It is only when something is taken away from you that you realise how important it was. As we celebrated the start of 2020, we looked on the new year with excitement and hope. Who could have known what an impact COVID-19 would have on the world and that the simple act of visiting the best picnic spots in Brisbane with your family was so precious or so easy to lose?

Now that restrictions have eased it’s time to enjoy the simple things in life again. Simple things like going on a picnic with family, visiting tourist spots in Brisbane, or even going to the best parks in Brisbane.

For beautiful places in Brisbane to go on a family picnic (or a romantic picnic for couples) read the tips below for some of the Best picnic spots in Brisbane and South East Queensland.

City Botanic Gardens

  • Save

The City Botanic Gardens is a beautiful oasis of green on the edge of Brisbane’s CBD and is a popular recreation area for both tourists and Brisbane residents. The Gardens are surrounded on two sides by the Brisbane River and on another side by the Queensland University of Technology.

Originally called the Brisbane Botanic Gardens, the site was flooded nine times between 1870–2011. The official Botanic Gardens of Brisbane was moved to Mt Coot-tha in the 1970’s.

While visiting the gardens, take the time to explore and look at the name plates on the trees. Some of the trees in the gardens were planted as far back as the year 1828.

The City Botanic Gardens is just a short walk from Eagle Street Pier, one of the Free CityHopper Ferry Terminals.

https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/sites/default/files/styles/content_desktop_2x/public/500x848_botanic_gardens_map.jpg?itok=DpJNQAg3
  • Save
  • Ease of access – Easiest access to the Gardens is via Bus, CityCat or CityHopper Ferry. There is no parking within the Gardens. Parking may be found along Alice Street or the surrounding streets.
  • Public toilets – Yes including disabled toilets
  • Picnic tables – Yes
  • BBQs – No
  • Playground Equipment – Yes
  • Shady trees – Yes
  • Cafe/Restaurant – The Garden’s Club Cafe can be found at the furthest end of the gardens away from the CBD and is open from 8am-4pm daily. Alternately, there are shops and cafes within the Brisbane CBD.
  • Large Green Spaces – Yes
  • Bookable Sites: Sites can be booked for functions via the Brisbane City Council website

Susan Gan | Thrifty after 50

Best Picnic Spots in Brisbane - quotes
  • Save

Daisy Hill Conservation Park

  • Save

Daisy Hill Conservation Park is an eucalyptus forest and habitat for koalas and wildlife 25 kilometres south-east of Brisbane. The park is also picnic and  recreational area with wide open grass areas, picnic and barbecue facilities as well as bush walking, mountain bike and horse riding trails. The highlight is the Daisy Hill Koala Centre within the grounds of the park.

Everything at the Daisy Hill Conservation Park including the barbecues and entry to the koala centre is free. As budget travellers finding free attractions in and near Brisbane that allow us to take our dog and get close to nature is always a bonus. We enjoyed everything about the park.

The Daisy Hill Koala Centre has several resident koalas you can see up close. Daily talks by rangers, interactive boards and short videos give information about the koalas and their conservation. 

  • Ease of access – Easy access by car with plenty of parking available. Alternatively it is a 30 minute walk from Springwood Train Station.
  • Public toilets – Yes including disabled
  • Picnic tables – Yes
  • BBQs – Yes
  • Playground Equipment – No
  • Shady trees – Yes
  • Cafe/Restaurant – No
  • Large Green Spaces – Yes

Emma | Our Wayfaring Life

Howard Smith Wharves

  • Save
View of the Story Bridge at night taken from the Riverwalk just near Howard Smith Wharves.

Howard Smith Wharves is Brisbane’s newest entertainment district and is situated just along the riverbank from Eagle Street Pier at the base of the Story Bridge. The stunning views of the Story Bridge and the Brisbane CBD make it not only one of the best lunch spots in Brisbane but one of the best photography spots in Brisbane.

While there aren’t lots of large green spaces for the kids to run around on there is a small playground area and plenty of seating areas along the river bank for a picnic lunch. There are also several private undercover seating areas which are available for function bookings.

Howard Smith Wharves has several restaurants, cafes and night clubs including Felons Fish n’ Chippery.

At night Howard Smith Wharves comes alive with activity from the restaurants and night clubs. If you are looking for romantic picnic places in Brisbane then this is the place to come for an evening picnic with stunning views of the Story Bridge lit up in lights. The seating area along the riverbank provides the perfect location to sit and watch all the boats go by. Howard Smith Wharves provides you with stunning night time views making it one of the more beautiful places in Brisbane.

