Things to do in the Darling Downs these holidays

THINGS to do and places to see for locals and visitors to the Darling Downs region these holidays.

Table Top

Tabletop Mountain
Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle
Tabletop Mountain Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle Bev Lacey

THE popular Toowoomba destination is a must for those living in and visiting the region.

The Table Top Mountain climb can be challenging and requires a moderate level of fitness with the top providing views across the Lockyer Valley.

The track is an 11.5km return from Picnic Pint or 1.9km return from the base of the hill.

Parks

Hugh and Kathy Davies take a stroll through Queens Park.
Hugh and Kathy Davies take a stroll through Queens Park. Nev Madsen

WE ARE not known as the Garden City for nothing, with Toowoomba home to some of the best parks in the country.

Queens Park, Laurel Bank Park and the Japanese Garden are just some of the best parks to visit in Toowoomba.

Our Japanese Garden is the most complex and traditionally designed in Australia while Queens Park features a large array of flowers, wide open spaces and tree-lined paths.

Picnic Point

Picnic Point.
Picnic Point. Ben Nott

PICNIC Point is one of the best-known places in Toowoomba with views across the Toowoomba Range and Lockyer Valley.

The destination received a heritage listing in 2008 and is a must-see for visitors.

Picnic Point features a lookout, waterfall, park lands and a cafe.

Empire Theatre

The Empire Theatre.
The Empire Theatre. Bev Lacey

PLAYING host to numerous productions each year, the Empire Theatre is Toowoomba's entertainment hub.

The art deco-style building is filled with history which is evident as you walk inside the theatre.

The theatre was built in 1922 and rebuilt in 1933 after a fire. It was fully restored in 1997.

The Empire Theatre's big production for 2017 is Wicked about the untold story of the witches of Oz.

Farmers' Markets

Anika Wulff from Spring Lakes Farm at the Toowoomba Farmers' Market.
Anika Wulff from Spring Lakes Farm at the Toowoomba Farmers' Market. Bev Lacey

THE Darling Downs is home to an abundance of farms providing fresh produce from meat and vegetables to fruit and eggs.

Visitors and locals alike can snap up fresh food at markets across city.

The My Local Feast Farmers' Market is a weekly event held in the Empire Theatre Grounds. It will resume on January 12 from 3pm to 7pm.

The Toowoomba Farmers' Market is fortnightly held next to the Cobb and Co Museum. This market will resume on January 14 from 7am to 11am.

Food

Hello Harry, Junk and 2 Birds co-founder Scott Hoskins shows off food at one of the newest Toowoomba food destinations.
Hello Harry, Junk and 2 Birds co-founder Scott Hoskins shows off food at one of the newest Toowoomba food destinations. Bev Lacey

IF YOU are coming to Toowoomba for the day or more, then check out the region's cafes and restaurants.

Toowoomba is becoming known for its food and recently its laneway culture with a number of new venues opening in the past year.

These include the popular Walton Stores with Junk, Hello Harry and 2Birds as well as Skewers, The Third Monkey, The Office and Muller Bros to name just a few.

Art

Adelaide's Lisa King painted this Bowen St wall for First Coat.
Adelaide's Lisa King painted this Bowen St wall for First Coat. Kevin Farmer

WALK around the city and you are sure to see larger-than-life street art grabbing your eye.

The second annual Fire Coat festival was held this year, bringing extra colour and art to Toowoomba.

See firstcoat.com.au for a full list of murals and locations.

Shopping

Kimberly Major outside one of Grand Central's newest stores Forever New.
Kimberly Major outside one of Grand Central's newest stores Forever New. Meghan Harris

IF SHOPPING is your idea of holiday fun, Toowoomba has a new array of stores to keep you satisfied.

The city's largest shopping centre Grand Central opened a new retail galleria in September offering stores such as Forever New, Witchery, Seed and H&M.

There are also a number of boutique fashion stores in the Toowoomba CBD to look out for. Take a walk along Margaret and Ruthven Sts for some great spots.

Waterfalls

Queen Mary Falls.
Queen Mary Falls. Contributed

SET IN picturesque locations across the Darling Downs there are a number of waterfalls to discover.

Coomba Falls at Maidenwell features a deep natural swimming hole surrounded by granite cliffs. It is on Coomba Waterhole Rd, about an hour and 25 minutes north of Toowoomba.

Queen Mary Falls is about an hour and 45 minutes south of Toowoomba and Crows Nest Falls is 48 minutes north of Toowoomba, in the Crows Nest National Park. The park also features a eucalypt forest.


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