Fill your basket, bring a blanket and grab a wide-brimmed hat for the ultimate picnic in Adelaide’s beautiful parks. From manicured gardens to coastal caves, there’s a spot for everyone.
Just a short drive from Adelaide, Morialta Conservation Park is popular among bushwalkers and families with kids for its Mukanthi playground and five walking trails. You can also find a barbeque area and public toilets onsite.
If you’re looking for one of Adelaide’s most spectacular picnic spots, look no further than Glenelg Beach. This popular city beach is home to white sand, crystal-clear waters, and palm trees swaying in the breeze. You can swim, sunbathe, stroll the jetty, or grab a bite to eat in one of the many restaurants and cafes. There’s also a variety of family-friendly activities to enjoy, including a playground and public gym equipment.
For something a little more cultural, head to the Glenelg Art Gallery at the end of Jetty Road. This museum features a variety of local Aboriginal artists from central Australia and the APY Lands. It is part traditional gallery and part art studio, so you’ll find a mix of both paintings and sculptures. You can even take a painting class from Studio Vino and create your own piece of artwork to take home with you.
Glenelg Beach is a popular destination for picnickers, especially during the warmer months. It is the largest metropolitan beach in South Australia, and it has a great atmosphere with its wide beach, stunning sunsets, rich heritage, charming hotels, and bustling shops and sidewalk cafes. You can also catch a movie at the cinema, go shopping in the retail outlets or dine on a range of food options.
Located a short stroll from Glenelg Beach and Jetty Rd, this reserve is known for being the site where South Australia was proclaimed as a colony in 1836. It’s a beautiful spot with a large grassed reserved, plenty of shaded areas, and a children’s playground. The reserve is also dotted with eucalyptus trees, so it’s a perfect spot to have a picnic.
The Adelaide Botanic Garden is a natural wonderland that’s right in the middle of the city. It features over 50,000 plants and flowers from around the world, so it’s like going on an international trip without ever leaving the city. There are many places to sit and relax in the garden, such as the Victoria Park Lake, Veale Gardens, and South Terrace Parklands. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon with friends and family, and it’s free to enter!
A beach town, a shopping mecca and a picnic spot all in one, Henley Square is one of Adelaide’s most popular attractions. The sandy shoreline stretches as far as the eye can see and is dotted with quality cafe’s, clothing boutiques, restaurants and a bustling coastal mall. It’s also home to a playground, kids park and a clean jetty. Henley Square is a must-visit for families seeking a day by the sea.
A short tram ride from the city centre will take you to Glenelg, arguably Australia’s most famous metropolitan beach. Its vast sandscapes are complemented by charming hotels and heritage, and bustling café’s, restaurants, shops and a European style beach club. There’s even water slides and a tram that moves sand between the beach and the promenade each year to replenish other beaches.
The esplanade is a great place for strolling or sitting under the shady Norfolk Island pine trees. Brighton’s sand is especially soft and the views are spectacular. The jetty is ideal for taking a leisurely swim and you can easily walk from Glenelg to Henley Beach or even further down the coast to Seacliff.
Another fabulous Adelaide picnic spot is Elder Park. The river Torrens flows through this lush garden, which is dominated by a beautiful rotunda that is a popular venue for fun Adelaide events like Carols By Candlelight and Symphony Under the Stars. The park is also a favourite spot for walking, bird watching, cycling, canoeing, kayaking, and playing sports.
THE GROUNDS OF AN AUSTRALIA’S MOST POPULAR HISTORICAL HOME
Henley Park is an oasis of calm in one of Adelaide’s most prestigious suburbs. The gardens are beautifully maintained and offer a variety of seating areas, barbecues, a children’s playground and toilets. There’s also an on-site cafe for light lunches and afternoon tea.
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Belair National Park
As a city in the heart of nature, Adelaide is filled with picnic spots that are perfect for a day out with friends and family. Whether it’s a winery with views over the rolling hills, a coastal cave, or even a mangrove forest, there is sure to be a spot that suits your taste.
One of the best places for a family picnic is the Adelaide Botanical Gardens. This iconic garden is located in the heart of the city but feels like it is a world away. With walking trails, greenhouses full of exotic plants, and daily guided tours, the gardens have plenty to keep you busy all day long.
Another great picnic spot is the National Park in Morialta, only a short drive from the city. The park is home to some of the most significant heritage attractions in South Australia, including Old Government House and the State Flora Nursery, but it also boasts spectacular natural bushland that offers shady picnic spots, free barbeque areas, and a range of walking trails. The park is also popular with rock climbers and abseilers, so be prepared for a bit of a crowd on the weekends.
Morialta Conservation Park is also home to some epic playgrounds, so be sure to pack the kids and their favourite sand toys for an afternoon out at Mukanthi Playspace. The park is surrounded by the lush Morialta hills and has five play areas to choose from, so you can pick your spot for sun or shade depending on what the weather is doing. The park is also known for being a good spot to see koalas and kangaroos, so be sure to bring your binoculars!
The Mount Lofty Botanical Gardens is another fantastic picnic spot in Adelaide. Located half an hour’s drive from the city, the gardens are a stunning mixture of manicured garden beds and incredible wildlife. It’s best to visit the gardens during spring, when the magnolias, rhododendrons, and camellias are at their peak. There is also an extensive network of walking trails and a large playground, so the whole family can have fun together.
If you’re looking for a picnic spot that gets the heart pumping, the River Torrens is the place to be. It’s Adelaide’s very own liquid highway that winds through the city and offers plenty of places to stop and stretch your legs, jog or bike ride. Or you can get out on the water and hop aboard a River Torrens cruise, enjoying South Australian goodness and beautiful scenery along the way.
HISTORIC HOMES & GARDEN GARDEN
Roll out your picnic rug and enjoy the gorgeous grounds of one of Adelaide’s finest historic homes, Carrick Hill. There’s a lot to see at this majestic property, from the sprawling gardens to the historic house, but spring is a particularly magical time to visit with stunning mass displays of magnolias, rhododendrons and camellias. You can also bring your own picnic hamper or purchase a range of takeaway food from the onsite cafe.
A hidden oasis in one of Adelaide’s most prestigious suburbs, Heywood Park is a picture-perfect setting for your picnic. The trees are like walls that block out the noise and stress of the city around you, and shady spots are abundant. The park also has barbecues, playgrounds and toilets.
BELAIR NATIONAL PARK
The oldest national park in the state, Belair is part heritage and part natural bushland and only 11km southeast of Adelaide. Here you’ll find Old Government House, which is open for guided tours, and a number of scenic walks, including the 1.6km Fourth Creek Walk with three waterfalls. The park is a haven for nature lovers, with an abundance of wildlife and plant life to discover, including 150-year-old giant figs, three stunning glasshouses (including the Amazon Waterlily Pavilion inspired by leaf structure, the Palm House prefabricated in Germany in 1877 and the Bicentennial Conservatory, the largest single-span glasshouse in the Southern Hemisphere) and rose gardens. It’s a great location for walking or cycling, with tennis courts and cricket pitches also available if you’re feeling sporty. You can also hire row boats and go all The Notebook on the riverbank, or grab a seat at the café.