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Old February 5th, 2008, 07:15 PM   #1
isoboy
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City of Toowoomba

Here are some pics I've collected from the net of Toowoomba, Queensland - one of my favourite Australian regional cities. Not many of the pics do it justice (and some are quite out-of-date) but they give an indication of what Toowoomba is like.

Toowoomba is quite at odds with the image of Queensland. Located at the top of the Great Dividing Range, 130 km west of Brisbane, it has a relatively cool climate and experiences frost in winter, fog at any time of year (sometimes for several days at a time) and even a light dusting of snow on rare occasions.

It's a very under-rated city and gets a bit of a ribbing in Qld as a 'backwater' (probably because it doesn't have a beach and because it hasn't knocked down all its historic buildings!) but in reality it's one of Australia's more civilised provincial cities with some great Victorian and Art Deco architecture, grand tree-lined streets, over 100 public parks and gardens, a university, a cathedral and spectacular views from its escarpment suburbs atop the Great Dividing Range. It also differs from most Queensland centres architecturally, with a prepoderance of brick and stone buildings and less of the timber and weatherboard that's common elsewhere in Queensland.

Toowoomba's population is 121,000 (2006 Census) making it Australia's largest inland city after Canberra and one of Australia's largest regional cities. The Toowoomba City Council area has a population of 96,000 but the city spills into neighbouring shires such as Crows Nest and Jondaryan.

Pics from various websites (credits where known):


CBD

View from Mt Lofty



Old Post Office

(Pic: Sam Berner, Flickr)


Old Court House

(Pic: Sam Berner, Flickr)

Toowoomba City Hall



Westpac Bank



Pigott's Department Store building





The Strand cinemas

(Pic: Sam Berner, Flickr)




The Empire Theatre



Ruthven Street





Margaret Street



(Pic: Wikipedia)


Russell Street, on a particularly gloomy winter's day.



Various buildings



(Pic: Sam Berner, Flickr)




Parks and gardens

Queen's Park. A huge park adjacent to the CBD, it was established in 1875 and is a favourite spot for city workers at lunch-time.







Laurel Bank, another fine inner-city park.







Ju Raku En, Toowoomba's Japanese Gardens. Located 7 km south-west of the CBD at the University of Southern Qld, it is Australia's largest Japanese garden.







Picnic Point Park. Five kilometres east of the CBD at Picnic Point, this park is at the top of the Toowoomba Range, where the eastern suburbs abruptly stop at the edge of the escarpment. The park contains a watertower (a local landmark) and has spectacular views of Tabletop Mountain and the valleys below. Mysteriously, trees will not grow on the flat summit of Tabletop.









Toowoomba from above

Toowoomba from the air



Toowoomba Airport

(Pic: Russ Denyer)


Toowoomba from space

(Pic: NASA Landsat)


More pics to follow...

Last edited by isoboy; March 2nd, 2010 at 10:57 PM.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 12:38 AM   #2
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Great little tour, thak you very much for that.

You never really here much about Toowoomba down south, which going by these pics is a great injustice. Seems to have just as much character as Bendigo and Ballarat - if not more. It's only about an hour away from Brizze right? Sounds like a great place for a cool weekend retreat.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 12:42 AM   #3
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I love Towoomba. Beautiful place.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 01:10 AM   #4
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it's an interesting place considering that it's our largest inland city if you discount canberra. it's one place i've never been but i will make sure to visit there one day. i still can't get over it's nickname - poowoomba!
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Old February 6th, 2008, 01:15 AM   #5
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Toowomba is a very attractive city. It has a good down to earth nature about it and pretty good local culture. New England towns and cities all have great character.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 01:36 AM   #6
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Good stuff Isoboy! I think the nickname comes from the fact that Toowoomba was to have recycled water as part of their town water supplies. This was knocked on the head even though the water supplies were so low but the latest rain could have stocked up the dams.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 02:14 AM   #7
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It is a great place, I hope to get up there again soon, might wait for Winter as I love the cold weather.

It's closer to a 2 hour drive from Brisbane. It is on the train line, but it gets very few trains and they take ages to get to Brisbane (4 hours or so).
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Old February 6th, 2008, 02:37 AM   #8
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Yeah, a sore point for me. Would love to be able to catch a train up there for a weekend day trip, bus just does not attract me.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 04:51 AM   #9
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i never heard of the nickname poowoomba?

Anyway, it only takes me 90min to get there, the H'way is pretty decent the whole way these days, except for the Range, which has claimed many vehicles and lives.

Coming from Brisbane, one of the stranger things that took me a while to get used to was the fog, the fog happens a lot and can be there all day and night. It makes it hard driving sometimes with visibility right down. The weather is pretty crazy all year round, it has extermely chilly winters and hot summers, sometimes the heat is the dry heat from out west and other times its the typical sub-tropical QLD weather with high humidity and heavy downpours.

Other things, the city is relatively still conservative, not much night-life, no shopping on sundays and even on saturdays most things are shut by lunch(if they even open).

Though the landscape and parks around the city are fantastic, the city is on the perfect soil for growing plants and crops, so there are always nice flowers and lots of green grass around. Its all red dirt in toowoomba, which stains shoes the minute you stand on it.

As for the mention of the Train, well getting a train to toowoomba is always going to difficult considering the gradient of the range. Ive gone along the current railway many times, and some of the corners and tunnels its goes through getting up the range is prett incredible.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 05:04 AM   #10
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Toowoomba always reminded me of Adelaide - its quite refined and 'proper' and the parks are spectacular. Its private schools and universities also attract students from around the world. There is also a feeling of 'old money' in Toowoomba that you only get down south.

