Words by Tehya Nicholas Images Supplied
As the end of lockdown approaches and our love of the humble picnic reaches its triumphant peak, we have taken it upon ourselves to round up some of the lesser known picnic areas you can unfurl your rug on once restrictions ease. Here are six spots to soak up the spring air, munch on cheese and biscuits and enjoy your newfound freedom.
Mount Macedon #onehourout
Untarnished bush land, a bright shimmering lake, and ample space to spread out, Sanatorium Lake is a hidden gem within the Macedon Ranges for picnics, nature walks and wildlife watching. A man-made lake originally constructed for a nearby hospital (which was actually never built), the lake is now shrouded by towering eucalypts and a wet fern gully that gives it a fairytale feel. Thanks to the picnic facilities and public toilets nearby, you could practically stay all day.
Mount Franklin Reserve
Hepburn Springs #onehourout
Fancy picnicking in a volcanic crater? Here’s your chance. Deeply sacred to the traditional owners the Djara Wurrung people, Mount Franklin Reserve is one of the more unique locations to enjoy a day on the green. In spite of it’s proximity to Melbourne, this spot is still off the beaten track and mostly enjoys the company of resident kangaroos and wallabies. If you’re lucky, you may get to meet a few while you enjoy some nibbles.
Great Ocean Road #twohoursout
On the banks of the Kennett River lies this idyllic picnic spot just a stones throw away a rainforest walk, a pristine beachfront and best of all, glow worms! Sit amongst the leafy reserve, drink a kombucha and keep an eye on the eucalypts for koalas in the daytime, and if you’re feeling up for a nighttime adventure, look out for the glow worms on the embankment near the bridge. The perfect day out.
Blue Rock Lake
One of the larger picnic spots on this list, Blue Rock Lake is the family’s dream locale. There’s plenty of wide open grassland for the kids to run around, water sport access (we’re talking kayaking, fishing, swimming, boating) and oodles of shady spots to take refuge in and crack open a cold one. If you happen to catch an Australian Bass, you may even be able to cook it up at one of the BBQ’s dotted around the place. Delish.
Find your inner peace at Dunkeld Arboretum, the botanic garden overflowing with giant red gums, birdlife and picturesque viewpoints to settle for a few hours. The arboretum is centred around a pristine lake and features walking trails, a jetty to while away the time and even a labyrinth for walking meditation! We recommend bringing a rug and picnic kit, as there are no tables here just yet.
Lakes Entrance #threehoursout
For the lovers of a salty breeze, Lions Park along Eastern Beach Road could be the ultimate picnic spot. With the ocean in front and parkland all around, good views abound – which we all know make the picnic a whole lot sweeter. The park itself features a playground (with a built-in trampoline!), picnic tables and toilet facilities. Once you’ve finished picnicking, wander through the boardwalks and sand dunes and brave a dip in the ocean.
We wish to acknowledge the traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.