Toowoomba (also referred to by locals as "Woombie" or "T-ba") is a regional centre in Queensland, 127 kilometres WSW from the City of Brisbane and 90 kilometres west of Ipswich. With a population of 169,010 (2019), Toowoomba is Australia's largest inland city that is not a planned city (i.e. not Canberra).
- 1 Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport (formerly Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport; WTB IATA) (is 17 km west of Toowoomba). Despite its former name the airport is 130 km from Brisbane and is not a practical alternative to Brisbane Airport (BNE IATA).
There are few passenger flights operating from the airport. Services include:
- QantasLink operates direct services to Sydney. There are 2 flights on weekdays and 1 flight a day on weekends.
- Regional Express (REX) operate services from Brisbane to Toowoomba and onwards to the rural towns of St George, Cunnamulla, Thargomindah, Charleville, Quilpie, Windorah, Birdsville, Bedourie, Boulia and Mount Isa.
- Rental car companies are represented at the airport. Given this is not a major airport it may be advisable to reserve a vehicle in advance.
- Taxis are available from the airport into Toowoomba City however considering the considerable distance from the CBD, commuters should expect at least a $50 fare.
- No public transport services exist for the airport.
Toowoomba does not have frequent rail services. Queensland Rail's Westlander service passes through the city twice a week on its journey between Brisbane and Charleville. Travel time by train between Brisbane and Toowoomba is approximately 3.5 hours, making the train journey substantially longer than the 90 minute trip by car or bus.
- The westbound service departs Brisbane at 7:15PM on Tuesday and Thursdays, travelling through the night to arrive in Toowoomba at 11PM.
- The eastbound service departs Toowoomba at 7AM on Thursday and Saturday, arriving in Brisbane at 11:30AM.
The east bound service descends down the Toowoomba Range in the early morning, offering excellent views of the rugged landscape.
- 2 Toowoomba railway station, Railway St.
There are three main ways to get into Toowoomba from the south, though there are some additional highways coming from the north and northwest. They include:
- From Brisbane, it's about an hours drive west via the A2 Warrego Highway and the A21 Toowoomba Connection Road from Brisbane.
- From Stanthorpe, it's a 144 km (89 mi) drive north via the A3 and A15 New England Highway, and is also the route that you'll need to take if you're coming from Armidale or Tamworth
- From Goondiwindi, it's about a 1.5-hour drive northeast via the A39 Gore Highway and the A139 Toowoomba Connection Road, and the route you'll need to take if you're coming from Victoria or Central NSW.
Regular bus services are available between Toowoomba and Brisbane and Toowoomba and towns to the west.
- Greyhound Australia operate frequent services between Toowoomba and Brisbane with some services connecting to Brisbane Airport. Greyhound also operate less frequent services between Brisbane and Roma via Toowoomba and have a service between Toowoomba and Sydney that travels via an inland route.
- Murrays Coaches operate services between Brisbane and Toowoomba and onwards to the small town of Miles, west of Toowoomba. Some services connect through to Brisbane Airport.
- Bus Queensland operate services under Government contract that travel between Brisbane and Charleville and Brisbane and Mt Isa via Toowoomba.
- There are two taxi companies operating in Greater Toowoomba: Garden City Cabs and Yellow Cabs. Both companies have very reasonable metered fares compared to capital cities.
- Silver Service is a lesser-used taxi service that offers fully qualified drivers and is often regarded as a pricier but better service.
- A limited bus service operates in Toowoomba, with 6 bus routes covering the city. For the most part frequencies are hourly, increasing slightly for the AM and PM peak period. On Saturdays some routes are less frequent and others do not operate. No routes operate on Sundays. Information on timetabling and fares is available from the Queensland Government website.
Getting around Toowoomba by car is the most convenient option, as with almost every regional city with a population fewer than 200,000, public transport options are severely limited.
There are three major roads that traverse and connect Toowoomba.
- The A21 is no longer one single road, but a series of roads that make up the old A2 Warrego Highway. A21 starts at Helidon Spa just before when the A2 Warrego Highway becomes a motorway, heads up towards East Toowoomba, winds its way through the CBD, and then heads west back toward the A2 Warrego Highway where it continues west.
- The A3 New England Highway traverses Toowoomba in a north-south direction, also passing through the CBD.
- The A139 Toowoomba-Athol Road connects Toowoomba to the locality of Athol about 10 kilometres southwest. It makes up the road of what used to be the A39, before it got rerouted towards the Warrego Highway on the new bypass.
The last one doesn't traverse Toowoomba, but connects the outer suburbs, the A2 Warrego Highway is Toowoomba's only motorway, mostly two lanes in each direction, but not a very convenient route in getting around Toowoomba. The motorway is perhaps one of the most scenic as it passes through mountainous terrain (and no other motorway in Australia outside the ACT goes through this kind of terrain), but it is tolled – as of early 2022, the tolled motorway costs $2.38 for cars and $1.19 for motorcycles, but only if you pass under the New England Highway. Otherwise, it's free to use.
- Picnic Point, a beautiful outlook on the edge of 'The Range'.
- 1 Cobb+Co Museum (Cobb and Co Museum), 27 Lindsay St, ☏ . 9:30AM–4PM. A museum displaying many different horse carriages, tools and pretty much everything used in 19th-century inland Queensland. The museum is part of the TAFE Queensland Toowoomba campus, and has a small uni-cafe. $12.50 per adult, $10 per concession holder, $6.50 per child (3-15), $25 per family (1 adult + 3 children), $32 per family (2 adults + 2 children).
- See also: Queensland national parks
There are no national parks "in" Toowoomba, but there are plenty of national parks in the LGA. Surprisingly, unlike most other parks in the state, the state government has surprisingly invested in a lot of money in bushwalking trails, facilities, barbecue areas, picnic areas etc.
