The BEST 50 Things to do in Toowoomba in 2021!
Looking for fun things to do in Toowoomba today? We’ve got the BEST list of things to do in Toowoomba … in town and around the town.
We’ve divided the list into a few different categories. Scroll down to find suggestions for:
- Adventure activities in Toowoomba
- Culture in Toowoomba
- Parks and walks in Toowoomba
- Nature experiences in Toowoomba
- Play activities for kids in Toowoomba
- Places to eat with kids in Toowoomba
- Day trips from Toowoomba
UPDATE: Due to COVID-19 restrictions, some activities may currently be suspended or operating at reduced capacity. Be sure to follow the links we’ve provided to websites to make sure you have the latest information.
Looking for things to do in the school holidays in Toowoomba? You want this article here ===> Things to do in the school holidays in Toowoomba
Adventure activities to do in Toowoomba with kids
Our adventure section covers activities designed to amp up the fun, get those little hearts racing and leave your family with memories to last a lifetime.
A lot of these destinations involve driving (sometimes up to an hour) from Toowoomba as your base so please factor that into your planning.
Toowoomba Model Railway Club
Location: Toowoomba Showgrounds, Glenvale Road, Toowoomba
For those train fanatics, this is for you. A 100% NMRA (National Model Railway Association) affiliated club, the Darling Downs Model Railway Club is a place where you can get your model train fix with a hobbyists’ corner and regular events.
Website: Toowoomba Model Railway Club
Cowboy Up Horse Riding
Location: Emu Creek via Toowoomba
Giddy Up! Well now – THIS is a fun thing to do in Toowoomba! Experience horseback riding at its best. Meander down local trails through working cattle property whilst you soak up the picturesque farmland and mountainous surroundings. Be sure to keep an eye open for wild deer, the menagerie of birdlife and wallabies. Just grab your hat and enjoy the feel of your western saddle as you ride into the sunset.
Website: Cowboy Up Horse Riding
DownsSteam Tourist Railway & Museum
Location: 16 Cambooya Street, Drayton
If you’re a train buff you cannot miss this. Operated by volunteers, DownsSteam is dedicated to establishing a tourist railway – a place for tourists to discover and rediscover their passion for rail. After lovingly restoring trains and carriages they welcome everyone to come along to their regular meetings and events to experience for themselves the trains from years gone by.
Website: DownsSteam Tourist Railway & Museum
Jondaryan Woolshed: open-air working museum – Closed until further notice.
Location: 264 Jondaryan Evanslea Road, Jondaryan
PLEASE NOTE: The Woolshed at Jondaryan has been closed since early 2020 and they have not given any timeframe forward as to when it will open again.
Jondaryan Woolshed is the ultimate introduction to farm life for any tourist. Just 40mins from Toowoomba, tuck into a Ploughman’s Lunch in the Woolshed Restaurant and explore this heritage-listed open air museum which is the largest and oldest operating woolshed in the world. Read our Jondaryan Woolshed guide here.
Website: Jondaryan Woolshed
Transport and Main Roads Heritage Centre
Location: 2–22 Mutze Street, opposite the Toowoomba airport.
Get ready to enrich your mind with the interactive exhibits at the Transport and Main Roads Heritage Centre. With a unique perspective of road building history in QLD, it’s the only museum of its type in Australia. Kids can learn all about the machinery through cartoon characters and an interactive children’s trail whilst adults will be in awe of the manual labour involved in building the QLD road network.
Location: 27 Lindsay Street, Toowoomba
You simply can’t be in Toowoomba and not visit the Cobb+Co Museum. Learn a heritage trade, check out the traditional Cobb+Co carriages from the horse drawn era or visit one of their interactive and educational events that are bound to keep you talking for days on end. Toowoomba kids (and visitors alike) will love these activities to do in Toowoomba. Check out what Cobb+Co Museum have on over the Toowoomba school holidays here.
Website: Cobb+Co Museum
Darling Downs Zoo
Location: 21 Baines Road, Pilton
No trip to the region is complete without a visit to one of the best-kept secrets around! The Darling Downs Zoo is a favourite place for Toowoomba families as well as those near and far. It’s open every day except Christmas Day, with last entries at 3pm. Read more about the zoo in our review here.
