7 Top things to see in Toowoomba in a weekend: Experience city culture with Aussie rural charm
Updated: Jul 18, 2020
Experience Toowoomba in South East Queensland. Follow our guide for inside tips on where to stay, what to eat and drink plus all of the top things to do combined into one easy to follow weekend itinerary.
If you’re looking for an easy escape to the country with the perfect balance of rural charm and modern culture, Toowoomba is you must visit weekend destination. As Queensland’s largest inland city, you can find an array of hipster cafes, laneways full of street art and a great local shopping scene. At the same time, it’s rich in historic architecture and offers untouched rural views over the Great Dividing Range.
Getting to Toowoomba: from the Gold Coast, Brisbane or Sunshine Coast
Located just an hour and a half drive from Brisbane and two hours from the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, this Southern Queensland town is the ideal spot for a little weekend road trip. We recommend driving in from one of these destinations as the flexibility of having a car makes for a super simple weekend.
Where to stay in Toowoomba:
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We opted to stay at the Oaks, Toowoomba, travelling as a family group of 6 this was an easy option to get a 2-bedroom room with additional room access via a joining door. The hotel was centrally located just minutes’ walk from cafes, restaurants, historic sites and street art.
For 2 nights including breakfast, we paid $97 per person with amazing opening deals. The hotel was modern and new, having opened in June 2020. It also offered parking for an additional $10 per day with an underground car park on-site.
While we didn’t stay here, Quest was another option we considered for our stay, with similarly priced options for 1-3-bedroom quality modern apartments. Equally as centrally located, the hotel is next door to Queens Park and the iconic Fitzy’s bar and restaurant. What we loved about Quest is the front exterior is a converted old church making the hotel and iconic attraction in itself.
Best Toowoomba Hotel Deals:
Top 7 things to see and do in Toowoomba for a weekend getaway:
1. Take in that small-town Aussie country vibe at the local weekend Toowoomba Farmers Market:
Start your Saturday with a trip to the Toowoomba Farmers Market, operating in winter from 8 am – 1 pm (Saturday’s only). The location of these markets is under the windmills of the Cobb+Co Museum, which is an attraction in itself. Entering the markets, you step onto the red dirt, hearing the country music of an acoustic singer playing in the background and stare up at the old steel windmills. It is exactly the rustic country vibe you want out of your trip.
Taste homemade treats and local products which you can purchase straight from the farmers. As luck would have it, we ended up buying freshly farmed avocados from Toowoomba’s very own local celebrity – Tarzan from Australian Survivor. Visit on an empty stomach as you’ll want to try as much food as you can while there.
2. Stop and smell the flowers in the State heritage-listed Queens park:
Located directly across the road from the Farmers markets and Cobb+Co Museum is Queens Park and the Botanic Gardens. Look up into the trees as you stroll through the gardens, it’s easy to spot a pink galah or cockatoo. In the spring and summertime, the gardens become full of colour.
3. Experience a historic walk through the city:
Take the 2km Russell Street heritage Walk through the city past landmarks of fine historic architecture dating back to the 1860s.
Buildings not to be missed: The Toowoomba Railway station, the Courthouse, St Lukes Anglican Church, the Soldiers Memorial Hall and The Toowoomba Region Council buildings and gardens.
4. Hunt for street art down the laneways:
Just a few minutes from the Oaks Hotel, head down Ruthven St to Union St where you’ll find Sydney artist Fintan Magee’s huge Elephant mural, it’s one of Toowoomba’s most iconic works of art. As you continue along the city streets there’s far more to see where that came from, all of which are incredible quality and scale. We know the laneways of Melbourne are most famous for their street art and having travelled a fair bit across Australia, we have to say – Toowoomba is certainly an up and coming hub for its street art scene.
For a more detailed guide on where to find the best murals check out this post by Queensland.com
5. Dine in an old Queenslander cottage at Urban Grounds Café:
Located just across the road from Laurel Park, is the Urban Grounds café, nestled inside a historic old Queenslander style cottage. Sit on deck as you look out to the gardens and enjoy a delicious brunch. We loved the Roast Mushrooms with Halloumi on toast and classic bacon and eggs. After you’ve finished your brunch take a wander through Laurel Park.
Urban Grounds cafe is open daily from 7 am - 2pm Sunday to Tuesday and 7 am - 8 pm Wednesday - Saturday.
6. Experience T-Bar nightlife at Fizy’s:
Speaking to a few Toowoomba (T-Bar) local’s our top recommended place for a drink was Fitzy’s and from visiting, it certainly seemed like the place to be seen on a Saturday night. The front room of the bar, located on Church street gives a classic old pub feel, great for a few drinks and meal. Venturing further into the bar, there are several rooms to move through with modern spacious areas and outdoor couches. The chicken parma was the go to choice of meals here.
Fitzy's is open Tuesday - Sunday from 12pm.
7. Catch a show at the Empire Theatre:
Don’t miss at least walking past this heritage-listed, historic 1920s style art deco building in the heart of Toowoomba on Neil Street. If you can, check out the show schedule and see if you can book tickets to something in advance of your trip.
We hope you enjoyed our weekend guide to the top things to see and do in a weekend Toowoomba, Queensland To see more of our other destination guides click here.
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