Spice up your summer with a picture-worthy picnic matched to your personality. Use this guide to create the perfect country picnic just a hop, skip and jump from Melbourne.

The Lavender Lovers’ Picnic Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm, Shepherds Flat

Picnic among acres of sprawling gardens, fields of lavender and shady trees. Check out the 1850’s stone farmhouse, stock up on lavender-themed farm goodies and try lavender scones.

Admission: $4 per adult / $1 per school age child
Open Friday to Tuesday | 10.30-5.30pm

Supplies: Lavandula’s La Trattoria Café, onsite

The Iconic Picnic
Hanging Rock Reserve, Woodend

You don’t have to climb the summit to enjoy a day at Hanging Rock Reserve. Expansive lawns offer plenty of room for activities plus bushwalking around the base of Hanging Rock is also popular (and suitable for prams).
Admission: Varied (car entry $10) Open daily 9-5pm

Barbecue facilities
Dog friendly (on leads) excluding major event days and Hanging Rock Summit Walk

Supplies: Hanging Rock Café, onsite
Woodberry Café, Woodend

The Pump it Up Picnic
Mineral Springs Reserve Rd, Hepburn Springs

Soak in healing mineral waters at Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa, then picnic in the adjacent Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve. The reserve offers a playground, walking trail and opportunity to sample mineral spring water unique to the region.

Bathhouse bookings: hepburnbathhouse.com
Barbecue facilities
Dog friendly in reserve (on leads)

Supplies: Hepburn Springs Pavilion Café,
Hepburn General Store

The Bush Walker’s Picnic
Black Hill Reserve, Kyneton

Work up an appetite with fresh air and a bush walk at this hidden gem of a reserve. Picnic atop a giant granite boulder for peace, tranquillity and farm-scape views.

Dog friendly (on leads)

Supplies: Piper Street Food Co., Kyneton
Watts Fresh, Kyneton

The Prospector’s Picnic
Paddy’s Ranges State Park

Named after ‘Paddy’, a miner who roamed the area in the 1800s, this dry box iron bark forest is dotted with mining relics and aboriginal artefacts such as scar trees, rock rainwater wells and mounds.

Barbecue facilities
Dogs not permitted

Supplies: The Talbot Provedore

The Turn Back Time Picnic
Yesteryear Horse Carriage Ride + Picnic
Departs from Carlsruhe

Go back in time on a horse-drawn vintage carriage ride along the Burke & Wills Track. BYO a picnic or request a fully styled and catered picnic complete with an old gramophone and silverware.

Well-behaved dogs on leads welcome on rides
Bookings: bit.ly/yesteryear-today | 0411 468 117

The Watersports Picnic
St Georges Lake, Creswick

Swim, kayak and canoe in the lake, stroll around its banks and enjoy a spot of bird watching. Tip: Bring a marquee for extra shade on hot days.

Barbecue facilities
Dog friendly (on leads)

Supplies: Le Péché Gourmand, Creswick

The Swim and Slide Picnic
Vaughan Springs, Castlemaine Diggings National Park

Cool off in the creek and taste mineral spring water from a tap. Bring a blanket to slip down the gigantic metal slide, check out the Chinese Cemetery and hike the Goldfields Track.

Barbecue facilities
Dogs not permitted

Supplies: Johnny Baker, Castlemaine
Das Kaffeehaus, Castlemaine

The Wine Down Picnic
Musk Lane Wines, Kyneton

This hidden urban winery, down a laneway in central Kyneton, is the perfect spot to set up your picnic rug.  BYO food to try with a glass of their small batch lo-fi wine.

Accessible by V-Line Train
Barbecue facilities
Dog friendly (on leads)

Supplies: Dele food van will be onsite over summer

The Forest Bathing Picnic
Forest Glade Gardens, Mount Macedon

This magical open garden is the perfect spot to escape the summer heat. Wander the cool fern gully, English gardens, woodlands and Japanese garden.

Admission: Adults $10 | 16 & under free
Open 10-4.30pm year round (except total fire ban days)
Dog friendly (on leads)

Supplies: Mt Macedon Trading Post

Written by Christine McKimm, Macedon Ranges Shire Council for Daylesford Macedon Life magazin

PHOTO: Chloe Smith Photography