There are several picture perfect locations to enjoy a picnic in Auckland from the central suburbs and business district to further afield in the greater Auckland region and the many beaches surrounding the Auckland isthmus.
There are 26 regional parks around Auckland covering more than 40,000 hectares of land with recreational, historical and ecological value under the Auckland Regional Council banner, and access to all these parks is free. While most weekend picnickers won’t have to worry about finding space to lay down the picnic blanket and open the food basket, larger groups of more than 50 people can exclusively book picnic tables at Ambury, Cornwallis, Long Bay, Omana, Shakespear and Wenderholm regional parks through the Auckland Regional Council.
These many sites, plus many more, combine with Auckland’s semi-temperate climate to offer few excuses for packing up the picnic basket and blanket and setting out to enjoy a day outdoors in the sunshine.
Picnic alternatives closer to the city include Albert Park, opposite Auckland University, which is a favourite lunchtime spot for students and nearby office workers. The park has many large trees providing shade in summer and a fountain and floral clock for aesthetics.
Although the Old Government House grounds are looked after by Auckland University, they are open to the public and boast native trees planted by visiting royals and the old tennis court is now an open space and ideal for picnics.
Of course there’s always the Auckland Domain, a favourite with locals. It’s the largest park in the city and home to the museum and wintergardens. It is also home to one of the city’s largest community picnics, the Teddy Bear’s Picnic held annually in March.
Other popular picnic destinations of the locals include Cornwall Park, the Parnell Rose Gardens and inner city beaches such as Mission Bay, Okahu Bay, Kohimaramara and St Heliers Bay. Many of these sites also offer barbecue facilities.