How To Pack (And Where To Go) For The Perfect Summer Picnic

How To Pack (And Where To Go) For The Perfect Summer Picnic

Jennifer Richards

Lifestyle Writer


Summer calls us outside to eat. Whether you enjoy a long lazy lunch with the family or a more spontaneous alfresco experience, we’ve got the essential inclusions for a summer-time picnic.

Plus, we’ve got the inside gossip from locals about their favourites places to picnic in each state.

How To Pack (And Where To Go) For The Perfect Summer Picnic

Ten essentials for the perfect picnic

  1. Choose an easy to carry picnic basket or esky and keep sustainability in mind by using reusable utensils. Lightweight stainless steel or bamboo are perfect alternatives to plastic and don’t create waste.
  2. Don’t forget a picnic blanket to sit on, or to use as a cloth to cover the picnic table.
  3. Pack food that is easy to graze on. Roasted macadamias are ideal portable snacks while dips with gourmet crackers are a tasty and filling menu item that friends can return to throughout the meal.
  4. Think finger food friendly with your picnic spread. If you’re planning salads, cut ingredients like tomato, cucumber and capsicum in chunks. Dishes like savoury baked tartlets can be made small, so they are easy to pick up and eat.
  1. Always bring a small wooden chopping board. One of the most versatile kitchen tools, it’s perfect for picnics and doubles as a platter, adding a rustic style to your picnic display.
  2. For drinks, bring wine glass stakeholders that you can dig into the grass or sand to ensure they don’t tip over, along with a bottle opener.
  3. Stockpile condiment sachets including salt, pepper, ketchup and mustard to top your favourite dishes.
  4. BYO fun: Pack a boules set, cricket bat, frisbee or football for those who want to work up an appetite before lunch, or to keep the kids entertained.
  5. Always bring sunscreen and a beach umbrella if you’re by the sand, so you can stay out longer and keep your food cool in the shade.
  6. Check the weather report before you head out and choose your location accordingly.

Australia’s picnic hotspots

Australia’s picnic hotspots

It’s no surprise that Aussies love to be by the beach when they dine alfresco in summer, but a recent survey by Australian Macadamias revealed some other unexpected tips from locals on the best picnic places.


Queenslanders love a picnic by the beach especially at Burleigh Heads and Bribie Island. The lush rainforest hinterland at Mount Tamborine and panoramic city views from Mount Coot-tha are also favourite places to lay down a picnic blanket.

New South Wales

In New South Wales locals are beach enthusiasts too. They love to eat at Bondi, Bronte and Ballina beaches.  The dramatic World Heritage listed Blue Mountains, cosmopolitan Centennial Park and the naturally serene Australian Botanic Garden at Mount Annan are also favourites.

Australian Capital Territory

According to locals, Commonwealth Park and the water playground at Lake Burley Griffin are Canberra’s best locations.

Northern Territory

Berry Springs Darwin, with its ample shade, native flowers and birdlife is the location of choice for a picnic in the Northern Territory.

South Australia

Adelaide Botanic Gardens is a picnic hotspot in South Australia. The varied, seasonal landscape of the Adelaide Hills, specifically Morialta Falls and Belair National Park, is also a popular choice with locals.


Tasmanians say National Parks and Reserves are the best spots in that state soak up the great outdoors over a long, lazy lunch. They love the peaceful river valley of Fernglade Reserve, along with Cataract Gorge and Mount Field National Park.


The Royal Botanic Gardens is a hit with Victorians, but they also love to head to Brighton Beach and Williamstown Beach. The mighty Murray River lined with red gums and meandering through the heart of Victoria’s food bowl, along with Hanging Rock, are also suggested by locals.

Western Australia

West Australians say Kings Park is one of the country’s most spectacular food-with-a-view locations. They also love Araluen Botanic Park.

So don’t resist the call of the outdoors this summer!

You can find the best recipes for picnic hampers here.


annalise braakensiek asian vermicelli noodle-salad

Annalise Braakensiek’s Asian Vermicelli Noodle Salad – click here