Toowoomba and surrounds

Alfesta 2023 will be held in and around Toowoomba, approximately 130 kilometres (90 minutes) west of Brisbane. The City of Toowoomba crowns the edge of the Great Dividing Range 700 meters above sea level, overlooking the Lockyer Valley.

View from the Toowoomba plateau

A Brief History of Toowoomba

The indigenous tribes of the Jagera, Giabal and Jarowair people inhabited the Darling Downs for at least 40,000 years before European settlement. Europeans began exploring and settling in the area from 1816 onwards. The first settlement was around Drayton and, by the 1840s, it had grown to the point where it had its own newspaper shop, general store, trading post and the Royal Bull's Head Inn.

In 1849, work began on draining swampy land to the west of Drayton and this area was developed into useful farming land. The new settlement became known as Toowoomba. By 1858 Toowoomba was growing fast. It had a population of 700, three hotels and many stores.

Japanese Garden

The first council election took place in 1861 and the telegraph connection to Brisbane was established in 1862. Between 1868 and 1886, several new railway lines from Toowoomba were opened. Throughout the 21st century the city prospered with new hospitals, large industrial buildings and education facilities established.

Today, Toowoomba is known as Queensland’s Garden City and boasts more than 150 parks and gardens.

One of the few places in Queensland where you can properly experience all four seasons, from March to May mellow tints of red and gold mark the autumn showing. At this time, daytime temperatures average around 24 degrees, while nights cool down to about 14 degrees.

Toowoomba has many heritage-listed buidings and by strolling around the  city centre you can discover many well-restored examples. The surrounding district also has many examples of historic buildings and sites of interest.

Check out our sightseeing suggestions

Toowoomba heritage buildings