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Queens Park Toowoomba

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by Rachel Timmins (subscribe)
I am a freelance copywriter and photojournalist based in Toowoomba. I have had poetry, blogs, devotionals, fiction, reviews and articles published and have been an editor for a poetry magazine.
Published December 12th 2021
So much in one beautiful place
Queens Park Botanic Gardens flowers tourists
Each year the Queens Park Botanic Gardens attracts tourists from around the world.

Queens Park is the most well-known park in Toowoomba. Driving down the iconic camphor laurel-lined Margaret Street, the park lets you know you've arrived in a unique western town. Picturesque and peaceful, these 25 hectares of mature trees and lush grass have a strong allure.

State heritage-listed, the park first opened in the 1800s and is divided into three distinct areas: Queens Park Botanic Gardens, Vera Lacaze Memorial Park and the greater park area.

Queens Park Botanic Gardens sandstone archway Campbell St cherry blossoms
Lindsay St sandstone archway is a pretty backdrop for the cherry blossoms.

The greater park area is alive with birds and evergreens. Birdlife in Queens Park includes sulphur-crested cockatoos, galahs, Indian miners and king parrots. Tree-lined avenues and woodlands offer walkers the chance to simply unwind as they wend their way. Attractive hedges border the dog off-leash area and is also a relaxing place to take a seat. Picnic benches dot the perimeters. You'll often find soccer teams enjoying a high-spirited game at the top end of the park. Cricket teams have a pitch and facilities in the elevated northern end. The extensive playgrounds are popular with families. Queens Park playgrounds are for people of 'all-abilities'. The 1920s Buffalo-Springfield steamroller arrived for work in 1937 and today's kids still love to climb it and pretend to drive it.

Throughout the year Toowoomba's Queens Park plays host to a huge variety of events, most notably the Carnival of Flowers and the Festival of Food and Wine.

Queens Park greater park area dog off leash evergreens hedges
The Queens Park greater park area provides an expansive dog off-leash area.

At the bottom of Queens Park stands a wall of basalt stone from the ridge of the extinct volcano. On the corner of Hume and Margaret Streets, the Vera Lacaze Park/Memorial honours Toowoomba's first woman Alderman. Once it was the site of the first public swimming baths, made entirely of wood (1894), beside the park's iconic fountains.

Parterre Garden Queens Park Botanic Gardens Toowoomba statue
The perfect parterre garden, Queens Park Botanic Gardens.

The Queens Park Botanic Gardens hosts world-class gardens each year for the Carnival of Flowers and they are always evolving and improving. Cherry blossoms rub shoulders with the evergreen corner, a Jurassic era Wollemi Pine and a picturesque parterre garden. In winter the roses bloom along an avenue. In summer, the Star of Bethlehem denotes that Christmas has arrived. In spring, a person could become intoxicated by perfumes and colours offered up by the new blooms. Horticultural hubs also include local native shrubs, camellias, cycad and palm gardens. Plus there are picnic tables in a shady, greened area for those who want seclusion.

Wollemi pine Queens Park Botanic Gardens Jurassic
The Jurassic-era Wollemi Pine in the Queens Park Botanic Gardens.

The naval cannon feature of the Botanic Gardens was donated in 1911 from the Marine Defence Forces in Brisbane. It's a wrought iron muzzle-loading, rifled gun which had been used in training exercises.

In the centre of the gardens, the Alfred Thomas Memorial is of social and historical significance as it is named after a prominent local figure. Alfred Thomas was supervising engineer at the Southern and Western Railway of the 1870s. His work includes the railways south to Stanthorpe and west from Warwick. John Garget worked in partnership with Thomas. His memorial is framed by mature trees and gardens.

Alfred Thomas Memorial Queens Park Botanic Gardens delphiniums
The Alfred Thomas Memorial dressed up with delphiniums during the Carnival of Flowers.

Not far from the memorial to the southwest is the Emma Miller memorial plaque. Emma Miller was a suffragist known as 'the mother of the labour movement'. Her efforts included emancipation of men as well as women. She lived from 1839 to 1917 and gave her final public speech in the Botanic Gardens in 1917.

Towering at the top of the Botanic Gardens are a pair of grey granite columns and an archway donated by the National Australia Bank in 1987. It's an impressive feature together with the nearby sandstone archway into the park from Lindsay Street. Another entrance lies at the Campbell Street end.

Botanic Gardens Toowoomba National Australia Bank columns Queens Park
The National Australia Bank donated these beautiful columns in 1987.

Off the Campbell Street entrance, the interpretive shelter provides memories of Toowoomba's past and is a nod to the former site of the historic conservatory-cum-hothouse, 1909 to 1950s. A shady place to rest, the shelter displays Interpretive panels including artefacts to interest history buffs and tourists.

The Queens Park Botanic Gardens are a popular wedding venue. Barbecue and picnic facilities and expansive grassed areas offer families places for bicycles, dog walking or just lying on the grass with a good book.

Interpretive Shelter Queens Park Botanic Gardens Toowoomba
The Botanic Gardens attracts history buffs and tourists to the Interpretive Shelter.
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Why? Family fun, sport, gardens, botanical interest, dog-walking, picnicking, history.
When: Any time.
Phone: 131 872
Where: Toowoomba City
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Great article Rachael of a beautiful place. It looks like you could spend hours there to fully appreciate it.
by Neil Follett (score: 3|4542) 418 days ago
Such a centrepiece of Toowoomba. I love visiting during the Carnival of Flowers
by Gillian Ching (score: 3|6193) 417 days ago
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