Whether you’re looking to dial up the romance or gather a few of your friends for outdoor beers and nibbles, there’s nothing quite like dining on the grass in the basking sun. So ready your rug and pack that hamper; Melbourne’s best picnic spots are ready and waiting for endless alfresco fun. Here’s where to dine out on fresh air, delicious feasts and plenty of chilled prosecco.
Arguably one of Melbourne’s most iconic al fresco dining spots, the picturesque Royal Botanic Gardens offer everything from forest walks to cacti gardens and a tropical glasshouse across an impressive 38-hectare site. With so much room to move you’ll have no trouble finding your group a private little corner to spread out your blanket and feast in style amongst breathtaking scenery.
Birdwood Avenue, South Yarra
Nestled between some of Melbourne’s loveliest (and priciest) streets, English heritage-inspired St Vincent Gardens is a beautiful place to while away a sunny afternoon over nibbles. Smaller than the city’s better known picnic hot spots, this is just the spot to impress someone special someone. There’s even a lawn bowls club at hand should you want to up the ante.
St Vincent Place, Albert Park
The place to see and be seen come summertime, Edinburgh Gardens is the picnic spot of choice for stylish North-siders (and their equally hip pets). Lush, green and complete with tennis courts, a skate park and bowls club for added action – the gardens get extra points for being surrounded by some of Melbourne’s best bakeries, bottle shops and independent grocers should your stock run low.
Alfred Crescent, Fitzroy North
The perfect spot to escape on your CBD lunch break, Carlton Gardens are something of an oasis within the hustle of inner-city Melbourne. With ample grassy space, and the splendour of the Royal Exhibition Building as a backdrop – all that’s left to do is kick back, spread out your picnic fare and forget where you are for a little while.
1-111 Carlton Street, Melbourne
For those looking a picnic spot close to the coast, Catani Gardens gives you the chance to feast alfresco on the St Kilda foreshore. Set up on a cosy patch of grass, and watch the locals stroll by as you sip your wine and feast on olives and cheese.
Beaconsfield Parade, St Kilda West
Something of a local fave (and a fiercely guarded one at that), the quaint Darling Gardens is the stuff picnickers’ dreams are made of. Flat green grass, lots of space and large, shady trees make it the perfect spot for a fancy picnic for two, with an ice-cold bottle of sparkling and an elaborate cheeseboard.
Gold Street, Clifton Hill