Travelling Around: Toowoomba, Queensland

ravensbourne-np-11
Courtesy of Dept. of National Parks, Sports and Racing.

Ah, my home for the last 6 years.

Toowoomba is a city located at least an hours drive away from anything fun. It’s, like, 3 hours away from any beach and about half that distance to anything interesting in Brisbane (capital City of Queensland). It’s got a nice selection of parks, including the Queensland State Rose Garden, and is most famous for a festival that happens once a year in September for Spring. We’re in Australia. If you look on trip advisor or any other travel site they will recommend two things for you: the Japanese Gardens (better even than gardens in actual Japan. – I can say this because I’ve been to many such gardens) and the carnival of flowers. We used to have Easterfest a  christian music festival around (you guessed it) Easter, but 2016 marks the first year that it will not be happening due to problems around money I believe.

What infuriates me most about my city is that there is nothing to do. There are no free zoos, or other attractions, and, like I mentioned, we’re 3 hours away from the beach. Also our major bookshop counter is at like 1 which is not enough. I’m half tempted to open one, only everyone I’ve talked to about it (read: my parents – not big readers)has told me that analogue books are on the way out. (on another note: I am detirmined to not let that happen. I will buy all the books if I have to. All of them.)

So when you wake up in Toowoomba with nothing to do, I give you this day.

1. Breakfast at “joes”. 

Across the road from Newtown park there is a relatively new café called Extraordinary Joeit sports everything from  coffee and tea to all day breakfast and various sweet options. So take a park at the park and walk over and pick up some breakfast they’re open from 6:30 am on weekdays and 7:00am on Saturday, so pop by nice and early to get the pick of the crop. Once you’ve got your food in hand, instead of taking a seat at the cafe, head back across the road to the park and walk around. It can get magical pretty quickly in the early morning. You might be lucky and catch some god rays. There’s a playground at the other end if you have kids, but with the trees lining the path you might find they’re just as happy playing among them.

2. Ravensbourne National Park

Located about 40 minutes drive from our first location sits our second. Ravensbourne National Park is “small remnant of the vast forests that once covered the Great Dividing Range.” My cousin got married there, it’s absolutely beautiful. But don’t worry, it’s not like you’re going to be dodging weddings right and left, Ravensbourne is big enough for everyone to get married while still retaining it’s beauteous backdrop. It has hiking trails and camping grounds and interesting little things to look at.

This is the part where if you’ve thought ahead, you could find yourself a patch of grass and have a picnic. Unfortunately domestic animals are not allowed, and the risk of ticks is real, but there is enough fun to be had on the grounds without either critter bothering you.

3. Chocolate Cottage, Highfields. 

By now I might have given up and gone home to read, but not you I can see. Next up on our list I have the Chocolate Cottage. It’s on the way back from Ravensbourne and you won’t want to miss it. Unfortunately it’s not a cottage made from chocolate. Instead it boasts home made chocolates a la Chocolat. Not only that but if you go through the cottage you will find several other cottages housing a patchwork shop, a shoe shop, and several knick knack shops. But high end ones. If you’re visiting I’m sure that you’ll find all the gifts to give to people here. (unless you’re looking for Koala pencil end sticker-oner things.) I never buy anything and yet I still love looking through everything you’ve got. Don’t let yourself miss out on this because you’re lazy like me.

4. Laurel Bank Park

You’ve obviously not had enough of parks (the only thing Toowoomba has to offer) so I shall recommend one more in the waning afternoon sun. If you come at the right time you’ll be able to see enough flowers to last you a life time (including an abundance of Tulips and pictures made of flowers) if you come at any other time however you will find it far less crowded and just as interesting. My parents were married in the scented gardens. Designed, I believe, for blind people so they could still experience flowers or something. If you follow the path you’ll find lots of interesting little eddies of flowers and other interesting things, but if you trek on your own you’ll probably also find them. They’re not hiding. This will be a nice way to end the day. Just hang out until it gets dark, after that you’re on your own. I have no life.

I hope this insight into my city will assist you in your trip planning.

Get Reading. Get Travelling.

Ash

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