This is where Sydneysiders come to swim in the waters of Middle Harbour and laze beneath leafy treetops. Families of all shapes and sizes gather along the sandy shores or around the large playground. For those feeling a bit more energetic, they can get their heart rate pumping as they tackle the Spit Bridge to Manly Walk and kayakers and paddle boarders can explore the coves and inlets.
Sandy Bay Road, Clontarf
The grassy area along the promenade and the sandy shoreline is prime real estate during the warmer months. A popular harbour beach, idyllic fishing spots on Rocky Point and large fig trees that provide ample shade for wedding celebrations and family reunions, are only some of the reasons this is one of Sydney’s most loved harbourside destinations. As the for the views, they're calming and extend out to Hunters Bay and North Head.
The Esplanade, Mosman
Ballast Point Park
An old oil refinery that has been converted into a picturesque park, Ballast Point celebrates its heritage through design, art and poetry. The view is of Sydney Harbour (including Goat Island, Barangaroo and Balls Head Reserve). There is a network of paths catering to cyclists and walkers with lookout areas that offer incredible views across Sydney Harbour. Yet to be discovered by the rest of Sydney, this is one place where a quiet picnic is still possible.
Ballast Point Road, Birchgrove
Balls Head Reserve
Quietly tucked away on Sydney’s Lower North Shore, Balls Head Reserve is an urban bushland that hugs the harbour. The views extend across the west side of the harbour, taking in the Harbour Bridge, Barangaroo and Balmain. There are also a string of walking trails to explore and the picnic facilities (including barbeques and sheltered picnic tables) makes this a popular spot.
Balls Head Drive, Waverton
Cremorne Point Reserve
From the small lighthouse at Robertson’s Point to beyond Maccallum Seawater Pool, this foreshore reserve extends three kilometres along the water’s edge, providing incredible views of the harbour and the city. The ferry ride across sets the scene for a day by the water. It’s a local’s haunt by day, but as the sun goes down, it’s the perfect spot for pop-up picnics made for two. On a balmy day, the Maccallum Pool is the perfect spot to cool off.
Milson Road, Cremorne
The calm waters of Chowder Bay, a large playground and open parkland make this a popular spot. The views are spectacular out across Vaucluse and the Eastern Suburbs. Whether you’re here for the water, a barbeque by the harbour or a meandering bushwalk through adjoining Chowder Head and Sydney Harbour National Park – when the sun is out, this is the spot to be for the day.
Morella Road, Mosman
Sitting within Sydney Harbour National Park, Nielsen Park is a beautiful foreshore destination with impressive views over Port Jackson and Mosman. The parkland is home to large fig trees which provide shade in abundance and the adjoining Shark Beach has calm waters to cool off in. An enclosed harbourside swimming area, a kiosk and walking tracks that hug the foreshore make Nielson Park a picnic hotspot.
Greycliffe Avenue, Vaucluse
Blues Point Park
Popular with locals and visitors alike, this picnic hotspot is all about the jaw-dropping views of the western side of Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Harbour. Don’t be surprised to stumble across the occasional wedding, camera-wielding tourist groups or extended family gatherings. Come New Year’s Eve, Blue’s Point Park is one of the top spots to watch the spectacular firework show.
Blues Point Road, McMahons Point
Amidst the hustle and bustle of inner city living, Pirrama Park is a 1.8 hectare award-winning harbourside park which has plentiful greenspace with leafy trees, wide avenues, an interactive playground that incorporates sand and water play, barbeques and picnic facilities, and a floating pontoon for boats. As for the view: Johnstons Bay across to Balmain in one direction and Barangaroo and the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the other.
Pirrama Road, Pyrmont
Known to locals as the grassy knoll, this beachside reserve sits on a hill and overlooks Bondi Beach. Plus is boasts plenty of greenspace, barbeque facilities, a playground and sculptures. An ice cream van is a favourite during the warmer months. The reserve has direct access to Bondi Beach and the ocean wading pool. Wander down along the rocky path to the eastern point of North Bondi rocks and enjoy the incredible views down the coastline.
Ramsgate Avenue, North Bondi