Its probably the only inland city I'd feel comfortable living in.

The Empire theatre is the largest outside the main capital cities and I read somewhere that per capita people in Toowoomba visit the performing arts more than any other city in Australia.

I also read somewhere that it has one of the highest birth rates in Queensland and is a great place to bring up kids.

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Old February 6th, 2008, 05:12 AM   #11
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I agree JayT, it reminds me of a smaller Adelaide. It has similar wide tree-lined streets, extensive parks and gardens and lots of chuches, like Adelaide does. And its skyline is about the same size. It also reminds me a bit of Christchurch, New Zealand. Toowoomba is called 'the garden city' and Christchurch is as well, I believe.

Gappa: yes, it's 1 1/2 hours from Brisbane CBD by road. The highway between the two is quite good, 4 lanes all the way. By train it takes much longer - there have been plans to electrify the track to Brisbane, but they've never come to anything.

Last edited by isoboy; February 6th, 2008 at 12:12 PM.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 12:52 PM   #12
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Toowoomba indeed seems to be a very underrated city - although I haven't been, the pics and descriptions above give the impression of an elegant, refined regional city.

In terms of population Toowoomba has only 10,000 people less than Cairns, making it Australia's 15th largest city - yet it seems to be relatively unknown among the general populous. Can't wait to visit one day! Thanks for the great thread!
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Old February 6th, 2008, 02:31 PM   #13
isoboy
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Skyscrapers

Skyscrapers aren't Toowoomba's strong point (as would be expected of a city its size) but since this is a skyscraper forum I'll post a few pics of Toowoomba's 'scrapers' (term used very loosely). From newest to oldest:


Toowoomba Central Plaza. Apartments and hotel in CBD. 10 storeys, 40 metres, completed 2007.

(Pic: www.toowoombacentralplaza.com.au)

Views from Towoomba Central Plaza

(Pic: www.toowoombacentralplaza.com.au)


(Pic: www.realestate.com.au)


(Pic: www.realestate.com.au)


The Grosvenor. Apartments located in suburb of Rangeville. 7 storeys, 33 metres, completed 2004.


View from the Grosvenor



Cottesloe Crest. Apartments located in suburb of East Toowoomba. 16 storeys, 49 metres, completed 1998. Has similar mountain views to the Grosvenor.


image hosted on flickr



The Parks. Apartments located in suburb of East Toowoomba. 12 storeys, 44 metres, completed 1990.



Condamine Centre. Offices located in CBD. 11 storeys, 46 metres, completed 1989. Can't find any good pics!





Heritage Plaza. Offices located in CBD. Headquarters of Heritage Building Society. 11 storeys, 45 metres, completed 1989.





Burke and Wills Quality Hotel. Located in CBD. 9 storeys? Height? Completion '60s or '70s?





- The Toowoomba Base Hospital also contains several high-rise buildings, the tallest of which is 9 storeys and 40 metres, but I don't have any pics.


- There's also a '60s or '70s apartment block of 6-7 stories in the suburb of Rangeville - again, no pics.

Last edited by isoboy; March 2nd, 2010 at 11:16 PM.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 02:51 PM   #14
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Great tour! Well done!
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Old February 6th, 2008, 05:25 PM   #15
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Some recent photos I'd taken of the historic Toowoomba railway station.

With actually four platforms once in use, three shorter terminating ones and the main longer straight through (still in use today) platform, it was quite a large city station back in its hey-day.

Today there is also a restaurant within the station complex serving fine food http://www.platform9.net.au/

























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Old February 7th, 2008, 12:07 AM   #16
LanceDriver
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wow, i'm liking the place more and more as i see these photos. i'm surprised that there are any serious highrise - it seems like one of those places where the aussie mentality of "hey, we've got an endless supply of extremely fertile farmland that we can sprawl across" would reign supreme. i think it's got enough population now to support some density though and that would be interesting for a regional inland city.

i found this one page fact sheet that's pretty good -
http://www.toowoombanow.com.au/Downl...oowoomba-1.pdf
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Old February 7th, 2008, 03:02 AM   #17
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Great shots Sunbus! Do you know where the trains using the terminus platforms were servicing? You should post those pics on the station photo thread in Transportation, its a nice-looking station.
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Old February 7th, 2008, 03:15 AM   #18
isoboy
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Great pics Sunbus! The main station buildings are very attractive. It's a shame that the platforms aren't in better condition and that the station's not fully utilised anymore.

There are actually a few smaller railway stations in and around Toowoomba. The most interesting one is Spring Bluff Railway Station - a picturesque, heritage-listed station in the ranges 8 kilometres north of Toowoomba. The station is surrounded by extensive gardens and tourist steam trains run there from Toowoomba at spring-time, when the flowers are in bloom (though the station and gardens can be visited at any time of year). Spring Bluff is also a popular starting point for local bushwalks.


(Pic: luremedia, Flickr)


(Pic: tannykid, Flickr)


(Pic: Michael Pin, Flickr)


(Pic: JIGGS, Flickr)






Last edited by isoboy; February 7th, 2008 at 12:35 PM.
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Old February 7th, 2008, 05:28 AM   #19
Sunbus610
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brisbanite View Post
Great shots Sunbus! Do you know where the trains using the terminus platforms were servicing? You should post those pics on the station photo thread in Transportation, its a nice-looking station.
I was originally going to do that but after looking at some of those great photos of the European railway stations being posted lately under the Transportation thread thought mine might of looked a little drab .
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Old February 7th, 2008, 06:12 AM   #20
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Don't let that deter you, Toowoomba is a great looking historical station and I am glad you posted the pic's somewhere as I haven't seen the station since I was a kid.
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