While Toowoomba might be known as The Garden City, it has much more to offer than just its greenspace.
Perched 700 metres above sea level on the western slope of the Great Dividing Range, Queensland’s largest inland city takes its coffee culture and flourishing street art scene seriously, while proudly showcasing its historical connection to the pioneering era.
A short two-hour drive from the Brisbane CBD, see what’s blooming in Toowoomba with this guide.
1. Take a stroll through Queens Park
Can you say you’ve been to Toowoomba if you haven’t strolled through Queens Park?
Not only is Queens Park home to this city’s award-winning event, Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers which sees close to 300,000 people line the city streets each year, the lawns also play host to the local Food and Wine Festival.
Planned and developed by Walter Hill, a government botanist in the 1800s, trees imported from Europe, Asia and other parts of the world make up this 26.3 hectares of greenspace in the city centre.
Make the most of it by having a picnic.
2. Follow the Laneway Street Art Crawl
ICYMI: Toowoomba’s street art scene has been growing in mural count and hipster cred since the local Council funded a street art festival – First Coat – back in 2013.
While the festival is no longer running, you can start your own art crawl at Ground Up Espresso Bar (because, caffeine) to help you navigate your way from one artwork to the next.
With 55 murals to tick off the list, you’ll want to make sure you’re wearing comfy shoes.
3. Visit Cobb+Co Museum
History buffs, we’re looking at you.
Learn about Toowoomba’s pioneering history, with a visit the Cobb+Co Museum.
Time your visit to join the twice-daily guided tour, to get an insider’s knowledge about life during the Cobb and Co era as you tour the National Carriage Collection of horse-drawn vehicles.
Allow enough time to wander through the permanent and temporary exhibitions.
For more musuems like this, we wrote this blog post for you.
4. Catch a show at Empire Theatre
If you thought art deco theatres with bright, neon signs were reserved for big cities like Chicago – think again.
Head to the Empire Theatre – Australia’s largest regional performing arts complex – and catch a cabaret, comedy performance or theatre production.
No time for a show? It’s still worth a visit especially at night – the exterior is the perfect backdrop for an Instagrammable moment.
5. Picnic at Picnic Point Parkland
While the 160-acre parkland was not named after the act of throwing down the blanket and pulling out homemade cheese and tomato sandwiches, it’s one of the best locations to do so.
Popular with locals and tourists since the early 1900s, the lookout is one of the most visited spots in Toowoomba – it’s no surprise, with panoramic views over Main Ridge and Lockyer Valley.
Haven’t BYO’d snacks? Head to Picnic Point café for a barista-made coffee and treat.
6. Visit the Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery
Did you know Toowoomba is home to the oldest public art gallery in regional Queensland?
While originally located in the Toowoomba Town Hall from 1934 until 1994, you’ll now find it next door in a purposely renovated state-of-the-art facility.
With three permanent collections, including drawings, paintings and fine porcelain from Europe, Asia and Australia dating back to the early 1700s, make sure you allow enough time to work your way through each collection.
7. Hike Table Top Mountain
Calling all experienced hikers – we’ve got a new track for you.
Located at the edge of Toowoomba, the trek to Table Top summit is not an easy feat – expect rock scrambling and loose gravel along this Grade Five unmarked track.
While the track is guaranteed to get the heart pumping as the elevation rises to 700 metres above sea level, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Lockyer Valley to the east and Main Range to the south.
8. Enjoy dinner at Zev’s Bistro
Want to experience the best of Southern Queensland Country’s food bowl without leaving Toowoomba’s CBD?
Head to Zev’s Bistro, where seasonal and local produce shines and menus are created daily to hero the best of what’s available.
Choose from an a la carte menu or the chef’s pick tasting menu to experience the best of the region one plate at a time.