Website: Darling Downs Zoo
Royal Bull’s Head Inn
Location: Brisbane Street, Drayton
This 19th century inn is a great place to get a sense of what life was like 150 years ago. Built by an ex-convict, it was originally run as a hotel and tavern before being used as a family home and post office. Exploring the inn is like stepping back in time, with many of the rooms furnished exactly as they might have been in a bygone era.
Website: Royal Bull’s Head Inn
Toowoomba Live Steamers
Location: Lemway Park, Lemway Avenue, Kearney Springs, Toowoomba
Toot Toot! All aboard for a wonderful train ride at the Toowoomba Live Steamers miniature railway. The railway opens to the public on the third Sunday of each month, weather permitting. Both children and adults can take the 8-10 minute ride on the 900m track for just $2 each. There are some safety requirements, including clothing, so be sure to check the details on their website before you head out.
Website: Toowoomba Live Steamers
Highfields Pioneer Village
Location: 73 Wirraglen Road, Highfields
If you’re looking for something a little different and educational for your children, you can’t go past Highfields Pioneer Village. Highfields Pioneer Village has over 60 buildings to explore and gives you an authentic look at Settlement in Australia. You can also indulge in some billy tea and damper! It’s a great day out for all. For more information, click here.
Website: Highfields Pioneer Village
Australian Army Flying Museum
Location: Museum Drive, Oakey, about 25 minutes drive from Toowoomba
This purpose-built museum at the Oakey airfield has a large collection of aircraft and memorabilia from all eras of Australian military flying. There’s even a specific kids’ area designed to give them an idea what it might feel like to be a military aviator. The museum is open Wednesdays to Saturdays from 10am to 3pm, and has undercover picnic tables and BBQs so you can bring your lunch with you.
Website: Australian Army Flying Museum
Cultural things to do in Toowoomba with kids
If you’re looking for entertainment that’s a little more relaxed, Toowoomba has plenty of cultural activities on offer. Our first suggestion is sure to amaze and it’s completely free.
Location: Inner city Toowoomba
Toowoomba is home to one of Australia’s largest outdoor galleries. Huge murals on the side of buildings first appeared in 2012 when five artists painted the wall of the CUA building in Domestic Lane. Now there are more than 80 wall murals to be explored.
Half the fun is in simply wandering the laneways trying to find them all, but we’ll get you started by suggesting you explore around Searle’s Walk, Gallery Lane, Ruthven Street, Union Street, Neil Street and Jessie Street for starters.
Website: Street Art Photo Gallery
USQ School of Creative Arts (formerly Artsworx)
Location: ‘A’ Block (A237), University of Southern QLD, West Street Toowoomba
For something to do in Toowoomba that is that little bit different, check out what’s on at the University of Southern QLD. Why not go and see an independent film, a performance (comedy, Shakespeare, music, theatre), an art exhibition, attend an intellectual talk or perhaps a twilight music performance. Events are regularly updated on their Facebook page.
Website: USQ School of Creative Arts
Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery
Location: 531 Ruthven Street, Toowoomba, beside City Hall.
Established in the early 1900’s, the gallery holds three permanent collections: – The Lionel Lindsay Gallery and Library, The Fred & Lucy Gould Collection and the Toowoomba City Collection. The gallery hosts a variety of education and public programmes so check out their website to see what’s on when.
Website: Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery
Empire Theatre Toowoomba
Location: 54-56 Neil Street Toowoomba
Heritage listed and known for its classic art deco design, the Empire Theatre should be near the top of your to-do list. With an array of performance and function areas, it is the largest performing arts precinct in regional Australia and is the place to be for culture and entertainment in Toowoomba.
Location: Shop 4, 100 Hill Street, Newtown Shopping Centre
Children thrive on music and Kindermusik takes musical learning to the next level. For children aged 0 to 7 years, Kindermusik includes instrument play and dance, and is designed to enhance children’s cognitive, language, physical and social learning skills.
