Toowoomba Things to Do Tips by balhannah Top 5 Page for this destination
Toowoomba Things to Do: 42 reviews and 120 photos
Float at the Laurel Bank gardens
This park is lovely to visit at any time of the year, but when the Carnival of Flowers is on, it is at its very best.
Mr. Stephens donated the land to the Toowoomba city council in 1932, but before handing it over to them offically in 1934, he designed the layout of the gardens.
Mr Stephens was known to many as 'the man of flowers'. He loved gardens & flowers allowing only a Croquet green to be incorporated in the gardens.
Every year, when the Carnival of Flowers is on, you can have a Devonshire morning tea at the Croquet club. We did, and it was beautiful! One huge scone, jam & cream, and a cup of coffee all for $4.
You could have one huge muffin, and of course, tea instead of coffee. It was a wet day, so we could have sat inside, but instead, we sat on the verandah and enjoyed our morning tea whilst admiring the gardens.
During the carnival of flowers, they have a raised stand that overlooks the garden beds. We went up, and had a wonderful view over all the garden beds, a must do when here.
It is here that major floral float for the parade stays. Climb inside, and have your photo taken as the "Queen!"
The Wisteria Arbour is at its best too [September], there is seating underneath.
There are lots of exotic trees, including English and Spanish oaks, Japanese maples and many more, all in a well kept lawned area. It really is a nice park for a family picnic, there is Playground equipment, a gazebo and Toilet's in the park, and those trees add the much needed shade on those warm, summer days.
Other history............Laurel Bank Hall in the gardens, was built during World War II to be used as a mess hall for US naval troops.
Address: Herries Street, Toowoomba
Grand champion garden 2010
IN SEPTEMBER, every year this Carnival is held for a week.
* It starts off with a floral parade held on the Saturday.
* COMPETITION GARDENS are free to get into and have a look at, even in drought these are outstanding gardens.
* Exhibition gardens cost a small entry fee, this goes to Charity.
* You can do a Bus Tour around the gardens if you wish.
*Energy Flower, Food & Wine Festival, runs from Friday to Sunday. There is an admission charge, but this entitles you to free Wine tasting, visual art displays, cooking demonstrations, and live concerts, good value at $19 in 2010.
* Sideshow alley for that fun time
* Fireworks held over 4 nights during the Carnival
* Lots of floral displays which are either free or a gold coin donation.
* Different garden clubs hold displays, like the Bonsai club, the Clivia club & Orchid club, Quilting Club, Spinners & Weavers, Geranium Club, Art in Bark just to name a few.
* THIS EVENT IS A MUST FOR GARDEN LOVERS!
We go to it every few years, there is always something different, and lots to see.
The photo's are of the "GRAND CHAMPION GARDEN 2010" Free admission to this garden.
Address: All over Toowoomba
Spring Bluff garden
This historic Railway station can be visited any time of the year, but the BEST TIME, is when the Carnival of Flowers is being held during September.
It was in 1864, construction of the Ipswich-Toowoomba line commenced, and in 1867, the first train from Ipswich reached Toowoomba, a 5 hour journey!
Hard to imagine that this station in the early 1900's, handled more than 5500 passengers.
Nowdays, Spring Bluff is not an operational station, and is listed on the National Trust of Queensland register.
During the Carnival, Train rides from the Toowoomba Railways Station to Spring Bluff run daily for a week, at 9am and 1pm.
We were at the Station when the Steam train was there, and then watched it leave for its onward journey to Brisbane.
You need to book, as these Train journeys are very popular.
Tickets are available from QR Toowoomba Station...phone... (07) 46313380
The spring display is fantastic. Many, many hours of hard work has been put in, and over the years has been rewarded by winning many ribbons, this year  was no exception, with them taking out 1st prize in their section. We strolled around, looked at the gardens and the old heritage buildings that have been repainted in their original colours, and then watched the Steam Train leave and wind its way around the mountain-side.
About the gardens..................STUNNING!
The area..................................Don't miss coming here!
The Cafe is open from Friday to Sunday 9.30am-4.30pm, but open all through Carnival week.
Directions: Brisbane to Spring Bluff 135km - 2hours 12 minutes via Warrego Highway
Driving directions to Toowoomba QLD 13.5km - 19 mins
The lookout at picnic point
Perched on the edge of the Great Dividing range is the Picnic Point Lookout and Restaurant / Cafe.
There is plenty of parking, don't worry if the main area is full like it was for us, as there is another parking area not far away with hardly had a car in it.
This area is always well maintained, has a large lawn area and plenty of shade from the Bunya pine trees. There is an excellent children's playground, bbq facilities and Toilets.
The view from the platform is far reaching views over the Lockyer valley and the nearby volcanic Table Top Mountain. If you're feeling energetic, you can walk to this Mountain, no, I haven't!
An unusual monument is of a little dog named " Puppy." He was the mascot of the Toowoomba Thistle Pipe Band.
Feeling hungry, then the Cafe maybe the place to enjoy a meal and the wonderful view.
After having a look here, we followed Tobruk Memorial Drive further down the Mountain. This led to another lookout, and plenty more picnic areas, and then returned to the top again.
Directions: Tourist road, Picnic Point.
As far as I know, there is no walking tour guide for the CBD of Toowoomba.
I think it a pity, as Toowoomba has many handsome old buildings located along its wide streets.
I just walked around the city centre, viewing the different styles of architecture.
Some interesting buildings were the Old Post office at 136 Margaret Street which was designed in an Italianate style and had the clock tower added later.
