Get ready to brighten your year! Famously called The Garden City, Toowoomba comes to life during September’s month-long Carnival of Flowers. Bursting with Australia’s most spectacular flower parades and garden displays, this festival also hosts acclaimed gourmet food and wine festivities guaranteed to sweep you up in seasonal magic. Find out what’s on, how to make the most of this vibrant event, and other attractions to enjoy while you are there.
Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers 2023
1 – 30 September
Since 1949 the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers has been enchanting visitors and locals with its iconic flower displays and shows – and 2023 continues the tradition with a flourish. There are over 150,000 flowers in bloom for this event – stroll through the main showcases of flowering annuals at the Botanic Gardens in Queens Park, Laurel Bank Park, throughout the CBD and in the manicured gardens of heritage-listed Bluff Railway Station.
One of the highlights of the carnival is the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers Parade on 16 September. Don’t miss this revel of street performers, carnival characters and floral floats as they make their way to Queens Park in the Grand Central Floral Parade. Throughout September the Botanic Gardens and Laurel Bank Park also come alive with music and entertainment. Immerse yourself further in Laurel Bank Park’s charms by taking a twilight tour and learning about the exotic and nocturnal parklife.
Toowoomba also sets a place on the map for the Festival of Food and Wine, held during the carnival. From Friday 8 to Sunday 10 September taste incredible flavours in Queens Park, with fresh produce and wine from the surrounding farms and vineyards – as well as live music on stage. Toowoomba Region Eats (#trEATS) is also back again in 2023, serving special delicacies in cafes, pubs and cocktail bars, and the Foodie Dinners event takes you on a three-course tour of three leading Toowoomba restaurants.
More things to do in Toowoomba
You’ll find plenty of other fun things to do in Toowoomba for adults and kids alike. For old-world thrills, check out the DownSteam Toowoomba Railway Museum. This amazing museum is home to an incredible collection of vintage steam and diesel locomotives. You’ll also find yourself being carried back in time at the Cobb and Co Museum where a state-of-the-art display tracks technological evolutions, from historic horse-drawn carts to space exploration.
Savour some world flavours at one of the many acclaimed restaurants, such as Sofra Turkish Cuisine – their seasonal blend of dishes inspired by Mediterranean and Eastern influences will appeal to every palate. Another one of the best restaurants in Toowoomba,
Gip’s Restaurant is a local landmark set amongst beautiful gardens and serving delicious modern Australian cuisine – this venue is also participating in the Foodie Dinners event.
Toowoomba is also home to some of Queensland’s best farmer’s markets. The Toowoomba Famers Markets are spilling with seasonal produce, hand-made bread and homemade treats – check them out any Saturday next to the Cobb and Co Museum. The Toowoomba Makers Market is another great place to uncover local treasures.
Looking for free things to do in Toowoomba? Aside from the stunning gardens and parks that are in full bloom for the carnival, the town is also surrounded by incredible national parks. Take some time to explore Table Top Mountain. Situated on the edge of Toowoomba, this volcanic landscape is home to a range of breathtaking panoramic views, walks and trails. Make sure to check the condition of the tracks before setting off, as these can vary with the weather.
Where to stay
Toowoomba is filled with outstanding accommodation options, from the stylish and central Comfort Inn Grammar View, to the Comfort Inn Glenfield which is close to shops and restaurants, and only a short drive to the Preston Peak Winery and the Garden of Remembrance.