Location: The Mills Precinct, 269-291 Ruthven Street
Held every second Sunday from 8am-1pm, these fabulous markets showcase products and services from local makers, doers and small businesses. There’s a kid’s corner with activities to keep the little ones amused and live music to entertain as well.
Facebook: Maker’s Market
Parks and walks to do in Toowoomba with kids
Toowoomba is a city full of magnificent parks…each one offering something different. It’s a historical treasure trove as well, so there are plenty of interesting walks around the parks and through the city centre that give a glimpse of by-gone times.
Laurel Bank Park
Location: Hill Street Toowoomba
Looking for a great park for the kids or a way to escape your busy everyday life? Laurel Bank Park really delivers. Wander through the vibrant flower gardens or ponder upon the many statues sprinkled throughout the park before spending some time at the children’s playground and just relaxing in the sun. Read more here.
Website: Laurel Bank Park
Queens Park Botanic Gardens
Location: 43 Lindsay Street, East Toowoomba
Centrally located in the heart of Toowoomba, you have to visit Queens Park. With 7 different areas to explore it’s bound to keep the kids on their toes whilst you rekindle a romance or simply breathe in the fresh air and take in the moment. Discover the vibrant flowers peppered throughout this expansive heritage park, visit “Frogs Hollow”, the children’s play area, the off-leash dog park, the amphitheatre or the ovals throughout the grounds for a fun filled day out.
Website: Queens Park Botanic Gardens
Gumbi Gumbi gardens
Location: University of Southern Queensland, West Street entrance
The Gumbi Gumbi gardens feature more than 100 indigenous plant species used by local Aboriginal communities for a range of purposes, including food and medicine. The gardens were designed in partnership with the elders of the Jarowair people and historical elders from Toowoomba. They’re open at all times and admission is free.
Website: Gumbi Gumbi Gardens
Ju Raku En Japanese Gardens
Location: University of Southern Queensland
A touch of tranquillity and stunning Asian culture, Ju Raku En is one of the largest traditionally designed Japanese gardens in Australia. Sprawling across 3 hectares with 3 kilometres of walking paths, the park also features a mountain stream, waterfall and lake. It can be found on the northern side of the USQ campus. Definitely worth a visit.
Historic Spring Bluff Railway Station
Location: McCormack Drive, Murphys Creek
Here’s a park with a difference. This gorgeous flower-filled parkland surrounds the historical Spring Bluff railway station. It’s history dates back 150 years so there’s plenty to see. The landscaped parkland is a wonderful place for a picnic with free electric BBQ facilities and a café (check the website for opening times).
Spring Bluff runs special events from time to time, and there are occasional steam train operations. Check their Facebook page for the latest.
Website: Spring Bluff Railway Station
Newtown Park and State Rose Garden
Location: 147 Taylor Street, Bounded by Holberton, Tor and Pottinger Streets, Toowoomba
This historic park is lovingly maintained and has plenty on offer, including the State Rose Garden with more than 2000 roses. Open every day, Newtown Park has play equipment for the kids, interesting walking paths and plenty of wheelchair access, so simply take along a picnic or make the most of the BBQs onsite and enjoy the serenity.
Website: Newtown Park State Rose Garden
Location: Various locations in Toowoomba
Discover some of Toowoomba’s history along one of several walks that take you past well-preserved architectural gems dating back to the beginning of the 1800s. There are several walks to choose from – the shortest is about 30 minutes, while others range from 45 to 90 minutes.
The routes can all be found and followed on the Toowoomba Region website, or grab your free brochures from the Tourist information centre. The walks will take you to many of the other attractions here on our list so you can make a real day of it if you wish.
Website: Toowoomba Historic Walks
Peacehaven Botanic Park
Location: 56 Kuhls Road, Highfieldsaq
This beautiful park in the leafy suburb of Highfields has more than 400 species of native plants and plenty of birds and wildlife. There are lots of information plaques along the walkways and a nursery where you can buy a range of plants. The children will love the nature-themed adventure playground or running around the expansive lawns.
Website: Peacehaven Park
Toowoomba Waterbird Habitat
Location: 10 Waterbird Drive, Rangeville
This park is designed to mimic natural wetlands and provide a safe haven for waterbirds, fish, turtles and insects. There are both deep and shallow lakes that attract different types of birds, information boards, a viewing deck and walkways around the lake. There are lovely spots for a picnic too.
