Discovering the Culture of Toowoomba

When considering university choices, location can play a significant role for many prospective students. It can be hard to make a decision if you have never been to the city yourself, let alone know where it is! When I told some of my friends I was moving to Toowoomba, many asked, ‘how many hours north of here is that?’ No, no, about 6 hours south guys, but anyway! Today, I am here to highlight to you the very best features of the beautiful Garden City that is Toowoomba.

  1. Eateries

Pic 1If you are looking for great food, you have come to the right town! Toowoomba has many quality cafes and restaurants which provide top quality food and beverages. Some of my personal favourites include the Park House Café, the Engine Room Café, Picnic Point, Raw Energy, Angelo’s House Restaurant and Qi’Lin, just to name a few. Each of these places has its unique features, making for an extra special dining experience. The Park House Café offers specially flavoured hot beverages, such as their Cherry Ripe Hot Chocolate. The Engine Room Café’s new owners create delicious items like panna cotta for the tastebuds to enjoy. Picnic Point has very high quality meals and sweet treats, topped with a glorious view over the Toowoomba range. Raw Energy is the place to go for all of your delicious healthy and clean eating options. Angelo’s House Restaurant brings top quality Italian food to the table in a wonderful homely style that cannot be found elsewhere. And Qi’Lin provides top quality Chinese food in a welcoming, Chinese-decorated surrounding and have this week been crowned the best Chinese restaurant in Queensland for the fourth year running.

  1. Markets

Pic 2Toowoomba is a hive of activity on the weekends, with a market occurring every weekend, showcasing the best fresh produce and homemade crafts that Toowoomba has to offer! The PCYC Markets are held every Sunday at the Toowoomba PCYC on James Street. The Margaret Street Markets are held on the first Sunday of each month down the Gelatissimo block end of Margaret Street. There are also the Global Care Markets, held on the second Saturday of each month at Citilife Church.  We also have the Queens Park Markets, held on the third Sunday of the month in the lovely Queens Park. Recently, we were also treated to The Handmade Expo visit at the Clive Berghofer centre across from USQ, which will be returning this year on Sunday November 30th, just in time to purchase something special for Christmas!

  1. Shopping

If you are looking for fabulous shopping options, Toowoomba has you covered! We have many smaller shopping centres around town, including the Kmart Plaza, The Ridge Shopping Centre, Westridge Shopping Centre and the Uni Plaza, near the university, all offering at least one major supermarket each as well as many specialty stores. The town’s largest shopping provider is Grand Central Shopping Centre, or as we all call it on college, Grandy. Grandy is currently undergoing renovations, as they are extending the centre to add more shops, including a David Jones, due to be completed by 2017. Currently, Grand Central has over 200 stores, including the only Myer store in the region, the Body Shop, Target, Coles, Birch Carrol & Coyle Cinema, over 50 fashion stores and 140 specialty stores! Whatever you are after to fulfil your retail desires, Toowoomba has the store for you (unless it is Forever New, but we are hopeful that the Grand Central extension will fulfil that dream for us all)!

Pic 3

  1. Entertainment

Pic 4We are very lucky in Toowoomba to have many local and world-renowned acts visit to perform for our audiences. The best venues for viewing these acts include the USQ Artsworx Theatre and the Empire Theatre. The USQ Artsworx Theatre, provides an intimate entertainment experience, usually at a very reasonable price (perfect for those uni budgets!). The Empire Theatre is the main theatre in town, which includes a balcony viewing level, and old-world décor, creating an ambience that is hard to find elsewhere. This is a top quality theatre for top quality performances. Whenever the Empire is involved, a good time is bound to be had!

  1. Gardens

Pic 5Toowoomba is not called the Garden City for nothing! Here in Toowoomba, we have a plethora of beautiful gardens for you to enjoy.  From the relaxing Japanese Gardens, right next to USQ with its many quacky inhabitants always keen for a feed, to the Spring Bluff Railway Station on the other side of town, which is maintained to this day after it was first tended in 1914 when Queensland Railways launched a garden competition. There are also the main features of the well-known Toowoomba Carnival of flowers, Queens Park and Laurel Bank which are beautiful at any given time of the year, however particularly in spring when they are bought to life with various overhead patterns and images according to the theme of the carnival. It makes for a truly spectacular display! Also throughout this festival of spring, many proud Toowoomba gardeners dress their gardens and permit the public to view their hard work through the Chronicle’s annual garden competition.

If you haven’t any plans for your school holidays this September, don’t just take my word for it! Come for a visit to Toowoomba to see the Garden City at its best during the annual Carnival of Flowers! For more information about the events occurring throughout the carnival, please visit the following link!

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