School holidays are here and I, like most parents, am always looking for something to do when no formal vacation is planned. Enter The Day Trip, the perfect step up from the Staycation and an amazing way to explore all that your local area has to offer. This, being our first official post, will explore the perfect day in our locale, looking at the best options for families of every age from toddlers to teens.
Let us first of all address the elephant in the room: Why Toowoomba? Well dear reader Toowoomba is SEQs best kept secret. It is a town with views and seasons, parks and cafes (with incredible coffee), art and architecture, history and progression; the list is endless. All this within 90 minutes from the capital and 2 hours from the coast.
Your trip should begin, as all good trips do, with some great coffee and treats. It is for these two important reasons that we recommend planning to visit on Wednesday through to Sunday. Being a town that caters for the weekend tourist, many local favourites are closed on Mondays and even Tuesdays so, to avoid disappointment, aim for later in the week. Toowoomba is blessed with some incredible cafes, many within close proximity to our fabulous parks. On arrival pop into one of the east side wonders such as Impressions on Scott (Scott street) or The Bakers Duck (Campbell street) for great coffee and an incredible selection of house made delicacies: You can thank me later. Those needing to cater for food allergies and intolerances, Impressions have a very good range of gluten and dairy free, as does our other local favourite, Sage and Butler (Cnr Margaret and Mary).
The park visit
Once armed with the good stuff head to Queen's Park. There are two fantastic playgrounds within the park, with the Margaret street one catering for a range of ages. The play equipment in this area is incredible but, if you prefer a more relaxing playground visit, head to the Lindsay street area where the equipment is considerably tamer. Each of these play areas is bordered by ovals which are perfect for older kids so always pack some form of sporting equipment. Still in Queen's park, the Campbell street side has a miriad of paths perfect for bikes and scooters. Where ever you land grab a picnic table or find a shady spot for the picnic rug and be prepared to settle in for a couple of hours. The very ambitious could even attempt a crawl across each of the three areas.
All that playing requires a hearty lunch and families are certainly spoiled for choice. We recommend jumping back in the car and heading to either Sweet Talk (down town) or The Finch on the Range. Both of these have menus that appeal to all ages and, the most essential part, a fantastic courtyard or outdoor area that is perfect for toddlers and up.
Once lunch is done its time for those with older kids to explore the town, taking in both unique shops, incredible architecture and amazing graffiti covered laneways that rival those of Melbourne. Click HERE to discover what is located where or keep an eye on our website for a map of our favourites.
Those with little people should head to COBB AND CO for an incredible display of the region's past. It is worth noting that there is a fabulous cafe contained within the building that borders an enclosed play area. The scones are ridiculously good, as are the chips...perhaps not together though. There are frequently additional activities planned for the school holidays however bookings for these are essential.
Too much fun
Other activites of note include a visit to Laurel Bank Park, Barefoot Bowls at the East Toowoomba Bowls club, hiking one of the many amazing TRAILS on the escarpment or even a guided BIKE TOUR of Toowoomba and a visit to The Toowoomba Gallery, yes, even with little ones. These activities may be substituted for any of the above or you could add on an extra day to cover all the key spots.
Finally, finish the day up at Picnic Point Lookout taking in the incredible views of the Lockyer Valley, before heading home. Too much fun for just one day? Check out our post Two Days in Toowoomba for more local secrets and fabulous accomodation options.