Toowoomba (nicknamed 'The Garden City') is a city
in South East Queensland, Australia. It is located
127 km (79 mi) west of Queensland's capital city,
Brisbane. With an estimated district population of
128,600, Toowoomba is Australia's second largest
inland city, and its largest non-capital inland
A university and cathedral city, Toowoomba hosts the
Australian Carnival of Flowers each September, and
Easterfest is held annually over the Easter weekend.
There are more than 150 public parks and gardens in
Toowoomba. It has developed into a regional centre
for business and government services.
Toowoomba is situated at a latitude and longitude of
27°33′S 151°57′E / 27.55°S 151.95°E / -27.55;
151.95. Toowoomba sits on the crest of the Great
Dividing Range, around 700 metres (2,300 ft) above
sea level. A few streets are on the eastern side of
the edge of the range, but most of the city is west
of the divide.
The City occupies the edge of the range and the low
ridges behind it. Two valleys run north from the
southern boundary, each arising from springs either
side of Middle Ridge near Spring Street at an
altitude of around 680 m. These waterways, East
Creek and West Creek flow together just north of the
CBD to form Gowrie Creek.
Gowrie Creek drains to the west across the Darling
Downs and is a tributary of the Condamine River,
part of the Murray-Darling Basin. The water flowing
down Gowrie Creek makes its way some 3,000 km (1,900
mi) to the mouth of the Murray River near Adelaide
in South Australia. Rain which falls on the
easternmost streets of Toowoomba flows east to
Moreton Bay a distance of around 170 km (110 mi).
Toowoomba's history has been preserved in its
buildings. Examples of architecture drawing from the
city's wealthy beginnings include Toowoomba City
Hall which was Queensland's first purpose-built town
hall, the National Trust Royal Bull's Head Inn and
many examples in the heritage-listed Russell Street.
Immediately to the east of the CBD is the Caledonian
Estate, an area of turn of the 20th century housing,
ranging from humble workers cottages to large
stately homes, in the classic wooden Queenslander
Toowoomba is also home to The Empire Theatre, which
was originally opened in June 1911, as a silent
movie house. In February 1933, fire broke out,
almost completely destroying the building. However,
the Empire was rebuilt and reopened in November
1933. The architectural styling of the new Empire
Theatre was art deco, in keeping with the trend of
the 1930s. After years of neglect, the Empire
Theatre was extensively renovated in the late 1990s,
but retains much of its art deco architecture and
decorations, especially the proscenium arch. Able to
seat approximately 1,500 people, the Empire Theatre
is now the largest regional theatre in Australia.
The City also is home to the Cobb & Co Museum,
hailing to the famous mail company's beginnings as a
small mail run in the 1800s to transport mail and
passengers to Brisbane and beyond. It also houses
Australia's largest collection of horse-drawn
vehicles. The museum has undergone a AU$8 million
redevelopment before reopening in September 2010.
Toowoomba enjoys four distinct seasons and the rich
volcanic soil in the region helps maintain the 150
public parks that are scattered across the city.
Jacaranda, Camphor laurel and Plane trees line many
of the city streets. The city's reputation as 'The
Garden City' is highlighted during the Australian
Carnival of Flowers festival held in September each
year. Deciduous trees from around the world line
many of the parks, giving a display of autumn
colour. This is particularly rare in Australia, as
nearly the entire continent is forested with
Daily maximum temperatures in Toowoomba average 27
°C (81 °F) in summer and 16 °C (61 °F) in winter.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology, the highest
temperature ever recorded in Toowoomba was 39.3 °C
(102.7 °F), while the lowest was −4.4 °C (24 °F).
Winter temperatures seldom go below freezing,
however in a situation unique among Queensland
cities, snow has been reported on the higher parts
of the city on rare occasions. Light frost will be
experienced several nights each winter in the city
centre, more often in the western suburbs.
Average annual rainfall, according to the Bureau of
Meteorology, is 944 millimetres (37.2 in) per year
in Toowoomba City. Rainfall in the eastern suburbs
along the Great Diving Range nudges 1,000 mm (39 in)
Toowoomba is nationally renowned for its annual
Flower Festival, held each year in September. Many
of the city's major parks and gardens are especially
prepared for the Festival, which also includes a
prominent Home Garden Competition, with persons able
to visit participating homes and gardens for
inspection, and a Parade with flower-themed floats.
Buses bring people from around the nation, and a
popular way to arrive at the Festival from Brisbane
is on specially chartered retired steam or diesel
train, which captures the yesteryear aspect of
travel to Toowoomba in 19th century wooden
Toowoomba is serviced by three commercial national
network stations and two national non-commercial
network stations. These are Seven Queensland,
Southern Cross Ten, WIN Television, ABC TV (ABC1)
and SBS TV (SBS ONE).
Each broadcasts television services in both analogue
and digital formats, with analogue transmissions to
be deactivated in the second half of 2011.
SBS offers digital high-definition simulcasts of
their main channel, SBS ONE on SBS HD.
Nine digital-only channels are also available: ABC2,
ABC3, ABC News 24, GEM, GO!, One HD, SBS Two, 7Two,
News for Toowoomba is screened every weeknight at
6:30pm on WIN Television, broadcast from the WIN
studios in the Toowoomba suburb of Mount Lofty. News
is presented by Samantha Heathwood, with sport
presenter Pat O'Shea and weather with Peter Byrne.
On weekends news is relayed from Channel 9,
Seven Queensland and Southern Cross Ten have a
physical presence in Toowoomba, but local news
programs do not exist on these channels. Instead,
they only carry news bulletins from Brisbane
stations, Channel 7 and Channel 10.
Brisbane metropolitan commercial channels BTQ-7
(Seven Network), QTQ-9 (Nine Network) and TVQ-10
(Network Ten) broadcasting from transmission towers
at Mount Coot-tha can also be received in some parts
There are extensive suburban bus services operated
by Bus Queensland (who took over from Garden City
Sunbus) throughout the city from around 9:00 am to
around 5:30 pm Monday to Friday. A limited service
runs Saturday. There are no Sunday services.
There are frequent inter-city bus services between
Toowoomba and Brisbane, and other centres.
Toowoomba is not included in TransLink, the
Southeast Queensland integrated public transport
system—a matter of some local contention.
Toowoomba has a twice weekly rail service from
Brisbane to Charleville, Queensland and return on
There are no local rail or tram services, however
the development of a suburban railway system has
been flagged. Toowoomba is criss-crossed by several
railway lines which are largely unused, or used for
freight, and idle railway stations can be found in
the suburbs (including Ballard, Drayton, Harlaxton
and Harristown) dating to when these localities were
Toowoomba is serviced by Toowoomba Airport, which is
used by the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the
Darling Downs Aeroclub.