Picnic Perfection at Melbourne Gardens
There's no better way to spend a lazy summer arvo than lounging in a comfy deck chair or lying on a picnic rug, surrounded by the sights, sounds and smells of Melbourne Gardens. But with so many prime picnic spots within Melbourne Gardens’ 38-hectares of greenery, it can be tricky to choose where to set up a spread. Here’s our guide to eight of the best places to picnic. Pick your favourite, gather friends and family, pack a hamper and head into nature.
Melbourne Gardens boasts many iconic trees, but the grand old oaks of Oak Lawn make for a particularly spectacular view to admire as you enjoy your picnic! Offering shady serenity on warmer days and a technicolour dreamscape of changing leaves in the colder months, your little ones will love playing hide and seek amongst majestic trees as you sink into a slow, glorious afternoon of relaxation. Jardin Tan and The Terrace café are closeby if you're extra hungry, and great places to explore like Fern Gully and the aromatic Herb Garden are just a short walk away.
With a name like Picnic Point, you know this is going to be an ideal spot to sit back, relax and enjoy good food, good company and stunning scenery. With mesmerising views of the bays and islands of Ornamental Lake and the picturesque William Tell Rest House, this is a fantastic go-to for a first date. Food, drinks, and bathrooms are just a short walk away at The Terrace café.
Eastern Lawn is the perfect sunny, pup-friendly spot to enjoy a family picnic. Little ones can play on the lawn beneath spectacular shady trees as you laze away the afternoon. It's right by amenities, and the new Arid Garden and Guilfoyle's Volcano are just a stone's throw away for little ones to explore. Eastern Lawn makes the perfect picnic spot for a day of family fun at the Gardens.
Right by the water, this is a winning location for an arvo picnic. With lakeside views enhanced by the afternoon light and beautiful waterbirds to keep young ones entertained, you’ll enjoy setting up here. Added little bonus? Scones, jam and cream from the Terrace café are only a short stroll away.
Scenic Central Lawn is a prime picnic location at the Gardens due to its centrality (the name gives it away). Admire views Lake and Fern Gully, or settle down near the gorgeous Rare and Threatened Beds and admire stunning native flora while you picnic. This is a great starting point if you plan to lawn-hop throughout the afternoon, with both Eastern Lawn and Taxodium Lawn just a stone's throw away.
Western Lawn is almost unbeatable as a picnic spot. With plush green lawns, gentle shade and fantastic views, from the extraordinary Coxcomb Coral tree (Erythrina crista-galli), aka the Whomping Willow, to the shady splendour of Oak Lawn, this is a winner. Get comfortable and settle in for long, chats with old friends and something delicious to snack. BYO glass of prosecco (or two).
Inhale the invigorating scent of Eucalyptus in bloom as you relax surrounded by native Australian flora. Stop by the Visitor Centre to hire a deck chair, and weave through the Australian Forest Walk before arriving at the shady, stunningly-scented haven of this iconic lawn.
Home to one of the oldest trees in the Gardens, an ancient River Red Gum known as the Cockatoo Tree (Eucalyptus camaldulensis), Princes Lawn is the perfect place to relax and soak up the gorgeous sights, sounds and scents of nature. Depending on which part of the lawn you camp out on for the arvo, you can admire the gorgeous Perennial Border in bloom and stunning views of Central Lake.
Make your picnic extra comfortable by hiring a deck chair from $5.