  • Ease of access (public transport, parking) – Just a short walk from Eagle Street Pier, one of the Free CityHopper Ferry Terminals. Secure Parking is offering $10* parking deals for lunch visitors at Howard Smith Wharves from Monday to Thursday and on the weekend.
  • Public toilets – Yes
  • Picnic Tables – No
  • BBQ’s – No
  • Playground equipment – Yes
  • Shady trees – No
  • Cafes/Restaurants – Yes
  • Large green spaces – No

Susan Gan | Thrifty after 50

Best Picnic Spots in Brisbane - quotes
  • Save

Jolly’s Lookout, Mt Nebo

Jolly's Lookout, Mount Nebo
  • Save

If you’re looking for a beautiful, mountainous scenic drive from Brisbane, Jolly’s Lookout on Mount Nebo hits the mark.  In fact, it’s one of Brisbane’s most famous day trip picnic spots. 

Jolly’s Lookout boasts the most glorious views over Enoggera Forest Reserve, out to the city, the Glasshouse Mountains and Moreton Bay.  Sunrise and sunsets are by far the best times to enjoy Jolly’s Lookout, but any time of the day is beautiful.

Accessing the lookout is easy with any vehicle as the road is sealed the whole way.  The drive from the Brisbane CBD to Jolly’s Lookout is only about 35 minutes (25 km), making it a great spot for picnics, out of the hustle and bustle, without having to travel too far.

  • Ease of access (public transport, parking) – Plenty of onsite parking with wheelchair access. No public transport.
  • Public toilets – Yes, with baby change room.
  • Picnic Tables – Yes (some open and some sheltered).
  • BBQ’s – Yes
  • Playground equipment – No
  • Shady trees – Yes
  • Cafes/Restaurants – Not at the park itself, but there is one just 2.3km up the road.
  • Large green spaces – Yes, lots of nice, large, grassy areas for picnicking and for the kids to burn off some energy.

Allan & Emma Riggs | MY RIG Adventures

Kangaroo Point

  • Save
Deposit Photos

Kangaroo Point is one of Brisbane’s most beloved picnic spots and a top pick among locals. It’s usually packed on weekends with families and groups of friends. Finding a picnic table or a shady spot under a tree to spread your blanket is rarely an issue – the park is big enough to accommodate everyone.

Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park, a long strip of green space that runs from Woolloongabba to the Story Bridge, is where you want to set up your picnic basket. Not only is the parkland beautifully maintained, it also commands epic views of the CBD from the upper park. The lower park faces directly onto the river and catches a nice breeze in summer.

Inside the park you’ll find gazebos, picnic tables, and large grassy areas. Communal barbecues are available for cooking your own snags, or there are a number of cafes and bars, all with panoramic views from their outdoor terraces. There are a couple of children’s playgrounds and a few outdoor art installations for entertainment. Rock climbing and abseiling is on offer, and there are dedicated bike paths in the lower park for cyclists.

  • Ease of access (public transport, parking) – Easy access to the bus way and CityCat / Free CityHopper Ferries, but parking is limited.
  • Public toilets – Yes
  • Picnic Tables – Yes
  • BBQ’s – Yes
  • Playground equipment – Yes
  • Shady trees – Yes
  • Cafes/Restaurants – Yes
  • Large green spaces – Yes

Emily | Australia Up Close

Best Picnic Spots in Brisbane - quotes
  • Save

Kondalilla National Park

  • Save

Kondalilla National Park in the Blackall Range is one of the best places to have a picnic because it is a scenic spot with excellent facilities and bushwalking trails.

Named after Kondalilla Falls, which is a waterfall where Skene Creek drops 90m into a pretty valley, Kondalilla is the Aboriginal word for rushing waters. One of the draw cards of this picnic area is the accessibility of the National Park and the waterfalls. A bushwalk after a picnic lunch is a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.

  • Ease of access (public transport, parking) – The main picnic area is a short stroll from the Kondalilla Falls Road car park and the entrance to the walking track, which starts from the picnic area, is a 150m downhill walk with multiple stairs.
  • Public toilets – Yes, there are clean public toilets.
  • Picnic Tables – Yes
  • BBQ’s – Yes but bring drinking water. There’s water in the creek but it’s not suitable for drinking.
  • Playground equipment – No, Kondalilla attracts day-trippers because it is a natural playground.
  • Shady trees – Yes, there are trees for shade and shelter sheds in case it rains.
  • Cafes/Restaurants – There are no cafes or restaurants at the picnic area but there are plenty of cafes to choose from in Montville, which is a five-minute drive away.
  • Large green spaces – There’s a large green grassy area suitable for kids to run around.

Christina Pfeiffer | Travel 2 Next

Lake Moogerah

Lake Moogerah is one of the best picnic spots in Brisbane and South East Queensland
  • Save

Lake Moogerah is the perfect spot for a picnic.  Most people tend to picnic at Haigh Park, also referred to as the Lake Moogerah Picnic Area.  The area is close to the dam wall and the Mount Edwards walking track.

