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The Great Local Picnic 2024

The countdown for the Festival’s big day is on. Here is some key information to help make your Great Local Picnic a huge success.

Event details

Sunday 25th February
Get there early to stake out a great spot to set up your picnic rug

10:30am: Pre-picnic family parade with Dirtgirl & Costa the Garden Gnome (See below for more details)
12:00pm: Welcome to Country, Smoking Ceremony, First Nations Dance, Picnic Program Opens
12:30pm: Picnic main stage program
4:30pm: Close


Getting there

Train, tram, ride or walk it in. Car parking is notoriously challenging at the Gardens, so plan your transport carefully.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Birdwood Avenue, Melbourne
Oak Lawn – Entry via Main Gate or via Gate F

What’s for lunch?

Think delicious homemade picnic goodies made from home-grown produce or locally sourced ingredients. We ask that you pack your lunch in reusable containers so there is Zero Waste.

This is a zero-waste event with a bin exclusion zone. Why? because being a sustainability and zero waste celebration, we aim to stand by this ethos. If you bring any waste to the event, we will kindly ask you to take it home with you. A limited number of compost bins will be onsite for food scraps.

If you are looking for ideas, check out Zero Waste Picnic Food Ideas.

What to bring?

> Picnic rug and your locally grown / sourced spread
> Plates, coffee cups and cutlery if you wish to make purchases from our food vendors
> Reusable water bottle
> Hat and sunscreen
> Your friends and family

If you have friends who don’t have tickets yet, make sure to send the Picnic link to register.

What can I expect to see & do?

Speakers Program

The Great Local Picnic features a huge lineup of special guest sustainability innovators including Ann Jones, Dr Kate Luckins and many more for a big green day out. You can find the full list of program speakers on online.

Meet and Greet Costa at the Picnic Parade

For visitors with families – Costa is looking for some little helpers for a grubby picnic adventure! Your little ones can join in the fun for a pre-picnic nature walkabout and share the love of nature and joy of gardening with Costa. Tickets to a Picnic Parade with Costa the Garden Gnome can be obtained from the website. This is a children’s event starting at 11 am on the Observatory Lawn (B/C6) at the entrance to the Gardens.

Fast Fashun Workshops & Runway
It’s time to discover your inner designer and help reduce the colossal amounts of waste produced by the wear-it-once/throw-it-out fashion industry. Join the Festival for an amzing workshop-performance hybrid in which you are invited to create the unique fashion statement of your dreams from old clothes and textile waste. Artists will be on hand to help you realise your creation with demonstrations, assistance and nimble thimbles. Participants of all ages are welcome, and no previous fashion experience is necessary. If you can operate a safety pin, you’re halfway there.
Participants are encouraged to showcase their creation in a runway show as part of the Festival’s Great Local Picnic.

Nature Inspired Family Activities

Throughout the day there will be a range of nature-inspired activities, such as cubby-building, seed bomb making, sensory play and nature based art activities. Children will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Are you coming alone?

Kindred Picnic Solo! If you’re thinking about coming alone, but would like to be part of a picnic group, you are welcome to join our friends from Zero Waste Victoria on the picnic rug. They are extending the welcome to sustainably minded picnic goers to meet and mingle as part of our sustainability and zero waste celebration. You’ll find the Zero Waste Victoria information table in the community stalls area which will be close to the shared picnic rugs.

Will there be food vendors?

A small and select group of food vendors will be available on the day to add to your picnic feast. If you would like to purchase items from the food vendors, they will only be accepting reusable items. Please bring reusable cups, plates, containers or cutlery in order to  keep the event zero waste.

The Good Brew Company has had a holistic approach to sustainability in beverages since 2007 with solar panels on breweries, kegs on bikes, brews into reusable cups, and will be on site with three taps of their potent solar brewed, 200 strain kombucha. There will be three flavours inspired by local indigenous plants to choose from… bring some empty bottles to take some home!

Billy van Creamy are committed to sustainability and limiting their environmental impact. They source organic ingredients from small producers and limit their waste by offering tasters using stainless steel spoons, ceramic cups to dine-in, and ‘BYO container’ for takeaway. Their milk is supplied in large bladders rather than small 2-litre bottles and they are constantly trying to find better ways of reducing and disposing of their waste.


Zero Waste Notes

We’ve said it once but we’ll say it again … this is a zero-waste event!  Visitors are asked to adhere to the waste guidelines: aim to produce a zero waste picnic and take any rubbish with them. This is super important! Our food vendors have been selected, after careful due diligence about their zero waste practices, and will only accept reusable cups and containers at the event. The Great Local Picnic will be in a bin-exclusion zone at the Gardens so visitors are asked to take any waste you brought with you  home for disposal.

Please note this is smoke and vape free event

We can’t wait to see you and your homemade goodies on the picnic rug!