Known for its crisp country air, charming streets and that iconic annual flower carnival, a trip to Toowoomba really sells itself. The city has a vibrant foodie and music scene, not to mention its centuries-old landmarks and incredible history. But for those who haven’t ventured to Queensland’s Garden City, it can be hard to know what sights to see, especially if you’re only heading up for a day trip. But if you’re looking to get out of the house for a day, we’ve planned out an unbeatable itinerary of Toowoomba that will have you wanting to come back for a longer trip.
Stop One: The Baker’s Duck
First thing’s first: you need to get some carbs in you. The trek to Toowoomba is one heck of a drive, so even if you ate before you left, your tummy will be rumbling by the time you pull into town. Stop in at The Baker’s Duck to refuel with a warm cup of coffee and a pastry that will absolutely knock your socks off. Seriously—this place is worth the trip all on its own. With sweet treat essentials like epic filled and topped croissants, cruffins, tarts and brownies alongside savoury options like the Snake Bite (jalapenos, pancetta and provolone cheese wrapped in a pastry croissant) there’s no way you can go wrong.
If you happen to be in town on a Saturday or Sunday, you can aso head to either the Toowoomba Farmers Markets, open every Saturday from 7am to noon by the windmills of the Cobb+Co Museum, or the PCYC Markets on James Street every Sunday morning for fruit and veggies, arts and crafts, pets, plants and more.
Stop Two: Table Top Mountain
Now that you’ve replenished your energy, you’re ready to embark on the Tabletop Mountain Hike. Starting from the end of Tabletop Drive, just outside of Toowoomba, follow the rocky trail to the top (with some scrambling and loose gravel involved) and in about 45 minutes you’ll reach the top of the mountain, where you’ll be treated to magnificent 360-degree views of Prince Henry Heights, the Lockyer Valley, Toowoomba and Main Range. Trust us, it’s worth the trek. If you forgot to pack your hiking boots, you can always drive to Picnic Point and appreciate the views without the extra effort. Don’t worry, we won’t tell.
Stop Three: Break For Lunch
Toowoomba is full of incredible eateries, so you’re practically guaranteed to have the best lunch of your life. Of course, we have plenty of recommendations, so good luck picking from the list. Sweet Talk in Toowoomba’s Longs Quarter has a diverse menu suitable for all taste buds, whether you’re serious about squid or craving kebabs. For real food on the fly, head to The Finch on Ruthven Street. Their menu is vegan-friendly and packed with local ingredients for unbeatable quality and freshness. If you’re after a burger or even a hearty salad, swing by Ortem on Railway Road. Their takeaway menu will not disappoint, let alone their booze. When you’re craving a good old fashioned chicken schnitty, set your sights on Urth Cafe, where you can get meat served up in just about every which way imaginable. All are open for takeaway, but if you book in advance, you might just be able to reserve a table.
Stop Four: Hunt Down Some Street Art
Turns out you don’t have to head to Melbourne for street art worthy of your Insta feed. After you’ve eaten, head back into town to check out the amazing artwork lining Toowoomba’s streets. Aussie artist Adnate has received international acclaim for his work, and it’s easy to see why: head to 49 Neil Street to be completely blown away. Further down the street you’ll find a mural by Adam Busby, an American artist now based in Queensland. Another award-winning artist, Fintan Magee learned his skills on the graffitied streets of Brisbane—his work coats the side of 488 Ruthven Street. Evidently, there’s plenty to see, but if you want more, head here for a full breakdown.
Once you’ve appreciated Toowoomba’s street art scene, head to Laurel Bank Park for some natural beauty. The park’s manicured lawns, topiary hedges and floral displays really are a sight to behold, and undergo spectacular transformations with the change in seasons. If flowers tickle your fancy, be sure to pay a visit to the city’s Carnival of Flowers, held every year in September.
Stop Five: Pick Up Some Souvenirs
A road trip just isn’t complete unless you come home with a souvenir. Before you head home, stop into 4 Brothers Brewing, a small independent brewery that aims to reconnect people with good friends, good taste, and good times. Their taproom is open Wednesday to Sunday so you can go grab a beer, or fill a growler to take home. Now that you’ve got your grog, swing on by the Toowoomba Flower Market, where you’ll find stunning floral arrangements that will brighten any home.
Looking for more day trip ideas near Brisbane? You’ll find plenty here.
Image credit: Rob Downer, The Baker's Duck, The Finch Cafe, Tourism & Events Queensland