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By Christine Barton
Toowoomba and the Darling Downs are part of the South-East Queensland country. Situated just an hour and a half from Brisbane, and two hours from the Gold Coast, Toowoomba is accessible via two main highways. The Warrego Highway is journeyed when travelling in an easterly or westerly direction and when coming from the north or south, visitors voyage the New England Highway. This is known as Australia’s Country Way and is a scenic drive that sets the standard for the final destination, Toowoomba.
Toowoomba is positioned right on the edge of the Great Dividing Range and sits 700 metres above sea level. The high setting is idyllic in that it looks over the Lockyer Valley, offering endless, spectacular views. Toowoomba is a modern, regional capital which possesses striking heritage buildings which are blended with modern, vibrant architecture. The eminence of the history and heritage of the town through its buildings is the first thing that you will notice as you drive through the historical streets.
The other most noticeable characteristic is the abundance of gardens and parks. Toowoomba is known as Queensland’s Garden City, and it sure does live up to its title. The city boasts over 240 gardens and parks and prides itself on its internationally themed gardens. Drive up to the University of Southern Queensland Japanese Gardens and it is literally like you are entering another world. The careful preciseness and accuracy of Japan’s culture is evident in every nook and cranny of the garden and walking the beautiful paths and boardwalks offers a culturally unique experience. The Wetlands of the World and the New Zealand themed park at Lake Amand are also worth the drive, each offering charming nature experiences.
The city becomes a hub of excitement in September, when the Carnival of Flowers comes to life. If you are visiting around this time of year, be sure to go and visit and see the amazing blooms and colours. Pick up some local plants and you may even be able to take a part of this garden paradise home with you.
The city of Toowoomba offers endless cultural and recreational activities for visitors to take part in. Along with exploring the stunning gardens, be sure to discover the heritage exhibitions and museums, the antique stores and the gracious, old hotels. Venture out further into the country and you will come across boutique wineries with eye-catching vineyards, as well as stylish cafes and galleries. The museums and galleries emphasise the rural history of the city, incorporating antique and contemporary art into their exhibitions.
The countryside of Toowoomba is a food and wine lover’s paradise, with several award winning restaurants and stylish coffee shops. The local wineries produce fantastic arrays of wine, this success greatly attributable to the cool mountain air which allows the vineyards to thrive. The commitment by the locals, to gourmet food and outstanding wines, is simply a traveller’s joy.
When voyaging on a driving holiday to Toowoomba, you simply have to travel around some of the surrounding areas. Visit the Crows Nest – High Country by heading north along the Great Dividing Range. The striking scenery of the drive is simply amazing and you won’t be able to resist stopping in some of the charming towns such as Highfields, Cabarlah, Hampton and Crows Nest. The natural and cultural attractions in these towns abound and offer great resting spots on your driving adventure.
Travel along the Great Bunya Drive and view the scenic landscapes of rolling hills, lush rainforest and open forests and woodlands. Be sure to trek through the Bunya Mountains National Park and discover the incredible Australian flora and fauna, while taking time to stop and take in the breathtaking views of the scenic lookouts. Venturing further along the Great Bunya Drive, you will come across Jandowae Dam, a great place to stop for some fishing, a swim and a delicious picnic lunch. After all of this exploration, Dalby offers a welcoming rest place to relax and take it easy. Situated in the black soil plains of the Northern Darling Downs, Dalby is an ideal driving distance from Toowoomba to make it an enjoyable and charming day trip.
While visiting Toowoomba, you can chose from a wide range of accommodation options. If you wish to get back in touch with nature, you can chose to camp in one of the surrounding national parks or park your campervan in one of the local caravan parks. However, in the colder months you may wish to opt for comfort and warmth and the local Bed & Breakfasts, hotels and motels offer cosy, yet affordable accommodation for all of your needs.
Toowoomba is sure to offer something for all. It is the perfect destination to relax, take it easy and lap up the natural, surrounding beauty. The stunning views, colourful gardens and attractive architecture offer a charm and allure that is unique to this regional city. It is this allure that makes you wanting to go back for more!
About the Author: Christine Barton is a Content Writer for Discovery Car Rental Brisbane, Australia’s travel focused online car rental company. She frequently writes information about Car Rental Brisbane and travel information relating to Australia.
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