There are two types of travellers in the world – those that love spending time in a cooler climate and those perpetually chasing summer.

If you fall into the first category, then read on because Toowoomba is perfectly seasoned in winter.

Think crackling wood fires, moody and surreal landscapes, explosions of naturally occurring colour combinations, and moreish seasonal produce that feeds the soul.

Sounds enticing right? Discover these 7 cool-climate experiences in Toowoomba.

 

Stay Warm and Cosy by a Fireplace

When it comes to life’s simple pleasures, curling up in front of a roaring fire must be one of the best.

Put the heritage-listed Vacy Hall in the heart of Toowoomba on your list, and see why it’s been crowned one of Australia’s great historic hotels and awarded a Travellers’ Choice award by TripAdvisor (2021).

With many of its rooms featuring a fireplace, this grand hotel provides plenty of excuses to swap a night out for one in. Our suggestion – rug up with a good book or a glass of locally sourced red wine in hand.

For travellers seeking a secluded sojourn, book into Cloudlake Mountain Retreat. Set on a 65-acre organic and biodynamic farm property, only 30 minutes from Toowoomba, both accommodation options feature wood fires to warm your spirits and open decks to drink in views of the lake.

If a rural eco-farm stay is more your speed, may we suggest resting your head at The Gumnut Cottage at Kiambram Country Cottages? This charming 1910 ‘Queenslander’ style four-bedroom cottage comes with a cast-iron stove fireplace that warms every corner of the house.

All three properties also feature outdoor fireplaces, making relaxation under the cool Toowoomba night sky a winter lover’s reality. Did we mention winter is star gazing season too?

If you’re looking for a more central location to base yourself, Ellerslie House is a charming bed and breakfast (circa 1860) with grand fireplaces in each room.

Two people holding hands walking into the entrance of Vacy Hall

 

2. Discover the Magic #intheairuphere

Embark on the third phase of our Nature and Foodies Trail from Toowoomba to the Bunya Mountains and explore the cloud-drenched High Country Hamlets along the way.

As Queensland’s first micro-region specialising in high altitude produce and experiences, the High Country Hamlets and winter months are a seasonal match made in heaven.

Pepper your day’s agenda with a quiet country walk, sampling food crafted by an artisanal producer, chat to a friendly local, or simply take in the lush scenery during your visit.

Fence post in the country with a sunset in the background

 

3. Feast your Eyes on Nature’s Autumn Outfit Change

 Don’t mind the trees, they’re simply shedding some of their clothes in preparation for winter.

Stroll through Queens Park or Laurel Bank Park on a crisp autumn day and feel the crunch of falling leaves beneath your feet as your eyes are treated to a canopy of sun-tinted oranges, reds, and yellows across the inner-city tree line.

For something a bit different, visit the Japanese Gardens and walk among 230 species of trees and plants in Australia’s largest and most traditionally designed Japanese stroll garden.

Large Autumn tree with orange leaves in Lake Annand

 

4. Stretch your Legs at Picnic Point

Pack a blanket, pick up a local cheese or antipasto platter and make your way to Picnic Point for an alfresco lunch with a seasonal twist.

Afterwards, stretch your legs with a leisurely walk through the parklands and enjoy sweeping vistas overlooking Tabletop Mountain and the Lockyer Valley Plains from several vantage points.

View of Tabletop Mountain and country valley from Picnic Point

 

5. Unleash Your Inner Foodie

Spend the winter months eating your way through Toowoomba’s food scene and use the cooler temps as an excuse for ordering comfort food without a second thought to calories.

Warm up in the morning with a coffee and hearty breakfast at 95 Mary Street, a former meat shop converted into a café serving local produce.

For dinner and a show, you can’t go past Encores at the Empire, where fine food is served in historic surrounds next to the art-deco inspired Empire Theatre.

Avid foodies seeking a contemporary experience can leave their worries at ground level and dine at Muller Bros, Toowoomba’s first open-air rooftop bar that serves some seriously good Brazilian-inspired Churrasco.

If you’re venturing out of town, treat yourself to some good old-fashioned fare at Meringandan Pub, a locally renowned venue with a reputation for serving the best pub grub on the Downs.

Embrace local café culture at The Curly Carrot, a rustic country cottage café located in the Crows Nest Tourist Park, where you can enjoy a side of country hospitality with your meal.

Hearty meal of lamp chops and mashed potatoes

 

6. Reconnect with nature on a bushwalk

Get your heart pumping and body temperature back up with a brisk hike as the temperature drops.

Keen naturists can explore Crows Nest National Park, an area brimming with eucalypt trees from gums to stringybarks, bloodwoods and ironbarks.

Head to Crows Nest and visit Hartmann Park, where visitors can wind through several linked walking tracks that provide access to Applegum Park and Bullocky’s Rest along Bald Hills Creek.

Enjoy views out to the Lockyer Valley and Scenic Rim from the Gus Beutel Lookout at Ravensbourne National Park, a naturally diverse destination situated on the spur of the Great Diving Range between Toowoomba and Esk.

Woman standing amongst large green forest trees in the Ravensbourne National Park

 

7. DYO (do your own) produce trail

Autumn and winter are ideal months to hop in the car and venture out on a do-it-yourself style tour of local food, wine, and beverage producers of the Toowoomba region.

Start off at Pechey Distilling Co, Toowoomba region’s first artisan distillery, where small batches of quality gin, vodka, and liqueurs are produced from a historic homestead located between Hampton and Crows Nest.

Our pick of the bunch? The new ‘Madam Myrtille’s Gin’, a bespoke gin concoction that can only be sampled and purchased on-site.

For wine aficionados, spend an afternoon with great food, live music, and wine at Rosalie House Vineyard, Cellar Door and Restaurant in Lilyvale Valley.

If you’re staying central, support local farmers and food makers every Saturday under the windmills at Cobb & Co at the Toowoomba Farmers Market or buy fresh and locally sourced produce from The Farm Shop at Westbrook.

Finish up your culinary journey at Metiisto Artisan Chocolate, a local producer that delivers on the sentiment that chocolate is happiness you can eat.

At this stop, you can sample award-winning chocolates every Saturday (when the factory doors are opened to the public).

Man sitting with two goats next to him in the country