- 2 Bunya Mountains National Park. The second national park in Queensland established in 1908, best known for the 10-kilogram bunya pine, hence its name. The park is reasonably remote and hard to get to, but has been nominated for world-heritage as an extension to the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia world-heritage site.
- 3 Crows Nest National Park (6 minutes deviation of New England Highway near Crows Nest). This park is about 30-45 minutes north along the New England Highway (A3 / State Route 85) that is known for its impressive dry waterfall and its cliffs that look very much like diamonds. The park also protects a good range of koalas, and if you look carefully enough, you may be able to spot one.
- 4 Ravensbourne National Park. A rather small national park with only an area of 4.4 km2 (1.7 sq mi), containing several bushwalks, including one rainforest loop bushwalk (which is unusual for a place west of the GDR), and a very impressive lookout overlooking the magnificent ranges of the Darling Downs.
Parks and gardens
- 5 Queens Park and Botanical Gardens, 43-73 Lindsay St, East Toowoomba. The prime botanic garden of Toowoomba, and is also one of the oldest in Queensland, having gazetted in 1869. The garden is not very large by all means, but the 300-meter walk is a pretty impressive sight.
- 6 Ja Raku En (Japanese Gardens USQ QLD), Regent St., Darling Heights. Daily 7AM–6PM. The University of Southern Queensland's Japanese Garden featuring a Japanese lake, a waterfall and several style Japanese bridges, with a strong emphasis on the water elements of the garden.
- 7 Boyce Gardens, 6 Range Street, Mount Lofty. A smaller less visited park, but contains a rainforest in its northeast.
- Spring Bluff Railway Station, a former railway station with excellent gardens and picnic areas.
- Toowoomba Railway Station Building
- 8 Old Toowoomba Court House.
- 9 Bishop's House, 73 Margaret Street, East Toowoomba.
- There is a tourist drive around the City, there are distinctive signs that mark this route.
- Empire Theatre, 54-56 Neil St, toll-free: 1300 655 299. Established in 1911, watch a show at the heritage-listed threatre. The seating capacity is 1,565.
- Visit the Sunday Markets at the Toowoomba PCYC
The Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers is hosted by the city in late September each year. Commencing in 1949 the Carnival capitalises on the city's reputation of being the 'Garden City'. While there are many events that make up the carnival period, Toowoomba is known for its annual garden competition and the carnivals street parade.
- Toowoomba has a very spread out and lively city centre, brimming with small shops and cafes. There are also many shopping centres littered through the suburbs, two notable ones being Grand Central in the City and Clifford Gardens in Newtown.
- The Linen Chest, 211 Margaret Street, Toowoomba, ☏ . 9AM - 5PM. A large range of stunning womens wear and accessories by Australian and International designers. Includes Mother of the Bride, Racewear, Party wear and a great selection of formal and informal designer wear
- 1 Clifford Gardens, Corner James Street and Anzac Avenue, ☏ . Clifford Gardens is one of two major shopping centres in Toowoomba
- 2 Grand Central, cnr Margaret and Dent Street. Grand Central is Toowoomba's main shopping mall and features higher end stores. It is Queensland's only inland mall, containing a food court and shops pretty much standard in coastal malls throughout Australia.
Toowoomba's doesn't have many budget restaurants, but there are plenty of fast food chains that are there if you're on a budget.
- 1 Dee's Vintage Thai, 515 Ruthven St, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 11:30AM–2PM, M 5:30–9PM. Another typical Australian Thai restaurant with all the regulars. Nothing too special about this specific restaurant, except the food you get is exceptionally good for the low price.
- 2 kocu, 198 Margaret St, ☏ . Daily 11AM–2PM, 5–8:30PM. A Korean barbecue restaurant with some great wings and dumplings, modernised to a rural-Australian plate. It's one of the cheaper mid-range restaurants in Toowoomba, and both dine-in and takeaway options available.
- 3 La Pizzaiola, 173 Margaret St, ☏ . Tu–Sa 5:30–9PM (closed Su M). A southern Italian restaurant, well, known for its pizza as the name of the restaurant says. Apart from pizza, there's some great pasta and spaghetti available too, with both dine-in and takeaway options. Around $20-35.
- 4 Sofra Turkish Cuisine, 164 Margaret St, ☏ . Daily 11:30AM–9PM. A very vivid and vibrant Turkish restaurant, claiming to be authentic – as for that, the interior gives a Turkish vibe, and many of the dishes are homemade Turkish dishes. Prices range around $30-50.
- Due to Toowoomba's large student population, there are a number of clubs and nightclubs in the city centre itself, they are mostly in the eastern half of the CBD area.
- Preston Peak Wines, 31 Preston Peak Lane (ten minutes south of Toowoomba on the New England Highway), ☏ . W-Su 10AM-5PM. Great views, with a simple menu designed to complement their wines.
- Spotted Cow, North end of Ruthven St. A pub with a huge selection of local and imported beers and wines. Staff knowledgeable to assist even the most amateur drinker
Toowoomba has a large number of hotels and motels due to its strategic location on the crossroads of 3 major highways. You will see these as you drive through the city.
- Burke & Wills Hotel, 554 Ruthven St, ☏ . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 10AM.
- 1 Country Gardens Motor Inn, 94 James St, ☏ . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 10AM.
- 2 Econo Lodge Toowoomba Motel, 2 Burnage St, East Toowoomba, ☏ . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 10AM.
- 3 James Street Motor Inn, 88 James St, ☏ . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 10AM.
- 4 Leichhardt Motor Inn, 682 Ruthven St, ☏ . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 10AM.
- 5 Villa Nova Motel, 736 Ruthven St, South Toowoomba, ☏ , email@example.com. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 10AM.