In spring the ‘Garden city’ of Queensland’s Darling Downs, Toowoomba, comes alive for the Carnival of Flowers – the oldest floral celebration in Australia. Parks and gardens are flower-filled. We’ll wander through private gardens, admire the best of the season’s blossoms, taste local produce, eat at the best restaurants, immerse ourselves in the history of the region, and cheer as the floats of carnival take to the main street in a fun filled short break.
Meet tour Leader Libby Cameron at Sydney Airport ready for our direct flight to Toowoomba. Our first stop is the beautiful Queens Park downtown, decorated at this time of year with heavenly wisteria arches, delphiniums and paddocks of poppies. The park is the headquarters for the Carnival of Flowers.
Next stop Downs Steam Railway, a heritage railway on the Darling Downs. See the fascinating restored steam locomotive and carriages at the museum. Lunch is included.
Check in to our hotel. Relax before our welcome dinner tonight at Gip’s Restaurant in Clifford House, one of Toowoomba’s beautiful old buildings.
A day of exploring the prize-winning private gardens opening for the Carnival. First in Toowoomba then in nearby Highfields where we get into the spirit of rural Queensland life. Lunch and afternoon tea are included here.
Back to Toowoomba for sunset drinks at Laurel Bank Park then dinner tonight at Angelo’s House.
First up this morning is a stroll through tranquil Ju Raku En Japanese Garden. Morning tea will be served in one of the pavilions.
We delve into the legend of Cobb and Co at the Queensland Museum, when four young Americans started a stagecoach company in 1854, like those in the US to service new towns opening up in the goldfields and to transport passengers and mail between Castlemaine and Melbourne. Cobb & Co coaches operated for 70 years in every mainland colony of Australia as well as New Zealand, South Africa and Japan.
Time now to cheer on the floats on the Grand Parade which winds its way through the city to Queens Park. Floral floats, street theatre and carnival characters make this parade a must see event.
Dinner included tonight.
Enjoy a private garden visit this morning then we discover the origin of ‘Dad and Dave’ another historic highlight this morning when we discover and the golden age of radio at Nobby Village.
Visit the memorial of Sister Elizabeth Kenny, who received world recognition for her revolutionary treatment of polio victims in the early to mid-twentieth century.
We’ll have lunch in Rudd’s Pub and admire the memorabilia on the walls of its pioneering past. Visit a country acreage garden and then a
wine tasting at Preston Peak Winery.
Farewell Dinner at Weis Restaurant will finish a perfect day.
Our last day and we’re off to Brisbane to catch our plane home. But first we’ll stop at Laidley Pioneer Village to see the old school, the post office, the old goal, the church and the buggy shed buggy shed and get a picture of rural life in Queensland from the early 1800’s. Next stop is lunch at Spicers Hiddenvale, a luxury retreat in the Lockyer Valley just an hour from Brisbane and the airport for our flight home.
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