What is it about fresh air and the great of the outdoors that makes a regular meal more magical?
While it may seem crazy to leave the convenience of your dining table, there is something so impossibly romantic about picnics that makes it all worthwhile.
While you may encounter some bugs and bad weather and even, on a bad day, the shocking disappearance of a group of school girls (see: Picnic at Hanging Rock), none of this outweighs the joy of lying back on a rug, after devouring some delicious lemon myrtle and macadamia scones, and gazing up at a brilliant blue sky.
Around the world picnic fever has taken hold and people are flocking to parks and lakes in droves. From the very English affair of potted paté and quiche on Hampstead Heath, to a full scale Indian banquet on the lawns of the Taj Mahal, this yearning for the outdoors is as universal as a love of puppies and kittens.
For some mysterious reason, Champagne enjoyed in a park tastes just a little bit sweeter, and scroggin – that nourishing and luxurious combination of nuts, fruit and chocolate – is much more satisfying after a long hike through the bush.
So where are the best places around Australia to enjoy a picnic?
Well, macadamia loving friends, we asked and you answered. From over 1150 responses, we can now declare with confidence that the beach is your favourite spot, as 31% of you say this is your preferred picnic option. This is closely followed by parks (20%), national parks (15%), botanic gardens (8%) and nature reserves (7%).
Some of you even like hanging at home in your own backyard, on your farm or in the garden (7%). Watery places were also popular with lakes, creeks and dams coming in at 5% and 4% of the vote respectively.
You also generously shared the details of your favourite picnic places in your state or territory.
The top spots are;
Refined Commonwealth Park and and the large and lovely water playground of Lake Burley Griffin were the top two places named in Australia’s Capital Territory, along with the unspoilt beaches of the South Coast.
Berry Springs Nature Park near Darwin with its ample shade and native flowers and birdlife was your top pick for a picnic for the Northern Territory.
The clear winner for South Australia was Adelaide Botanic Gardens. The Adelaide Hills, renowned for its varied seasonal landscape, specifically Morialta Falls and Belair National Park were also a popular vote.
National Parks and Reserves were identified as the best spots in Tassie to plonk down and soak up the great outdoors over a long, lazy lunch, especially the peaceful river valley of Fernglade Reserve, along with Cataract Gorge and the much loved Mount Field National Park.
The Royal Botanic Gardens was a hit with Victorians, but most people chose the beach as their favourite picnic location, with hotspots including Brighton Beach and Williamstown Beach. The mighty Murray River lined with red gum and meandering through the heart of Victoria’s food bowl, along with Hanging Rock, were other top picks.
Queenslanders love a picnic near the beach and feeling the white sand between their toes, especially at Burleigh Headland and Bribie Island. In the hinterland, Mount Tamborine and panoramic city views Mount Coot-tha were your favourite places to throw down a rug.
New South Welshmen are beach enthusiasts too, with 25% of respondents naming the beach as their number one place to go including Bondi, Bronte and Ballina beach. Beyond this, the Blue Mountains, Centennial Park, Australian Botanic Garden at Mount Annan were also top picks.