’re truly out bush.

Nightcap at Excelsior Hotel is just down the road in Thomastown and has a Dan Murphy’s next door, perfect for stocking up on picnic supplies.

Brimbank Park, Keilor East


Picnic areas, walking trails, birdwatching, canoeing, cycling, fishing… do it all at Brimbank Park. Kids will love the playground and adjacent Horseshoe Bend Children’s Farm, while those after a bit more exercise can enjoy a stroll along the Maribyrnong River Trail.

Take your pick from Nightcap at Skyways Hotel, Nightcap at St Albans Hotel or the latest addition, Royal Hotel by Nightcap Social, to rest your eyes after a day of fun in the sun.

Footscray Park, Footscray

With connections to the Maribyrnong River Trail, views of Flemington Racecourse and the city skyline, Footscray Park is perfect for laying out the picnic mat to spend time with loved ones. The park offers extensive garden beds, a designated off-lead area for dogs, a playground and toilets. 

Not only is Footscray Park close to the city centre, it’s also just a short drive from both Nightcap at Ashley Hotel and Royal Hotel by NIghtcap Social.

Newport Lakes Reserve, Newport

You’d hardly know this 33-hectare park was once a bluestone quarry and rubbish tip. These days it’s  an urban oasis with tranquil bushland perfect for picnics and peaceful walks. There is an extensive selection of plants and birdlife living in the area which makes you feel even closer to nature. If you’re visiting people in the area, be sure to swing by for a picnic or walk by the lake before ending your day at Millers Inn for a parma and pint in the Bistro. 

Ruffey Lake Park, Doncaster East

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Visiting Melbourne’s east? Head to Ruffey Lake Park, a local favourite offering fun for the whole family. The playgrounds offer a variety of facilities for little ones, while electric BBQs and sheltered picnic areas are ideal for the adults to settle in with some drinks and nibbles. If you’ve got a furry friend in the gang, there are both on and off lead areas for dogs to enjoy. 

When the cups run dry and the kids are pooped from running around all day, head to nearby Nightcap at Shoppingtown Hotel for a comfy night’s rest.

Braeside Park, Braeside

Set in Melbourne’s southern suburbs, Braeside Park has not only idyllic picnic areas, but a number of multi-purpose trails for walking, jogging or cycling. They even have seasonal activity camps to stay fit and active. The park is well known for its Red Gum grassy woodlands and is home to a variety of wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for echidnas and flying foxes!

Nightcap at Keysborough Hotel is just down the road, offering a bar, bistro and affordable accommodation in the area.

Churchill National Park, Lysterfield South


From kangaroos to echidnas, wedge-tailed eagles and rosellas, the wildlife is abundant at Churchill National Park in Melbourne’s southeast. A picnic in this vast, serene parklands is sure to soothe the soul and reconnect you with nature. Those after a bit more activity can explore the walking and cycling trails through the gorgeous landscape. 

After a day in nature, head to Waltzing Matilda Hotel or Sandown Park Hotel for a good feed and comfy bed to sleep in after.

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