Best BBQ spots in Melbourne: Public BBQs and parks, BBQ facilities and the best views you can find for a picnic in Victoria's largest city.

Melbourne park and sunset the perfect place for a BBQ.

Melbourne's public parks are something else and many are worth exploring. If you are into a mix of city and nature, you will find amazing spots close to the city and if you want to get away from the business of the city, the Dandenongs with their local wildlife are a beautiful area to explore.

While exploring these scenic landscapes bringing gas barbecues or making use of the local facilities can take your day to the next level. Some of these parks are ideal to explore with the whole family such as the Royal Botanical Garden. Others are great to combine with other outdoor activities such as cycling, running, or boating.

Whatever your preference, we hope you enjoy this list of amazing spots in and around Melbourne. One recommendation up front: sometimes it can be a lot easier to bring your own portable gas BBQ. If you don't have one we can highly recommend this small gas BBQ.

1. Royal Botanic Gardens: Beautiful gardens to chill out and enjoy a BBQ close to the city

Just south of the CBD, you'll find an amazing spot to explore: the Royal Botanic Gardens. These amazing gardens feature beautiful trees, small lakes such as the Ornamental Lake and also themed gardens such as the Australian Forest Walk or the Rose Garden. You can have a slight view of the city skyline while you set up under one of the large trees for an amazing BBQ with the family. There are some spots with sheltered picnic tables but we recommend finding one of the many secluded spots.

Facilities and surroundings: There are public toilets available and you can visit the shrine of remembrance or the small observatory close by. Highly recommend bringing your own portable gas BBQ (for example this one) for flexibility in where and when to cook.

Location: Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria - Melbourne Gardens

 Royal Botanic Gardens with walking trails and a bench to sit on.

2. Fitzroy Gardens: Large garden with long history

The Fitzroy Gardens are not only home to Captain Cook's cottage but it is a beautiful park with some free barbecue facilities. There are large trees, from palm trees to red gums, that provide a great picnic area that you can use to set up on a sunny afternoon.

Facilities and surroundings: Public toilets and picnic areas with a picnic shelter. The CBD of Melbourne is only a few minutes across the road away towards the west.

Location: Fitzroy Gardens

The historic cooks cottage in Fitzroy gardens 

3. Albert Park: The spot for the entire family with free barbecue facilities

Albert Park, known for its picturesque lake, offers free electric barbecues and a multitude of BBQ spots. With ample shade and sheltered picnic tables, this park is perfect for barbecue and picnic enthusiasts seeking a calm setting. Take a walk along many trails, enjoy the gas barbecues near the lake, and make it a day trip with friends or family, taking in the views of the city skyline. Albert Park is also home of the Melbourne F1 course and features a sports centre that is close to Port Melbourne.

Facilities: You will find picnic tables, public toilets, free BBQ facilities and a playground for kids with swings and slides.

Location: Albert Park

View of Albert Park with Melbourne CBD in the background. 

4. Yarra Bend Park: Large bushland with wildlife

Yarra Bend Park features a diverse landscape and is Melbourne's largest natural bushland area. There are free barbecues and picnic tables nestled along the beautiful Yarra River with many trails for walking and cycling paths. There is so much to do in the park! You can play golf or hire a boat at the historic Studley Park Boathouse and enjoy the views from the water. A little bit upstream you can see flying foxes. There are barbecue facilities conveniently located near the boathouse. This place is ideal for a day trip for the whole family and to enjoy the natural bushland (Check out the red gum picnic area) and different recreational activities.

Facilities: Picnic tables, public toilets, wood barbecues and barbecue grill.

Location: Yarra Bend Park


5. Edinburgh Gardens: the place to be

A list of public BBQ spots in Melbourne would not be [vollstandig] without Edinburgh Gardens. This place is a community-centric park and has a basketball half court, tennis courts, a skate park, and community gardens. This place is best enjoyed on a sunny afternoon (the electric barbecue sites can get very busy so bring your own) when all the locals come out and enjoy this beautiful hidden gem in the bustling inner west.

Facilities: Free electric BBQs, public toilets, picnic facilities, skateboarding area, children's playground.

Location: Edinburgh Gardens

Enjoying the picnic areas in the park

6. Princes Park:

This beautiful park in the inner north of Melbourne just next to the Monash University Parkville campus and north of the University of Melbourne campus is great to spend the evening for a barbecue session. Or you could take advantage of the great running tracks around the park or play bowls at the northern end of the park. There are also lots of sports facilities. If you want to be flexible, bring your own seating and a small barbecue.

Facilities: Public toilets and gas barbecues.

Location: Princes Park

7. Flagstaff Gardens: Picnic tables, BBQ facilities and tennis courts

This is Melbourne's oldest park and it has a great charm as it sits just at the northwest corner of the bustling inner city. So you can enjoy a little slice of nature with amazing city views and historic monuments. There are excellent free electric barbecues near the city skyline and you can access Queen Victoria Market from here within two minutes so if you need to get some super fresh food for your barbie session, this is the place to be. the Flagstaff Gardens Picnic Area has sheltered picnic tables and offers a serene escape with ample shade and is ideal for families.

