Age: 29 day old
The Newtown Park & State Rose Gardens history dates as far back as 1912. The park was was officially opened on the 20th of September 1913.
Throughout its history the park was used as part of the war efforts during both WWI & WWII. There is a memorial central to the park dedicated to the 11th Light Horse Regiment.
During the 1930’s an avenue of trees in the formation of St. George Cross was planted.
The park consists of approximately 30 acres and comprises 3 sections - The Queensland State Rose Garden, a children's playground and barbecue area and sports ovals. There are also picnic areas including a picnic shelter, and a water fountain.
The effort to establish the rose garden itself began in 2001, and is primarily a community collaboration, with both residents and volunteers of the ‘Friends of the Queensland State Rose Garden’ contributing to the gardens development.
There are approximately 2000 rose plantations in the garden, including predominantly Floribunda, Hybrid Tea, David Austin.
The park celebrated its centenary on 03/11/2013, and to commemorate, the Queensland State Government & Toowoomba Regional Council contributed plaques, additional gardens, new interconnecting footpaths & lighting.
As with many Toowoomba parks the area is common for wedding ceremonies.
The park is accessible off Holberton Street, where there is a car park as well.
Queens Park is located in the suburb of East Toowoomba and is the cities premier park. Land for the park was officially allocated in 1871. The parks first curator was Edward Way from 1874, and the parks second curator was Richard Ross Harding from 1883-1917. The park as it is today was heritage listed by the state of Queensland in 2001 and is primarily formed of three distinct sections, namely Queens Park Botanic Gardens, The Vera Lacaze Memorial Park and The greater park area.
Queens Park Botanic Gardens which has a memorial for Alfred Thomas who had a premier role in the progression of the rail network in the Toowoomba area, there is also a naval cannon which was used for training purposes by the Queensland Marine Defense forces which was donated to the citizens of Toowoomba in 1911.
Other features of the Botanic Gardens section of the park include a memorial for Emma Miller who was an advocate for worthwhile causes, large columns donated to the city by the NAB in 1987 and also a stone entrance arch.
The Vera Lacaze Memorial Park section stands in honor of the first female alderman of the Toowoomba City Council. Features in this section of the park include a water fountain, a bridge over east creek, walkways and picnic facilities.
The greater park area which is between the Botanic Gardens and the Vera Lacaze Memorial park has many highlights including the Godsall Street Ovals, a playground area on the corner of Lindsay and Margaret Streets, the Avenue of trees made up of Camphor Laurel, a memorial to William Charles Peak who was a prominent Toowoomba business man who contributed to the growth of the Toowoomba region.
The greater park area also has a Buffalo-Springfield Steamroller that was was purchased by the Toowoomba City Council in 1937 and remained in use until it was retired in 1956. Remanence of the diagonally planted Cypress Avenue, which are natives of the Central coast of California.
Frog’s Hollow – grassed ovals on the corner of Hume and Margaret Streets is a venue for large community events. This is first spot in Toowoomba where Alford family on their way to Drayton came into contact with Aboriginal Australians in 1842
Address: 43-79 Lindsay Street, East Toowoomba
Lake Annand Park in South Toowoomba forms part of the East Creek Recreation Corridor.
The park was initially established in 1955 and is named after Toowoomba's longest serving mayor, James Douglas Annand.
The park comprises two hectares and contains an artificially man made lake and ponds with water features including a pulsating water fountain.
The original bridge over the lake was constructed between 1966 and 1967. Modifications to the bridge to improve accessibility were made during 1984. In 2011 the original bridge was completely replaced with a steel bridge.
The park is a great place for recreational and social events, and it includes cycleways, gazebo, barbecue facilities, boardwalks along the lake and children play area. Duck feeding is common, and the park is also used for wedding ceremonies.
Official council web page for Lake Annand Park.
Laurel Bank Park is located along Hill Street only a short distance from the heart of Toowoomba’s CBD.
It’s a sanctuary close to town that allows people to take a time out and admire the beauty that Toowoomba has to offer.
The parkland on a 4.5 hectare site, was originally owned by Samuel George Stephens (known to the locals as the “Man of Flowers”) had designed the original layout of the garden himself. Mr Stephens graciously donated the park to the people of Toowoomba in 1932 and requested that council be care taker.
The park has many facilities including a children’s play area, barbecue facilities, picnic area, a croquet lawn (the only sporting activity allowed within the park) and there is also a viewing platform to allow the full glory of the parks floral gardens to be admired from an elevated perspective.
The park has a scented gardens area which also includes the Yellow Jacaranda. There are many fully developed exotic trees in the park including the English Oak and Lithocarpus trees.
