I am a chief writer for Weekend Notes, a copywriter, published poet and Editor of poetry magazine ‘Fruit Salad’ (on hold). I also write children's fiction and inspirational pieces.
Published May 5th 2017
Lakes, breaks & drakes
Toowoomba, the Garden City and gateway to the west.
Soak up the autumn sunshine as you visit Toowoomba's beauty spots. Begin your journey at the Toowoomba Visitor Information Centre where you can obtain the official tourist drive map. Twenty-six places of interest are listed.
Tourist Drive Toowoomba
Lake Annand is a must. Refreshing and peaceful, away from the city. It has BBQs and a fitness playground. There are camellias blooming seasonally, a Japanese bridge, and you're able to feed the ducks. There's space to play with a ball or cuddle up on a picnic blanket. Weeping willows line Kitchener St en route.
Rugging up around Lake Annand in winter.
Picnic Point, the ultimate panorama of the Lockyer Valley, the Great Dividing Range and nearby Table Top Mountain. If you arrive early you should see kangaroos feeding around the natural pool. Wedge-tailed eagles and other birds. Easy rainforest walk. A spot of aerobics around the scenic walks, steep or level. Café wining and dining, taking in stunning views. Play areas and of course, picnics.
Heading off down Leslie St you can sneak views of the valley or spy out some of the most gorgeous homes in town. Next stop, the Waterbird Habitat. Wetlands cover 7.6 hectares. Identify birds using the on-site guide. Quiet meander and family fun in the duck-hide. Reedy pond and picnicking.
Turning autumn leaves.
The leaves are turning russet along your route. The spectacular Japanese Gardens off Regent St, Darling Heights, are among some of the best in the world. They feature a rock garden, waterfall, stream, islands, maple trees, cherry trees and azaleas in spring, weeping willows, oriental-red bridges and ornate gates.
Passing through Drayton, view an original settlement area to the Royal Bulls Head Inn, St Matthews Church, the industrial area, the Drayton and Toowoomba Cemetery and Harristown Saleyards.
Spot the celebrity headstones, eg the Most Reverend James Byrne, at the Drayton & Toowoomba Cemetery.
Laurel Bank Park and Scented Gardens sometimes outshines the Botanic Gardens with its sensational spring gardens. The rainbow of roses are out in the cooler months. Crocket may be a unique sight for the children, if in play. A garden-train to be seated in, wisteria arbour walk, scented gardens, water feature with colourful lotus blossoms, picnicking, loads of space and parking, plus a refreshing rest.
Laurel Bank Park Scented Gardens and water feature.
Listed on your map are many other sights including the Mort Estate, historic houses and downtown buildings (recently given facelifts), the old Post Office and clock tower, the Cobb & Co Museum and Webb Park.