K was invited to be a guest speaker at a conference in Toowoomba.
His loyal entourage decided to accompany him to this city which sprawls over the top of a mountain range, 700m above sea level.
Toowoomba is known as the Garden City of Queensland.
If you look at its Civic Calendar for the year, the first thing you notice, is that most of the major events in this city revolve around the various floral blooms and flowering seasons. It is also one of the few, if not The Only Region in Queensland which can legitimately claim to have FOUR seasons in the year with different seasonal floral attributes ! (OK, so the rest of Queensland claims to have seasons, but in truth, the weather in Qld is beautiful all year round with a slightly cooler patch in the middle named winter; or if you prefer, the weather is beautfiul all year round with a hotter patch at one end ie. summer!).
And annually, the city hosts a huge Festival of Flowers on the last weekend of September (1 month into Spring). Whilst we were there, there were already flowers galore everywhere, with much evidence of more good things to come in the next 2 weeks leading up to the Flower Fest.
I wasparticularly impressed that my two boys were so obviously taken by all the beautiful flowers everywhere. They were just happy looking at flowers and more flowers! (I don’t remember being so enamoured by flowers as a child…even tho as a girl, the stereotype says that I should’ve been! There’s hope for my kids!!).
Toowoomba has the feel of a country town about it, though there are about 100,000 residents there, with more in the surrounding districts. The main street has a quaint mixture of beautiful old buildings mixed with the new. And the shops are also an interesting fusion of ye olde worlde country versus hip! Built up high, there are many amazing views to be had over the Lockyer Valley and beyond. Many residents of Toowoomba are farmers from the Darling Downs who have made their millions and have now retired to the higher ground, buying up exclusive acreage on the ridge with views forever.
And the food is fabulous – fresh farm produce with good country portions!
In fact, one of the more notable, award winning restaurants from Qld, is in Toowoomba. The “Weis Restaurant” boasts a huge seafood/steak buffet every day.
We were advised, that if you are ever given a choice of chicken or beef in Toowoomba, choose the BEEF! My favourite cut of steak – eye fillet – was the HUGEST eye fillet I have ever laid my teeth into. And cooked to perfection! They grow ‘em big down there!
But what is also amazing, is that high up here, hundreds of miles away from the ocean, is a restaurant providing the most amazing, fresh seafood buffet surpassing many of the seafood establishments closer to the Coast. And to top it all off, you have that laidback, friendly, good old country service that is often lacking in the bigger cities…..