Laurel Bank Park Hall, located within the park along Hill Street was constructed during WWII as a mess hall (a room or building where soldiers eat together, mess – meaning a quantity of food) for US Naval personnel. The buildings nowadays is used by the community as a meeting hall.
The parkland is a popular for social activities including wedding ceremonies and photos
The official council web page for the Laurel Bank Park.
The idea for the Toowoomba Japanese Gardens stemmed from a group of Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education academics, namely Dr Adrian Allen who developed the Asian Studies program for the institute and wanted to offer their students an experience that would bring them closer to Asia, but without having to travel there.
The designing and planing of the gardens commenced in 1980 as a joint venture between the institute and the Toowoomba City Council.
The project engaged the assistance of Japanese professor Kinsaku Nakane from Kyoto, Japan to help design the garden who also named it ‘Ju Raku En’ which loosely translates ’to enjoy peace and longevity in a public place’
It took approximately three years for the planning and design phase before construction finally commenced in 1983. It then took another six years to construct the garden, when it was finally opened in the 21st April 1989 by Mr Uoshiharu Araki (Brisbane’s Consul-General of Japan at the time).
The Garden is located on a three hectare site at the University of Southern Queensland, and is one of Australia’s largest Japanese Gardens and ranks within the top 25 gardens outside of Japan. The garden has close to 100,000 visitors per year.
Even though the Toowoomba Japanese Garden is over 25 years old it is far from mature, and will continue to develop in years to come.
The garden has many features of a traditional Japanese Garden including pathways stretching approximately three kilometers, a mountain stream, waterfall, central lake, blossom trees, multiple bridges, Japanese maple trees, a dry garden (also known as a Zen Garden, called a dry garden because it needs little or no water), and viewing platforms to admire the area.
Like many parks and gardens within Toowoomba, the Japanese Gardens is a popular venue for wedding ceremonies, and the garden does have a car park and conference facilities.
The garden is located at 20 Regent St, Darling Heights QLD 4350 (4Km south of the city centre)
Council web site: Japanese Gardens
The original Cobb & Co was established in Melbourne at the height of the gold rush by four American partners, including including Freeman Cobb.
The intent was to serve the gold fields but soon included services for passengers, gold and mail.
The company had changed hands several times, and the original founders of the company sold it in 1856, which was purchased by another American, John Rutherford.
The company expanded into New South Wales in 1862 when the gold was discovered at Bathurst. Further expansion into Queensland occurred in 1865 and the first service to operate there was between Ipswich and Brisbane, then eventually further expansion into regional Queensland. Toowoomba was the first stop in Queensland upon entry from the southern state of New South Wales.
At the height of it’s success in 1881, the Cobb & Co became a company and had over 3,000 horses, £50,000 in capital, and covered a network of over 10,000 miles a week.
The Queensland/New South Wales branch of the Cobb & Co eventually separated from the Victorian arm to form two separate entities.
Horse driven carriages services ultimately reached the height of their usefulness in the late nineteenth century, when other means of transport including trains, cars and air services provided a more efficient means.
The last coach service to operate in Queensland was in August 1924.
The Cobb & Co Museum which is a part of the Queensland Museum, was open in 1987 to showcase Australia’s finest collection of horse drawn carriages, including a collection of three carriages from the Cobb and Co which the museum is named after.
The museums collection was the result of a tireless passion by Mr William (Bill) Robert Fossey (WRF) Bolton (1905 – 1973) to gather the collection.
Mr Bolton had collected the carriages originally and had them on display in James St, Toowoomba from 1965 until a fire almost destroyed the collection in 1981, but luckily the collection was managed to be saved.
Prior to 1982 the museum barely had a collection of any horse drawn carriages until the collection was donated to the museum by the daughter and son in law of Mr Bolton.
The vehicles remained in storage from 1982 until 1987 when a new location in Toowoomba was located for them.
In 2001 the second stage of the Cobb & Co museum development was completed for a display space for Toowoomba & Darling Downs history. The museum now encompasses an area of over 2,000 square meters. In 2010 the museum had an $8 million redevelopment.
The museum currently house over 50 horse drawn carriages. It is climate controlled, is wheel chair accessible and has a gift shop.
Website: Cobb and Co. Museum
Address: 27 Lindsay St, Toowoomba
The Empire Theatre in Toowoomba is the largest regional theatre in Australia and is owned by the Toowoomba Regional Council.
The original theatre was built in 1911, but was rebuilt in 1933 after being subject to fire. The building is of an art deco style and contains amazing architectural style including a proscenium arch. Palm trees grace the exterior of the building.
