Loves going out and about, drinking coffee, eating chocolate, and writing about her adventures!
Published October 20th 2020
All you need is love and your picnic basket
As the English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson famously wrote, "In the Spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love."
Ah, Spring! Tis' the season of flowers, fetes, festivals-and love. Spring and love seem to make the perfect match. After all, spring is the season when most weddings happen in Australia. With warmer and longer days now upon us and the fragrance of spring blooms perfuming the air, there's no better way to get romantic with your beloved than with a picnic.
Picnics make for the most romantic date, whether you and your beloved are just starting out as a couple, or you've been together for years with a child (or two or more) already in tow. When my now-husband and I first started 'courting', picnic dates were my favourites. In fact, I preferred them to the fancy restaurants. Now that we're parents, we still go on picnics (but not so much the fancy restaurants!)
The great thing about a picnic date is that it's a lot less formal than a restaurant date. Restaurants, after all, require certain acceptable ways of behaving. However, at a picnic, you can be more truly your selves as they're far more casual and relaxed affairs. And you are surrounded by lush gorgeous nature!
We are fortunate to live here in the Bush Capital, being surrounded by all this nature and therefore being spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing the perfect picnic spot. Here are twelve of my favourite picnic spots in Canberra where love is sure to be all around you.
1. Canberra Nara Peace Park Located within the grounds of Lennox Gardens on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra Nara Peace Park is definitely one of the most romantic spots for a picnic. With its stunning Japanese-themed garden, love is sure to blossom under the cherry trees this spring!
2. Canberra Beijing Garden Also located within Lennox Gardens on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin is the equally romantic Canberra Beijing Garden. The garden is designed in the imperial Chinese garden style of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912), a style symbolic of luxury and refinement.
3. Cotter Avenue Traditionally a favourite with families, Cotter Avenue and the nearby Cotter Bend are also idyllic spots for a romantic picnic, especially under the shade of the beautiful Poplar trees that line Cotter Avenue. Cotter Avenue also has plenty of facilities including picnic tables, toilets, drinking water, wheelchair access, and walking trails.
One of Canberra's best-kept secrets, Fetherston Gardens is a delightful haven in Weston Creek featuring woodland gardens, a small arboretum, walking trails and plenty of quiet spots where you and your beloved can enjoy that intimate romantic picnic amongst the spring blossoms.
5. Cork Oak Forest, National Arboretum First planted in Canberra in 1917, the Cork Oak Forest at the National Arboretum is an enchanting spot for that romantic picnic. The forest has so much love in the air that many newlyweds choose to have their wedding photographs there!
6. Sculpture Garden and surrounds at the National Gallery of Australia Stroll through the National Gallery of Australia's amazing Sculpture Garden, take in the almost thirty works of the best sculptors of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, then enjoy a picnic in the grounds nearby.
Celebrating 50 years this year, the Australian National Botanic Gardens is also no doubt celebrating fifty years of romantic picnics in the heart of Canberra! Why not take a romantic stroll through the luscious Rainforest Gully, followed by a picnic on the Eucalypt Lawn? I'll also guarantee you that the birds will be singing a chorus of love!
8. Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve is rich in Aboriginal history( with artefacts and rock shelters dating back to at least 21,000 years ago); habitats including wetlands, grassland, wet forest and sub-alpine forest; wildlife, and romantic picnic spots! Other facilities include a Visitor Centre, walking trails, toilets, electric barbecues, biking trails and the Nature Discovery Playground for kids. Entry fees for Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve are being waived from Saturday 8 August until the end of 2020 to encourage visitors to return to the park. Visit the Tidbinbilla website for more information.
9. Weston Park
Located in Yarralumla, this beautiful popular spot is also an idyllic place for a romantic picnic with your beloved. Facilities at Weston Park include toilets, picnic tables and shelter, walking trails, electric barbecues, drinking water, and a playground. There's also the Yarralumla Playstation where you and your beloved can enjoy a round of miniature golf or catch a ride on the miniature train before or after your picnic!
10. Mount Ainslie
Go tell it on the mountain and declare your love for one another over a romantic picnic on top of Mount Ainslie. Mount Ainslie Lookout offers some of the best and most breathtaking views of Canberra. Here you'll also find picnic tables where you can enjoy that romantic picnic.
11. Glebe Park Glebe Park is located on the eastern side of the Civic Centre. This tranquil green space in the city reflects the character of a traditional English park with mostly English Elms and English Oaks. Facilities include picnic tables, electric/gas barbecues, a playground, toilets and drinking water. A truly beautiful oasis in the heart of Canberra city.
12. Tharwa Bridge Tharwa Bridge is a riverside picnic area between the beautiful Murrumbidgee River and the historic town of Tharwa. With its stunning river views and rural location, you can be sure to enjoy a romantic picnic far from the madding crowd.
There are many more idyllic spots for romantic picnics across the Canberra region. Go here to find the perfect picnic spot near you. And once you've chosen your spot, don't forget to pack your picnic basket!
So get out there, lovers, breathe in the fragrant romance of Canberra's spring, and let the course of true love run smooth for you!
"Sun makes the day new.
Tiny green plants emerge from earth.
Birds are singing the sky into place.
There is nowhere else I want to be but here.
I lean into the rhythm of your heart to see where it will take us.
We gallop into a warm, southern wind.
I link my legs to yours and we ride together,
Toward the ancient encampment of our relatives.
Where have you been? they ask.
And what has taken you so long?
That night after eating, singing, and dancing
We lay together under the stars.
We know ourselves to be part of mystery.
It is unspeakable.
It is everlasting.
It is for keeps."