Website: Waterbird Habitat
Nature experiences to try in Toowoomba with kids
If you want to get out and about in nature, there is plenty to do just outside Toowoomba. From mountaintop views to waterfalls and lakes, there are plenty of opportunities for the kids to ‘get amongst it’ and appreciate nature.
J.E. Duggan Park
Location: Leslie Street, Rangeville
This bushland park has fantastic views over the Great Dividing Range, including Tabletop Mountain where the ‘Battle of One Tree Hill’ took place in 1843. There are information panels explaining the battle led by Aboriginal warrior Multuggerah. The park has three short walks that are perfect for children and also suitable for wheelchairs, and a slightly more challenging track that follows the perimeter of the park.
Website: J.E. Duggan Park
Tabletop Mountain (hiking)
Location: Tabletop Mountain, Toowoomba
If you’re up for a moderately challenging hike, this one is for you. Located just outside of Toowoomba the path to the top of the mountain can see you rock hopping, scrambling and climbing for about 2.5hrs, but it’s all worth it for the view at the top. Tabletop Mountain is an important Aboriginal ceremonial site. Read more in our guide.
Location: 35km north of Toowoomba
Whether you’re a keen angler or just want to enjoy relaxing by the water, Lake Cooby caters for everyone. On the water you can enjoy boating (electric motors only) or non-motorised activities like sailing, windsurfing, canoeing and rowing. Or stay firmly on land enjoying the playground, shelter areas and a little bushwalking. Whatever you’re up for, this pristine location is well worth the visit.
Website: Lake Cooby
Picnic Point Parklands
Location: Top of the Range, 164 Tourist Road. Toowoomba QLD 4350
What better way to occupy the whole family than to relax at the Picnic Point lookout? You can wander the many walking tracks, enjoy lunch at the café and take in the breathtaking views across the Great Diving Range. With 3 amazing playgrounds including a rocket ship, rotunda and hand-carved witch’s forest, Picnic Point will not disappoint.
Crows Nest National Park
Location: About 6 km east of Crows Nest, 56 km north of Toowoomba
Very few areas in nature can match the beauty and tranquillity of Crows Nest National Park. Whether you’re after a campsite or other holiday accommodation, you’ll be treated with natural waterfalls, eucalypt forests, granite outcrops, pristine creeks and an abundance of wildlife. An area not to be missed.
Website: Crows Nest National Park
Murphy’s Creek Escape
Location: 356 Thomas Road, Murphy’s Creek QLD
Fancy camping Toowoomba style? The ultimate camping and adventure experience for the whole family is only 20 minutes from Toowoomba at the base of the Toowoomba range. Simply put your feet up and unwind without the interruptions of everyday life. Or for those more adventurous why not take a hike in the Lockyer National Park, take a dip in the creek or try out some awesome activities like abseiling, mountain biking, archery or test your skills on the ropes course. Read our review.
Places to play in Toowoomba with kids
If you’ve got little ones, medium ones or teenagers you know that, at some point, they’re going to have to burn off that kid-energy.
We’ve collated a number of our favourite activities to do with kids that are guaranteed to not only be fun but to hopefully (fingers crossed) encourage napping. Bliss.
Kloud9ine Trampoline Park
Location: 663 Ruthven Street Toowoomba
Endless trampolines – interconnected, all shapes and all sizes. Endless opportunities to show off your mid-air skills. Jump off the walls – literally! You can’t miss Toowoomba’s only climate controlled trampoline park with 5 different areas to challenge your fitness and each other. One of our favourite things to do in Toowoomba.
Location: Location of your choice, Toowoomba
Australian owned and Australian made. Experience the ultimate thrill of an outdoor laser skirmish battle without the bruises a paintball would usually leave as a souvenir. Breakthrough digital technology means a longer weapons range meaning you can play pretty much anywhere you choose. So chose your team wisely. Your battle awaits.
