Could Toowoomba be the coolest country town in Australia? With an international graffiti festival, beautiful parks and tree-lined streets, more delicious eating options than you can imagine, epic hiking spots and a stunning winery, it’s well on its way.
If you’re looking for a weekend getaway or awesome day trip, we say take the 1.5 hour drive up the range, stat. Here are our picks of the best things to do in Toowoomba while you’re there.
There’s no shortage of amazing spots to eat well in the old T-ba. Here’s some of the best breakfast, lunch and dinners in town.
The Baker's Duck
Open only on Saturday mornings, hidden gem The Baker's Duck pumps out some of the best bread and baked goods you could imagine. They often sell out so if you want to get your hands on the strawberry cheese cake Danish or a scorpion croissant, get there early.
Red Bench was once the tuck shop of the expansive Toowoomba Grammar School across the road. The actual red bench that kids once sat on is still there, but everything else is modern including the freshly made house doughnuts with nutella and excellent espresso.
Ground Up Espresso
If you’re looking for all the Toowoomba hipsters, you’ll find them down a graffiti-covered alleyway off the main street at Ground Up Espresso. And for good reason; Ground Up nail coffee and do a great trade in breakfasts foods. We love the bacon and egg brioche on Sunday mornings.
What do you get when you add a beautiful rooftop and flavoursome Brazilian BBQ? Heaven. Well actually Muller Bros. This is one of the most popular new spots in town known for their famous pineapple dish and perfectly cooked meats served Churrasco-style each night.
Toowoomba couldn’t be any further away from Naples, but Piccolo Papa’s divine wood-fired pizza would not be out of place in Italy. Not only do they ace the pizza trade, their breakfasts are one of the most decadent around.
First Coat Graffiti Festival
Toowoomba might be a small town, but it’s also a cool one. Where else does the local council allow buildings in the main street to be covered by huge graffiti murals? Time your visit for mid-May to see a bunch of the world’s top graf artists in action all around town.
The historical Empire Theatre boasts one of the best theatre and gig line ups by any standards. Not only is Wicked! making a stop here, but I’m looking forward to Mr Stinky, a tongue-in-cheek play from Little Britain’s David Walliams.
Laurel Bank Park
If you missed the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, don’t sweat it. Stop by Laurel Bank Park, a few minutes drive from the centre of town to see incredible seasonal flower displays. Some of Australia’s best horticulturalists work on the gardens and it shows. The never-ending expanse of tulips across the park in spring is always amazing.
Hike TableTop Mountain
If you like to sweat in between eating and sightseeing, a hike up TableTop could be in order. It’s roughly a one hour round trip by foot, but be warned: a fair portion is pretty challenging. The amazing 360 degree views over the range at the top are more than worth it though, so tie up your best walking shoes and get trekking.
Visit Toowoomba Flower Market
People take their flowers seriously here and that’s none more evident than at the Toowoomba Flower Market. Stop by to stock up on fresh, locally grown blooms at great prices. The roses are beautiful, but peony season is spectacular.
Picnic In The Japanese Garden
Talk about the unexpected, hiding inside the University of Southern Queensland is four hectares of Zen Japanese Gardens. Pack a picnic lunch and chill out next to the waterfall for an afternoon of total bliss.
Wine Tasting At Preston Peak Winery
Preston Peak’s cellar door overlooks sloping olive groves, fragrant rose gardens and produces some exceptional reds and whites. It’s the perfect spot for a relaxed wine tasting, or for those on the wedding venue hunt, and it sits opposite one of the cutest little churches around.