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Places to Picnic in the Yarra Valley & Dandenong Ranges

12 Apr. 2021

Picnics offer some of the best dining out options and the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges are here and ready for you! Grab your picnic rug and leave the rest to the Yarra Valley. Here's a full list of picnic food and drink ready to go - just add to cart!

Browse some delicious picnic food options here.

Now that the catering is sorted - you're going to need a place to picnic. Here's our top picks, tried and tested!

GARDENS GALORE IN THE DANDENONGS

Spring gardens bursting with blossom and daffodils, tulips and colour. Perfect backdrops for selfies, perfect settings for relaxing with friends.

  • RJ Hamer Arboretum
  • SkyHigh, Mt Dandenong
  • Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden

PICNIC WITH A VIEW?

Vantage points with 360 degree vistas, as far as the eye can see – even back to the city. These destinations will have you feeling the big sky feels of outside – the perfect antidote to feeling cooped up.

  • Mt Donna Buang, Warburton (climb the observation tower)
  • Trig Point, Lysterfield
  • War Memorial Tower, Kangaroo Ground

AMONG THE VINES

Many wineries have magnificent gardens, manicured lawns and all the feels of views across the vineyard. Perfect conditions for picnics. Find your place here, or try Dominque Portet, Domaine Chandon or some place new on the Alternative Taste Trail on the Melba Highway.

ARTS EVERYWHERE

Montsalvat in Eltham is full of interesting things to see and do and the lovingly tended gardens are the perfect place to pause and picnic in the peaceful grounds. Or try Banksia Park and picnic set amongst the sculptures of Heide Museum of Modern Art and on the banks of the Yarra River.

BY THE WATER, THE LAKE AND THE RIVER

The best thing about waterside destinations is that there are plenty of other activities to enjoy while you picnic – think walks and trails, boating (from paddle boats to sailing), a spot of fishing, and plenty of space to kick a ball, throw a frisbee or chill with your doggo. Take the whole day here:

FORESTS

If flora and fauna is your thing, and the idea of lunching among the giant tree ferns and mountain ash is your ultimate sense of freedom, there are plenty of forest walks and picnic facilities to explore in the Walks and Trails Eguide. Try the Ada Tree Walk into History, The Gawa Wurundjeri Resource Trail or Dee Road picnic ground on the O’Shannassey Aqueduct trail. The Stiggants Reserve and Warrandyte River Reserve has all amenities available making it a popular spot for large bbq and picnic gatherings. There is Yarra River access and plenty of cafes over the road to get delicious picnic suppliers. Or discover Finns Reserve – Nestled by the Yarra River it includes the Wombat Bend playspace and an off lead location so bring your doggo!

GREAT FOR KIDS

Reserves, Playgrounds and picnics are a perfect combination! Try these:

  • Diamond Creek Regional Playspace (new in Oct 2020)
  • Eltham Lower Park, Eltham
  • Alistair Knox Park, Eltham
  • Diamond Street Reserve, Diamond Creek
  • Fergusons Paddock, Hurstbridge
  • Ruffey Lake Park, Doncaster East
  • Strathewen Reserve, Strathewen

BONUS - And a brand new destination (for the kids and the kid in you) - Warburton Water World – a splash park, playground and picnic ground all in one on the banks of the Yarra River. Newly opened in September and heaps of fun.

Many restaurants and cafes have developed delicious new ways to takeaway (thanks lockdown!). Check out The High Tea Mistress (delivery), Mary Eats Cake (Montrose), Round Bird (Lilydale) and heaps more listed in our Takeaway blog.

Gather a few friends (check the restrictions), stay safe and be kind, and enjoy an outdoor picnic – where ‘socially distanced’ is easy, and you can run free (how good does that sound?)

*BOOK AHEAD - some venues require bookings, and hamper/picnic packs will need to be preordered. Please check direct with vendor as requirements can change quickly in response to restrictions.