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Cool Melbourne Picnic Ideas

10 Jul 2018

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We get it. The temptation is to stay hibernating throughout the winter and wait for things to warm up. But you're missing out if you do. When the sun's out, a mid-winter picnic (well-rugged up) is a glorious way to enjoy Melbourne.

Best thing is, there are plenty of places to do it. Here are a few to get you started.

Organ Pipes National Park, Keilor North

A short drive north west of the city, this park gets its name from the unusual set of basalt columns which formed to look like organ pipes many millennia ago. While the pipes make a great backdrop for a winter picnic, there are a couple of good walks that add to this spot's 'picnicability'.  They're not difficult, but are ideal for building up an appetite before indulging in your outdoors feast.

The park's open from 8.30am-4.30pm during winter, and there's a visitor's centre on-site too.

Coburg Lake Reserve, Coburg

If you're thinking north, this reserve has plenty going for it in the mid-winter picnic stakes. Originally a quarry site to help supply sandstone for the nearby Old Pentridge Prison, it's now a well-manicured and relaxing space with a walking track (the playground walk) that takes you around the many points of interest.

Want to bring your dog, or make some hot dogs? No problem. There are BBQs and it's dog-friendly too!

Guilfoyle's Volcano, South Yarra

This historic water reservoir sits in south east corner of the Royal Botanical Gardens and makes our winter picnic list not only because it's a magical location in itself (showcasing low-water use flora), but because of the great views it offers when you walk to the top.

Of course, there are plenty of other picnic spots in the gardens. But this location is something a little different. Note there are no BBQs and it's not dog-friendly – it's a garden first and foremost!

Canterbury Gardens, Canterbury

Designed in the early 1900s and with easy access to the city centre, these gardens feature rolling lawns, specimen trees and some good hills to help build a pre-picnic appetite. Winter's a very different affair to summer, with golden hues through much of the site. Even when it's cold, it's such a pretty location you should be able to indulge in a little wedding-party spotting while you lie on a rug, enjoying your Melbourne winter outdoor feast.

Batman Park, Southbank

Right on the edge of the CBD, sitting on the Yarra's northern bank, this small park is the perfect breakout space from the action of the city centre. Which makes it an ideal location for a mid-winter impulse picnic, where you can relax and get a little closer to nature.

There's a kids playground, and the central location makes it easy to get whatever tasty delights your picnic requires (no bad thing as there's only one BBQ).

In case you're wondering, the park is named after John Batman – one of Melbourne's pioneers. And he didn't wear a cape. 

Maribynong River Reserve, Maribynong

This is a bit of a low-key gem. Sitting on the Maribynong river the reserve is mainly used by locals or commuters just passing though. But if you head there you'll be sure to find some lush grass to spread out your blanket open your hamper and relax - after a trail walk or bike ride of course. There's even a Chinese temple!

After a picnic spot with a playground or a sportsground, head to the nearby Canning and Jensen reserves.  And don't forget the to include some yummy bites in your picnic hamper. Check out these super simple chocolate treats that the whole family will love!

Tags Vic, Melbourne, family,