A flourishing city with the heart of a small town, Toowoomba is fast becoming the new go-to for those who want the convenience of inner-city living without losing that country charm.
The darling of the Darling Downs, recent years (and plenty of redevelopment) have seen Toowoomba go from where the heck is that? to when are we going and do they really have laneway art now?
If you’re thinking of making the move to charismatic Toowoomba, check out the pros and cons to see if you’re suited to life in the city on the hill. (Technically, it’s an extinct volcano – but don’t let that put you off.)
Living in Toowoomba: Pros and Cons
Though it once could’ve been considered a ‘sleepy’ city, Toowoomba is finally waking up. It’s expected to be one of the fastest-growing regional areas in Australia between 2013-2031. So, will you be contributing to the boom? Let’s see if you can handle the city’s good and bad sides, first.
Pro: You get the best of both worlds
City slickers and country lovers alike can appreciate Toowoomba life. You can hit the heart of the city (Margaret Street) for a spot of shopping at the newly redeveloped Grand Central Shopping Centre, or head to famous Tabletop Mountain or Mount Peel Bushland Reserve for a walk in nature. Toowoomba has everything you want from a big city, surrounded by beautiful countryside.
Con: Winters can be icy
While weather in Toowoomba is generally warm and pleasant, come wintertime, things can get chilly. Winter temperatures average from 6-17°C, and light frosts can be expected overnight. If you’re not used to layering up during winter in Australia, you’ll have to change your tune if you move to Toowoomba. But don’t worry – pretty much everywhere is heated.
Pro: The dining scene is seriously good
As another part of Operation Make Toowoomba Cool, hip cafés, bars, and restaurants have been sprouting up faster than the tulips at the Carnival of Flowers. The Pizza Hut buffet is no longer the must-do meal in the city; it’s now host to quality coffee spots, trendy Melbourne-esque bars, and endless dining options. Foodies will be right at home.
Con: It’s a bit of a hike to the beach
This makes for some fun weekend trips, but if you’re an avid surfer or want to feel the sand between your toes every weekend, the 2-hour+ drive to the Gold Coast or almost 3-hour drive to the Sunshine Coast can get old, fast.
Pro: There’s plenty to see and do
There’s a reason why people of all ages love the ‘Garden City’. Offering shopping, cinemas, a performing arts theatre, beautiful Japanese Gardens, and endless parks to sit and play, Toowoomba has something for everyone.
Best Toowoomba Suburbs to Live In
Whether you want the city at your doorstep or you’d prefer to have a forest in your backyard, Toowoomba has a suburb for every lifestyle.
Quiet and green, Mount Lofty is home to plenty of recreational parks. Just minutes from the CBD, many residents can enjoy stunning views of rolling hills and towering trees in the distance. This relaxed suburb is nearby many great schools and medical care, and is perfect for young families.
Another leafy suburb out of the hustle and bustle but close to all the shops, restaurants, and amenities you need, Rangeville has been a local favourite for years. It’s also home to schools, parks, and shopping, and is right near Picnic Point, where you’ll get the best views in Toowoomba.
Conveniently located near schools, shopping centres, parks, and playgrounds, Kearneys Spring is a safe and quiet spot for singles, couples, young families, and retirees. It offers plenty of beautiful nature walks while being just 3 minutes from the CBD.
Toowoomba’s Dining Scene
Thanks to a recent delicious dining revolution, Toowoomba now caters for every craving. Serving up a killer line-up of cafés, bars, pubs, and restaurants, you can afford to be fussy with the endless options up for grabs.
Walton Stores Dining Precinct – 476/482 Ruthven St, Toowoomba CBD
Toowoomba is experiencing a dining renaissance, and Walton Stores is happily hosting many of the new eateries on offer. Here you can enjoy indoor, alfresco, and laneway dining in a buzzing atmosphere to turn your meal into an experience to be remembered. Providing plenty of variety, Walton Stores is home to authentic Asian, hearty burgers, tempting desserts, and much more.
Margaret Street – Toowoomba CBD
Toowoomba city’s main street is dotted with dining options to tempt every tastebud. From Indian to Italian, Turkish to Thai, classic pub grub with a twist and everything in between, you’ll find something for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert on Margaret Street.
Grand Central Shopping Centre – 29 Dent St, Toowoomba CBD
In the mood for a spot of shopping with a side of tasty eats? The new and improved Grand Central Shopping Centre is a foodie’s wonderland. Now serving generously sized schnitzels, fresh Yum Cha, authentic Italian, and more.
Culture in Toowoomba
Just as its dining scene is taking of, Toowoomba is getting serious about culture, too. The city has plenty on offer if you’re looking to get your culture fix in the sticks.
Empire Theatre – 54-56 Neil St, Toowoomba CBD
With over 100 years of history and its classic art deco architecture, the Empire Theatre has long been Toowoomba’s favourite place for entertainment. Here you can catch theatre, drama, cabaret, circus, dance, live music, and more. You know those exciting international shows that hit Brisbane and other big cities? A lot of them are hosted here, too. There’s even a children’s program and workshops to keep the little ones amused.
Cobb & Co Museum – 27 Lindsay Street, Toowoomba CBD
This isn’t your average museum. Cobb & Co Museum displays collections relating to Queensland’s cultural and natural heritage, and sure, this is interesting and all. But the museum also offers exciting events and hands-on workshops to really make a day of your visit.
Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery – 531 Ruthven Street, Toowoomba CBD
The oldest public art gallery in regional Queensland, Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery is home to 3 historical collections and a collection of contemporary Australian works from the 1900s. It also features European and Asian works, as well as monthly displays by local up-and-comers.
Mostly, Toowoomba has a sunny, humid, subtropical climate with warm summers and cool winters, and is more prone to wind, hail, and fog than other places in Queensland. Get ready for every season with our guide.
Summer in Toowoomba is warm and humid, bringing the most rainfall of the year. Average temperatures are around 17-28°C.
Toowoomba’s autumn months are crisp and sunny, welcoming temperatures of around 11-26°C. This is (arguably) the best time to venture out for a picnic in one of the many parks, as the trees are losing their leaves and putting on a show of red, orange, and yellow.
Winter temperatures in Toowoomba average at 6-17°C, and you can expect to wake up to light frosts some mornings. Some chilly winds can feel as if they’re blowing right through you, so be prepared with your winter woollies.
Spring in Toowoomba is mild and sunny, with average temperatures of 12-26°C. It warms up the closer it gets to summer, but generally you can enjoy pleasant days of sunshine without the humidity.
Getting Around Toowoomba
Toowoomba offers public transport to help make your journey from A to B nice and easy.
In June 2017, TransLink upgraded Toowoomba’s bus routes and constructed new bus stops to make catching the bus in and around the city even easier. The new bus network features 8 routes with more than 1,150 services per week, the introduction of Sunday services on popular routes, and several other upgrades to improve the system.
Toowoomba has several taxi services to take you where you need to go. You can hail a taxi from a taxi rank in busy areas (outside shopping centres and popular dining precincts) or call one on your phone.
Tags: City Guides