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Tourist Drives in Toowoomba & the Granite Belt

Home > Granite Belt > Escape the City | Family | Outdoor | Picnic Spots
by Rachel Timmins (subscribe)
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 flowers monument
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.

Lake Annand winter Toowoomba
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.

Table Top Mt Toowoomba
Table Top Mountain, from Duggan Park. Bushwalking www.weekendnotes.com/bush-walking-duggan-park-toowoomba/.


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.

autumn leaves toowoomba
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.

Toowoomba Drayton Cemetery James Byrne headstone
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.

Purple artichoke Laurel Bank Park pond
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.

Pigotts toowoomba facade
Pigott's historic façade, Russel St, Toowoomba City.


Top 10 Granite Belt Tourist Drives

Top 10 Granite Belt Tourist Drives

1. Sprint Route: 137km sprint car racing via Allan, Cunningham, Pratten, Leyburn, Karara and Thane.

2. Settlers' Route: 72km via Swan Creek, Yangan, Swanfels Valley, Tannymorel, Killarney. Around Main Range Mountains, untouched scenic areas.

3. Falls Drive: 190km breathtaking views via Queen Mary Falls, Carr's Lookout, The Head, Teviot Falls, Boona and Aratula. Add to that, off-road routes at river crossings.

4. Sunflower Route: 66km via Massie, Allora and Glengallan. Sunflowers in summer months.

Mary Poppins Allora house Travers
Mary Poppins author PL Travers home in Allora. Image byhttps://www.travelbelles.com/2013/05/the-mary-poppins-house-in-queensland-australia/.


5. Cedar Route: 62km via Swan Creek, Freestone, Gladfield, Goomburra Section of Main Range National Park. Cedars once in abundance, now more about the eucalypt forest.

6. Granite Belt Drive: 12km by fragrant fruit orchards through hamlets Dalveen, Cottonvale, Thulijbah and The Summit. Parallel with New England Highway.

7. Armistice Way: 34km via Thulimbah, Poziers, Amiens. WWI heroes in remembrance. Fruit & vege province.

8. Highland Drive: 31km via Ballandean, Storm King, Eukey. Natural paradise ending with wineries.

9. Shearer's Way: 90km via Texas Rd in the west, Glenlyon Dam Rd, Mingoola Rd to Bruxner Highway. Admire Glenlyon Dam and Sundown National Park.

10. Oracles Way: 64km back roads to Tenterfield via Amosfield, Mt Lindsay Rd past national parks and rustic farmland.

Maps & further info.
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Why? Stunning vistas, wineries and sites around Toowoomba and the Granite Belt.
Where: Toowoomba & Granite Belt
Cost: Fuel costs.
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