The Best Things to Do in Toowoomba, Queensland [2024 Guide]

Sunset in Toowoomba Australia

Tucked away in the rolling landscapes of the Darling Downs region, Toowoomba is a thriving city that seamlessly blends the tranquillity of rural living with the vibrancy of urban life. Known for its lush parks, rich history, and thriving arts scene, Toowoomba is a city that deserves to be on every traveller’s bucket list. With a plethora of exciting activities and attractions, your visit to Toowoomba is bound to be an unforgettable experience. So, let’s dive in and discover the best things to do in Toowoomba, Queensland.

Discover the Quintessential Charm of Laurel Bank Park

Nestled on Margaret Street and spanning over 4.5 hectares, Laurel Bank Park is a picturesque haven that holds the heart of Toowoomba. The park features picturesque walking paths, picnic tables, and playgrounds. Its well-manicured gardens are a true feast for the eyes, perfect for a relaxing stroll or a romantic picnic.

A unique feature of the park is its scented garden, which adds a pleasing aroma to your visit. The park is home to diverse flora, including a collection of exotic trees. Visitors can enjoy various recreational activities, such as a playground for children, picnic areas for families and friends, a gazebo for relaxation, and croquet greens for sports enthusiasts. With all these facilities, Laurel Bank Park is ideal for a fun-filled day out in beautiful Toowoomba. It’s a must-visit during your trip to Toowoomba.

Immerse Yourself in Nature at Queen’s Park Botanic Gardens

For nature enthusiasts, a visit to the Queen’s Park Botanic Gardens is a must. The park, which dates back to the 1800s, is home to a beautiful array of flowers, trees, and plants imported from around the world. Whether you fancy a picnic under the shade of the trees or a leisurely stroll amidst the vibrant flowers, Queen’s Park Botanic Gardens offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Meet the Friendly Ducks at Lake Annand Park

Another gem in Toowoomba’s crown, Lake Annand Park is a popular recreational spot that offers a range of activities for visitors of all ages. The park features a large lake, a lagoon, and a variety of habitats, making it a paradise for bird watchers and nature lovers. Don’t forget to feed the ducks – it’s a delightful experience for both kids and adults alike.

Savour Local Delights at the Farmer’s Market

Every Saturday, the Toowoomba Farmer’s Market comes alive with a bustling crowd of locals and tourists eager to sample the region’s fresh produce and artisan goods. The market offers a feast for the senses, from hand-made bread and cheese to local meats and honey. Whether you’re a foodie or a casual shopper, the Farmer’s Market is a quintessential Toowoomba experience.

Celebrate Spring at the Carnival of Flowers

If you’re planning your trip in September, make sure to time your visit to coincide with the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers. This 30-day festival is a vibrant celebration of spring, where the city comes alive with a riot of colours and a plethora of fun activities.

This annual celebration has become a magnet for nearly 200,000 visitors, drawn not only by the riot of colours offered by an endless variety of flowers but also by the innovative garden designs showcased. An array of food and wine offerings further enhances the festival atmosphere. From live music and food fairs to arts and crafts and the iconic street parade, the Carnival of Flowers promises a memorable experience.

Hunt for Treasures at Thrift Stores

Toowoomba’s bohemian vibe is perfectly reflected in its numerous thrift stores. These stores are a treasure trove of unique finds, from vintage clothes and accessories to rare books and antique furniture. Some of the popular thrift stores in the city include Lifeline Vintage Wardrobe, Save The Children Op Shop, and the Salvation Army Family Store. So, put on your shopping shoes and prepare to hunt for amazing bargains!

Explore the Bustling Toowoomba Farmer’s Markets

A trip to the Toowoomba Farmer’s Market offers a delightful insight into the region’s rich agricultural heritage. Held every Saturday at the Cobb+Co Museum, the market is a gastronomic paradise featuring local meat, hand-made bread, fresh herbs, and more. It’s the perfect place to sample the flavours of the Darling Downs and buy fresh produce directly from the farmers.

