Finally, after a few brutally cold months, the balmy days of summer are approaching, marking the beginning of picnic season. As any true Sydneysider – or a dear friend visiting us, far away from your own hometown winter blues – grab your blanket, pack some sandwiches and cheap champagne, and gather with your family or friends at some of the many beautiful picnic areas in Sydney.
Here are some of the nicest spots to while away your afternoon.
Catch a ferry at Circular Quay and in mere 20 minutes enjoy a 360 degree view of the Harbor, large stretches of grass, the shade of the trees, and sandy beaches. You can bring your own chairs and alcohol to the island, however, there are no BBQ facilities and loud music is not allowed. One more catch is that there are no shops on the island whatsoever, and you will have to bring everything you might need. You could pack Sydney fruit baskets, and bring them with. If you have no idea where to spend the New Year’s Eve, the island is a highly popular destination, but make sure to pre-book a spot on time.
Wattamolla, Royal National Park
South Sydney’s popular picnic spot is great for swimming, fishing, whale watching, and snorkelling. It is also a perfect base for exploring the park. Some measures of precaution: there are strong currents at the beach, so head to the more calm lagoon if you want to swim and snorkel; if you plan on fishing, just remember that you are required to have a fishing licence with you; make sure to bring plenty of water as you will not find it anywhere near Wattamolla; parking space is quite limited, so arrive early, or consider carpooling.
North Harbour Reserve, Balgowlah
The beautiful setting of the North Harbour Reserve is an ideal family getaway. It has all that is necessary for the whole family to relax and enjoy – from wide open spaces for sunbathing, natural shade of fig trees, barbeques and picnic tables, to a kids’ playground and a half of a basketball court, and it is also dog friendly. There are coffee shops and stores nearby in case you forget anything.
The Basin, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
If you are looking for a weekend long adventure, the idyllic Basin might be just the place for you. Staying at the campground will make you feel like you are miles and miles away from the city, especially since it can only be reached by ferry or by foot. Take a swim in the ocean, play beach cricket with your family, or soak up the scenic views along the Bairne walking track.
Royal Botanical Gardens
The world-famous Gardens, and especially Mrs Macquaries Chair, boast one of the most magnificent and stunning views of the Opera House and the Bridge. Sit on the bench and watch the boats sailing into the harbour, or walk barefoot on the grass, hug the trees, and smell the roses.
Do not forget the third (and final) Barangaroo Reserve Giant Picnic which will be held on 1 November 2015.
What is your favorite picnic spot in Sydney?