SUCH A SHOW: Toowoomba l is set to burst into a myriad of colours at the Carnvival of Flowers.
SUCH A SHOW: Toowoomba l is set to burst into a myriad of colours at the Carnvival of Flowers.

How many flowers does it take to make a festival?

SPRING is officially with us, and that means a colourful and fragrant event to rival any in the world: the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers.

From September 15 through 24 Toowoomba will be a blaze of spring colour, music, food and wine, entertainment, culture, floral art and garden celebration in a 10 day program featuring more than 60 events and experiences.

Since its inception in 1949, the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers has flourished and is now an iconic Queensland event. 

The brainchild of Essex Tait and the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce, Carnival was introduced as a way for the city to use its Garden City reputation to promote increased economic activity following the recent hardships of war.

On October 21, 1950 the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers commenced with a street procession that stretched three miles in length. Led by a bullock team and watched by a crowd estimated to be 50,000 strong, the parade was a resounding success. The Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers subsequently became firmly cemented as an annual event.

Toowoomba Regional Council takes the carnival so seriously it invested in a seed planting machine, saving at least 1,000 work hours in the task of raising 190,000 seedlings for the event, including 17,000 grown in pots. Many of the resulting blooms will feature on Grand Central Floral Parade floats.

Following months of preparation - not least being the planting of 160,000 annuals and 20,000 bulbs - the 10-day carnival is set to burst into a riot of colour and fun this month.

Full details of the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers: September 15-24, 2017 are at www.tcof.com.au

WHATS ON AT THE FESTIVAL

Grand Central Floral Parade

Saturday, 16 September at 3pm

Think spectacular giant floral floats, entertainers and more cruising down Toowoomba's city streets against a backdrop of more than 100,000 people and you can see why the Grand Central Floral Parade is one of the Carnival's hallmark events. Then when the parade is over head to the Godsall Street Oval where the flowers, fruit and veggies that decorated the floats are on sale.

Tour Toowoomba's Parks

Toowoomba's parks are alive with colour. Queens Park has been planted with 40,000 Annuals and 8,000 Bulbs; Laurel Bank Park with 68,000 Annuals and 10,500 Bulbs; Picnic Point with 26,000 Annuals; the CBD (Ruthven/Margaret Streets) with 6,500 Annuals and 1,500 Bulbs and Newtown Park, Vera Lacaze, Chalk Drive with 11,000 Annuals, and on Spring Bluff, 8,000 Annuals.

Japanese Garden Ju Raku En

Throughout the festival one of Toowoomba's most tranquil and spectacular spots, Ju Raku En is three hectares of stunning beauty, and one of Australia's largest and most traditionally designed Japanese stroll gardens. Wander the three kilometres of pathways showcasing 230 species of Japanese and Australian plants.

The Private Gardens

Friday, 15 September - Sunday, 24 September

Throughout the carnival, The Chronicle Garden Competition entrants will be open for inspection. Spectacular gardens all designed and tended to by Toowoomba locals are on display. They are truly inspirational and a must see during any visit to the carnival. Times and tours are on the website.

Harrow Homestead and Garden

Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 September and Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 September

Get your flower fix at this private grand garden and homestead which is home to the most picturesque, story-book worthy grounds which include a 50 metre rose arbour, water-lily filled lake and blooming garden beds.

Hanging Basket Display

Friday, 15 September - Sunday, 24 September

Who would have thought hanging baskets could be so rich in variety, colour and creativity? This exhibition of 60 of the loveliest hanging baskets of floral creations and artisan displays, is on show at the Cobb + Co Museum.

The Exhibition Gardens

Friday, 15 September - Sunday, 24 September

Celebrate the pure love of flowers, gardening and all things horticultural at The Chronicle Exhibition Gardens. The specially selected Exhibition Gardens are chosen because they are so unique and creative that they deserve a special show all of their own. Be inspired, and perhaps learn a tip or two, at the five private gardens selected as Toowoomba's finest for 2017.

Twilight Tours

Monday, 18 September - Thursday 21 September

The magnificent grounds of the Laurel Bank Park will come alive after dark and you can see the spectacular blooms by moonlight on a Twilight Tour which will reveal the secret world of plants at night, as well as what goes on behind the scenes to create this picture-perfect park.

Laurel Bank Park

Throughout the festival

Close your eyes and enjoy the strongest scented flowers you've ever experienced in Laurel Bank Park's special garden that was created by the Downs Association for the Blind. While you're there check out the topiary caterpillar and train shapes and feature floral displays.

Community Floral Events

Throughout the carnival

Away from the well-known parks and gardens in Toowoomba, the Garden City has a fabulous array of floral experiences you can sniff out and enjoy including special events and exhibitions like the St Luke's Flower and Music Festival, Orchid or Clivia Society Shows and the Bonsai Group Show are just a few on offer.


Group guide: Wide Bay

Group guide: Wide Bay

There's some amazing groups and clubs to join within your community.

Group guide: Northern NSW

Group guide: Northern NSW

There's some amazing groups and clubs to join within your community.

Woman’s $2.80 bus fare led to $886 fine

Woman’s $2.80 bus fare led to $886 fine

Bus passenger who bought a $2.80 fare hit with $886 fine