The highlight of our family adventure to "the garden city" was visiting its gardens, parks and playgrounds. Toowoomba is only a ninety minute drive West of Brisbane, which means it is just the right distance from the city to keep the back seat passengers quiet for a while. Here is a list of our family favorite places around Toowoomba.
Picnic Point is a well known Toowoomba icon with three playgrounds for children, stunning lookouts and a convenient cafe with views overlooking The Lockyer Valley. During The Carnival of Flowers, they also have live music and beautiful floral displays in the gardens.
The historic gardens at Queens Park are great to visit during Autumn, when the leaves are turning or during Spring for the colorful floral displays. There is an excellent children's playground in the gardens and the Margaret Street Markets are held under the trees there every first Sunday of the month. If you're feeling hungry, Cafe Valetta over the road is perfectly located for lunch.
We spent an entire morning wandering around admiring the flowers and statues at Laurel Bank Park. During the Carnival of Flowers, they have a themed floral display and food stalls to keep all the family happy. We ate lunch at Angelos House Cafe, which I highly recommend and you will find it right next to an fun children's playground within the gardens themselves.
These are Australia's biggest Traditional Japanese Gardens and the name translates as "Long Life and Happiness in a public garden". We certainly felt calm and relaxed as we enjoyed watching the reflections of the 2500 azaleas in the pools and these gardens are a must visit for anyone passing through Toowoomba.
It is well worth driving fifteen minutes north of Toowoomba to The Chocolate Cottage and Cafe. The historic cottage is part of The Village Green at Highfields and overlooks a grassy courtyard filled with tables and surrounded by tempting gift shops.
Spring Bluff Station (1864) is Heritage listed and a major stop on The Cobb and Co. Trail. It is surrounded by well maintained gardens and has a very sweet cafe, which is the perfect spot to stop in on your way back down The Great Dividing Range, via Murphy's Creek.
Horse drawn carriage enthusiasts will enjoy every minute of their visit to this interesting museum. There are fifty horse drawn vehicles on display, including the original Cob and Co. coach which last ran back in 1924. The museum is located opposite Queens Park and also run a variety of heritage trade workshops, such as silversmithing and leatherwork.