Pretty North Shore picnic spots by the water


Looking for a gorgeous picnic spot around Sydney’s North Shore? There are plenty to choose from, but these are some of our favourite picnic spots by the water. So roll out the picnic blanket, pack your swimmers and enjoy a leisurely day in the sun with friends and family!

Ready to get outdoors and enjoy the Summer sun? Here are six fabulous picnic spots around Sydney’s North Shore for you to roll out the picnic rug and enjoy a relaxing, fun-filled day by the water.

1. Clontarf Reserve

Clontarf Beach is one of our favourite picnic spots by the water for many reasons! It has barbeques, an huge playground plus a playground and public toilets. Plus, if you forget anything, there’s a fabulous kiosk for snacks, ice cream and coffee. There’s a gorgeous outlook over the water and there are no waves, with easy swimming and paddling for little members of the family.

  • Address: Sandy Bay Road, Clontarf
  • Parking: Metered parking at Clontarf Reserve ($10 per hour to a maximum of $40 for the day). Unrestricted parking on nearby streets (try Holmes Ave or Peronne Ave).
  • Facilities: BBQ, playground, toilets, beach
  • More information: Northern Beaches Council

2. Clifton Gardens, Mosman

Clifton Gardens Beach and Baths, Mosman picnic spots on the North Shore Sydney

Clifton Gardens Beach and Baths, Mosman

Clifton Gardens is a spectacular picnic spot in Mosman, on Sydney’s lower North Shore. The picturesque spot offers a large and green reserve area with gorgeous trees for shade, picnic tables, plus a playground and a beach set against a stretch of golden sand. If you forget any essentials, the Bacino Beach Kiosk is there for supplies, and there are toilets on site too. Read our Clifton Gardens review. 

  • Location:
  • Parking: $5-8 per hour (depending on season) up to $28 for the whole day.
  • Facilities: Toilets, disabled access, tables, BBQ, play equipment, basketball hoops, parking
  • More information: Mosman Council

3. Northbridge Baths, Northbridge


Set up your picnic feast beside the Northbridge Baths

Northbridge Baths is set amongst the bushland of Sailors Bay, west of Spit Bridge.  These glorious tidal baths are set within the stunning Sydney Harbour foreshore. The popular baths boast a sandy beach surrounding and are set within the native bushland of Middle Harbour. The Baths are equipped with a BBQ, picnic area, change rooms, toilets, hot showers and parking.

Looking for more great spots to spend the day splashing around with the kids? Check out our list of Harbour beaches & swimming enclosures around Sydney’s North Shore.

  • Location: Widgiewa Road, Northbridge
  • Parking: Approx. 50 free 4-hour parks
  • Facilities: BBQ, picnic area, change rooms, toilets, hot showers, parking
  • More information: Willoughby Council

4. Crosslands Reserve, Hornsby Heights

Crosslands Reserve, Hornsby Heights

Crosslands Reserve, Hornsby Heights

Crosslands Reserve is the scene of many happy memories for North Shore families! Bring a picnic or fire up one of the electric barbecues on site, or for an occasion you can hire the 12-seat picnic shelters. Tackle the Great North Walk or let the kids run riot on the playground. Public toilets are another plus!

  • Location: Somerville Rd, Hornsby Heights
  • Parking: Free parking. Sealed road access from Hornsby Heights is available from 8am to 5.30pm. 
  • Facilities: BBQ area, toilets, parking, picnic shelters
  • More information: Hornsby Council

5. Fagan Park, Galston


Fagan Park, Galston, is a huge expanse of green parklands with a lake at the centre

Fagan Park is a sprawling green site where families can spend hours enjoying picnics or barbecues, with a number of shelters and electric barbecues scattered throughout the grounds. it’s one of the best picnic spots on the North Shore Sydney to spend the day. There’s a weekend coffee cart for caffeine hits & ice creams, but the biggest drawcard has to be the colourful and varied gardens for the kids to play in while you relax.  They can explore the Gardens of Many Nations, which covers 10 hectares and has 11 themed gardens, including Japanese, Dutch, Chinese and Mediterranean, or let them loose at the two large playgrounds.

For more details, read our Fagan Park review.

  • Location: 38-48 Arcadia Road, Galston
  • Parking: There are two car parks at Fagan Park. One is off Arcadia Road and the other off Carrs Road. It is $6.00 to park all day and they both have plenty of car spaces so you never have to worry about not finding a spot.
  • Facilities: BBQ, accessible, toilets, two large playgrounds, picnic shelters, parking
  • More information: Hornsby Shire Council

6. Manly Dam, Manly

dam picnic spots on the North Shore Sydney

Manly Dam is a beautiful spot for a picnic by the water! With a wonderful diversity of flora and fauna, it’s known for mountain biking, canoeing, water skiing and Manly Dam’s network of bush tracks are great for exploring. You can settle on the grass or the sand and take in the gorgeous water views.

If you’re after more fabulous places you can explore the bushland with kids in tow, check out these 15 child-friendly bushwalks on the North Shore.

  • Location: Sir Roden Cutler Memorial Drive, Manly
  • Facilities: BBQ, picnic area, change rooms, toilets, hot showers, parking
  • More information: Northern Beaches Council

Want more outdoor fun on Sydney’s North Shore?


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