Winter Day Trip to Toowoomba

Winter Day Trip to Toowoomba, Darling Downs, Queensland. Australia

It’s a novelty when the weather dips below 20 degrees in Brisbane. Days like this cause locals to whip out the winter wool and find a roaring fire to sit by with hot cocoa and marshmallows. Rather than go somewhere warm, we like to make the most of Brisbane’s short and sharp "winter" by finding somewhere even colder. While nothing beats the convenience of flying from one destination to the next, it can’t compare to the romance of hitting the open road. 125km west of Brisbane, Toowoomba and the south-west region are the hidden jewels of Queensland. To the west you’ll find rolling plains which are home to little rural townships, and hospitable bed & breakfasts. Cruise north to Crows Nest through small country towns and check out nurseries, cafés, museums and galleries. Go south into the country that was the inspiration for many great Australian stories, and enjoy the atmosphere in rustic historic pubs. In the north-west, the Bunya Mountains rise dramatically against the sky and offer spectacular mountain scenery, walking trails an abundance of local wildlife. 

We hit the top of the range and headed for breakfast at Park House Café, which is in a prime spot overlooking Toowoomba's famous Queens Park, making it very tempting coffee stop after wandering through the splendid gardens after a walk or run. The cafe has plenty of seating beneath umbrellas in the courtyard, which are dog friendly, table indoors, or along the verandah. Park House Cafe produce is sourced seasonally and locally from within the Darling Downs and Lockyer Valley region. 

We went with the Parkhouse Breakfast, made up of poached eggs with bacon, sausages, herb butter mushrooms, tomato, toast and a hash brown. We had big brown eyes staring up, waiting patiently for some bacon or sausage.  The service was outstanding and Shari got a few pats.

After breakfast we headed just around the corner to the Toowoomba Farmer Markets.  A community market with fresh produce and meat straight for the local farmers. Best known as the ‘Cobb + Co Markets’ even though it’s not organised by Cobb + Co, nor technically on their land! Highlights include microgreens from Full Circle Farm, sourdough bread from The Baker’s Duck, freshly made pasta from Angelo’s and gourmet sausages from Wilgavale Organics. Right opposite Queens Park, it’s the perfect location to make a morning of it, followed by fresh coffee and pastries. Bring your own mug and bags, as the market is trying to go plastic-free. 

Kim picked up re-useable wipes from Little Miss M Designs. The wipes can be used for general cleaning, babies or removing makeup. One side of the cloth is a fabric pattern and the other side is microfiber or Bamboo cloth. You simply use as you would a disposable product, but instead of throwing away you wash and reuse them over and over.

Growing up amongst Brissy’s graffiti culture is the major influence we have to thank for Fintan Magee’s work. He’s been taking his talent all over the world ever since, winning himself several awards. And here you can find one of his pieces right in Toowoomba.

From the markets we headed into town for a few hours wandering around Toowoomba’s streets and lanes exploring cafes, classic architecture and one of Australia’s largest outdoor street art galleries. With over 55 masterpieces from local and international artists dotting the streets, is a veritable feast for the eyes. The mural subjects range from indigenous art, political statements, outer-space themes, photo-realistic portraits, native animals, fantasy themes, jungle scenes, and much more. There will definitely be something that everyone can appreciate. 

Being situated in public spaces, all of the murals are able to be viewed anytime. Some are a little tricky to locate, especially when Kim detours into a shop. There are laneway cafes and coffee shops scattered all throughout the city centre, so you can break your tour with a coffee or lunch break with ease. You could walk right past a small alleyway and not realise that just around the corner and out of view is a beautiful mural! A couple of what I would describe as the 'best' murals are located a little out of the CBD two streets west of the railway station, although still within walking distance at 1.4Km from the starting point at City Hall. Being in public spaces, some of the murals were partially covered by parked cars and other obstructions. If you are looking to get good photographs of some of these partially obscured murals, early morning or late afternoon might be best. In our day of touring the city, we found a few murals on a wall in carparks that were partially obscured. We don't mind this, as it means that we now have an excuse to do the tour all over again and find more next time.


Aussie artist Adnate has made a name for himself internationally as one of the best large-scale portrait artists, and seeing as his piece in Toowoomba literally gave me goosebumps you can see why. And yup, this fine art look is done with spray cans.

While Toowoomba & the surrounding Southern Queensland region offers endless attractions and opportunities for relaxation or exciting adventures - here's a list of some of our favourites! 

Cobb & Co Museum - Home of natural and cultural history in Toowoomba. Wander through the charming National Carriage Collection and discover how the 47 horse-drawn vehicles played an important role in Queensland's development.

Ju Raku En Japanese Garden - One of the cities most peaceful and beautiful parks. Features a mountain stream and waterfall, Dry Garden, central lake, Azalea Hill, and 230 species of Japanese and Australian native trees and plants along 3kms of peaceful pathways.

Picnic Point Park and Look out - One of the 'must see' spots in Toowoomba! Experience sweeping views over the valley, take a stroll around the landscaped gardens, pack a picnic, release your inner child on the playground facilities.

The Granite Belt - The answer to a wine country in Queensland. The region boasts a cool Alpine climate year round, perfect for a delicate verdhello and bold shiraz. Enjoy 4 & 5 star James Halliday rated wineries and award-winning restuarants - the ultimate foodies retreat.

Margaret Street Shopping - The main shopping street in Toowoomba. The precinct features Grand Central and Garden Town shopping centres, along with boutique shopping, cafes and cinemas.

Empire Theatre - This art-deco styled & heritage listed venue is Australia's largest regional performing arts complex and stages world-class shows from leading national and international performers.

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