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Five perfect places for a summer picnic

Valeriya Lloyd

Pack up a basket of goodies and head out for a summer picnic.

Baby, it’s hot outside…the perfect time for a picnic! What could be better than a nice and affordable get-together with family and friends in a comfortable and shady spot?

There is no shortage of picnic locations in Canberra, but these five spots are fantastic for enjoying hot weather in the most comfortable way. Want the perfect picnic menu? We’ve got that too…

Lake Burley Griffin


The Lake showcases a great variety of places to throw a blanket on the grass and pick out a free BBQ area. Families with kids also do well to meet for a picnic in Commonwealth Park, Black Mountain Peninsula or Weston Park. There are popular entertaining areas for kids around the lake too such as the Boundless Playground and Commonwealth Park Playground, each just a short walk from the National Carillon.

With so many lakeside venues to choose from, you could easily spend every weekend ‘picnic hopping’ from one to another.

The Himalayan cedar forest BBQ area at the National Arboretum


There is a little secret place hidden in the heart of the National Arboretum. Surrounded by giant cedars, the deck has three tables and two BBQ spots. This is a perfect shady spot to enjoy the summer heat and relax under the trees. It’s not difficult to find – just turn right at the sign for the Cedar Forest on your way to the Visitor’s Centre.

The Australian Botanical Gardens

Image via VisitCanberra

Image via VisitCanberra

A great spot just minutes away from the centre of Canberra is the National Botanical Gardens. This area is really popular for larger groups, who would happily to enjoy an outing in the Eucalyptus Lawns which have plenty of space and are ideal for families with kids.

An exploration Rainforest Gully makes for great entertainment for adventurous kids, although it’s good to note that this area has no actual playgrounds. The entry to the garden is free, however, there are paid parking spots which support the Gardens.

Scrivener Dam


If you want a picnic location with a fishing spot inside of Canberra’s borders, Scrivener Dam is another one worth investigating. The shady BBQ area next to the National Zoo and Aquarium is located near the lake just over the bridge and could be the perfect place for enjoying morning or afternoon tea and a view of the calm waters. This area of the lake is not suitable to swim in, however, people can enjoy fishing there.

Mount Ainslie


If you’re planning to spend the evening outside, then the perfect spot to enjoy the sunset would be the spectacular lookout on top of Mount Ainslie. The attraction is ranked as number seven of almost two hundred things to do in Canberra by Trip Advisor. There’s the choice of walking, cycling, and driving to get there – just follow the sign and turn off on Fairbairn Avenue.

Feature image: Martin Ollman – The National Botanical Gardens


Valeriya Lloyd

Val is studying Communications in Media and Public Affairs at University of Canberra and has a great passion for writing (in two languages as she originally came to Canberra from Russia). Val enjoys writing about life generally, and sometimes from a fictional perspective. She often generates new ideas in sudden moments and admits that she has at least two diaries, where she writes her notes and inspiration for future stories. She loves to meet new people and showcase their talents and originality. Val is very social person, who loves the local lifestyle and the inner beauty of Canberra. More about the Author

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