Australians have always loved to eat and drink outdoors. But over the last couple of years, for obvious reasons, picnicking has become a more popular pastime than ever. The new year is the perfect time to load up the picnic basket and raise a glass to the warm months ahead. Here, we've put together a definitive guide to the best picnic spots in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Edinburgh Gardens, Fitzroy North
On a nice day, Edi' Gardens feels more like an all-ages festival than a public park. This is the ideal picnic spot for bigger groups. So if you're hosting a large picnic, we recommend packing your cooler with a couple of bottles of Lanson Le Black Label Champagne. It's a crowd-pleasing classic-style Champagne that everyone will like. If you can, get a spot on the hill with the skyline views for sunset.
Women's Peace Garden, Kensington
This park in Melbourne's Inner-West was conceived in 1986, the International Year of Peace. The park's horticulture is comprised almost entirely of plants representing peace in different cultures — rosemary, olive trees — as well as flowers with the colours of the women's movement. It's a serene, contemplative and beautiful place that attracts picnickers year-round. The manicured nature of the garden gives this park a European feel. A cool glass of champagne at your picnic here will complete the impression.
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne
The Tan is one of Australia's most significant gardens. Its massive size means that, even on the sunniest day, you'll still be able to find a shaded, private space for your picnic. There's a lot to see and do here — fill your picnic basket (and cooler) appropriately.
Wendy Whiteley's Secret Garden, Lavender Bay
Although this garden isn't as secret as it once was, this lush and stunningly-landscaped harbourside paradise is still one of Sydney's best — and most tranquil — spots for a picnic. Bring a bottle of bubbles and prepare to while away the day.
Parsley Bay, Vaucluse
Nielsen Park might steal the limelight, but this lesser-known reserve, five minutes' drive away, deserves star billing. It's pretty, it's family-friendly, and it provides ample opportunity for a sheltered harbour swim. Summer in Sydney is about spontaneity: being prepared to drop everything if the weather's perfect for a picnic. We recommend keeping a handful of Lanson Le Black Label miniature 200mL Champagne bottles in the fridge for just such an occasion. They're available by the bottle or in a case of 12. That way, you'll always be prepared for an impromptu harbourside picnic.
Bradley's Head Amphitheatre, Mosman
Next time you visit the iconic Taronga Zoo, pencil in a detour to Bradley's Head Amphitheatre. The stunning lookout, which offers panoramic views of Sydney's famous harbour, is one of the best picnic spots in the city. Bring a champagne good enough to do justice to that kind of vista.
New Farm Park, New Farm
Only a handful of parks in Queensland permit the consumption of alcohol. But it's all about quality over quantity. New Farm Park is a prime example. It's a verdant oasis that offers stunning views out over the Brisbane River. Our tip: bring a full picnic basket and a bottle of Lanson Le Black Label Champagne to enjoy at golden hour. With its crisp and clear flavour, it's the perfect Champagne for sunset sipping. Be sure to get in early to secure your spot.
Picnic Island, Southbank
Picnic Island in the Southbank precinct is a centrally-located family-friendly garden (although sadly, it's not an island dedicated to picnics.) It's a leafy, shaded and secluded space that's renowned for its greenery and tranquillity. Look for the ficus tree forest and the glimmering pond.
Roma Street Parkland, Brisbane City
We love Roma Street Parkland's two designated picnicking spots, Celebration Lawn and Lakeside Meadow. The Celebration precinct is considered the best lawn in Brisbane and is home to the sprawling parkland's main barbecue area – if you're cooking up, Lanson Le Black Label pairs particularly well with grilled food such as mushroom or barbecue salmon. Or head to Lakeside Meadow next-door, which offers views out over the park's main lake, which is home to hundreds of happy ducks.
Drink responsibly, 18+.
Champagne Lanson Le Black Label 750mL bottles and 200mL bottles are available online or in-store at Dan Murphy's.
Brought to you by Champagne Lanson. Champagne Lanson, it's all about love: the love of terroir, taste and celebration. It's the perfect champagne for outdoors.