Whether the main course is a simple snag, a whole marinated barramundi, smoked lamb ribs, or not meat at all – one thing Australians do take for granted, and visitors very much appreciate, is the plethora of free public barbecue spots around the city on which to gather with friends and family.
Surely the best spot in Melbourne to sizzle a snag for its riverside setting and views of the Melbourne skyline. Visitors can choose form the barbecues at Birrarung Marr on the north bank with views of the Royal Botanic Garden, or go to the leafy south banks of the Yarra River for stunning views of all the major icons and landmarks. Very popular with the office crowds and with visitors keen to sample of bit of true Australiana. Batman Ave, Melbourne VIC 3000
A fifteen minute drive from the city centre but once visitors are ensconced in the park that surrounds the Heidi Museum of Modern Art – complete with Australian flora and a creek running through, it’s total nature immersion. The picnic area is complete with wood barbecues, open-air tables, a sheltered area and a children’s playground. Heidelberg VIC 3084
With direct access to St Kilda beach and surrounded by the famous St Kilda palm trees with view across the bay to the city, Catani Gardens is a popular barbecue spot for the many apartment-dwelling residents who want to enjoy the green grass and sea breezes. Visitors can set up camp here all day and use it as a base to explore the many attractions of St Kilda including Acland Street, Luna Park and more. The gardens feature open-air barbecues and a path leading to the Edwardian-style rotunda, as well as plenty of shade under those palm trees. St Kilda West VIC 3182
Just north of the popular Fitzroy precinct, the stunning and expansive gardens are complete with a footy oval for watching the local game of cricket or Australian Rules, plus basketballs and tennis courts, lawn bowls and an adventure playground for the kids. The 24-hectare gardens include three separate barbecue areas. Tables and chairs are scattered throughout the park. Alfred Cres, Fitzroy North VIC 3068
One of the best kept secrets in Melbourne, Flagstaff Gardens has a significant place in Melbourne’s urban indigenous history. It’s also got some tennis and netball courts and a memorial to Melbourne’s pioneers erected in 1871, and contemporary art installations. It’s location next to the famous Queen Victoria Market means visitors can forage the market for ingredients and cook them up on the barbecues on the William Street side of the gardens. 309-311 William St, West Melbourne VIC 3003
The historic Studley Park Boathouse is a popular attraction for locals and tourists alike; where visitors can enjoy lunch before hiring a canoe or kayak and exploring the Yarra River. The adjacent Studley Park Picnic Area is a peaceful spot for a barbecue away from the crowds. It’s well equipped with public barbecues, sheltered areas and toilets. Studley Park is only a 10-minute drive from the city. 1 Boathouse Rd, Kew VIC 3101
Named after Melbourne’s co-founder, John Pascoe Fawkner, and first reserved in 1862, Fawkner Park is an oasis of green in South Yarra. It’s popular with active crowd providing recreational areas for teams playing Cricket, Softball, Soccer, Australian Rules Football, Tennis and Rugby. The barbecue facilities are very popular for post game celebrations. 24-88 Commercial Rd, South Yarra VIC 3141
So close to the city centre and home to attractions such as the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel, O’Brien Group Arena Ice Skating, a great value shopping mall, and waterside restaurants and cafes, the Docklands Melbourne has plenty to entertain visitors. After a busy morning enjoying the various entertainments, hungry visitors can head to the landscaped gardens of Docklands Parkat Victoria Harbour which have free barbecue facilities, public art and the Play Journey interactive playground. 1-91 Harbour Esplanade, Docklands VIC 3008
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