9 of Perth’s Best Picnic Spots with a View
You don’t need to dine out in a fancy restaurant to get great food with spectacular views.
Perth’s near-year-round sunny skies and abundance of scenic natural spaces make for ideal picnicking conditions. Pack a basket of snackable morsels and soak up the sun (and view) at one of our favourite Perth picnic spots.
1. South Perth foreshore
You’d be hard-pressed to find a better view of the city than from the South Perth foreshore. No matter where you choose to sit along the 4km of riverside grass and parkland, you’ll have a perfect view of the city’s blue-hued skyscrapers and Elizabeth Quay.
Start your day with a trip to the Perth Zoo before heading to the Mends St Jetty end of the foreshore and rolling out the picnic blanket. Refuel on some purchased pastries from La Patissiere or a self-packed basket full of goodies. Further east, the little ones can burn off any excess post-zoo energy at the Sir James Mitchell Park playground.
Pop down to Sir James Mitchell Park on any weekend over summer, and the picnic is there waiting for you. Live music and food trucks pop up every Thursday to Sunday from 5.00pm, hanging around until well after sunset.
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- Parking: There are car parks at Mends St and Sir James Mitchell Park.
- Amenities: Find barbecues and toilets at Sir James Mitchell Park, as well as restrooms and a playground at Mends Street.
2. Cottesloe Beach
Make the most of WA’s glowing orange sunsets with a coastal picnic at Cottesloe Beach. From late afternoon, the grassy tiers on either side of the iconic Indiana Tea House are teeming with couples, friends, and families sharing a bite to eat as they watch the sun drop below the horizon.
If it’s warm, start your picnic with a swim, then sit sandy-footed as you tuck into whatever tasty treats you’ve packed. If you prefer your picnics catered, pop into Ocean View Fish and Chips for a few dollars’ worth of hot chips and some snapper. Dessert comes courtesy of the Gelato Bar.
- Parking: There is a large carpark on the beach by the Indiana Tea House and another just by Napier Street.
- Amenities: Public toilets and showers are beneath the Indiana Tea House building, and there is a playground just north of the beach car park.
3. Mardalup Park, East Perth
On the banks of the Swan River in East Perth, Mardalup Park – meaning ‘place of small marsupial’ in Whadjuk Noongar – is a relatively hidden picnicking spot that looks directly at the impressive forms of Optus Stadium and Matagarup Bridge. Watch boats zip up and down the Swan as you turn a few sausages on the barbecues while the kids slide and swing on the playground or shoot a few hoops on the court.
If you’re lucky, you might spot the park’s namesake, the tiny native quendas that live in and around the area. If you catch sight of one, remember to admire it from a distance.
While in the area, test your nerves on the nearby Matagarup Bridge Zip and Climb.
- Parking: There’s a small parking lot at the end of Brown Street.
- Amenities: The park has plenty of picnic tables and benches, barbecue facilities, and leisure facilities.
4. Kings Park
Without doubt, Kings Park is Perth’s premium picnic spot with a view, no matter what time of day you visit.
At 988 acres, there are endless spots in the park where you can set yourself up. But, if it’s a view you’re after, stick to somewhere along Fraser Avenue or the State War Memorial. From the eastern side of the park, there are panoramic views of Perth city and the Swan River and a peek of the Darling Escarpment in the distance.
To nab the best vantage points, arriving as early as possible is advisable. If you were considering booking the Jarrah Pavillion (a rotunda with sweeping views on the south side of the memorial), you’ll need to get in days – even weeks – in advance.
Pre-picnic, take a wander along the 1.7km Memorials Walk. It’s a great way to start the day, passing through the wildflower gardens, past the giant boab tree and across the Lotterywest Federation Walkway bridge.
Parking: If the Forrest carpark is full, drive further down May Drive, and you’ll find some street-side parking.
- Amenities: There are toilet blocks, barbecues, and rotundas dotted around the park.
5. Bay View Park, Mosman Park
This is a popular spot for weddings and it’s not hard to see why. Located right on the river’s edge, Bay View Park has a large, grassed picnic area lined with trees and with elevated views over the river.
For more sweeping views head for the upper level of the park, but you can also picnic on the grass close to the water’s edge on the lower level.
- Parking: There is a small car park that can be accessed from Bay View Terrace and another small car park off Johnson Parade.
- Amenities: There are some barbeques but unfortunately no toilets.
6. Sunset Hill, Scarborough
As the name implies, this grassy knoll on the Scarborough foreshore makes an excellent sunset vantage point. Claim a patch of grass there earlier in the day, and you can watch surfers giving their boards a good run.
While you’re sitting and enjoying the show, let the kids run wild on the adjacent Whale Playground and climbing wall. Bigger kids can pad up and test their nerves by dropping into the deep skate bowl.
If you don’t have time to self-cater there are plenty of options nearby, including coffee at Livid Skate Cafe, and pastries from Knead Bread and Coffee. Follow it up with a Dumbo Gelato, and everyone is happy.
- Parking: Free parking is available all the way along the Scarborough foreshore.
- Amenities: There are public toilets next to the skate bowl. Barbecues and shaded tables are to the north of the whale playground.
8. Heathcote Reserve, Applecross
Located in the Heathcote Cultural Precinct, this is not only a stunning picnic spot but also the location of an art gallery and museum as well as artist studios. The reserve features the award-winning pirate ship playground which you won’t be able to tear the kids away from.
There’s also a restaurant and a kiosk. The area is shaded by many tall trees with stunning views over the river and city.
- Parking: There is a good-sized free car park on site accessed from Duncraig Road.
- Amenities: Barbeques, toilets, playground and seating.
9. Monument Hill, Fremantle
With an almost 360-degree view of Fremantle, Monument Hill is easily one of the most beautiful locations to tuck into a Freo picnic. You can set up anywhere on the 11-acre reserve, but the hilltop facing out west affords the best views. You can see the Fremantle Prison from above and the red steel cranes busily unloading ships at Fremantle Harbour. On a clear day, Wadjemup / Rottnest Island and Garden Island are both visible on the horizon.
Before laying your picnic blanket out, take a walk around the Fremantle War Memorial behind you. Built in 1928, the central obelisk commemorates WWI’s fallen soldiers and sailors. Around it, you’ll find eight smaller memorials honouring those lost during WWII and the Vietnam War.
Visit in the afternoon and stay on until dusk. Watching the sunset over the harbour and the twinkling lights of Fremantle is a magical sight.
- Parking: Limited parking is available on the top of the hill and along Knutsford Street. Buses from the town centre run to Monument Hill frequently.
- Amenities: There are no toilets, barbecues, or shade.
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