Summer means picnics and with outdoor gatherings becoming the norm this festive season, here's the inside scoop on some of the top picnic locations in and around Warrnambool.
Warrnambool Botanic Gardens
With 20 acres of manicured gardens, you can not go past the Botanic Gardens when planning a picnic. Complete with ducks, a pond that looks like it's straight out of a Monet painting, towering trees, flower beds, a giraffe swing, the new nature base play space, accessible walking tracks and public toilets - it's a picnic classic.
Whether you want to set up at of the many undercover barbecue areas and picnic tables or you want to venture further towards the lake and unroll the picnic rug, Lake Pertobe has eight hectares of picnic options. The adventure playground makes it a paradise for kids, it also has full accessible toilets.
This extinct volcano and national park is the setting for a picnic to be remembered. Complete with lakes, wildlife, native flora, hiking trails, lookouts, Indigenous culture, barbecue areas, picnic tables and public toilets - Tower Hill is a picnic must. The koalas will watch on sleepily from the trees above, at dusk the roos might make an appearance, but you can count on the emus who will try to join your party. Be sure to stop in at the visitor centre to learn about the Indigenous history and culture in the area.
There's nothing like lazing around on the Warrnambool Civic Green; a perfect place for picnics because it's close to everything! Get takeaway from one of the many nearby restaurants and enjoy it in front of the Warrnambool Art Gallery. Pop inside to take in the latest exhibit, look in the gift shop and use the loo. The library across the road is another great stop for kids.
This story is from the summer edition of Out & About magazine. Click here to read the entire magazine online.
Hopkins Falls Coastal Reserve
The picturesque Hopkins Falls are a well-known feature in the region. Opposite the car park there is a picnic spot, with a barbecue, toilets, picnic tables, and even a small stage (in case you want to put on a show). If you're feeling adventurous, follow the steps to the foot of the falls and find a spot off the rocks. Enjoy your picnic overlooking the falls and scenic pastures.
While most picnics that happen at Cannon Hill are car based, there is plenty of grass and picnic tables on either side of the Cannon Hill car park to host a picnic. Cannon Hill boasts one of the most breathtaking views in town. You can see the whole foreshore pavilion, from the paddle boats going around Lake Pertobe to the ocean horizon. Plus there are WWI cannons on display. Toilets are just a short walk away across Pertobe Road at the Warrnambool Visitor Information Centre.
Fletcher Jones Garden
You can lose yourself for hours discovering the different nooks of this immaculate garden. Away from the garden features you will find lovely patches of green grass to picnic, maybe underneath the giant willow trees. While you're there why not pop into the Fletcher Jones Mill Markets for a spot of shopping - you're sure to find something quirky to remember your visit. Meet you under the silver ball!
There are so many serene places to picnic along the Hopkins and Merri River in Warrnambool. One of the standouts is near Proudfoots Boathouse, at E J King Park. Right behind the Ski Club this hidden gem is so secluded and peaceful.