Embrace your inner Aussie and experience the great Aussie lifestyle in some of the best BBQ spots around Australia.
The love affair with the outdoor grill is so entrenched in the Aussie national psyche that free BBQ’s are the norm in public parks and beaches. The BBQ culture also means that these outdoor grills are left in very good order for the next person to use.
There’s almost no better way to spend a sunny day than parking the Esky and start sizzling food on the barbie in natural splendor.
1. Burleigh Heads QLD
Overlooking the Surfer’s Paradise skyline with sweeping views of the Gold Coast, Burleigh Heads it undeniably one of the greatest BBQ spots. There are free gas BBQ facilities and picnic tables scattered along the headland, but the option is always there for you to bring a picnic blanket and grab a spot on the grass. There are shops nearby if you have forgotten any supplies and an ice-cream van as well as a playground to keep the kids happy.
There is a chilled-out vibe as you gaze across the ocean views watching the surfers carve up the waves. The hippie vibe is occasionally enhanced at 5pm on a Sunday when hundreds of people show up to join in with a drumming circle, as well as an impressive fire twirling circle. All the while experiencing one of the best sunset views on the Gold Coast.
Burleigh Heads has a beachfront on Justin’s Park and John Laws Park, known as Burleigh Hill to the locals. The BBQs are always available and clean. There is also toilets available and beach access as well as that stunning view of the Gold Coast.
2. Edinburgh Gardens VIC
Smack bang in the middle of suburbia this lush green park is a reminder of a grand English garden. Comprising of 59 acres of gardens, it is not only a leafy green paradise, but it is also in one of the trendiest parts of town. There are three separate BBQ areas with tables and chairs scattered throughout the park as well as plenty of options to sit on your picnic rung shaded under large trees. There is lots of green space to kick a footy around and there is even a designated off-leash dog space for your four-legged friends.
For those needing a bit more action Edinburgh Gardens features tennis courts, a basketball court, skate park, playground, all-weather table tennis table, a Bowls club and a sports field. Supplies can be bought beforehand at Piedmonte, the local supermarket with a liquor shop so it’s easy to stay in Edinburgh Gardens from beer ‘o’ clock to nightfall!
3. North Bondi, NSW
Bondi locals know this place well as the best BBQ spots around town. This iconic Aussie beach has at its North end the place to meet up, play music, drink beers, swim and mingle. The BBQs are easy to find and there are plenty of more shaded options in the shelters halfway down the beach on the beachside park.
The slightly elevated view means you can look at the entire beach and the Bondi strip as well as the rock pool and shallow children swimming pool below if you bring your kids. There are plenty of local shops which are easily accessible as well as the visiting ice cream van. At Bondi beach you will find a skate park, outside gymnasium facilities as well as the iconic Bondi Icebergs which has an ocean pool.
At the other end of the beach is another grassy knoll which offers a perfect spot to sun bake and watch the ocean, dogs, joggers, surfers and even the Bondi rescue team in action. But make sure you get there early to save yourself a good spot for the outdoor cook up as the spot gets very busy in summertime.
4. JC Slaughter Falls & Simpson Falls, Mount Coot-tha QLD
What secrets do locals know when they want a break from the Queensland summer humidity? At only a stone’s throw from Brisbane Mt Coot-tha Forest Park has it all. With nine BBQ locations to choose from in the Mount Coot-tha Forest, Simpson Fall Picnic Area is a good place to start and a 15min drive from Brisbane CBD.
At Simpson Falls is about getting back to basics, even though you must bring your own wood for the wood fired BBQs, you will be satisfied with meat that has a rich, smoky BBQ flavour. Another spot is JC Slaughter Falls, this is more popular as you can park your car beside the BBQ.
With 40,000 hectares of forests there are plenty of things to do while you are at Mount Coot-th. You will see amazing views by day and night. The lookout from the lush themed Botanic Gardens is spectacular as there are plenty of creeks and waterfalls in the area. The entire Mt Coot-tha Forest is a natural reserve with wide open eucalyptus forests which are home to a variety of wildlife and birds. The cycle paths are much improved but a little challenging as Mout Coot-tha has a lot of inclines.
5. Southbank Parklands, QLD
A top spot to BBQ is certainly Brisbane’s most spectacular riverfront destination River Quay Green. Set against a backdrop of the sparkling city skyline with views of Brisbane River.
The site was originally transformed for Brisbane’s World Expo 88. Since then it has become a riverside paradise with small rainforests, cafes, blue lagoons ‘state of the art’ playgrounds, a water play park for the kids as well as plenty of chances for wildlife spotting. There are several special attractions in the park one being the ‘Streets Beach’ which is a man-made beach and with free BBQs nearby, it is the perfect spot for a BBQ and a swim even at twilight. Picnic Island Playground is popular too. All are licensed from 10am until 8pm daily except during major events like New Year’s Eve and Australia Day.