Unwind with Delicious Food and Drinks at Fitzy’s

Fitzy’s is more than just your average pub – it’s an impressive hospitality and entertainment venue that caters to everyone’s needs with its three bars, award-winning restaurant, and gaming lounge. You’ll find an extensive a la carte menu at Fitzy’s, making it a popular hub for dining, functions, socialising, or even just grabbing a coffee. It has a wide selection of craft beers, wines, and cocktails, along with a delicious menu featuring crowd favourites like Tasmanian salmon, grilled barramundi, and a mouth-watering plant-based salad.

This family-owned venue also features a casual craft beer and whiskey bar at the front of the hotel called Tapestry. It offers counter-style meals and live music on weekends. 

Admire the Vibrant Street Art

Art enthusiasts will be thrilled to discover Toowoomba’s vibrant street art scene. In 2014, the First Coat Street Art Festival transformed the city’s streets into a world-class gallery featuring works from talented artists. Over the years, the number of murals has increased to over 100, with 80 of them created during the festivals. These murals come in a range of styles and purposes, depicting local history and culture, as well as abstract designs. You can take a leisurely stroll through the heart of the city and be mesmerised by the colourful murals adorning the buildings and laneways. In addition to murals, there are also several sculptures scattered around the town.

Visit the Heritage-listed Spring Bluff Train Station

The Spring Bluff Train Station, a heritage-listed site, is a charming piece of history that comes alive in spring. Located a short drive from the city centre, the station is adorned with vibrant blooms and lush green grass, offering visitors a glimpse into the region’s past. Time your visit to coincide with the arrival and departure of the train for an unforgettable experience.

Savour a Scrumptious Breakfast at The Finch

For coffee connoisseurs, a visit to The Finch is a must. This cosy café on Ruthven Street is known for its delicious breakfast menu and exceptional coffee. From thyme and potato hash to pancakes lavished with local honey, The Finch offers a gastronomic delight that is sure to start your day on a high note.

Related: How to plan a romantic weekend away in Toowoomba

Explore Towoomba’s Cool Art Scene

Explore the Toowoomba region and indulge in a variety of artistic experiences that are designed to inspire and excite you – in addition to the incredible street art we’ve already mentioned. Although it may not have all the creative assets of a major metropolis, Toowoomba has a vibrant and diverse art scene that is guaranteed to impress.

The Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery, which was established in 1937, is the oldest public art gallery in regional Queensland and pays tribute to the city’s rich artistic heritage. Situated in the bustling heart of the city, it serves as an excellent starting point to explore Toowoomba’s exciting art scene.

The Toowoomba Art Society, located just a few steps away from the magnificent Queen’s Park Botanic Gardens, is a purpose-built gallery space that was established in 1925. Since then, it has embraced all forms of art, including painting, drawing, printmaking, and art in bark. The gallery acts as a central hub for the local art community and offers classes, gallery tours, and events.

If you’re willing to take a short 40-minute drive northwest of the city, you’ll reach the quaint village of Goombungee. Here, you’ll find the Rosalie Gallery, which is a small but modern gallery that is considered a hidden gem. The gallery boasts impressive lighting and space and holds monthly rotating exhibitions that showcase a diverse range of artists, from the traditional to the avant-garde.

These creative attractions offer a diverse and engaging cultural experience, cementing Toowoomba’s status as a prominent artistic hub in Queensland.

Experience the Charm of Crows Nest

Bunnyconnellen Crows Nest
Enjoying the scenery at Bunnyconnellen, Crows Nest (Tourism Events Queensland)

A 40-minute drive from Toowoomba will take you to the quaint town of Crows Nest, famous for its antique stores and the iconic Crows Nest Soft Drinks. Spending a few hours in this historic place can be a delightful experience. One of the must-visit places is the Crows Nest Centenary Park where you can see the Jimmy Crow statue. 

When in Crows Nest, make sure to visit the family-run Holland Wines. For 15 years, this vineyard has been producing specialty shiraz, chardonnay, and other grape varietals that you won’t want to miss.

