The 16 most scenic picnic spots in Queensland
Enjoying a good meal outdoors is what Queensland life is all about. While you could pull up a chair in one of the state’s many beer gardens and al fresco dining hot spots, a picnic offers an immersive, relaxed vibe amongst nature that can (and should) be combined with a little exploring to make the most of your outing.
These picnic spots in Queensland are more than just a great patch of grass to lay down your picnic rug. They offer unique experiences to go with those picturesque views, like hanging out with koalas, whale watching and hidden watering holes.
Pack a picnic and stay awhile at these top picnic spots in Queensland.
Boombana (Mount Nebo), Brisbane
It’s only a short, easy drive from Brisbane but you’ll find yourself in the most beautiful bushland within D’Aguilar National Park. There is a range of rainforest tracks so you don’t have to be an intrepid hiker to take your joggers off road, and you also have BBQs and picnic tables at your disposal.
New Farm Park, Brisbane
Between the rose garden, vibrant poinciana and jacaranda trees and green open spaces to kick a ball around, it’s not hard to see why this inner city park is one of Brisbane’s most popular places to spend the day. Stop by New Farm Deli first to stock up on gourmet Italian produce for a DIY grazing plate. Lay down a picnic rug in the shade or book the rotunda for a special occasion.
Ravensbourne National Park
This part of Queensland is blessed with perfect picnic vantage spots. Fire up the wood barbecue at the Cedar Block picnic area and sit yourself down at Gus Beutel Lookout for panoramic views over the Scenic Rim. Once your food has settled, explore one of the park’s four tracks: the Cedar Block circuit is an easy 15-minute walk while the longest trail, Buaraba Creek, takes up to two and a half hours return.
Picnic Point, Toowoomba
The name says it all. The view of the Lockyer Valley from Picnic Point is pretty special for champagne breakfast picnics right through to sunset picnics. Set yourself up at Picnic Point Square or Heller Street Park if you have kids (they both have large play areas), or on Sundays during the warmer months, the little ones can enjoy a train ride at Lions Park for a gold coin donation.
Want to explore Toowoomba? Here are 16 things to do in the Garden City.
Eungella National Park, Mackay
Set in the mountains west of Mackay, Eungella National Park is the spot to go for a bush picnic without the long drive. All the essentials are right there – parking, a gas barbecue, toilets, drinking water, and refreshments should you find you’ve under-catered. And if you stick around late enough (there’s a campground if you feel like staying the night), you’ll spot platypus from the platform at Broken River.
The Strand, Townsville
After stocking up your picnic basket at nearby Otto’s Fresh Food Market, soak up some sun on The Strand in Townsville and then, if you’re feeling particularly energetic, you can hike up to the top of Castle Hill to work off all that cheese.
Cedar Creek Falls, Whitsundays
If you love to picnic after a nice walk, and preferably with a waterfall backdrop, you’ll love Cedar Creek Falls. A 20-minute drive from Airlie Beach, this peaceful spot tucked amongst lush greenery is a prime spot to spend a few hours. Pack a snorkel – there could be wild turtles swimming in the watering hole. If you feel like walking off your picnic, a short bush trail will lead you to the top of the waterfalls.
Howard Smith Wharves, Brisbane
Pull up a bean bag, buy a round of beers at Felons (the East Lawn is a licensed area) and secure yourself a waterfront view alongside the Brisbane River. This is picnic dining, elevated. You’re welcome to pack your own lunch, but be warned, you may get food fomo when you see others tucking into their Fish n’ Chippery seafood spread. Feel free to bring along your four-legged friend and don’t bother making plans for the afternoon – this place comes to life after dark with festoon lights and regular live music performances.
Point Lookout, Stradbroke Island
Okay, so it means getting packed early for a day trip, but Point Lookout offers pretty much the best view ever up on top of the headland – keep a look out for whales! No need to pack your picnic ahead of time, there’s a FoodWorks supermarket nearby. If you want to end your picnic on a sweet note, Oceanic Gelati & Coffee Bar has the best homemade ice cream on Stradbroke Island.
Queens Park, Ipswich
The oldest park in Queensland has got play equipment to keep the kids amused and plenty of pretty gardens to park your picnic down beside. After you eat, check out the Ipswich Nature Centre to see endangered bilbies and spinifex hopping mice and wander through the aviary. Or, if you’re seeking peace and tranquility, explore the Japanese-inspired Nerima Gardens.
While you’re in Ipswich, check out these other local hot spots.
Quart Pot Creek, Stanthorpe
You couldn’t be based in a better spot for a picnic than in Stanthorpe. After doing your rounds of the local wineries, dairies and farm gates, lay out your haul on the grass beside Quart Pot Creek and enjoy.
Kondalilla Falls, Montville
Head into the hinterland and take your picnic to the swimming hole at Kondalilla Falls. The walk to the waterfall’s rock pool base will take over an hour and requires reasonable fitness, but it’s worth it. Surrounded by a lush eucalyptus forest, the serenity is the perfect accompaniment to a good meal. A refreshing swim in the natural pools will help you cool down (both at the bottom and the top!). If you don’t want to work so hard for your food, there’s also a large grassed picnic area with barbecues, tables and toilets just 100-metres away (down some steps) from the Kondalilla Falls car park.
Springbrook National Park, Gold Coast Hinterland
With the World Heritage-listed Gondwana rainforest as your backdrop and a hike up and down one of the Gold Coast’s most impressive waterfalls to help you work up an appetite, you’re in for a wonderful day out. After you do the walk down to the bottom of Purling Brook Falls and back up again (it takes about two hours – more if you decide to take a dip in the pool at the base of the falls), there is a green shady area to refuel with a picnic. To get here, enter the car park at the end of Forestry Road.
Bulcock Beach, Caloundra
Can’t be bothered to pack a picnic basket? Get takeaway from Sandbar and eat your fish and chips as the sun sets behind the Glasshouse Mountains and the lorikeets squawk in the Norfolk pines above at Bulcock Beach in Caloundra.
Daisy Hill Conservation Park, Brisbane
This park is tucked away from it all in the southern suburbs of Brisbane (it’s also only a short drive if you’re coming from the Gold Coast). The perfect place to take kids and out-of-town visitors, this gorgeous picnic patch is home to numerous picnic benches (including two undercover ones), barbecues and five walking tracks that take you through the eucalypt forest and paperbark wetlands. Best of all, there’s a Koala Centre where you can get up close to koalas – and it’s free!
Carlo Sandblow, Rainbow Beach
Bring a rug and lay out your feast with a prime view of the hang gliders who take off from Carlo Sandblow at Rainbow Beach (and also migrating whales in whale season). It’s an easy 600-metre walk from the car park.
Looking for more places to have a beach picnic? This sand cay in the Great Barrier Reef is hard to top.
More of a BBQ person? Here are 9 of the best outdoor barbecue spots in South East Queensland.
And these botanic gardens make for great picnic spots in Queensland, too.