The great Aussie BBQ is unquestionably the ultimate national past time and most of the public parks in Australia have BBQ facilities and family picnic areas.
We’ve compiled a list of our favourite BBBQ spots in the country.
Burleigh Heads, Miami Beach & Surfers Paradise, QLD. All along the Gold Coast, from Surfers Paradise to the Burleigh Heads, you will find free barbecues scattered along the beachfront. I have had the most spectacular barbecues along this stretch. It is truly a paradise, sitting there with a hot dog in hand and a front row view on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. In Surfers Paradise you will have the more tourist city & surf experience, while in Miami Beach there is a more local vibe with families, kids, dogs and people working out. At Burleigh Heads, there is more of a hippie vibe happening, and on a Sunday night starting at 5pm there is a drumming circle with hundreds of people showing up, as well as a fire twirling circle to impress. The views are top-notch, and the barbecues are always available and clean.
Edinburgh Gardens, VIC.
This lush green park is reminiscent of those large English and French gardens seen in films. Edinburgh Park will have you forgetting that you are bang smack in the middle of urbania. The park is not only a leafy green paradise to be explored, but it is also in one of the hippest parts of town, North Fitzroy, just off Brunswick Street. You won’t get bored here as it’s a real people-watching haven, with many hipsters and creative types heading to the park after work, many people lazing in the sun, and occasionally someone playing a DJ set on their speakers. Fun, hip, cool, lush, relaxing, green… all these words apply.
North Bondi, NSW.
This is the part of Bondi that locals like to reserve for themselves. It’s a bit of a secret…. shhh!! I should know as I used to live there. Since Bondi Beach is swarming with tourists, the locals all tend to meet up in this area, where they barbecue, play their music, drink beers, swim and mingle. This area is located at the far end of Bondi Beach, where the rock pools are. The barbecue area is easy to find, it’s right on the little hilltop. You’ll be sure to bump into many friendly Aussies here as well. The slightly elevated view over the entire beach and the Bondi strip is perfect! You can see it all from here, it’s really like barbecuing in paradise.
Southbank Parklands, QLD.
The top spot in Brisbane is undisputedly Southbank. Not only great for barbecuing, but also for walking, swimming, café culture and culinary delights! Southbank is the pride and joy of the river city and bustling any time of year. Right on the river, this is also where most major city celebrations take place. The park was created after the World Exposition of 1988, and since then has become a riverside paradise with small rainforests, cafes, blue lagoons and sandy beaches. The free barbecue spots fill up fast on a sunny day, so get there early! The views are great, the atmosphere is fun, and you can even bring your music along with you!
Great Barrier Reef, QLD.
Free barbecue areas are scattered all along the large stretch of Queensland beaches, including the Great Barrier Reef. Two in particular are Fitzroy Island near Cairns, and Airlie Beach, the gateway to the Whitsundays. Both have wonderful picnic spots, free barbecue areas, and the weather is pretty much picture perfect all year around. There are also a few locations on the Whitsunday Islands with picnic spots, but many of these require that you bring your own stove. The views are one in a million on the islands, with aqua clear waters and white sand bars, just like in the brochures.
There could be nothing more breathtaking than eating a sunset barbecue overlooking the majestic red rock. This is certainly one of those bucket list experiences that you cannot pass up. If you head to the Cultural Centre, here you will find gas barbecues and restrooms, and perhaps after cooking you might want to head to the viewing area at Talinguru Nyakunytjaku to relax. If you need to grab some groceries, do not fret, at the Ayers Rock Resort, outside of the park, there is a supermarket with everything you might need. What an incredible way to spend a night in the red centre!
Kangaroo Island, SA.
Get your barbecue on while overlooking an exceptional national park. Kangaroo Island is bursting with wildlife, native birds, and trees that go on for miles. Here you will be able to cook your barbecue to a crisp while enjoying the surrounding lush green rainforest, and the infamous wind-sculpted rocks known as Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch. Under Admirals Arch you will be privy to New Zealand seals at play on the beach. Hotdog in hand, full tummy, an exceptional experience, what more could a camper want!
The Blue Lake, SA.
Set up shop at one of the free barbecues around Blue Lake. A great time to see the lake is in between November and February, in the summer months, when the lake turns into some kind of a Technicolor dream. The water mysteriously changes from a deep blue tone to an intense turquoise colour for the summer. Perhaps this is nature giving us a show when the weather is good enough to get out and barbecue. There are also some interesting Aboriginal legends about this extinct volcano.
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