Relish a Scenic Meal from Urth Cafe & Co

Urth Cafe & Co, a family-run business on Hume Street, serves up delicious breakfast and lunch options. The café also offers fantastic coffee, smoothies, and an array of delectable sweet treats. Grab a grazing box to go and enjoy a picnic in one of Toowoomba’s many parks and gardens.

Explore the Stunning Ravensbourne National Park

The stunning Ravensbourne National Park is essential to the region’s Aboriginal history. Strap on your hiking shoes and explore the park’s beautiful trails, or enjoy a picnic at the Gus Beutel lookout, which offers gorgeous views over the Scenic Rim and Lockyer Valley.

Embark on a Trail Ride Adventure

With its natural beauty and expansive landscapes, Toowoomba offers the perfect setting for a trail ride. Cowboy Up is an excellent option for those looking for a great trail riding experience just a 20-minute drive north of Toowoomba in Crows. This family-run business is headed by Peter and Gillian Gould, a husband and wife duo with over three decades of experience in the western horse industry.

Peter’s remarkable expertise in the field has even led him to work with horses on numerous film sets, where he taught actors and extras to ride, including Baz Luhrman’s ‘Australia’. The Goulds have curated some amazing trails which offer a one-of-a-kind opportunity to experience Australia’s natural beauty. As you move along these trails, you’re likely to see wallabies, wild deer, and a variety of bird species amidst the lush landscapes that form a picturesque backdrop to this truly Australian adventure.

Step Back in Time at the Cobb+Co Museum

Cobb n Co Museum Toowooma

Immerse yourself in Toowoomba’s rich history at the iconic Cobb+Co Museum. The museum, home to the National Carriage Collection, offers a fascinating walk through Australia’s history and development. The museum is a treasure trove of historical artefacts, from gorgeous carriages used by English Royalty to iconic Cobb+Co coaches.

Dine at the Chic Sweet Talk Coffee

Sweet Talk Coffee is a chic café in the heart of Toowoomba CBD that offers a delectable breakfast and lunch menu. The café has a light and breezy interior and indoor and outdoor seating areas.

This café is the perfect place to enjoy a delicious brunch guilt-free. Whether you prefer to grab a takeaway coffee and breakfast to-go or sit down and enjoy the full table service provided by the friendly and relaxed staff, you won’t be disappointed. The menu features creative and innovative twists on your favourite breakfast dishes, as well as some seriously Instagram-worthy coffee.

Whether you are an avid foodie or a casual diner, Sweet Talk Coffee guarantees a culinary experience in Toowoomba that will leave you impressed.

Catch the Sunrise at Picnic Point

Sunrise-Picnic-Point-Toowoomba

You can’t come to Toowoomba and not stop at State heritage-listed Picnic Point Parklands. This cherished parkland offers visitors a captivating visual treat with sweeping views of the Table Top Mountain and the Lockyer Valley. Whether basking in the early morning sun rays or enjoying a delightful picnic lunch amidst nature, Picnic Point is an idyllic must-visit location in Toowoomba.

Picnic Point is not just known for its beautiful scenery, but it also offers a great starting point for a variety of walks down the escarpment and through the native bush below. There are five different walking tracks, providing visitors with numerous options to explore and enjoy the lush surroundings. If you plan to spend some time here, you can download an official map of these walking trails to help you navigate this beautiful location.

Wine and Dine at Season’s on Ruthven

seasons-on-ruthven-toowoomba-restaurant

Season’s on Ruthven is the perfect spot to unwind with a glass of wine, a delicious seafood meal, or the finest cuts of meat available. Unsurprisingly, they are considered one of the best restaurants in Toowoomba. The menu offers a variety of dining options, such as seared King Sea scallops, Moreton Bay bugs, eye fillet steak, and 12-hour marinated beef brisket.

