Toowoomba is one of Australia's largest provincial cities, and the
nation's second largest inland city after Canberra, the national
capital. The major centre on the Darling Downs, Toowoomba is nationally
renowned for its annual Flower Festival, held each year in September.
Where is it?: Toowoomba is located 132 km west of Brisbane, and two
hours drive from the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast beaches.
Things to see and do
Toowoomba's history has been preserved in its buildings. Brilliant
examples of fine architecture drawing from the city's wealthy
beginning's include Toowoomba City Hall, the National Trust Royal
Bull's Head Inn and many examples in the heritage listed Russell Street.
Toowoomba is home to the Cobb & Co Museum, hailing to the famous
mail company's beginnings as a small mail run in the 1800s to transport
mail and passengers to Brisbane and beyond. It also houses Australia's
largest collection of horse-drawn vehicles.
Picnic Point Lookout
Picnic Point is one of the most popular recreation sites in
Toowoomba, for both the city's residents and the thousands of visitors
who come each year to savour the beauty of the Garden City.Situated on
a scenic peak of the Great Dividing Range, Picnic Point presents the
perfect combination of excellent facilities and stunning views.
It offers diverse panoramas that encompass the Lockyer Valley to the
east and the City of Toowoomba and fertile farming lands to the west.
At the entrance to the park, landscaped open areas are a drawcard for
families and those who enjoy the chance to simply relax in beautiful
Toowoomba is nationally renowned for its annual Flower Festival,
held each year in September. Many of the city's major parks and gardens
are especially prepared for the Festival, which also includes a
prominent Home Garden Competition, with persons able to visit
participating homes and gardens for inspection, and a Parade with
flower-themed floats. Easterfest is held annually over the Easter
The city's reputation as 'The Garden City' is highlighted during the
Australian Carnival of Flowers festival held in September each year.
Deciduous trees from around the world line many of the parks, giving a
display of Autumn colour rarely see in Australia, a continent that is
almost entirely forested with evergreens.
The unique Bunya Mountains National Park protects the largest
remaining Bunya Pine rainforests in the world. The mountains are the
only outlying section of the Great Dividing Range, rising abruptly from
the rich Darling Downs & South Burnett farmland.
Head north from Toowoomba along the Great Dividing Range and explore an
area that offers you striking scenery with an intriguing mix of natural
and cultural attractions. The towns and hamlets of Highfields,
Cabarlah, Hampton, Pechey, Geham, Meringandan and Crows Nest have
cafes, nurseries, antique stores and museums.
The Granite Belt, to the south of Toowoomba, is focused around
Stanthorpe and is bordered by the picturesque Girraween & Sundown
National Parks. The Granite Belt is situated on the inner or eastern
spine of the Great Dividing Range at an altitude of more than 800
metres. It is home to Queensland’s premier wine region (Granite
Belt Wine Country).
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The city sits on the crest of the Great Dividing Range, around 700
metres above sea level. A few streets are on the eastern side of the
edge of the range, but the majority of the city is west of the divide.
Toowoomba occupies the edge of the range and the low ridges behind it.
Two valleys run north from the southern boundary, each arising from
springs either side of Middle Ridge near Spring Street at an altitude
of around 680 m. These waterways, East Creek and West Creek flow
together just north of the CBD to form Gowrie Creek.
There are suburban bus services throughout the city. A limited
service runs Saturday, however there are no Sunday services. There are
bus services to Brisbane and other centres via commercial intercity
coach services. Toowoomba is not included in TransLink the Southeast
Queensland integrated public transport system. Toowoomba has a twice a
week rail service from Brisbane to Charleville, Queensland and return
on QR's Westlander.
Toowoomba's colonial history traces back to 1816 when English
botanist and explorer Allan Cunningham arrived in Australia from Brazil
and in June 1827 discovered 16,000 km2 of rich farming and grazing land
bordered on the east by the Great Dividing Range and situated 100 miles
(160 km) west of the settlement of Moreton Bay. 13 years later when
George and Patrick Leslie established Toolburra Station 56 miles
south-west of Toowoomba the first settlers arrived on the Downs and
established a township of bark-slab shops called The Springs which was
soon renamed Drayton.
Towards the end of the 1840s Drayton had grown to the point where it
had its own newspaper, general store, trading post and the Royal Bull's
Head Inn which was built by William Horton and still stands today.
Horton is regarded as the real founder of Toowoomba, although he was
not the first man to live there. Drovers and wagon masters spread the
news of the new settlement at Toowoomba. By 1858 Toowoomba was growing
fast. The first town council election took place on 4 January 1861 and
William Henry Groom won. In 1892 the Under Secretary of Public Land
proclaimed Toowoomba and the surrounding areas as a township and in
1904 Toowoomba was declared a city.