The Best Places to Picnic Around Auckland
Nab your picnic spot! We've opened the hamper on where to dine al fresco in Auckland
Take your morning coffee up to the top of Mount Eden for a sunrise hike. The dormant volcano, that rises almost 650 feet above sea level, will reward you with a panorama of the city. Savour solitude and peer into the giant crater at your feet or pick out the landmarks like One Tree Hill or the Sky Tower.
Coyle Park, Point Chevalier
Perched in Point Chevalier, this park ticks all the boxes. Large grassy fields are great for family sports and towering pine trees block sea breeze and give shade. Picnic tables dot the park's edge and there are harbour views out to beach haven and the city. The playground has an impressive climbing frame and an adult-friendly flying fox. A nearby café sells Kapiti ice cream if you need cooling off.
Enter the city’s oldest park and be spoilt for choice for grazing spots. Sit out in front of the Auckland War Memorial Museum for a grand backdrop or nestle in by the Lovers Lane. It’s a quiet and picturesque part of the park by the fountain. Afterwards, have a peek around the Winter Gardens for an intoxicating abundance of blooms.
Whakanewha Regional Park - Waiheke
For a secluded spot to really get away from it all, take a trip over to Waiheke’s Whakenewha Regional Park. Walk to the bluff at the beach's southern end and find a historic pa site, complete with kumara pits and picnic tables, overlooking Rocky Bay towards the city. For more Waiheke secrets, read this local wisdom.
Chelsea Estate Heritage Park
A hidden gem in Auckland, Chelsea estate opens its expansive parkland to the public. There’s plenty of relaxing walking tracks through the gardens and ponds with views over Waitemata Harbour. Spread out in one of the many open spaces under the shade of native trees. You can also feed the resident ducks.
Mahurangi - Scotts Pt
For a step back in time, consider the old world setting of Scotts Pt in Mahurangi. Explore the peaceful grounds and settle in front of the lovingly restored historic Scotts Homestead. Finish your lunch with a swim in the nearby waters and at low tide, you can cross over to Manganui.
Venture out to Piha, for a day on one of Auckland’s most majestic and rugged west coast beaches. Walk the long expanse of black sand, explore the caves and swim with caution between the flags. There are sheltered grassy areas with trees near the beach to sit or take a two-minute walk to Piha domain, which has access to a lagoon, children’s playground, and a coin-operated BBQ.
Settle on the sand or on the grassy bank, Takapuna Beach offers all the picnic options. Hugely popular whenever the sun is out, it makes for great people watching. The newly spruced playground is excellent for little ones. Finish with a dip in the ocean or a gelato from The Store.
Parnell Rose Gardens
Get lost in the heady scent of florals in the Parnell Rose Gardens. The entire grounds are in full bloom during summer with over 5,000 spectacular bushes and make for a charming spot to nibble and relax.
One of the biggest parks in the city with a big supply of BBQs. Find 10 in total dotted around the grounds, along with plenty of picnic tables to go all out for an al fresco feast. Afterwards, stroll one of the several walking tracks with daffodils on display and lambs in spring. Or climb one Tree Hill for great views of the city
Sentinel Road Beach
For Ponsonby locals – this is the spot. Take the steep steps down to the sheltered beach and nestle underneath the shade of a giant Pohutakawa. Best enjoyed with fish tacos from nearby Fish Smith. Check the tides if you want to swim, water is non-existent when it’s out.
Right in the heart of the city, escape the hustle of Queen St to Albert Park. Park yourself on one of the several grassed lawns or on a park bench by the fountain.
Western Springs is an inner-city sanctuary and a great spot for a picnic with its three onsite BBQs and plenty of space to plonk down. While your there, stroll around and feed the ducks, swan and geese.
A picnic list had to include the kiwi classic of fish ‘n’ chips on the beach. Pick up the wrapped goodies from nearby takeaways and enjoy on the sand or on the grass by the large fountain. For your own version, try this tasty Coconut Fish with Parmesan Chips.
North Head Historic Reserve
The commanding views of the Hauraki Gulf will be on full display from a picnic spot at North Head. Take the ferry to Devenport and walk to one of New Zealand’s most significant defence sites. After your packed lunch, explore the fascinating tunnels deep inside the volcanic cone and other features of the area’s military history.