Best picnic spots across Brisbane
Guess what? It’s world picnic day. Now’s the time to get out and about. The great outdoors is beckoning, winter is full of clear blue skies and our beautiful picnic spots are good to go. Get ready to bask in our winter sunshine by packing up the blanket, hamper, esky and your favourite person or people to explore these top and lesser-known picnic spots around Brisbane.
Want to take it to the next level? Our friends at The Picnic Co, Milk and Honey Styling, The Vintage Picnic Company and the W Brisbane can lay on delectable picnic hampers and spectacular spreads with gorgeous styling that won’t fail to impress. Great for celebrating a birthday, anniversary or popping that important question.
Read on for our pick of the picnics.
Gorgeous parks abound in Brisbane and we’ve selected a few of our favourites. With its wide, grassy areas, spreading shade trees, rose garden, perfect river frontage and an awesome playground for the kids, New Farm Park is one of Brisbane’s wonders. Don’t want to pack up the esky? Pop into New Farm Deli and gather up delectable treats such as house-made focaccia, locally made artisan breads, international cheeses, cured meats and charcuterie and patisserie items.
Offering a multitude of impressive city and river vantage points from on top of the cliffs or below, Kangaroo Point has some seriously scenic picnic spaces plus walking and cycling paths to get you moving. On the tip of the point, Captain Burke Park is where the looming pylons of the Story Bridge stretch up from the ground and you’ll see fabulous views of the Howard Smith Wharves across the Brisbane River. For a wonderfully delicious ready-made picnic, pick up a seafood feast from the St James Crabhouse.
South Bank Parklands are literally awash with awesome places to picnic with one of the best being River Quay. What’s not to like about a grassy spot right on the riverfront that boasts uninterrupted views of the city skyline? To make it even better, you can survey the surrounding restaurants for take-away food. Pop into Popolo Italian Kitchen & Bar and they’ll do up a divine picnic hamper for you.
Inner-city Hawthorne Park is well known and loved by the locals but lesser known to visitors. It’s a great, grassy place to lay out a spread and a good one for the kids, being fully fenced off and housing a playground. Get a dose of exercise by taking on the outdoor fitness circuit and path. Pick up perfect picnic goodies from Hawthorne Garage, where coffee, gourmet deli items and fresh groceries are ready and waiting for you.
In the City of Logan, Underwood Park is the perfect place for families, especially for the whacky Funderwood Hollow playground popular with kids. Picnic under the trees or gazebos, stroll along the boardwalk by the lagoon or get active by making use of the BMX facilities, nearby mountain bike trails and a huge dog off-leash area. To add extra tranquillity to your day, book an Art of Tea Ceremony at the nearby Chung Tian Temple.
If water views are your thing, Alexander Clark Park is located on a lazy loop of the Logan River at Loganholme and is the spot to spread out a blanket under fig trees and 200-year-old blue gum trees. Keep an eye out for birds, possums, koalas and gliders or throw a line in the river from the pontoon. Pair your picnic with perfect pies from the famous Yatala Pies.
Those in the mood for the countryside can drive further west into the spectacular Scenic Rim, where Lake Maroon is surrounded by an impressive mountainous backdrop. This area is popular for fishing, canoeing, sailing and kayaking and a perfect place to have a lakeside picnic. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you might consider a stay at the Lake Maroon Camping Ground, where you can choose from camp sites, cabins, dongas and homesteads.
Not far away, Mount Barney National Park is where scenery and nature abounds. With the distinctive peaks of mounts Barney, Maroon, May, Lindesay, Ernest, Ballow and Clunie as your backdrop, head into the Yellow Pinch picnic area and try your luck photographing kingfishers swooping over the water. Pair your picnic with a stay at Mt Barney Lodge, where Queenslander homesteads, rustic cabins, deluxe camper trailers and a campsite are yours to get cosy in.
Further east you can enjoy a picnic with a furry friend. Mountview Alpaca Farm is where you can take an alpaca for a walk, pick up a picnic basket or select a fine bottle of wine - all handily located within the grounds of O'Reilly's Canungra Valley Vineyards.
