The edge of the Dividing Range near Toowoomba.

Toowoomba is found on the Dividing Range of Queensland, a short drive inland from Brisbane to the Darling Downs.  It is called the “Garden City,” and is known for its roses, as well as its many lovely private and public gardens.  Jane’s family hails from Toowoomba, so we took a day to visit the town and the parks.

We started out in Queen’s Park Garden, the former botanical gardens.  There were lots of lovely non-native plants in stunning visual displays.  Near Campbell street stands a 64-pound muzzle loading gun; according to the official website, “ (it is) believed to be one of two purchased by the Queensland Government around 1878 for shore defense purposes. Its reason for being in Toowoomba is unclear, but the gun was certainly in place in 1916 when it was the cause of much consternation among the local citizenry. An official decision had been made to fire the cannon on the evening of April 25 for the anniversary of Anzac Day; enthusiastic loading resulted in a detonation which shook buildings for some distance around the park.”

Picnic Point is  a beautifully landscaped parkland with magnificent lookouts over the city, Tabletop Mountain,  and the Lockyer Valley.

The Japanese Garden is also quite lovely, although it would be best not to visit it at midday in full sun, as we did. Ju Raku En is the largest, most complex and traditionally designed Japanese Garden in Australia. It was named Ju Raku En by the designer – roughly translated it means “long life and happiness in a public garden.”