Until the advent of television during the 1960, the Empire Theatre was the centre of entertainment for the Toowoomba community. The unfortunate gradual decline of audience numbers however ultimately culminated with the screening of the last film at the theatre in 1971.
Eventually the theatre was sold to businessmen in 1973. The Queensland government purchased the building in 1975 and was used as a technical college and Technical And Further Education (TAFE).
The building was purchased by the Toowoomba city council and underwent extensive renovations during the 1990’s whilst still retaining much of the buildings original architectural features. The building was reopened in 1997.
The main stage has a width of thirteen meters and a depth of twelve meters. There is enough seating capacity for up to 1565 persons.
The Emipre Theatre comprises a precinct of several venues, including the main auditorium, the recently purpose built Armitage Centre, Empire Church Theatre, Empire Theatre Studio, The Supper Room and The Lounge Bar.
Theatre performances include music, children's events, circus and magic events, dance, musical theatre and cabaret, comedy, drama, classical and film.
The different venues of the theatre can be booked for various functions, events meetings, conferences. The theatre also holds several tours of the precinct hilighting the history and architecture of the theatre.
The Empire Theatre is located at 54-56 Neil St, Toowoomba
Website address: Empire Theatre
The Royal Bull's Head Inn was built in 1859 by William Horton, an ex-convict from England who was charged with larceny.
William built the inn at a location known as 'The Springs' later renamed Drayton, the first area of the Toowoomba region to be settled.
The inn was ideally situated as Drayton was part of the thoroughfare between Brisbane and the Darling Downs region.
It was extended in the late 1850's, although by this time, Toowoomba, then known as 'The Swamp' was already established and expanding fast.
The Inn was acquired by the National Trust of Queensland in 1973 after the last surviving member of William's immediate family, his son Alan Lynch died.
The ground floor was renovated in 1984, and the top floor in 1987.
The University of Southern Queensland conducted archaeological excavations in 2014 to uncover any artifacts pertaining to the Inn's history, although archaeological excavations had also been conducted in the 1970's.
The botanical name of the Arrowhead Violet is Viola Betonicifolia, it is an evergreen perennial, also referred to as the Mountain Violet is a species of violet native along the eastern side of Australia mainly along the Great Dividing Range, which Toowoomba sits on. This species of violet is also common in India and Pakistan.
So named due to the shape of it's leaf in the formation of an arrowhead shape, in comparison to its European cousin Viola Odorata which instead has a large heart shaped leaf formation.
The violet prefers a semi shaded rockery environment such as the edge of forests.
The Australia Fritillary Butterfly, which is now almost extinct is dependent on the Arrowhead violet for existence.
Spring Bluff Railway Station forms part of the Ipswich to Toowoomba rail line.
Construction of the line began in 1864 and the premier train came through Toowoomba in 1867.
Originally known as Highfields Train Station, it was renamed Spring Bluff Railway Station in the later part of the nineteenth century by then Queensland railway commissioner Robert John Gray.
The namesake comes from the spring water and sandstone bluffs (broad rounded cliffs) that were prevalent in the area, hence ‘Spring Bluff’.
The railway station today itself serves no operational capacity, this having been ended in 1992, but it still serves as a reminder of the railway heritage and famous garden landscapes of the area and social significance at the time.
The station was heritage listed by the National Trust of Queensland in 1994.
The aim was to showcase works of art from the Toowoomba region, and to that extent, the gallery itself was established by the Toowoomba Art Society in 1937.
Originally located in a section of the Toowoomba City Hall, and eventually consuming an entire floor, the gallery is the oldest public regional art gallery in Queensland.
A movement to give the art gallery a dedicated premises by the Toowoomba Art Gallery Society culminated with an old office building adjacent to the Toowoomba City Hall being purpose modified and fitted to accommodate three times the area of the gallery's former location.
In 1994 the gallery relocated to its present location, 531 Ruthven Street, Toowoomba, and the gallery now hosts approximately 3000 pieces of artwork.
The Gallery has three permanent collections, those being the Toowoomba City Collection, the Lionel Lindsay Gallery and Library and the Fred and Lucy Gould Collection. The Gallery also offers a section dedicated to local artists as well.
The Gallery itself is owned and run by the Toowoomba Regional Council and offers guided tours and a Gallery shop with great gift ideas.
Useful links: Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery
The Willow Springs adventure park was established during the 1970's.
It was located on a 40,500 square meter (10 acres) in the Toowoomba suburb of Kearneys Spring at 333 Spring St.
The recreational adventure park included included many outdoor activities and barbecue areas.