Every Sunday you can enjoy live music performances which feature music of some of Brisbane’s best musician. You can even grab fresh meats from the Stanley Street Markets for the BBQ. Perfect!
6. Centennial Park, Sydney NSW
Centennial Park’s central location and the 360-hectare expansive parklands make it a prime place for a BBQ and a run around. There are eight free electric BBQs scattered throughout the park, each with two hot plates. It is easy to find a quiet shady spot near one of the lakes allowing you to have a relaxed BBQ with a water view.
Alcohol is allowed apart from in a few alcohol-free zones. As well as the huge amount of space to chill out there are playgrounds, gardens, an outdoor fitness station cricket grounds, baseball, hockey and soccer pitches. You can hire rollerblades or bikes, or you can even go horse riding. Centennial park is a favourite spot for lazing in the sun whilst people and bird watching for free. There is always plenty going on here including the Moonlight Cinema during the summer. Your four-legged friends are also welcome!
7. Alexandra Garden, Melbourne, VIC
For the ultimate experience to BBQ in Melbourne, Alexandra Gardens on the banks of the Yarra River is the essential spot. With picturesque views over the Yarra River and the city skyline backdrop you can watch the rowers gliding along the river as well the party boat goers giving you a wave.
There are two main areas with their own seating either the leafy south banks of the Yarra River or Birrarung Marr on the north bank with looking over the Royal Botanic Garden. They have their own seating and picnic areas. A beautiful shady family friendly BBQ spot on the Alexandra Avenue, between Swan Street Bridge and Morell Bridge is near playgrounds and a skate park.
8. Weston Park, Canberra, ACT
A most beautiful spot for anyone who loves nature. Yarralumla’s Western Park is situated on a peninsula on the western side of Lake Burley Griffin. A new multi-purpose gravel platform with a public shelter BBQs, picnic tables, a water refill station and a public boulodrome has been created. A boulodrome is a sports facility where the public can play any boules sports like lawn bowls. Along several other BBQs scattered around the lake for a quieter lunch by the lake, there is a few children’s playgrounds, a maze and a miniature railway.
As well as being a great place to come for children to come and play there are bike paths winding their way through the park and a little sandy beach. Western Park is home to some of the oldest urban trees in ACT as well as families of kangaroos!
9. Rymill Park Adelaide, SA
The city of Adelaide is surrounded by beautiful parklands with one of the most suited to cooking up a BBQ being Rymill Park. There are over 15 BBQs with seating in peaceful settings. If you need more fun on a summer afternoon, then there are rowboats to hire, playgrounds, a rose garden, expansive grassed areas and bicycle paths. There is also a kiosk where you can buy your ice-cream after your BBQ.
Located in Eastern Adelaide, the park occupies a large area and is named after the Lord Mayor of Adelaide between 1950 to 1954, Sir Arthur Rymill. The artificial lake and rose gardens were constructed in the 1960’s. Adelaide Botanic Garden is also near-by to continue to enjoy nature at its best.
10. East Point Reserve, SA
Considering the temperature never seems to drop below 35 degrees Celsius in Darwin, it might seem odd to want to stand over a hot BBQ. However, East Point Reserve is such a perfect spot for it, that it’s a must!
East Point Reserve is situated in the northern fringes of Darwin, about 5km from the CBD. There are free BBQs and lots of shady grassed areas to sit. The park is a massive 200 hectares and includes natural forests filled with native flora and fauna. Lake Alexander is in the reserve, it is a man-made recreational lake that brings in seawater from the gulf and offers safe swimming free from stingers throughout the year. Not too far away is Dudley Point, which provides some of the most, magnificent sunset views in the country. There are also several other beaches including Darwin’s popular beach, Vanni Bay (Fannie Bay).
There are children playgrounds with slides, swings and even a rock-climbing wall. East Point Reserve is home to many wild animals, marsupials, brushtail possums, beavers, wallabies, bandicoots, various reptiles, butterflies and birds. There is an extensive network of walkways, bicycle trails and the reserve is even home to The Darwin Military Museum
11. Bronte Park, NSW
Bronte Park is a fun BBQ spot with electric grill BBQ’s and a spectacular view over the beach and ocean. There is plenty of rolling green space that stretches down to the beach, sheltered picnic tables and a much-loved playground which is large enough to keep the kids entertained all day.
You can grab a coffee or top up the BBQ food from a variety of café’s nearby and there is an ocean pool for safe swimming. It is a popular picnic spot so arrive early to get a table and relax for the day.