One of the best benefits of having a destination wedding in South East Queensland, Australia is getting to spend lots of quality time with your guests. But, this also comes with the pressure of making sure they have an awesome time, especially if they are staying in Toowoomba beyond the big day.
If your guests are making a long weekend of it, we have you covered with a great list of things to do in Toowoomba. Here’s our take on the best places to eat, drink, shop, sleep and all-round great things to do in Toowoomba. Your guests will thank you for the experience!
PLACES TO EAT
There are so many great places to get quality coffee and enjoy Toowoomba’s delicious fresh produce for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Here are some of our favourite cafes in Toowoomba.
The Finch proudly serves casual and modern Australian food for breakfast and lunch and it’s open seven days a week! Their delicious Fonzie Abbott Espresso coffee is a favourite amongst Toowoomba locals, along with their sweet and savoury delights. Pull up a stool and people watch over Ruthven Street or sink into one of the booths for an overdue catch-up.
Super cool, Sweet Talk on Margaret Street is one of the most beautiful cafes in town. We’re talking millennial pink walls, lots of bright sunshine and lush green indoor plants, not to mention excellent coffee and brunch options.
Sage & Butler nestled in a little village of shops opposite the Toowoomba Grammar School is a chic and airy local café known for its fresh-baked daily muffins, single- origin coffee, and friendly service.
The Baker’s Duck is a Toowoomba institution serving hand-made croissants, pastries, and artisan sausage rolls. We also love their epic Baker’s Breakfast. A must visit.
For those keen for a beautiful weekend drive, Emeraude, based in Hampton, is a 30-minute leisurely drive from Toowoomba is known for creating innovative food in a friendly country setting. Portion sizes are very generous so bring an appetite or a friend!
##### GROUND UP ESPRESSO
Ground Up Espresso which can be found down a super-cool alleyway off Ruthven Street, is the original cool kids’ hangout in Toowoomba. Offering great single-origin coffee, tasty bacon and egg rolls, and avo toast, it’s always packed to the hilt in the best way.
James Street Grocer, which is actually on Mary Street in East Toowoomba, is a beautifully refined deli and café known for its gorgeous cakes, quiches, salads, and chic atmosphere. It also serves up top-quality Cat’s Pyjamas coffee.
Toowoomba dinner favourite, Muller Bros is the meat lovers’ mecca in town. Known for delicious Brazilian Churrasco with all the meat you can eat plus tantalising sides! Bring a healthy appetite and a big group of friends.
Zev’s Bistro on Ruthven Street is Toowoomba’s only hatted restaurant. Zev’s is known for its progressive menu and hero-ing seasonal produce. The best bit? Zev’s top-shelf cocktail and wine selection is off the charts.
PLACES TO DRINK
If you’re after drinks, Toowoomba has a lot of things to offer beyond the traditional country pub (though we love those too). A cold craft beer or rooftop cocktail on a Sunday afternoon have to be some of the best things to do in Toowoomba.
If you’ve brought your beloved fur child to the wedding, Bar Wunder, a dog-friendly beer garden in the heart of Toowoomba, is the place for you. Think chilled drinks, great beats and lots of cute doggos and an all-around good time.
Rosalie House is a local boutique winery and vineyard on Lavenders Road Lilyvale. It’s a great place to head to for a chic Sunday sesh replete with the acoustic music courtesy of the town’s best local musicians.
You can’t come to Toowoomba without visiting Toowoomba’s iconic gastropub, Fitzy’s, on Margaret Street. It’s the perfect spot for chatting with friends over a round of cold beers and enjoying a solid seasonal menu.
The Spotted Cow or ‘The Cow’ as it’s known to locals is one of the best steak restaurants in town, showcasing the Darling Downs famous beef. It’s also got a great pub atmosphere from lunch through to dinner and beyond. If your seeking family-friendly options The Cow is a must, with a kids menu and lots of paper and pencils for drawing.
PLACES TO SHOP
If you’re hunting for things to do in Toowoomba, look no further than a spot of shop. Yes, Toowoomba Australia is a small country town but it still has a sophisticated selection of homewares and boutique fashion labels to visit at a leisurely country pace.
Tucked into a jewel box of a store, Harold’s Finishing Touches on Bridge Street is a chic Toowoomba homewares mecca. We’re talking gorgeous coffee table books, plush sofas in white linen and beautifully worn Persian woven rugs along with rustic pots and gloriously lush hydrangeas and fiddle leaf figs.
Fashion boutique Florence & Marabel boasts the best selection of party dresses and cool girl clothes in town. Based in the Grand Central shopping center, they also provide some of the most friendly and helpful service around.
Stocking a wide range of beautiful homewares, fashion accessories and the cutest range of baby gifts, The Bungalow & Basket on Ruthven Street is a great spot for browsing and relaxing.
Toowoomba’s iconic Grand Central shopping center is world-class. The huge center includes every fashion brand you’ve ever wished for, along with a cinema, two supermarkets, a slew of beauty specialists and nail bars. Our tip? The delicious yum cha in the food court is top-notch.