Some things to note about a picnic at Haigh Park:

  • Ease of access (public transport, parking) – Lake Moogerah is an hours drive from Brisbane, there is no public transport so you will need to drive here.  There is plenty of parking available.   
  • Public toilets – There are toilets available
  • Picnic Tables – There are several covered picnic tables
  • BBQ’s – There are several gas BBQs for public use
  • Playground equipment – There is a playground for the kids
  • Shady trees – There are plenty of trees to keep the area shady.
  • Cafes/Restaurants –  The Dam Café is just 300m away, which sells a light lunch menu and coffee.
  • Large green spaces – there is lots of space to run around, kick a ball

You can also choose to have your picnic in the day use area in the Lake Moogerah Caravan Park.  Here there is BBQs, picnic tables, toilets and a playground for the kids.  You can also hire kayaks and tinnies or go fishing.

Melissa Delaware | Camp Essentials

Best Picnic Spots in Brisbane - quotes
  • Save

Mt. Coot-tha

  • Save
Brisbane city skyline on overcast day

Mount Coot-Tha is a wonderful place for a picnic in Brisbane. Located in a suburb of Brisbane, the Mount Coot-Tha Lookout has panoramic views of the city skyline and looks out towards Moreton Bay in the distance. You don’t need to hike to the top of this lookout either, there is a parking lot which makes unloading a picnic easy. 

If you don’t feel like cooking, you can eat at Summit Restaurant or Kuta Cafe which are located at the top. Otherwise, spread a blanket on the well maintained lawn and have your own DIY picnic with a view. 

If you are in need of a BBQ or picnic table you’ll have to descend the lookout. There are lots of picnic areas on the loop towards Mount Coot-Tha lookout just off of Sir Samuel Griffith Drive. 

Tucked into the Mount Coot-Tha forest are turn offs for JC Slaughter Falls, Simpsons Falls Picnic Area, and Gap Creek Reserve. All of which have well equipped picnic areas with BBQs, washrooms, and shady areas. However, if you are looking for the most modern amenities head to Gap Creek Reserve for their electric BBQs and have a great time!

  • Ease of access (public transport, parking) – Public transport and a parking lot are available.
  • Public toilets – Yes
  • Picnic Tables – No
  • BBQ’s – No
  • Playground equipment – No
  • Shady trees – Yes
  • Cafes/Restaurants – Yes  
  • Large green spaces – Yes

Oksana & Max | Drink Tea & Travel

New Farm Park

  • Save

New Farm Park is one of Brisbane’s biggest parks and best picnic spots in the city. The heritage-listed public park has large green spaces, picnic tables, electric barbeques and public toilets around the park. Plus, the New Farm Park has a large playground and close proximity to cafes, a grocery store and a farmer’s market.

Located at Brunswick Street and Sydney Street in New Farm, the 15 hectares (37 acres) park is a 5-minute drive from CBD. There is plenty of parking within the park, and street parking is available as well. If you are taking public transportation to New Farm Park, hop on Bus 196 or take CityCat to New Farm Park Ferry Terminal. Alternately you could catch the Free CityHopper Ferry to Sydney Street ferry terminal and from there it is just over a 1km walk to the entrance of New Farm Park.

There are three designated picnic areas, plenty of park benches and so much open space for anyone who wants to spend a few hours enjoying a picnic. As for food, pick up groceries from the nearby Coles, or pastries and coffee from End of the Road Coffee,

The Frond Cafe or Cafe63. On Sundays, get fresh bread and delicious food at the Jan Powers Farmers Market at Brisbane Powerhouse. 

  • Ease of access – both off street and on street parking, bus 196, CityCat, CityHopper
  • Public toilets – yes
  • Picnic tables – yes
  • BBQs – yes 
  • Playground equipment – yes
  • Shady trees – yes 
  • Cafes/restaurants – End of the Road Coffee, The Frond Cafe, Cafe63
  • Large green spaces – yes 

Queenie Mak | ms travel solo

Best Picnic Spots in Brisbane - quotes
  • Save

Nudgee Beach Reserve

  • Save

In the sleepy hamlet of Nudgee Beach you will find the Nudgee Beach Reserve and the Tabbil Ban Dhagun Mangrove Boardwalk.

While you won’t find a white sandy beach at Nudgee, the kids will still have a great time playing in the tidal pools and chasing soldier crabs on the mud flats.

There is plenty of space in the park to kick a ball and there are all the facilities required to have a family BBQ.

If you enjoy cycling, then Nudgee Beach Reserve makes a fantastic place to ride for picnic. The bike ride from the Brisbane CBD to Nudgee Beach is about 25km and has dedicated bike ways or bike lanes the majority of the way.

