Planning a perfect picnic
Whether you pack a basket and head for the hills, or fill an Esky for a day of sun, surf and sand, now is the perfect time of year for an alfresco lunch or casual sunset dinner.
From the Sunshine Coast hinterland to Sydney’s beaches, we’ve picked out Australia’s top picnic spots and compiled tips to ensure your day out is as perfect as can be.
Here is our guide for a foolproof picnic.
Choose your destination and research it well. If you’re a picnic newbie, check for the nearest amenities: are there bathrooms, picnic tables or will you need to bring your own blanket? How far is your chosen spot from the car park? Will you need help carting things from the car and back?
If you’re headed to the beach, will you need your own shade? Have you frozen ice bricks to keep your food and drinks cold in the Esky?
It’s the little things that will make your day more enjoyable, so make some lists and check them twice!
While the view might be worth a million bucks, the food is the real star of the show! For optimum success, pick foods that are portable, individually portioned and ready to eat.
Some ideas include:
- Quiche cups
- Rice paper rolls
- Individual savoury tarts
- Finger sandwiches
- Honey soy chicken drumsticks
- Pizzas made on pita bread bases
- Teriyaki-glazed meatballs, served on skewers
- Mini frittatas
- Cheesecake jars
- Rice salad
- Pasta salad
To ensure food is at its freshest, use any insulated containers or cooler bags that you have, and separate wet ingredients, like salad dressing, by pouring it into a small glass jar, then toss with salad leaves just before serving.
There’s nothing worse than arriving at your destination to find that the ice bricks have leaked into the bread rolls or chicken drumsticks have landed on the cheesecake!
Proper packing is key to preventing such disasters. Invest in a solid Esky or cooler bag that prevents food from being squashed during transportation. Line the bottom of the Esky with ice bricks and then layer food items with the heaviest/sturdiest foods on the bottom and the lightest/most delicate foods on top. If possible, pack different foods in plastic containers to prevent them from getting squashed or leaking into other foods.
Some items that will make your picnic more comfortable include:
- Plates, cutlery and cups
- Picnic rug with water resistant backing
- Plastic bags to take home any rubbish with you
- Napkins and wet wipes
- Ice cubes, packed in a wide mouthed Thermos, to add to beverages
Australia’s Best Picnic Spots
Buderim Forest Park
Kangaroo Point Cliffs
Mrs Macquarie’s Chair
Rippon Lea House and Gardens