Wednesday, 30 October 2013

TRAVEL: Toowoomba

TRAVEL POST: A long weekend in Toowoomba

I am an organised person, I like to make plans in advance and get everything sorted out. The plan was to spend the Labor Day public holiday weekend up in Bundaberg visiting Trent's cousins. A couple of days before the long weekend, Trent changes his mind and suddenly there is no plan. I looked at places to stay on the Sunshine coast, Brisbane and even the Gold Coast but TWO DAYS before the long weekend obviously everywhere was either booked or ridiculously expensive.
So that is how we ended up going to Toowoomba and we both actually really liked it there!
See, sometimes things really do work out for the best in the end.

Above: the sun setting as we drove up from Brisbane to Toowoomba.

We stayed in a great motel called the Great Divide - it had a spa bath! It was honestly the most luxurious motel we have stayed in, the room was beautiful and the staff were so helpful.

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Trent indulged me in my strange fixation with old buildings, I just love them, they charm me. So we took a short wander around Toowoomba CBD and I wasn't disappointed:

Above: old style buildings in Toowoomba

My boyf wasn't too keen on spending the whole weekend going to see a load of parks and gardens but I think he changed his mind once he saw them. We really loved the rose garden and Japanese Gardens

Laurel Bank Park:
This park is really close to the center of Toowoomba, we somehow got lost trying to find it but that was my fault, I am hopeless with directions

Above: Laurel Bank park

Picnic Point lookout:
I prefer to walk up to lookout points because you get such a sense of achievement and I really enjoy a view much more if I have worked for it, rather than driven to it. There isn't really a walk up to the point, you park at the top and you can do a few walking tracks (these were closed when we went due to damaged tracks).
The view is great, and the cafe at the top was surprisingly nice (if a little expensive).
It would have been nice to do a walk but it wasn't a problem.

Crows Nest National Park:
The drive out to Crows Nest is pleasant and the National Park is really well sign posted.
When we got there we were surprised to see that all the other walkers had proper walking boots, socks, hats, sunnies, litres of water, backpacks... you know - they looked like they were off on a mountain hike. We had turned up in flip flops and shorts so naturally we were worried that we were ill-prepared for the walking tracks.
As it turns out, there was no need to worry. The tracks were mostly flat with wide, clear paths. The walks weren't taxing and we both comfortably did the circuits in our flop flops (or thongs) with a small bottle of water between us.
Sadly, there waterfalls were completely dry due to the lack of rain lately so we reached the end of one of the tracks to find ourselves face to face with a bare wall.

On the drive home, we stopped off at the Black Forest Hill German Cuckoo Clock shop

Highfields Pioneer Village:
The pioneer village was charming! It was much bigger than I expected; it has loads of old farming equipment, an old example of a dairy, an old railway, and many many old shops!
It is free of charge, they do ask for a small donation though.
It is very well maintained by a large team of volunteers and I was glad to see other visitors there too

Japanese Gardens:
Our motel receptionist recommended the Japanese gardens and we were both so pleased we went because the gardens are so peaceful, we sat on the one of the benches for a while just enjoying the feeling of peace

Newtown Rose Garden:
On our last morning in Toowoomba we stopped at the rose garden. You would have thought that we had seen our fill of gardens by then, but you would be wrong. I loved looking at all the different breeds and colours of rose

 Above: beautiful roses

Above: a nice view on the drive home

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