  • Ease of access (public transport, parking) –  There is plenty of off-street parking. You can catch a train to Nudgee Station and then a 306 Bus from Saint Vincents Rd at Oakmere Street to Nudgee Beach Reserve. If you like to ride a bike, there is a bicycle lane that you can use all the way from the City.
  • Public toilets – Yes, including disabled toilets.
  • Picnic Tables – There are several covered picnic tables
  • BBQ’s – There are several gas BBQs for public use
  • Playground equipment – There is a playground for the kids
  • Shady trees – There are plenty of trees to keep the area shady.
  • Cafes/Restaurants –  Pam’s Cafe is just near the entrance to Nudgee Beach Reserve
  • Large green spaces – there is lots of space to run around, kick a ball

Susan Gan | Thrifty after 50

South Bank Parklands

The brightly coloured Pirate Ship at Riverside Green Playground, South Bank, Brisbane.
  • Save
The Pirate Ship at Riverside Green Playground.

South Bank Parklands sits on 17 hectares of prime riverfront land overlooking the city and is one of the main tourist spots in Brisbane. The park includes Australia’s only inner-City beach plus playground equipment, swimming pools and water play areas making it one of the best kids parks in Brisbane and one of the best swimming spots in Brisbane.

If you plan on having a picnic there are plenty of sheltered picnic tables, and BBQ’s, as well as a Woolworth’s close by to buy picnic food. There are also plenty of cafes, bars and restaurants in South Bank Parklands and in the surrounding streets ensuring that South Bank keeps its reputation as one of the best lunch spots in Brisbane.

From South Bank Parklands you can catch the Free CityHopper Ferry for a free ferry ride down the Brisbane River.

Click here for a list of 20 Free Activities at South Bank.

  • Ease of access (public transport, parking) – South Bank train and bus stations are just a short 2-3 minute walk from South Bank. South Bank Car Park is located in Little Stanley St, South Bank. Entry is via Tribune or Glenelg streets.
  • Public toilets – Yes. South Bank has a range of bathroom facilities. Showers are located in Stanley Street Plaza, and toilets are located at the Piazza, the Central Cafes, Stanley Street Plaza, Little Stanley Street and River Quay. There are two Parent’s Rooms at South Bank. The main one is located in the Allgas Building in Stanley Street Plaza and contains a microwave and change table, and the other, which contains a change table, is located in Stanley Street Plaza, next to Cactus Republic.
  • Picnic Tables – Yes
  • BBQ’s – Yes, free gas BBQ’s are available.
  • Playground equipment and swimming facilities – Yes
  • Shady trees – Yes
  • Cafes/Restaurants – Yes, there are many restaurants and cafes within South Bank Parklands itself as well as in the surrounding streets. There is also a Woolworths Grocery Store near South Bank Train Station where you can pick up picnic supplies.
  • Large green spaces – Yes
  • Locker Hire – Lockers are available for temporary hire in Stanley Street Plaza, near Streets Beach. Hire fees are $4 for three hours and $8 for six hours.

Susan Gan | Thrifty after 50

Best Picnic Spots in Brisbane - quotes
  • Save

Wellington Point Recreation Reserve

  • Save
Wellington Point Recreation Reserve

A tiny point tucked down in a pocket of South East Queensland, you’ll find Wellington Point Recreation Reserve. With plenty of picnic tables and BBQs, it’s a popular spot for families to enjoy an afternoon out in the sun by the water and one of Brisbane’s best picnic spots. There is a small wooden jetty close to the boat ramp where you’ll usually find some keen fishermen at all times of the day.

Wellington Point Recreation Reserve attracts water enthusiasts and thanks to the gap between the southern tip of Moreton Island and the top of North Stradbroke Island, you’ll see many boats, jet skies and wind surfers out on the water on breezy, sunny days.

Make sure to check the tide times as during low tide, the sandbar leading out to King Island is exposed and allows people and their dogs to walk across to the small conservation park. The 2km round trip is suitable for all ages – beware of the small sharp rocks and shells. The local fish and chips cafe also does a roaring trade on weekends; make sure to protect your food from the circling seagulls and pelicans!

  • Ease of access (public transport, parking) – Route 254 operated by Veolia in Redland Shire travels from Capalaba Station to Wellington Point jetty with services departing every 30 minutes and the journey taking approximately 30 minutes. If you’re coming from Brisbane City, it’s best to drive as there is free parking available for cars, motorbikes and boats; spaces are limited on weekends
  • Public toilets – Yes
  • Picnic Tables – Yes
  • BBQ’s – Yes
  • Playground equipment – Yes
  • Shady trees – Yes
  • Cafes/Restaurants – Yes
  • Large green spaces – Yes

Jasmine | The Travel Quandary

Save ‘Best Picnic Spots in Brisbane and South East Queensland’ for later!

  • Save

Can you recommend other picnic areas in Brisbane and South East Queensland. Leave a comment below.

Last Updated on