Conquer Table Top Mountain

If you’re an adventure seeker, then hiking up to Table Top Mountain is an experience you shouldn’t miss. The mountain is situated at the base of the Great Dividing Range and has a completely flat and treeless top, providing panoramic views of the Lockyer Valley and the eastern escarpment of Toowoomba. Although the hike is challenging, the stunning views of the region make it worthwhile. Pack enough water and wear sturdy shoes to enjoy the hike to the fullest.

Enjoy a Cup of Coffee at Ground Up Espresso Bar

Tucked away in an alleyway off Ruthven Street, Ground Up Espresso Bar is a hidden gem that offers fantastic coffee and delicious bites for breakfast and lunch. Surrounded by vibrant street art, this cosy café is a favourite among locals and tourists alike.

Relax at the Japanese Garden

For a serene experience, head to the Japanese Garden’ Ju Raku En, which roughly translates as ‘to enjoy peace and longevity in a public place’. Located on the University of Southern Queensland campus’s northern side, Australia’s most extensive, traditionally designed Japanese stroll garden has 3km of paths, 230 species of Japanese and Australian native trees and plants, and lawns combined in seamless and restful harmony.

Enjoy a Feast at Urban Grounds Cafe

Located in one of Toowoomba’s iconic Queenslander-style homes, Urban Grounds Cafe offers all-day dining options. The café is conveniently located near Laurel Bank Park so it’s the perfect place to grab a meal or snack after exploring the park.

Embark on a Journey through History at Queens Park

Queens Park, also known as the Toowoomba Botanic Gardens, is a sprawling park that dates back to the 1870s. Offering a variety of attractions, including playgrounds, an off-leash area for dogs, and exceptional garden displays during the Carnival of Flowers, Queens Park is a must-visit during your trip to Toowoomba.

Indulge in Korean and Japanese Cuisine at Kajoku

For a unique dining experience, head to Kajoku, a restaurant combining the best Korean BBQ and Japanese food. Located in one of Toowoomba’s historic buildings, Kajoku offers various dishes, including BBQ, fried chicken, Bibimbap, dumplings, and more.

Treat Yourself to Delicious Pastries from The Baker’s Duck

Toowoomba is known for many things, but one experience that you definitely don’t want to miss is a visit to The Baker’s Duck. It’s a popular spot among the locals, thanks to the artisan sourdough and delicious pastries that they serve. If you plan to visit, make sure to arrive early to avoid long queues and get your hands on their scrumptious treats.

The Baker’s Duck is a unique collaboration that brings together two of Toowoomba’s most prominent hospitality families: Ground Up Espresso and The Baker’s Duck. They use locally-sourced organic ingredients and traditional baking techniques to create their exceptional products. If you’re a fan of specialty coffee and artisan sourdough, you won’t be disappointed.

Take a Hike in the Bunya Mountains National Park

Located about an hour and a half away from Toowoomba, the Bunya Mountains National Park is a nature-lover’s paradise. The park features winding walking trails, towering Bunya Trees, and an abundance of local wildlife, making it a great spot for a day trip.

Get a Workout at the Ravensbourne National Park

For those who love the great outdoors, a trip to the Ravensbourne National Park is a must. The park offers a variety of hiking trails, ranging from short walks to more challenging hikes. Whether you fancy a leisurely stroll or a vigorous workout, Ravensbourne National Park has something to offer.

Get In Touch With The Past at The DownsSteam Tourist Railway & Museum

Dowsteam Tourist Railway & Museum Toowoomba

The DownsSteam Tourist Railway & Museum, situated in the Drayton suburb of Toowoomba, is a must-visit destination for rail enthusiasts and history buffs. Volunteers run this non-profit attraction, and it boasts an impressive collection of historical displays and railway memorabilia.

Visitors can tour the museum’s preserved and repurposed classic carriages. The Dreamtime Journey Coach is a highlight of the visit. It is an SX coach that has been transformed into a permanent art installation celebrating the significant contributions made by Indigenous people in the construction of Queensland’s Range Railway.

Entry to this unique cultural institution is by donation and there is also a charming on-site gift shop.


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