We are so spoilt for choice in Sydney when it comes to great public parks and reserves. Whether it’s a harbour view, serene lakeside or bush backdrop you’re after, Sydney has it all.
Unfortunately, as the picnic industry in particular has grown, the pressure on local parks and reserves has forced many councils to impose strict rules around how professional event companies can operate. Some charge booking fees, others require permits and some councils have been forced to ban professionally managed events all together.
The best option is a bookable venue, park or space. This ensures no grumpy ranger is going to come along and question your permits, no council rules will dictate how and when we set up, you know the toilets are clean and close by, the parking is good and we can extend the length of your event so you can enjoy for as long as your booking allows.
If you don’t have the budget to book a space, there are still lots of lovely parks where we can operate legally and create your dream event.
There are a few tips we swear by when picking the best spots:
Access: it’s important that your guests can easily access your chosen location. No one wants a 5km hike to the party spot (especially not us!). All our favourites have great access to parking and public transport links. FYI if access is difficult, we charge additional fees.
Location: Sometimes, the best spot for your celebration might be somewhere you hadn’t though of (or even heard of before!). We’ll ask you what vibe you want whether it be beach, park, bush or urban and then we can recommend some great spots that suit. If harbour views is your wish, it’s actually better to head OUT of the city for your picnic (unless you’re happy paying fees to the inner city councils & trusts for the privilege of using their space). You’ll actually get better views from the suburbs surrounding the harbour like Birchgrove, Balmain, North Sydney, Watsons Bay etc.
Amenities: NO ONE wants to walk a marathon to find the toilet. It’s so important to ensure the amenities are close enough for your guests, without being in the background of all your Instagram posts. We don’t recommend any picnic location where there aren’t amenities close by.
Shade: SOOOO IMPORTANT! The last thing you want is your drink getting warm and the chocolate melting in the Summer sun. All our favourite spots have ample shade and we know where and how it falls throughout the day so we know just where to set up to ensure you are comfy for the entirety of your event. We also have access to amazing pavilions and marquees through our event partners and have beautiful market umbrellas for hire as well.
Weather: You can plan a pretty picnic but you can’t predict the weather... But we can do the next best thing! We have a list of amazing indoor venues where our picnics and events look just as pretty as they would if they were set outside. Venues will always incur a small fee, but we think it’s worth it rather than the stress of when that storm is going to roll in and ruin all the fun.
Park & Council Rules: The most important part of planning your picnic is making sure the venue you’ve chosen allows picnics. You can’t just show up and set up professional events in most parks. Majority of councils, parks and gardens now require you to make a booking if you are using any external providers. We can help advise on which parks best meet your needs and we are across all the rules.
Food: It’s not a party without the food and drink but it’s no fun lugging it all in and then dealing with the eskies and empty bottles afterwards. We work with amazing caterers and grazing companies so no matter what you’re after, we can arrange it on your behalf.
Council websites are the best place to start when you are thinking about having an event in a public park or reserve. All councils have their own rules and regulations and you face hefty fines if you are in breach.
How we can help
This is what we do and we’ve been doing it for a long time. We have established relationships with the councils where we operate most and know the rules (and don’t break them!).
We can also review any paperwork you are required to sign with your venue to make sure what we have planned can go ahead and we liaise with them throughout the planning process.