While I’m normally most captivated by restaurants, bars and farmers' markets, Toowoomba excels in three other categories that are pretty hard to ignore. This town has a lot to offer to lovers of gardens, street art and architecture. So, after covering Towoomba's restaurants, cafes and farmers' market, it would be remiss of me not to give you a little glimpse of the other treasures you’ll find in this beautiful part of Queensland.
Toowoomba is already well known for flowers, with the sixty-seventh annual Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers taking place earlier this year. Even visiting outside of the festival's 16-25 September time period, the town's gardens were impressive enough to warrant a walk-through. My highlights included the riotously colourful Queens Park - home to Toowoomba's Botanical Garden. Foodies like me could easily team this park with a visit to Toowoomba Farmers’ Market across the road.
I was also impressed by Newtown Park, home to the State rose garden.
It painted a beautiful picture using countless pastel flowerbeds.
Those with children will enjoy finding a well-trimmed Thomas the Tank Engine, and will likely also notice that there are well-equipped parks with lots of playground equipment right across this town.
You’ll also find plenty of rotundas, shaded walkways and tree-lined avenues to help beat Toowoomba's blazing sun.
Bang smack in the centre of the central business district on Ruthven Street, you’ll find Art Gallery Park.
This small but impressive strip of blooms running between the Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery and the shiny copper of the steam punk inspired library, is worth a peek as you wander around town.
This park is well placed if you're dining at Zev's Bistro (and I recommend strongly that you do)!
I’d also recommend taking a peek inside the art gallery – it punches above its weight for a regional gallery, with many different styles of art represented on its walls.
The collection includes a lot of older works, as well as a good showing from the region's local artists.
Now, if you’re anything like me, in a new place you’ll find it hard to resist a lookout. At the eastern edge of Toowoomba you’ll find Picnic Point Park.
While the gardens aren’t that impressive in comparison to some of the other parks in town (bar for the jet-black pansies) you will find a waterfall and a reasonable viewpoint looking back towards Brisbane over the Lockyer Valley.
Jump back in your car and continue north along the ridgeline, past Mount Lofty on the New England Highway, and you’ll come to Murphys Creek Road. If you drive along it and follow the signs to Spring Bluff, you’ll come to one of the most picturesque railway stations I’ve ever seen.
It's teaming with flowers, and a lovely pit-stop on the scenic route back to Brisbane.
Following this tourist drive lets you wind your way through the Lockyer Valley, with ample opportunities to stop at roadside vegetable stalls along the way - a perfect way to combine all of my interests!
Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery
531 Ruthven Avenue, Toowoomba
Ph: (07) 4688 6652