When we were on our caravan hunt in and around Brisbane, we found one potential caravan in Toowoomba.
As Toowoomba is only a 90-minute drive from Brisbane, we thought, we might as well stay in Toowoomba for a night, escape the city, take in the fresh air and have a look a the beautiful gardens and parks.
We first heard about Toowoomba when we watched a travel programme on tv, where they showcased the beautiful Ju Raku Japanese garden and the scenery around Toowoomba and it looked amazing!
Later, two ladies from Toowoomba participated in My Kitchen Rules, and after that Toowoomba showed up more and more and it was on our bucket list ever since.
Toowoomba, the largest inland city in Australia, is called Queensland’s Garden City because it has over 150 public parks and gardens.
Driving to and around Toowoomba will be rewarded with great views. Overlooking the Lockyer Vally, on the edge of the Great Dividing Range, 700 meters above sea level, Toowoomba has some great lookout points.
One of the most popular is Picnic Point. Here, you can take in the beautiful panoramic views of the Great Dividing Range, the kids can play in the playground and afterwards, you can have breakfast, lunch or coffee at Picnic Point Restaurant.
Where to stay in Toowoomba
After checking out Picnic Point and the caravan ( which was crap ) we needed to find a place for the night, as we didn’t book anything upfront.
We just drove through the main street to see which Motel looked good and had some great rates advertised. After driving up and down the main street twice, we ended up at the Downs Motel in Toowoomba.
A great little Motel, with comfortable and cozy rooms, free Wifi, a Complimentary Mini Bar and great rates. We were lucky as they only had a few rooms left. If you want to make sure you have a room at this great motel at the best price, book it here
Visiting the Ju Raku En Japanese Garden in Toowoomba
Early next morning we headed to the Ju Raku En Japanese Garden. It was a sunny, but chilly morning with clear blue skies. The perfect day to wander around the Japanese Garden and finally, check out in real life what we had seen of it before on the telly and online.
They say the Ju Raku En Japanese Garden in Toowoomba is the largest ( 4.5 hectares ) and most traditionally designed Japanese garden in Australia.
As soon as we walked through the red entrance gates, we felt the tranquility and the calmness of this beautiful place. What a gorgeous scenery.
There are several walking paths around the lake, over 200 species of Australian and Japanese native plants and trees, traditional red bridges and many birds like ducks, geese, and swans. One of these scared the crap out of Sem, while he tried to chase one. Not that he learned of it though 😉
Apart from the scary geese, Sem loved walking over the bridges, looking at the ducks, and finding Japanese Maple leaves.
As we visited the Ju Raku En Japanese Gardens in Autumn we were lucky to see beautiful Autumn Colours, and if we happen to be ever in Brisbane around Springtime, we will definitely be back in Toowoomba to check out the Ju Raku En Japanese Gardens in Spring. Just like in Japan, it seems that cherry blossom season is also present in Toowoomba.
Queens Park Toowoomba
After Visiting the Ju Raku En Japanese Gardens, we headed to Queens Park, as we heard about the amazing playground here.
Queens Park didn’t disappoint! It is a huge park next to the Toowoomba Botanical Gardens, and the kid’s playgrounds are definitely amazing! There is one part with great activities for younger kids and one more for older kids. There is even a special swing for children in wheelchairs.
As a mum in Toowoomba, you can easily spend all day here with the kids to get rid of that energy 😉
Verdict on Toowoomba
What a great city! Perfect for families as there are lots of things to do for everyone. If you have the time definitely stay at least one night in Toowoomba, but if you are a bit short on time, or staying in Brisbane, just leave Brisbane early in the morning, you can even make a great day trip to Toowoomba.