Facilities: Flagstaff Gardens Picnic Area, tennis courts and bowls club.

Location: Flagstaff Gardens

BBQ parks and landscaped picnic areas is something you will find in some of these parks. 

8. Jells Park: large green spaces with a little lake

A little further out from the city, this park offers expansive walking tracks, a little lake (apparently it has some rainbow trout in it) and wood-supplied barbecues. This is a great place to enjoy as a family with the free barbecues and picnic facilities, set up at the dam wall for example. The park has some local wildlife which makes it a great location for bird watching and other outdoor activities.

Facilities: Children's adventure playground, BBQ spots, picnic tables and walking paths.

Location: Jells Park

 View of the park. It is a great bbq parks with amazing picnic areas.

9. Sherbrooke Forest, Dandenong Ranges

Escape to Sherbrooke Forest in the Dandenong Ranges for a day trip with the fam. There are lots of places to explore in the area from the Puffing Billy Railway Bridge and the Sherbrooke Falls to the beautiful picnic and BBQ spots. Highly recommend enjoying some of the quiet walking tracks followed by a barbeque session in this beautiful park. There is lots of greenery and native wildlife such as wombats and native birds such as blue parrots.

Facilities and surroundings: Puffing Billy Railway Bridge, Sherbrooke Falls and picnic grounds.

Location: Sherbrooke Forest

Lots of picnic areas, walking trails and nature views. Some places even offer horse riding. 

10. Birrarung Marr

Birrarung Marr, sitting along the eastern banks of the Yarra River, offers more than just stunning views of the city skyline. This place is often used for festivals and city events but it is also a great place for a barbecue with family and friends. Enjoy the views of the city (you cannot see to the Westgate Bridge but almost!) and you can absorb the vibrant energy of this amazing city.

Facilities: Picnic tables, public toilets.

Location: Birrarung Marr

11. Historic Studley Park Boathouse:

Situated along the Yarra River, the historic Studley Park Boathouse is not only a landmark but also a great place for a barbecue. There is a shelter with free BBQs and tables right next to the river (and parking very close by). Families can enjoy a whole day here by hiring boats or canoes (the canoe ramp is close by), picnic sessions, and walks along the river.

Facilities: Picnic shelter and BBQs.

Location: Studley Park Picnic Area

Other spots that did not make the list but are still worthwhile exploring:

  • St. Kilda Beach
  • Wheelers Hill
  • Silvan reservoir park
  • Westgate park
  • Dandenong creek valley

Frequently asked questions about BBQs in Melbourne and its parks

1. Are barbecues available for free in Melbourne's public parks?

Yes, many public parks in Melbourne offer free-to-use barbecue facilities. However, availability may vary, and we recommend arriving early during peak times or even better bringing your own small portable gas BBQ. Some wood-fired barbecues require you to bring your own fuel.

2. Can I bring my own portable barbecue to the parks?

In most cases, bringing your own portable gas barbecue is allowed, but it's essential to follow park regulations. Ensure your equipment complies with safety standards. Also, keep in mind that a gas BBQ is much more convenient than a charcoal BBQ when setting up in these parks.

3. Do I need to book barbecue facilities in advance?

Some parks, especially popular ones, may have designated barbecue areas (e.g. Flagstaff Gardens) that can be booked in advance for larger gatherings. Check with the local council or park management for specific reservation requirements.

4. Are there restrictions on the types of food I can barbecue in public parks?

Generally, there are no strict restrictions on the types of food you can barbecue, but we recommended to be considerate of other park users. The most important thing is to always clean up thoroughly after use of public electric barbeques and to take your trash with you or use the bins provided.

What food should I cook on my BBQ in Melbourne's parks?

If you want to go beyond the usual sausage sizzle, check out the following recipes that we really like:

5. What time do public parks close, and when do I need to finish my barbecue?

Park closing times can vary, so please check the specific regulations for the park you're visiting.


Resources to find more information about public BBQs in Victoria

1. Parks Victoria - BBQ Facilities:

Parks Victoria provides lots of great information on parks across Melbourne, including details on BBQ facilities, park regulations, and any booking requirements for larger gatherings.

2. City of Melbourne - Picnics and BBQs:

Check out the City of Melbourne's official website for insights into parks within the city limits. The site offers valuable information on available BBQ spots, park amenities, and any seasonal events or restrictions.

3. Visit Victoria - Outdoor Activities:

Visit Victoria is a great resource for anything that is going on in the wider areas, offering insights into various activities, including barbecuing in Melbourne's parks. Highly recommend this page to explore and discover additional tips, and updates on outdoor events in and around Melbourne.

Want to BBQ in other cities and find the best BBQ parks? Check out our other guides below:

Happy grilling from STOV.