Gone are the days of soggy pre-packed sandwiches, warm wine and sore backs from lugging around heavy eskies for one of Australia’s favourite pass times, the outdoor picnic. Regional Victoria offers a plethora of five-star catered picnic options which means all that needs to be packed before hitting the road is sunscreen, fly repellent and a good playlist of tunes.
Visitors to the Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens, can pack a picnic from Wombat Hill House Cafe which sits on a volcanic hill with spectacular views. Situated in the renovated 1940s caretaker’s cottage, the café and kitchen garden offer diners a range of set menu picnics for two complete with a rug, plates, cutlery and picnic glasses. The Hydrangea Hedge Gourmet Picnic is the ultimate pick and incudes Reuben Sandwiches, hot chips with garlic and aioli, seasonal pizza, platter of three mixed seasonal salads, fresh fruit, smoothies and house baked cakes. Post feast, picnickers would probably need a little nap under one of the many pine trees. Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens (entry off Central Spring Road), Daylesford VIC 3460, (03) 4373 0099
Located in the High Country, visitors wanting work(out) for their picnic can take a leisurely cycle from Porepunkah to Ringer Reef Winery, only six kilometres away for an easy, mostly flat ride that combines stunning views of Mount Buffalo. Every summer, the winery opens its lawn for Picnic in the Vines where dwellers can BYO picnic, rug, balls and games sit back and enjoy an afternoon tipple and snacks while listening to some live music. 6835 Great Alpine Rd, Porepunkah VIC 3740, (03) 5756 2805
Jones Winery Restaurant is one of the oldest and smallest family run wineries in the Rutherglen District. Picnic hampers nod to the French country kitchen and feature delicious gourmet treats that can be shared in the designated picnic area, or taken away and enjoyed at any picturesque location across the region. Pair the picnic with a carefully handcrafted wine from the made by 5th generation winemaker Mandy Jones, for the complete picnic experience. 61 Jones Rd, Rutherglen VIC 3685, (02) 6032 8496
Montalto Winery in Red Hill provides a stunning backdrop for a peaceful picnic for groups of 2 – 8 people. Montalto has been orchestrating picnics since 2002, with ten secluded and exclusive sites throughout the property reserved only for picnics. Truly sophisticated, the picnic is set with white linen, proper tableware and glassware and freshly prepared seasonal food. Visitors can collect a bottle of award-winning chardonnay or pinot noir from the cellar door before strolling to the picnic site. 33 Shoreham Rd, Red Hill South VIC 3937, (03) 5989 8412
Geelong and The Bellarine
The Bellarine Taste Trail offers an abundant food trail boasting nearly 50 options including makers, growers, wineries, breweries and restaurants. An ideal experience for those wanting to build their own picnic basket and stock up on hand-selected goods along the trail, before settling on a water front picnic spot. Market fresh seafood sold on the same day as caught from ‘White Fisheries’ is five-star option, along with olives of seven different varieties from ‘Manzanillo Olive Grove’ and ‘Lighthouse Olive Oil’. Renowned ‘Drysdale Cheeses’ offers award-winning handcrafted cheeses and freshly-picked berries from ‘Tuckerberry Hill’ will add a sweet touch. Annie’s Provedore and Produce store offers a variety of cured meats, dips and antipasto ready to be added to the DIY picnic hamper. To complete the picnic pack, a wide range of wines, craft beers and ciders are also available along the including; Jack Rabbit Vineyard, Flying Brick Cider co and Curlewis Winery.
As a family owned and operated business, Hanrahan Vineyard wines is a must-stop destination when visiting the Yarra Valley region. And it has a different take on the picnic, called the Reverse BYO. This allows customers to pack their own nibble and picnic goodies, and Hanrahan Vineyard will provide the total beverage package, which includes wine, champagne, beer, soft drink and bottled water. They also offer a gas barbecue for hire for those wanting to amongst the vineyard. 3 Hexham Road, Gruyere, Victoria, 3770, 0421 340 810
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