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Best spots for a picnic in Canberra

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Heading out for a picnic? We’ve rounded up the best spots in your Canberra region.

There is something about Canberra in spring. It’s that smell of wattle in the air, the baby blue skies that stretch further and further into the evening, and the urge to get outdoors and have a picnic (perhaps with a dash of antihistamines).

Here are some of Canberra’s best picnic spots, sorted by region.

Central Canberra – Inner North

Mount Ainslie

A perennial favourite for those looking for that classic shot of Canberra, Mount Ainslie yields spectacular views of the pleasingly symmetrical Parliamentary Triangle.

There’s plenty of space to park and enjoy the view with your picnic, but you can also tackle the challenging 4.5km summit track that starts near the War Memorial car park.

It’s suitable for most fitness levels, but make sure to time your walk accordingly as the path is not lit and is quite steep in some areas.

Google map: Mount Ainslie lookout

Black Mountain Peninsula

Black Mountain Peninsula is the perfect place to enjoy Lake Burley Griffin in every way: paddling, boating or just strolling along the beach or the water’s edge.

This 22.2 hectares of foreshore parkland includes picnic areas and all-ability-access playgrounds.

Google map: Black Mountain Peninsula

Molonglo Reach

This leafy stretch of river corridor is dense with mature trees and the twisting nature of the river means you’re sheltered from many sides.

While the tree coverage means you’re almost never in the full sun, it’s lovely to be by the river in such an inner-city location.

There are toilet facilities, although you will have to drive to seek out a hot drink.

Google map: Molonglo Reach

Central Canberra – Inner South

Red Hill

A wonderfully winding drive (or hike!) to the top of Red Hill will reward you with stellar views from every angle.

There are a few picnic tables you can utilise, but if you’re keen for a walk and a picnic, why not hike to the Davidson Hill Trig Station, a 1km walk across the saddle of the mountain that crosses challenging slopes that’ll have you working up a sweat in no time.

Google map: Red Hill Drive

Lennox Gardens

Lennox Gardens, set on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, offers beautiful views of Black Mountain, the Brindabella Ranges and the city centre.

Kids can roam the expanse of lush green grass and there’s plenty of space to picnic or just relax under the shade of towering trees.

Google map: Lennox Gardens

Kingston Island

It isn’t the most ‘bush’ picnic spot, but the stretch of grass along the lake-side of Kingston Island (accessible via the footbridge from Jack Ross Park) is a lovely sunny spot and while it isn’t particularly sheltered, the angle means unless the wind is coming off the lake, you’re okay.

There are some picnic tables around the northern end of the island and there are plenty of takeaway food and drink options along the Foreshore.

Google map: Kingston Island

House of Representatives Gardens + The Senate Gardens

Naturally, these lush inner south public gardens come top of the list due to their perimeter hedges providing the perfect windbreak.

There’s plenty of grass you can stretch out on, and shade to avoid the midday sun.

Google map: Senate Gardens

Weston Park

As well as having plenty of gorgeous green space for picnics, the enormous 40-hectare Weston Park has a wading pool, beach and cycle track.

Kids will love the playground with climbing net and swings, adventure playground, and wide spaces across which to roam.

Google map: Weston Park

Grevillea Park

Nestled on the northern shore of Lake Burley Griffin’s East Basin, Grevillea Park has beautiful views across the lake to Jerrabomberra Wetlands, Kingston and Parliament House.

The perfect place to enjoy a magnificent sunset.

Google map: Grevillea Park

Weston Creek/Molonglo

Dairy Farmers Hill Lookout (National Arboretum)

The views from the National Arboretum are nothing short of spectacular, and with Dairy Farmers Hill’s reputation as a top balloon watching spot, it’s no surprise it makes a cracker of a picnic spot too.

Take a picnic and spread out on the gentle slope, or throw on your sneakers and cruise the surrounding hills. There are plenty of beautiful views to be experienced.

Google map: Dairy Farmers Hill

Tuggeranong

Point Hut Picnic Area

Surrounded by rolling hills and with views out onto the Brindabellas (as well as a stellar playground), Point Hut is the perfect place for families, with plenty of grass to stretch out on.

Google map: Point Hut Picnic Area

Belconnen

Lake Ginninderra

There are so many picturesque spots around Canberra’s second-largest lake, it’s hard to choose just one!

Take the family for an adventure at John Knight Park with its multiple playgrounds, get keen bikers learning road rules at the Learn To Ride station on the lake’s northeastern side, or stretch out in the shade at the Western Foreshore Park.

Google map: John Knight Memorial Park

Gungahlin

Goorooyarroo Nature Reserve

Explore Goorooyarroo Nature Reserve on the edge of Gungahlin. Park at the South Car Park off Horse Park Drive and head into the woodlands for a bushwalk. Take a picnic and lean up again old gum trees—if you have binoculars, it’s a great place to sit quietly to spot birds.

Google map: Goorooyarroo Nature Reserve

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