In the Lockyer Valley, Lake Apex Park in Gatton is one for the birds. Spot up to 150 different species of our avian friends at this pretty lakeside park that has playground equipment, exercise equipment and is dog friendly. Before spreading your blanket, pick up wholesome, gourmet treats from Jak & Mo Taste Co.
Not far away, take in mountain and valley views at the Cunningham's Crest Lookout near Laidley. Here you’ll find two viewing platforms and picnic tables accompanied by murals and sculptures. On the way, pick up baked delicacies from the delectably-named Golden Harvest Bakery.
If you’re looking for a bushland oasis, the Haig Street Quarry Bushland Reserve in Ipswich is perfect for time away from the bustle. You can attempt to spot the namesake of the Willy Wagtail Circuit or watch the planes coming and going at the Amberley RAAF Base from Tom Craik Lookout. The best part is you have a huge range of eating options nearby if you want to bring your picnic ready made.
Another choice for your packed picnic goodies is the White Rock - Spring Mountain Conservation Estate. Feast on your spread at the Paperbark Flats Picnic Area before enjoying the full gamut of outdoor activities at this regionally-significant bushland area. Enjoy hiking, bird watching, horse riding (BYO horse), mountain bike riding and revelling in nature.
Get back to nature not far from the city. In the Moreton Bay Region’s Samford Conservation Park and Bunyaville Conservation Park, you can spend the day exploring these spacious parks by foot, atop a mountain bike or on horseback and then enjoy a picnic in the shade. Just a little further north, you’ll find Lake Samsonvale has large, heavenly grassy areas overlooking the water to spread yourself out on. It’s also a popular spot for water sports.
Follow the road north and breath in the fresh air of the country as you head north to Ocean View Estates, where you can MYO hamper by choosing from seasonal produce, artisan charcuterie and cheeses, daily fresh baked breads and pastries, specialty coffee plus estate grown and handcrafted wines. The winery’s grounds are stunning for a picnic.
Head east and cross the bridge to Bribie Island to discover Bongaree Beach. You’ll love this calm-water beach, perfect for swimming and water sports with superb picnic facilities thrown in for good measure. You’re by the beach so pick up some sensational seafood from Savige’s Seafood for your seaside feast.
Make tracks for Somerset in the hinterland and you’ll soon find there be yowies in them hills. Yowie Park in Kilcoy has easy access to nearby attractions including the Kilcoy Courthouse Art Gallery (open weekends only), the Kilcoy Craft Market and an aquatic centre – plus you can learn about the mysterious yowie at the visitor information centre.
Further west, the Somerset Regional Art Gallery – The Condensery is where and art and history meet. Formerly home to a condensed milk factory, this gallery in Toogoolawah hosts rotating art exhibitions, is home to the local visitor information centre and offers you a pleasant place for a picnic in a picturesque rural area.
Want to savour the seaside? Head to the Redlands Coast and you’ll find the Cleveland Point Reserve, complete with its own historic lighthouse. This beautiful seaside park has a children’s playground, shaded picnic area and is home to the Light House, a gorgeous heritage building where you can duck in for gourmet fish and chips, cold drinks and ice cream.
Further south, Venman Bushland National Park is a wonderfully tranquil portion of bushland on Tingalpa Creek that abounds in koalas, possums, gliders and wallabies and is the perfect place to prepare a picnic or cook your lunch on a wood-fired barbecue. Pick up a hamper and a bottle of boutique wine from the nearby Sirromet Winery, which has beautiful spots for picnics in its own right overlooking bushland and the bay.
Head north to Brisbane’s bayside and discover delightful Sandgate Foreshores Park, where you get three for the price of one. Sandgate Foreshores Park encompasses three parks (Brighton, Sandgate and Shorncliffe) overlooking Moreton Bay. Here, you’ll find the famous Shorncliffe Pier, Baxter's Jetty and boat ramp, beach promenade and the evocatively-titled Lover's Walk. Looking for food to take with you? You’re spoiled for choice in Sandgate.