If you’re one of the many people who always leave your Australia Day plans to the last minute or never knows quite what to do on the 26th of January, read on.

Spending the day enjoying this beautiful country in the great outdoors has become a time-honoured tradition for many sun loving Aussies.

Luckily for you, we’ve pulled together a list of spots ideal for an Australia Day picnic, so all you have to do is show up.

They’re a short drive from our capital cities, so simply pop into your local Thrifty car hire and set out early to celebrate one of the most iconic national holidays.

Best picnic spots in Victoria

Hamer Arboretum, Olinda

Hammer Arboretum | Thrifty Car Hire

Gob-smacking views of the Yarra Valley greet you from every angle here. A picnic shelter, free electric barbecues, and a long stretch of lawn make for a delightful Aussie Day arvo, wouldn’t you agree? Enjoy a long walk through the extensive walking trails in the forest nearby after lunch.

Moonlight Creek Picnic Ground, Warragul

90 minutes east of Melbourne you’ll find this romantic park amongst a tall forest and a flowing creek that runs through it. There’s plenty of space, and it’s well equipped with picnic tables, shelters, and fireplaces with wood provided.

Best picnic spots in New South Wales

Mount Tomah, Blue Mountains Botanic Garden

Blue Mountains Botanical Garden | Thrifty Car Hire

Explore 28 hectares of rich acid clay loam among the stunning Blue Mountains, 100 km west of Sydney. This is a day trip that’s guaranteed to be a hit for the whole family as you surround yourself with a vast range of native flora and fauna – pick up your Thrifty car rental from any of the Sydney metro car hire locations.

Watson’s Bay, Sydney

Grab a spot on the grass overlooking the Bay with views of the Harbour Bridge in the distance. Pack a picnic and enjoy the annual Every Man and His Dog stand up paddleboard event. For pet owners, you can partake in the fun that kicks off at 7.30am!

Best picnic spots in Tasmania

Wellington Park, Mount Wellington

Mount Wellington | Thrifty Car Hire

With all the stunning national parks in Tassie, it’s no wonder the best spot for a picnic is located in one. Mount Wellington has a number of picnic areas including The Springs, Fern Tree Bower, Myrtle Frost and Fern Tree Park – all featuring wood-fired barbecues.

Thrifty has car rental locations in Hobart where you can pick up a zippy little number for a day on the road.

Best picnic spots in Queensland

JC Slaughter Falls, Mount Coot-tha

JC Slaughter Falls | Thrifty Car Hire

Just a short drive from Brisbane’s CBD, this lovely bushland setting is perfect for a picnic, having recently updated their facilities. Enjoy the reserve, paddleboard in the creek or hike to the summit of Mt Coot-tha for panoramic views of Brisbane and Moreton Bay.

Bullocky Rest, Joyner

Lake Samsonvale | Thrifty Car Hire


A tranquil spot situated on the shore of Lake Samsonvale, Bullocky Rest features barbecues and picnic tables for large groups – there’s no shortage of space overlooking the stunning lake. Bring the fishing rods, as there’s a chance you might catch your lunch here!

Best picnic spots in Western Australia

Matilda Bay, Perth

Matilda Bay | Thrifty Car Hire

Perth is blessed with a beautiful sunny climate for most of the year, Matilda Bay is a favourite for many Western Australians due to its proximity to the river. The park here is huge and features barbecues, a gazebo, and a bike path for avid cyclists, or families wanting to enjoy a ride together.

Best picnic spots in South Australia

Valley Lake, Mount Gambier

Valley Lake | Thrifty Car Hire

Not too far from the well-known Blue Lake, this smaller yet serene lakeside setting is simply idyllic. Picnic tables and shelters, playgrounds for the kids, and gas barbecues allow for a whole day out in nature. Once you’ve picnicked and barbecued thoroughly, visit the free wildlife park or stroll along the boardwalk.

Best picnic spots in Northern Territory

Litchfield National Park

Litchfield National Park, Waterfall | Thrifty Car Hire

There are too many natural wonders in this vast national park. Turn Australia Day into adventure day and explore the many waterfalls, billabongs, and natural spas – or stay overnight and camp under the stars! We recommend a Mitsubishi Outlander for this trip as it’s perfect for the outback terrains and has plenty of room. Hire one from Thrifty’s Darwin car rental location.