PLACES TO STAY
When you're not busy exploring all the things to do in Toowoomba, you'll need somewhere to stay. Toowoomba has a host of beautiful accommodation for any taste and group size, from boutique hotels to Airbnb’s to welcoming country hotels, come and stay!
Metres from the gates of Gabbinbar Homestead, local Airbnb favourite, Wisteria Cottage, is an elegant and airy cottage in the best position. The spacious home accommodates 10 people and has a heap of beautiful lounge areas and a beautifully appointed kitchen to enjoy.
Sleek Airbnb ‘Modern Luxury’ is another excellent option for wedding accommodation in Toowoomba that is located conveniently close to Gabbinbar Homestead. Comfortably accommodating 8 people, there is plenty of space to hang out as a group including in the cute little courtyard.
Toowoomba’s newest luxury accommodation, Arbour Short Stay, does not disappoint! Opening in September 2019, the Gabbinbar Homestead team have been given a sneak peek and we can assure you it’s BEAUTIFUL! Featuring 11 apartments all tastefully decorated in modern-Hamptons luxe and decked out with state of the art lighting and entertainment, you’ll want to turn your short stay into a long one!
Quest Toowoomba’s serviced apartment-style hotel rooms offer guests a relaxed and comfortable accommodation experience, right in the center of the CBD. With numerous dining options at their fingertips, Quest is located only a 10-minute taxi ride to Gabbinbar Homestead, easy!
For a premier stay in Toowoomba, you simply cannot surpass the superior feel of the Potters Boutique Hotel on Margaret Street. Nestled in the ever-expanding Toowoomba CBD, the hotel is a stone’s throw to the newly refurbished Grand Central Shopping Centre.
Common Grounds is a new inner-city Airbnb close to all the favourite haunts making it a great spot if you’re in Toowoomba for a long weekend. The beautifully renovated country cottage sleeps up to 10 people and comes with free coffee at Ground Up Espresso and The Baker’s Duck. Brilliant.
MORE THINGS TO DO IN TOOWOOMBA
Looking for some different things to do in Toowoomba Australia? Here are some outdoor activities, museums, and arts scene attractions to keep you busy.
The original entrepreneurs, Cobb & Co, were a horse and carriage success story transporting folk up The Range between Brisbane Toowoomba and many places beyond. Toowoomba’s Cobb & Co Museum has an epic collection of horse and carriages from the 19th and 20th centuries, and are well worth a look! Really! The museum also offers an innovative roster of exhibitions from the science-related to the personal such as the Diaries of Anne Frank and there is also a café to stop and enjoy some traditional scones and tea.
The historical Empire Theatre boasts one of the best theatre and gig line ups by any standards. Ballet, music, comedy and drama, there is something for everyone at this iconic arts hub. One of the top attractions for history enthusiasts.
People take their flowers seriously in Toowoomba and that’s evident at the Toowoomba Flower Market. Stop by to stock up on fresh, locally grown blooms at great prices. There are roses, peonies, ranunculus and sunflowers by the bunch. It is one of the top attractions for wedding guests to enjoy.
Toowoomba might be a small town, but it’s also a cool one. Where else does the local council allow buildings in the main street to be covered by huge graffiti murals? If you’ve got time to ramble, take yourself for a walk along the alleyways in the CBD and stumble across some street art from the world’s top graf artists in action.
Each year from mid to the end of September, Toowoomba becomes a garden mecca with thousands of visitors in the town’s parks, public spaces, and backyards. If you’re in town at the right time, head to one of the music or long table lunch events or stroll through any number of parks to view the beautiful floral displays at the height of their magnificence.
OUTDOOR THINGS TO DO IN TOOWOOMBA
Toowoomba is known for its gardens and if you go a little further afield there are also some incredible regional hiking spots just waiting to be discovered. Here is our pick of the best Toowoomba things to do in the great outdoors.
LAUREL BANK PARK
Laurel Bank Park, a few minutes’ drive from the center of town is home to incredible seasonal flower displays and a wonderful scented garden for the visually impaired. Some of the best horticulturalists in Australia work on the gardens and it shows! There are also some of the oldest and most majestic trees to experience your fix of zen.
If you like to sweat in between eating and sightseeing, a hike up TableTop is a must-do. It’s roughly a one hour round trip by foot and the amazing 360-degree views over The Range at the top are more than worth it. The photos from the top are also gorgeous, so pack a camera.
GUS BEUTEL LOOKOUT
The Ravensbourne National Park is a little drive from Toowoomba city, but the experience is well worth it. It’s home to part of the vast forests that once covered the great dividing range. A favourite spot to stop is the Gus Beutel lookout which offers panoramic views over the range towards Brisbane.
Located inside the University of South Queensland is four hectares of Zen Japanese Garden complete with a bright red bridge. Pack a picnic lunch and chill out next to the waterfall for an afternoon of total bliss or stop by and meditate if that’s your thing.