Toowoomba, nicknamed the Garden City, is a city in the Darling Down region in Australia. It is located 125 kilometers (78 miles) southwest of Queensland’s capital city of Brisbane, so it is a mere two-hour scenic drive from Brisbane. Toowoomba dangles on the edge of a plateau 800 meters (2,624.67 ft) above the sea level and is the largest inland city in Queensland. Additionally, it is the 15th largest city in Australia. The city hosts the annual Carnival of Flowers in September each year. Toowoomba is home to a number of award-winning restaurants, wineries, quaint teahouses, arts and crafts cottages as well as a full range of modern city convenience such a major department stores. There are more than 150 public parks and gardens in Toowoomba. This city is the heart of Queensland’s economic and commercial hub of Darling Down’s region.
1. Cobb & Co Museum
Cobb & Co Museum is part of Queensland’s museum and is home to the National Carriage Collection, which features nearly 59 horse drawn vehicles, and galleries portraying the natural and cultural history of Toowoomba and the Darling Downs. Immerse yourself in Toowoomba’s natural and cultural history by revisiting Australia transport from different eras on your visit to Cobb & Co Museum. It’s not just what you can see but what you can do! In any exhibition and program at the museum, there are elements you can hear or touch. From blacksmithing, silversmithing to lead lighting and milling, there are many opportunities for you to create items you will be proud to show off or given as gifts. You can follow the clues, meet intriguing characters, and play interactive games in the New National Collection Gallery. Besides, feel free to touch museum objects and specimens in the New Heritage Inquiry Bank Centre. You can also enjoy playing in the Coach Shop play area. The kids will love stepping back in time in this area.
Get the behind the scenes story and join the daily guided tour while visiting the museum. There are unique handmade gifts for sale in the museum shop and you should pick up something to remember your trip. If you are in Toowoomba, take time to visit this very interesting museum.
The museum is located across from Toowoomba’s iconic Queens Park. It provides a fascinating insight into the past and made us appreciate how difficult and uncomfortable travel was for people in the 19th century.
Do remember to stop by Cobb’s Coffee Shop. It serves the best scones, handmade sausage rolls, quickie, and fresh tomato and basil bruschetta.
Cobb & Co Museum
Address: 27 Lindsay St, Toowoomba, Queensland 4350, Australia
Price: 12.50 AUD (9.36 USD), Adults, 6.50 AUD (4.87 USD), Children
Opening Hours: Monday-Friday (9.30 am to 4 pm) Closed on Good Friday, ANZAC Day, Christmas Day and Boxing Day
Access: By car, foot or bus
Contact: + 61 7 4659 4900
Near by Food: Cobb’s Coffee Shop
Website: Cobb & Co Museum
2. Empire Theatre
Toowoomba’s Empire Theatre is a heritage listed art deco venue that provides a wide range of performing arts to every taste. The majestic building is impressive from outside as you can see palm trees grace the exterior of the building. The theatre is Australia’s largest regional performing arts complex and stages world class shows from leading national and international performers as well as showcasing a wealth of talent. The building comprises several venues including the main auditorium, the recently built Armitage Centre, Empire Church Theatre, Empire Theatre Studio, the Supper Room, and the Lounge Room. Whether it is popular music, ballet, comedy or any free performance, the lavish art deco styling of the venue combined with its state of art technology makes it a magical and memorable experience. The Empire Theatre also offers historical tours and attracts many visitors each year. Besides, it is a popular choice for conferences and events, including weddings, offering a unique experience to guests.
Address: Empire Theatre Complex 54-56 Neil St, Toowoomba, Queensland 4350, Australia
Price: 5 AUD (3.75 USD). Other tours varies in price.
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday (9 am to 5 pm), Saturday (9 am to 1 pm). Closed on Sunday.
Access: By car or coach transfers
Contact: + 61 7 4698 9900
Website: Empire Theatre
3. Picnic Point Lookout and Parkland
Toowoomba’s heritage listed Picnic Lookout and Parkland comprises of 64.7 hectares (160 acres) perched on the crest of the Great Dividing Range, with panoramic view of Table Top Mountain at the Lockyer Valley. The lookout really puts into perspective the true extent of Toowoomba‘s elevation and is the highest point on the parkland area. The area has several lookouts including the Bill Goulds Lookout. Some of the significant features of Picnic Point includes parklands (Tobruk, Dive Park, and Lions Park).
There is also an artificial waterfall and garden in Lion Park, which is popular for wedding ceremonies. Besides, there is a café as well as function area. Apart from that, the Picnic Point Bushland reserve area is popular for its bush trails. Several picnic areas are also available at this place. Picnic Point has a water tower designed in the shape of a mushroom, a puppy memorial dedicated to a mascot of Toowoomba, Thistle Pipe Band “puppy” who died when he was run over by a car. The lower section of the park can also be accessed via Tobruk Memorial Drive and is another location for impressive vistas and social picnics.
Picnic Point Lookout And Parkland
Address: 164 Tourist Rd, Toowoomba City QLD 4350, Australia
Price: Free access.
Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday(8.30 am to 5 pm), Friday to Saturday (8 am to 9 pm), Sunday (8 am to 5 pm)
Access: By car, bus or coach
Contact: + 61 7 4631 5100
Near by Food: Picnic Point Cafe
Website: Picnic Point Lookout And Parkland
4. Crows Nest National Park
Crows Nest National Park is located on the Darling Downs of southern Queensland. It is divided into a number of sections that are located in both Crow Nests and Grapetree about 6 kilometers (3.7 mi) east of town. This wallaby-dotted park harbours a cascading waterfall and eucalyptus forest punctuated by craggy granite outcrops and sheer 100 meter (328 ft) cliff face. Explore Crow Nest Creek’s waterfall by following the walking trail from 2 km to 4.5 km (1.2 mi to 2.8 mi), cooling down in swimming holes. Travellers can then continue walking to a fantastic lookout point over the Valley of Diamonds. Besides, seasonal wildflowers provide interest for photographers and naturalists, and you can also spot nocturnal animals. There is also lovely campground for bush camping. Among the facilities provided you’ll find barbecues, picnic areas, and toilets.
Crows Nest National Park
Address: Three Mile Rd, Crows Nest QLD 4355, Australia
Access: By car
Website: Crows Nest National Park
5. First Coat Outdoor Gallery
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Toowoomba was once a fairly average regional town and it became a little more spectacular because it boasts the largest outdoor gallery known as the First Coat Outdoor Gallery. The artworks at First Coat add so much vibrancy to all streetscapes. Ever since, an array of great eateries and cool little cafes have popped up around them in alleys and lanes. So, now there are a lot of places where you can relax, indulge, and enjoy through the heritage facades. Many of the artists are significant in their field and their works are of top quality.
Every year this place is a happening place with festivals and other performances. The street has become an iconic attraction to Toowoomba and is also appreciated by locals. Apart from that, the First Coat App makes it easy to find artworks if you want to plan a tour of the outdoor gallery. Toowoomba definitely has an amazing collection of street art and is a must see for all travellers. Besides, the street art here is like Melbourne, but more manageable.
First Coat Outdoor Gallery
Address: 6 Laurel Street, Toowoomba, Queensland 4350, Australia
Price: Free access
Access: By car or by foot
Website: First Coat Outdoor Gallery
6. Ju Raku En Japanese Gardens
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
The Japanese Gardens in Toowoomba is Australia’s largest and most traditional Japanese garden. It is located about 4 kilometers (2.5 mi) south of the centre at the University of Southern Queensland. The 5-hectare (12.3 acre) oasis was designed by a Japanese professor, Kinsaku Nakane, from Kyoto. It contains all the elements of rippling lake and carefully aligned boulders, conifer, bamboo stands, cherry blossoms, and photogenic bridges. Besides, the garden has a combination of 230 species of Japanese and Australian native trees and plants, as well as lawns all combined in a seamless and restful harmony. Japanese gardens emphasize the use of rocks to create 3D pictures.
Visitors can stroll through the garden or relax on the seat near the Dry Garden and it is not uncommon to see artists quietly painting a scene or children feeding pieces of bread to fish or birds, including swans, ducks, or geese. The garden is known as Ju Raku En in Japanese.
Address: 20 Regent Street, Darling Heights ,Queensland 4350
Price: Free access
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 6 am to 6pm
Access: By car
Contact: + 61 7 4631 2100
Website: Japanese Gardens
7. Queens Park
Picturesque Queens Park is located a short walk from Toowoomba’ Central Business District. It is the city’s premier park set across 25 picturesque hectares (61.7 acres), which is much loved by the locals and regional visitors visiting Toowoomba. It also provides a great meeting place or a pleasant stop for everyone. The park consists of three distinct sections: The Queens Park Botanic Garden, The Vera Lacaze Memorial Park, and the greater park area. The northeastern section boats an immaculately tended local garden. It is well tended all year round and particularly impressive during the month of September.
The southeast and northwest now provides a large expanse of grass especially designated for sports, with an emphasis on sports for the disabled. There is an off dog leased area in this part of the garden for visitors to use. Meanwhile, the southern part is the playground area for children. There are walking tracks and bicycle tracks, which are particularly busy during the weekends. Besides that, birdwatchers can indulge in birdwatching activities in this area. Queens Park is really a beautiful calm space where nature showcases seasonal offerings alongside the city bustling Central Business District. Various events like the Carnival of Flowers, the Gala Dinner, and the Flower, Food and Wine Festival are also held here yearly.
Address: Margaret Street, Toowoomba, Queensland 4350, Australia
Access: By foot or car
Website: Queens Park
City of gardens
There are many things to see and do in Toowoomba all year round. Toowoomba’s parks and gardens become vibrant and ablaze with colours and life.That is why it is called the Garden City. The Carnival of Flowers is held with street parades and other activities. This festival attracts a lot of visitors from all over the world and boosts the economy of the city. Toowoomba is so special because its attractions offer the best of both worlds, the city retain its country heritage, whilst offering all the amenities of a bustling modern city.
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