Next door, was the beautiful Classic Revival Court house that was built in the 1870's. Both are built out of sandstone.
Just across the road, is the very different Strand Theatre which has a very distinctive semi-circular window and an unusual central balcony. [see separate tip]
The Town Hall is another beautiful building which also has a clock tower. It was built in 1900, and is the 3rd Town Hall! Located in Ruthven Street.
This is just a few of the many you will see on your Toowoomba CBD walk.
If you have a car, then follow the Brown little arrows on the tourist signs. This is a driving tourist drive around Toowoomba.
One takes you around Inner Toowoomba, and the second drive takes you around the outer area of Toowoomba. By doing this drive, you see most of the important sights.
One of the gardens
Yearly, during the 'CARNIVAL OF FLOWERS' in late September, The Chronicle newspaper lists 6 gardens that will be open for the public to view.
These gardens are not prepared for Carnival week, they have been selected for their year round beauty and attractive features.
These gardens ARE OPEN FROM 9 - 5pm DAILY.
There is an ADMISSION CHARGE (for 2010) prices were..........
4 gardens $10, 3 gardens $9, 1 garden $4. All proceeds go to charity.
Children are FREE, is accompanied by an Adult.
Tickets can be purchased at the exhibition gardens.
You can do a Bus Tour of the 4 gardens, plus scenic sights and parks and garden, with the driver giving a commentary.
These depart from the Tourist Information Centre.
To find out where the gardens are located, buy the Chronicle paper from the Tourist Information centre. It will have a map in it, with the locations of the gardens.
Directions: Tours leave from info centre on the corner of James & Kitchener streets, Toowoomba.
GRAND CHAMPION GARDEN
The garden competition, heralds the beginning of Spring. Gardener's in Toowoomba have planted their gardens with Annuals and Perennials, so that they are blooming at their very best for Carnival time.
Toowoomba is a very garden orientated city. The people love their gardens.
The competition has various awards, eg. for the best large garden, small garden, newly established garden, natives, cacti, etc, etc.
Luckily, the keen gardeners, have their own bores, otherwise, they would not be able to water, as Toowoomba is in severe drought at the moment.
If you buy the Chronicle newspaper from the Tourist Information centre, it has a map showing where the prize winning gardens are located, and names and addresses of all the gardens that were entered in the competition. The ladies at the centre are very helpful.
There is also a special sign above the street sign, so that they are easy to find.
ENTRY TO ALL THESE GARDENS IS FREE!
Crowds of people come, as many as 10,000 in a week. The gardens are only open for 1 week.
So, all you garden/flower lovers, come and have a look, get some ideas for your own garden, it really is beautiful, and a credit to the owner's of the gardens.
Address: Follow the map
Directions: Scattered around Toowoomba
The Bus Queensland used for the tours
If you do not have your own car to get around and see the gardens, then don't worry, all types of Bus tours are available.
There is a PARADE & GARDEN TOUR (6HRS)
COST.......$75.00 (Bookings essential)
You see the grand Parade, visit 5 prize winning gardens, exhibition garden, Brindabella country garden, Orchid show, scenic sights and a gourmet packed lunch is included in the price.
GRAND FLORAL TOUR (5HR)
COST.......$65.OO (bookings essential)
You visit 5 prize winning gardens, exhibition garden, Brindabella country garden, Orchid show, scenic sights and a 2 course sit down lunch.
TWO HOUR TOUR
You visit 4 prize winning gardens, and scenic sights.
You visit 6 prize winning gardens & scenic sights.
Prices are for 2009
All tours can be booked at the Tourist Information Centre.
ALL TOURS DEPART FROM THE CENTRE.
There is also a FREE COURTESY BUS that departs every 30mins from the centre.
This takes you to St. Paul's Orchid show, St. Luke Flower show, Garden town shopping centre, Grand central shopping centre, bus interchange and Queens park. 1st Bus departs at 9.45am, last Bus departs at 4.45pm.
Phone number for Bus Queensland is below......
Phone: 4639 1398
A pair of the Seven dwarfs
Every year when the Carnival of Flowers is on, they hold a street parade. All the local clubs and many business's have floats.
We saw it this year  and thought it was pretty good, especially for children and locals.
Of course, there is a Carnival Queen, and she has a beautiful float of many flowers. There were lots of stilt walkers, also Brass bands, Scottish Bands, Rock n' roll dancers, ethnic groups, old cars and trucks, clowns and anything to do with the community.
The parade starts at 12noon sharp, and I think it took about three quarters an hour. The main street is closed for the event.
If you buy the Chronicle newspaper, there is a map inside of where the parade goes.
Crowds line the streets from three deep and more. They estimated that 80,000 people watched it this year!
We were at the start, thankgoodness, as we didn't take any seating with us!
It is held on the 1st Saturday of the Carnival of Flowers, which is in the middle of September.
Check out their website for details about next years.
Toowoomba Information Centre
Your 1st stop when entering Toowoomba, should be the marvellous TOURIST INFORMATION CENTRE.
It is stocked full of brochures, containing all the information you could ever want, there a lovely helpful staff, clean Toilets, and a Cafe.
You can pick up a free map of the city area, and also the Tourist drive map, this is well worth doing.
Nice souvenirs are available at reasonable prices, also Books on the area.
Brochures are FREE OF CHARGE.
OPEN DAILY 9 - 5pm.
Address: Corner James and Kitchener Streets
Directions: Coming from Brisbane, follow the main road which is the Warrego highway that goes into Cohoe street, then into James street. The Information centre is located on the left hand side of the road. Off street parking is available.
Phone: (07) 4639 3797
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