Petal power – our top five things to check out at Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers
There’s no finer way to welcome in spring than with a trip to the vibrant city of Toowoomba for the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, which continues to bloom in its 72nd year. Fabulous flora, foodie fun and fantastic tours line this year’s carnival, which will be taking over The Garden City from September 1–30. So you know what to pack your calendar with, we have curated our top five events to check out – from dog-friendly dates and food-and-wine fiestas to grand floral parades and pub tours.
Have play date in the park
Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers is all about the florals and the perfect place to dive in to the blooms is at the public parks. The 190,000-strong floral displays in Laurel Bank Park and the Botanic Gardens of Queens Park will have you thinking that you’ve landed in the Garden of Eden. If you want a behind-the-scenes look into the the secret world of the parklands by night, you can even take a twilight tour of Laurel Bank Park where you can get educated on all things green under the stars. The illuminating evening entertainment gets taken up a notch at the Night Garden at Queens Park, which will feature a bevy of bright light installations. Both parks will be home to live beats each weekend throughout September and the Botanic Gardens Ferris Wheel will be spinning around too – this sky-high ride offers the best vantage point to witness all of the gorgeous gardens.
Taste test all that Toowoomba has to offer
Set to tantalise tastebuds once again (this time for a whole month!), region-wide food trail #trEATS is making a comeback. So you can tuck into Toowoomba’s delicious food scene whilst saving a pretty penny, this year’s #trEATS will feature a mouth-watering array of cheap eats from 36 local flavour makers, all ranging from $10 to $20. With tempting nosh from local eateries aplenty (we’re definitely going to wrap our mitts around an apple-crumble eclair from beloved sweets dispensary The Baker’s Duck), we suggest popping your peepers over here to check out the full list of moreish meals. Plus, don’t miss out on the three-day Festival of Food & Wine, where you can sample locally made produce whilst treating your ears to the relaxing sounds of live musicians.
Immerse yourself in blooms at the Grand Central Floral Parade
After a COVID hiatus, the Grand Central Floral Parade is back and better than ever on Saturday September 18. You can expect an explosion of colour and eccentricity at this year’s parade, which will be full to the brim with street performers, carnival characters and roving entertainment. The cherry on top? The breathtaking floral floats of course, which will be making their journey through the heart of the city to Queens Park. This year there’s a much earlier start for the parade (10:00 am), which means you can enjoy a full day shopping, sightseeing and adventuring in Toowoomba.
Peek behind the curtains with these eye-opening city tours
If you’re looking to fill up on some tasty tucker, there’s a huge range of foodie tours happening during the festival. Start off with the Talking Pubs Tour, which takes visitors to boozy pit stops like Bar Wunder, The Brewhouse, Hotel Norville and George Banks Bar and Bistro to enjoy a brew or two. There are also two different Foodie Dinner Tours to take part in that’ll help you discover Toowoomba’s hidden dining gems, with the Friday Foodie Dinner Tour kicking off with an entree and tour at Cobb+Co Museum, before rolling into Inbound Brasserie and Cafe for a main meal and The Finch On The Range for a decadent dessert. The Saturday Foodie Dinner Tour will head to Kingfishers Cafe, followed by mains at a local favourite, Urban Grounds Cafe, and then a scrumptious dessert at Gip’s Restaurant. Need a dose of culture after your feed? Follow your feast with a sightseeing tour, delve into the city’s art, architecture and history or visit the roads less travelled on the Cultivate Country Garden Tour. Just remember to book so you don’t miss out!
Take your four-legged friend out and about
So you and your favourite furry mate can enjoy the festival and all of the pooch-friendly activities that Toowoomba has to offer, Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers has curated three different itineraries for a fun-filled dog’s day out. Cultured canines and their owners can stroll through art-filled laneways, indulge in leisurely lunches and have off-leash fun, whilst pampered pups can enjoy puppycinos, haircuts (no shaggy dogs to be seen here) and there’s even a chance to stop and smell the flowers. Is your pet more adventurous than spoilt rotten? Don’t worry, as there is an itinerary for them too and it includes a hearty breakfast, a run in the park and brews in a dog-friendly beer garden.
This article was created in partnership with our friends at Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers. To see the full program, head to the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers website.