Level up your picnic game this weekend with these food and location suggestions

With the weather looking tentatively fine and Auckland residents eager to socialise with new bubbles for the first time in weeks, this weekend will see many of us out and about taking advantage of the new 'picnic' guidelines

Never before have picnics featured so heavily in our weekend plans, but after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced we can mix with one other household outside under the new COVID-19 guidelines affectionately nicknamed "level 2.75", they're firmly on the agenda. 

But what goes into a good picnic? The food, location and company are key. 

Here are our top suggestions for what to eat and where to park up - you choose your own company. Good luck picking between friends…


If you feel like throwing something together, you can't go wrong with a couple of cheeses, some hummus and pesto, and a loaf of Daily Bread sourdough. But if the long weeks of lockdown have you despairing over the thought of prepping food, don't worry - there are plenty of ready-made options perfect for your picnic. 

North shore cafe Beaufort and Co and more centrally, Grey Lynn fave Bread and Butter have both put together 'picnic boxes' you can collect or have delivered, stuffed full of fruits, cheeses, sandwiches - all the things you need for a 'high tea' situation. Dietary requirements are fully catered for. 

For a date night option, we'd recommend ordering a few of the takeaway options from CBD favourite Williams Eatery, which is supplying Lebanese pitas and mezze bowls throughout level 3. The Jawaneh and Shawarma fries featured on Williams' Instagram look particularly delicious. 

Meanwhile, if you're feeding a crowd and want to keep things cheap and cheerful, takeaway stalwart Dominoes has launched an 'Anywhere' feature as part of its app, which allows customers to order, as the name suggests, literally anywhere - meaning pizza can be delivered right to your picnic blanket. You have to be near a road and easily accessible though - don't' send your delivery person trailing through the bush or swimming to get to you. 


It's fair to say the parks and beaches will be absolutely buzzing so choose your location wisely this weekend. 

If you have the cash, Ponsonby hotspot Midnight Gardner is offering its outdoor location up for picnics, available for groups of Aucklanders from one bubble only - with a maximum of 10 people. BYO food and alcohol, and rent the space on Ponsonby Rd for $100 for a two-hour session.

If you're missing nights out in the viaduct, you can (sort of) relive the magic, by heading along to Headquarters, where they've set out tables for people to park up at with their respective picnics. Owner Leo Molloy says they'll be supplying cold water to the tables, adding that adults will need to prove they've been vaccinated by showing a photo of their vaccine card. 

And remember - outdoors doesn't just mean parks and public spaces. You're allowed to host friends in your own backyard, just make sure you keep it under 10 people, with only one other household - and maybe put out some blankets. It's going to be chilly this weekend.