Six new Melbourne outdoor playgrounds and food truck parks for summer

Welcome to Brunswick: Summer, and the trucks stop here.
Welcome to Brunswick: Summer, and the trucks stop here. Photo: Eugene Hyland

If you've been looking for a good time in the great outdoors without leaving the city, Melbourne has turned out six new places to eat and drink al fresco, from a rooftop farm to a floating pool.

From the crew behind Welcome to Thornbury comes Welcome to Brunswick, a food truck park and eco-friendly brewery in collaboration with Manly's 4 Pines, just behind Brunswick Mess Hall. As per its Northcote counterpart, the food offering comes care of a rotating line-up of food trucks and stalls such as Mr Burger, and Pasta Face. Tap beers are exclusively 4 Pines, but there are other bottles and cans, plus wine, and jugs of cocktails too.

On Elgin Street Carlton, From the Collective is a bar and provedore by James Carlin of Tooboorac Hotel and Brewery. The 800-square-metre former scrap metal yard warehouse sells jams, smallgoods, chocolate and more, but only from regional Victorian producers, providing a cellar door service. These goods are also used to create a range of dishes served from the on-site food truck. The menu changes almost daily, but expect Tooborac pies, grilled sausages with sauerkraut or roasted stone fruits with crumble. There's also beer from Red Duck in Ballarat, Shedshaker in Castlemaine and Bandicoot in Echuca.

Park Melbourne is a new garden and arts hub in Chinatown.

Park Melbourne is a new garden and arts hub in Chinatown. Photo: Park Melbourne

In the CBD, a former carpark in Chinatown has been transformed into Park Melbourne, an evolving garden bar and arts and culture venue. A collaboration between Cast of Falcons director Maz Salt (Section 8, Ferdydurke, Henry's Burgers, Radar) and architects Baracco + Wright, it features trestle tables, murals from local artists and an Airstream churning out Pie Thief pies, Founder coffee, beer and cider from Furphy and Bodriggy and wine from Puncheon Bottles. During art launches, dumplings from neighbouring Shanghai Street are brought in, and they're looking to collaborate with other pop-up vendors to further extend the food offering, particularly during events.

Fed Square's Skyline Terrace is becoming Summertime Social, an outdoor entertainment playground. Featuring caravans for hire, a pop-up chicken shop with cocktails on tap, board games, lawn games and picnics, it opens on January 3rd with live music and entertainers.

Acre Farm & Eatery, a rooftop farm and cafe crowning the Burwood Brickworks has opened. Growing more than 70 kinds of produce and featuring a quail coop and bee hives, you can get a nature hit walking the rows, take workshops or hit up the cafe for dishes starring the goods.

Arbory Afloat has a new rooftop pool.

Arbory Afloat has a new rooftop pool. Photo: Simon Shiff

Arbory Afloat just keeps on upping the ante. The huge colourful barge moored behind Flinders Street Station for summer has now opened its rooftop pool so you can swim on the Yarra, and thankfully not in it. Cabanas can be booked and champagne and food packages are available.