Outdoor Delights: Creating a Backyard Paradise with BBQ Areas and Fire Pits

Whether it’s nostalgia, nature, or luxury, there’s something special about having a backyard fire. It elevates the design of any backyard space and extends the usage hours of your outdoor living area by providing warmth and cosiness on a chilly evening. 

But as landscaping specialists who have brought ideas to life for countless homeowners, we know there are a lot of questions to cover when it comes to creating a BBQ area or backyard fire pit! So the experts here at Zones Landscaping have put together a mini fire pit and BBQ guide to help you get inspired!

Designing an outdoor living area around a fire pit

There’s nothing quite like exchanging stories and sharing laughs around an open fire. With the right set up, you can have nights like these all year round, even through the winter months. The fire itself is probably the first design element you want to sort out and there are plenty of options to choose from: gas fire pits, concrete fireplaces, sunken fire pits to name a few. 

Next up, seating. Would you prefer the flexibility of outdoor lounge furniture or the elevated aesthetic of built-in seating? If you have a hard time visualising designs, it’s a good idea to consult with a professional landscape designer, who can provide renderings and simplify the process. 

And lastly, no design is complete without considering shelter. Covering your entertaining area will increase how often you can use it, making it a good investment - shade for grilling sausies on a hot summer’s day and shelter by the fire on a cold rainy evening. This Whitford landscape was designed around a stylish outdoor fireplace. Not only do the pergola and louvre roof provide much needed shelter, they help create a defined and elegant living area. 

With these three things in mind - fire, seating, shelter - you’re on your way to designing a fantastic outdoor living area with all the bells and whistles!

Different types of fire pits and barbeques in New Zealand

All fire pits and barbeques were not created equal, and everyone has different tastes, so it’s hard to say which is the best BBQ or fire pit to add to your landscape. Depending on your lifestyle, budget, and property, the answer will be different. But let’s review the options so you can pick your favourite: 

Fire pit ideas

  • Sunken fire pits - best for built-in seating
  • Gas fire pits - convenience is king
  • Metal bowl fire pits - cost-effective and non-permanent
  • Concrete fireplace - ideal to create a cosy, indoor vibe
  • Retro metal fireplace - check this one out

Barbeque grills

  • Propane or gas barbeque - quick and easy to get going
  • Charcoal barbeque - provides the classic smokey flavour
  • Built-in barbeque - for the avid outdoor chef
  • Smokers - perfect for meat enthusiasts
  • Wood-fired pizza oven - for family pizza bake offs!

Building a BBQ area with Zones


If you’ve been dreaming about building a bespoke area to host friends around the barbeque, now’s the time to share your ideas. Think of this like a brainstorming session. Have you got a specific barbeque grill in mind? Are there wood-burning fire pit ideas floating around in your head? Are you trying to decide if built-in seating would work in your backyard? We’ll discuss it all, and then some!

Concept Designs

It’s time to watch your ideas take shape. Our Landscaping Consultants will provide you with 3D renderings of what you discussed during your consultation. You can request multiple iterations if you’re unsure or just want to see which designs you prefer. This is a great opportunity to see things come to life and make key design decisions. For example, after seeing the concealed BBQ storage options you chose, you may opt for open outdoor shelving instead. 

Planning and Costing 

Now we’re getting down to the nitty-gritty details. Solidifying your design options gives your Landscaping Consultant a clearer picture of the plan, so they can provide an accurate timeline and give you a fixed-quote for your project. Fire pit regulations in New Zealand and local council consent applications will be considered during this stage as well. But don’t worry, Zones will handle all the paperwork for you. 

Building your barbeque area

All the planning is about to pay off. You’ll see a parade of experienced tradespeople and specialists on-site to bring your design to fruition. But, no matter how many contractors are needed, your Landscaping Consultant will always be your single point of contact. Any questions or concerns can be directed straight to them. You can also check into our intuitive customer portal to get real-time updates. 


The only thing standing between you and grilling up some fresh lamb and veg is the final documentation. Your Landscaping Consultant will ensure everything’s in order and execute the final handover. In the unlikely event that you find something amiss with your BBQ, just get in touch and we’ll sort it out. 

Want to elevate your backyard with a stylish fire pit or barbeque?

Let’s talk! Our Landscaping Consultants offer free, on-site consultations to get started. They’ll visit your property to see the area and discuss your ideas. Just get in touch to arrange your consultation.

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