Compare Cheap Car Hire Toowoomba
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Toowoomba - The Garden City
Toowoomba, the ‘Garden City’, is in southern Queensland. The total population, including the surrounding suburbs, is around 130,000 – which makes Toowoomba the second most populous inland city in all Australia. Toowoomba sits atop the Great Dividing Ridge and is surrounded by lush grazing land, called the ‘Darling Downs’ for their great fertility. Its elevated positions, and relative proximity to the sea, mean that Toowoomba is spared the scorching summers which afflict most of Australia. The city began life as a loose confederation of local ranches, with local hamlets being absorbed as the settlement spread. After the railway came in 1867, the city really began to boom. It now has three universities and is the heart of south-east Queensland. Its ‘Garden City’ nickname comes from the deciduous trees which line many of its main thoroughfares. The imported trees were decried as a waste of money when they were first planted as saplings, but now they are a point of interest for the town – most of Australia is planted with evergreens that resist the tough climate, so the autumn change of leaves in Toowoomba is a most unusual sight.
Things to do in Toowoomba
The Royal Bull’s Head Inn predates even the city of Toowoomba itself. It stands in Drayton, which was once a town in its own right but which became a suburb of Toowoomba as that city grew. Built in 1847 by William Horton, a transported English convict, it eventually fell out of use but was restored to its former glory in the 1970s. It now acts as a showcase of life in 1870s Queensland.
If you’re in the area in September, you should catch the nationally-renowned ‘Carnival of Flowers’. Special antique steam trains shuttle visitors from Brisbane, 120km away, to recreate the pioneer atmosphere of early rural Queensland. Parks and gardens spend months preparing for the festival, which is one of the biggest horticultural events in the country. There’s also a contest for best domestic garden, which sees neighbours engage in cut-throat competition, and a flower float parade.