The park was sold and eventually shut down and reopened as 'The Springs Garden World' nursery.
The Toowoomba second range crossing is much needed infrastructure for the Toowoomba region. The benefit of the range crossing will have a positive impact both in the short and long term.
The immediate benefit will mean that much of the heavy traffic will be diverted out of Toowoomba city, which will reduce noise and pollution and reduce travel time, and increase safety. Long term benefits which will filter through the economy is greater transport efficiency, i.e.: quicker delivery of stock to the western downs and better financial outcomes for all the stakeholders involved.
Work on the project is expected to commence during the second half of 2015 and the construction period will take approximately 3 years. The project should be completed around late 2018, early 2019.
The improved transport efficiency will arise out of the fact that the steep climb up the range incline will no longer be a factor, and also the fact that seventeen sets of traffic lights will be bypassed. This will reduce travel time through the City of Toowoomba by forty minutes.
Funding for the project has been secured on an 80:20 basis, with the federal government committing 80% ($AU1.28 billion) and the Queensland government providing the shortfall of $AU320 million dollars. Total cost will be approx. $AU1.6 billion.
It will create approx. 1,800 jobs for the Toowoomba region during the 3 year construction phase, which will also bring immediate economic benefit to the region.
The second range crossing will be a 43Km stretch of road that will start at the Warrego highway in Helidon (east of Toowoomba) and end in the west at the Warrego highway in Charlton.
The bypass will comprise of 41Km of bypass, 700 metre twin three lane tunnels, thirty bridges, four viaducts.
Toowoomba /tə'wʊmbə/ noun. a city in south eastern Qld on the Great Dividing Range, commercial and industrial centre for the Darling Downs. Pop 75 973 (1991).
- Macquarie A~Z People & Places
Toowoomba |tə'wʊmbə| a town in Queensland, Australia, to the west of Brisbane; pop. 114,479 (2008). It was formerly known as The Swamps.
The Toowoomba City Hall is the seat of the City Council of Toowoomba, Queensland , Australia. It is located on the 153 Herries Street and on 543 Ruthven Street. The building is the location for the proclamation that Toowoomba was a city and was the first purpose built city hall ever constructed in Queensland.
Tenders were called for the construction of a town hall in 1861. It was built by Frederick Stein in 1862 in James Street. The first City Hall was a timber building, which was demolished and replaced in 1881 by a brick building. The School of Arts in Ruthven Street was destroyed by fire in July 1898. The local Council agreed that new municipal buildings and a Town Hall should be built on the place of the School of Arts which had been destroyed that year, pending the sale of the old Town Hall to the Roman Catholic Church for £ 2,000.
The new building was designed by the Brisbane architect Willoughby Powell. In 1900 was inaugurated the present Town Hall at a cost of £ 10,000. The exterior of the building was restored to its original state in 1997. It now houses a regional art gallery and theatre.
The photo of the city hall above was taken in 1915.
Toowoomba's floral emblem, the Viola Odorata is a species of the genus Viola. Commonly known as the Sweet Violet it actually is a European native. It's significance to Toowoomba and hence it being known around Toowoomba as the 'Toowoomba Violet' can best be explained by the following extraction that was found on Jean Ann French's Blog.
Toowoomba Violet – Floral Emblem Viola Odorata “Princess of Wales” commonly known as the “Sweet Violet”
The violet was declared Toowoomba’s Floral Emblem at a meeting of Council on 11th January 1932. the mothers and other family members of the lads who went to war in 1914-1918, picked and sold bunches of violets to raise funds. the bunches each held 50 blooms and three leaves, tied with cotton and were sold for threepence. 1800 pounds were raised to build the Mother’s Memorial now located in East Creek Park.
Characterized by it's sweet scent, heart shaped leaves, and vibrant violet colour, there is more to the Toowoomba Violet than first meets the eye.
Besides it superficial attributes the Viola Odorata has other applications. It has long been known for it's alternative medicinal properties which is commonly used for the treatment of respiratory conditions like sore throats. Other medicinal aspects of the plant are also being studied from a scientific perspective.
The Viola Odorata's usefulness continues, where in cooking the flower can also be used as an ingredient in salads and for decorative purposes . It's cooking practicality is not just limited to the flower but in fact every part of the plant can be used. Tea, for example can be made from using the whole plant.
From a symbolic point of view, the Sweet Violet's significance goes as far back as Ancient Greece where the plant was linked with love and romance.
To discover further useful information about this amazing plant that is the 'Toowoomba Violet' one only has to Google 'Sweet Violet' or 'Viola Odorata'.
Useful Links: Viola Odorata.
The Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers was an idea conceived by local businessman Essex Tait in 1949
The idea was put to the Toowoomba chamber of commerce that in order to promote the region and it's businesses, it would be worthwhile to take advantage of the Toowoomba regions ideal location and already renowned 'Garden City' status.
The first parade took place in the Spring of 1950 where a crowd of 50,000 people attended and has since been an iconic event of the city. Toowoomba just wouldn't be Toowoomba without the carnival
This year marks the 67th anniversary of the annual Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers which will be held from Friday 15th September until Sunday 24th September 2017.
The Toowoomba Carnival of flowers is held in the last full week of September and features many events including a floral street parade, garden tours, live music concerts, arts and crafts, flower, food and wine festivals, and a garden competition and more.
For a full list of events please visit the carnival events page.
If you would like more information on this fantastic event, then please visit the official website.
Most of all though, remember to have lots of fun and enjoy.
Toowoomba is located in south-east Queensland just 127Km west of Brisbane, sitting right on the edge of the Great Dividing Range.
Toowoomba is a picturesque mountain city located in south east Queensland some 127Km west of the states capital, Brisbane.
Clinging to the edge of the Great Dividing Range escarpment at an altitude of seven hundred meters above sea-level, the city affords breathtaking views of Table Top Mountain and the Lockyer Valley region across the east.
The city covers an area of approx. 117 Sq Km and is centred at the intersection of the Warrego and New England highways.
Toowoomba's climate can best be described as pleasant with temperature ranges averaging a cool 5°C to 16°C in winter and a mild 17°C to 27°C in summer.
With a population of over 90,000 people, Toowoomba is Australia's largest inland regional city and is the commercial and economic hub of the Darling Downs, thereby serving a population in excess of 250,000 people.
Major industries include manufacturing, wholesale, agriculture and with more than 23 private schools, a technical college, and university, Toowoomba can be considered a major educational centre.
Toowoomba's origin dates back to 1827 when Allan Cunningham, an English explorer discovered a vast expanse of rich farming land which he named the 'Darling Downs' after then Governor of New South Wales, Sir Ralph Darling.
One of the first settlements on the Downs, 'The Springs', to be renamed Drayton soon thereafter was established in 1842. Over the next decade Drayton would grow to become well established, but a drought in 1850 saw many re-settle a few miles to the north-east to an area that was seldom visited.
Known as 'The Swamp', one of the first to take up residence there was Thomas Alford. Arriving to The Swamp from Drayton in 1852 he established a house and shop which he named Toowoomba, and hence the cities eventual namesake.
The derivation of the name Toowoomba is ambiguous, though the most widely accepted theory is that it's more or less a pronunciation of the Aboriginal word for 'The Swamp'.
Throughout the second half of the nineteenth century, Toowoomba would prosper, being proclaimed a municipality in 1860, a township in 1892, and a city in 1904.
There are many things to see and do in Toowoomba all year round. In spring time, Toowoomba's parks and gardens become vibrant and ablaze with colour and life, and to celebrate Toowoomba's status as "The Garden City", every year in September the Carnival of Flowers is held, with a street parade, and other activities.
Toowoomba is an urban Centre in south-east Queensland and is the gateway to the Golden West region, also known as the Darling Downs. Just an hour and a halfs drive from the the states capital city, Brisbane.
Offering the best of both worlds, the city retains it's country heritage, whilst offering all the amenities of a bustling modern city.
Toowoomba is full of culture and there are many things to keep you busy all year round. Some of the major events in and around Toowoomba include the Ag Show, the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, Toowoomba Royal Show, Easter-fest – formally know as the Australian Gospel Music Festival, and Farm-fest.
Toowoomba has no shortage of educational institutions and has more capita of primary, secondary, tertiary and universities per person than many other regions in Australia.
Two Royal Australian Navy (RAN) ships are named after the city of Toowoomba.
HMAS (Her or His Majesty's Australian Ship) Toowoomba 1 (J 157), a Bathurst Class Corvette (aka minesweeper). Built during WWII, it was laid down on 6th August 1940, launched on 26th March 1941, and commissioned on the 9th October 1941. It's service with the RAN ended on 5th July 1946. From there on HMAS Toowoomba 1 was transferred to the Royal Netherlands Navy and renamed Boeroe. Boeroe was decommissioned from the RNN in 1958.
HMAS Toowoomba II (pictured) was laid down on 26th July 2002, launched 16th May 2003, and commissioned on 8th October 2005. HMAS Toowoomba is a long range frigate.
HMAS Toowoomba 1 (J 157)
HMAS Toowoomba II (FFH 156)