Spring has sprung, and with that comes perfect warm Canberra weather that’s just the thing for getting out and exploring some of the picnic spots in the nation’s capital. Make the most of the sunny days, pack your picnic basket and explore some of the fabulous picnic spots closer to home – we’ll bring you our favourites that are a longer drive away next time.
Our top 5
Here are our favourite spots located in Canberra or on its outskirts, so dust off the picnic blanket, pack up some delicious spring treats, and off you go!
1. Lennox Gardens
Lennox Gardens is on Flynn Drive in Yarralumla, on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin just a few minutes from the city. It’s home to the Canberra Nara Peace Park and Beijing Gardens. The area is lush, tranquil and there’s plenty of space to kick back under the shady trees. The views are idyllic, looking across the water to Black Mountain, the city and beyond.
The gardens are well equipped with seating and barbecues, and there’s loads to see and enjoy. Wander through the Beijing Gardens where you’ll find paths that wind past sculptures and a Chinese pavilion or check out the beautiful Japanese themed garden. If you’re there in late winter or early spring, the blossoming cherry trees put on a spectacular show. If it’s a calm, serene oasis you’re looking for, you’ll find it here.
2. Point Hut
At the southern edge of the city just past Gordon, is Point Hut Crossing on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River. There are picnic tables, several shaded areas and several spots to swim or fish. As a bonus, dogs are allowed in the reserve, and there are specific areas for them to swim and have some fun off leash.
The sandy beaches are perfect for swimming, or water fun and from here, you can take a fantastic 4km walk to Pine Island along the Murrumbidgee Discovery Track.
3. Weston Park
Weston Park in Yarralumla offers numerous options for picnickers. It’s a good-sized area of 40 hectares. There are several swimming areas, a lovely cycle path that weaves its way around the area, plenty of space for a game of cricket or to kick the footy, and facilities that include picnic tables, public toilets and barbecues.
If you are picnicking with kids, head to the adventure playground, the water playground, or wading pool. Yarralumla Play Station has a miniature train and mini golf.
4. Pine Island
View this post on Instagram
Murrumbidgee River morning reflection perfection. #visitcanberra #thiscanberranlife #igerscanberra #canberralocals #abccanberra #aussiephotos #sofranksocial #wearecbr #canberralife #australia_oz #abcmyphoto #australianlandscapes #ig_today #ig_australia #australia_shotz #ig_discover_australia #canberratothecoast #canon70d #ig_naturelovers #exploreaustralia #seeaustralia #unlimited_australia #igersaustralia #fifty_shades_of_nature
Pine Island Reserve is another Tuggeranong gem on the Murrumbidgee River that despite its name, isn’t an island. Find it on Pine Island Road near the suburb of Bonython, just minutes from South.Point shopping centre.
There is a playground for the kids, free electric barbecues and picnic tables. There are expanses of grass to stretch out and relax on, and the river is excellent for a refreshing dip. The wide open spaces make it great for big gatherings. Pine Island Beach has a generous amount of sand to relax on.
5. Cotter Dam and surrounds
The Cotter area is one of Canberra’s most popular picnic spots, and with barbecues, walking tracks, a playground, bushwalking, swimming, picnic tables, toilets and shade all on offer, it’s little wonder. It’s around 23km from the CBD. Check out the imposing Cotter Dam and take the Discovery Trail which tells the story of Canberra’s water history.
Casuarina Sands is a popular swimming hole just around the corner from the Cotter. It also has tables, barbecues and plenty of shady spots as well as an excellent swimming beach.
When to go
Spring and Autumn are the best times for lazy and relaxed picnics in Canberra, but Winter is an excellent time to explore the areas on foot and Summer is the perfect time for a dip in one of the many swimming spots.
What is your favourite picnic spot in Canberra?