Website: Laser Skirmish
iPlay Café and Playcentre
Location: Grand Central Shopping Centre, Margaret Street, Toowoomba
Designed with fun and safety as a priority for children up to 12 years old, this play centre is the largest in Toowoomba. They have wifi, parking, specials, competitions, party packages and a café, to name just a few of the fantastic features on offer, not to mention endless play equipment bound to challenge and entertain all little minds and bodies.
Chipmunks play centre
Location: Bernoth Centre, 663-667 Ruthven Street
Toowoomba’s largest indoor playground for kids is just the place to let them run amok. Equipment is installed across two different age-appropriate zone – under 5s and 5-11 years – giving the kids plenty of room to roam and push their boundaries safely. There’s no time limit, so they can run about all day if they have the energy.
Website: Chipmunks play centre
Location: 31 Spencer Street, Harristown
At Inflatable World the kids will be bouncing off the walls – literally. The venue is packed full of slides and bouncy activities to keep them entertained and burn off some energy. Why not join them? Adults can play too. You can bounce as much as you like in a two-hour session. Inflatable World is open on weekends during the school term and every day during school holidays.
Website: Inflatable World
Tick Tock Escape Room
Location: 197 Margaret Street
Here’s a bit of a challenge for the older kids. Put their problem-solving skills to the test and have a fun family afternoon trying to escape a locked room. It requires some serious teamwork to find clues and solve puzzles in order to unlock the door.
Website: Tick Tock Escape Room
Location: Various across the region
Whether you want the kids to learn to swim, improve their swimming skills or you just want a fun place to splash about on a warm day, the Toowoomba region has 9 different swimming pools to choose from. Hours and facilities differ from place to place so check the website to find the right pool for you.
Website: Toowoomba region pools
Location: various in the inner city in Toowoomba
Set ‘em up and knock ‘em down. Fun for the kids and adults alike, ten-pin bowling is a great way to pass the time and is a fantastic option for those rainy days. Toowoomba has two ten-pin bowling centres to choose from. With bumper lanes and ‘easy roll’ ball frames for the littlies, arcade and pinball games and other activities, there’s something to suit all ages. We checked out the facilities at Bazinga and you can read our review here.
Bubble soccer and indoor sports
Location: 31 Spencer Street, Harristown
Bubble Soccer is an addictive and hilarious game with a difference. It is all about smashing into each other, bouncing around, and rolling across the floor in an inflatable Zorb-like ball. It’s just one of the activities available at Toowoomba’s Indoor Sporting Arena along with cricket, volleyball, soccer, netball and dodgeball. Find out more here.
Website: Toowoomba Indoor Sports Centre
Good places to eat in Toowoomba with kids
Feeling peckish with all that activity, we’ve got you covered with some favourites that cater to the palates of kids.
The Chocolate Cottage and Café
Location: 10475 New England Highway, Highfields
Attention all chocoholics! Located in an 18th Century renovated school house, you’ll be in heaven tasting handmade chocolates whilst sipping on the finest tea the area has on offer. Soak up the sun outside or defrost by the cosy fire inside, either way you’re in for a treat.
Park House Café
Location: 92 Margaret Street, Toowoomba
Directly opposite Queens Park, Park House Café is a long-standing locals’ favourite that sources all of its produce fresh from farms in the Lockyer Valley and on the Darling Downs. With a significant kids menu for both breakfast and lunch, it’s a perfect place to relax or refuel if you’re busily undertaking activities on this list.
Website: Park House Café
Location: 40 Richmond Drive, Toowoomba
The Wilsonton’s family-friendly bistro has a dedicated menu for kids, and a dedicated play area where the kids can have fun while the adults relax. The menu features typical pub classics along with seafood, steaks, pastas and salads, all sourced locally and sustainably.
Website: Wilsonton Hotel
Location: 41A Russell Street, Toowoomba
The name says it all. This café is a perfect venue for music lovers with a wall of guitars and other music-related memorabilia to look at over coffee or lunch. There’s live music on a Saturday and other events from time to time. If you’re in the market for a new guitar you can buy them too.
Facebook: Café Guitar
Day trips and events in Toowoomba
The Toowoomba region has so much to offer. Why not make a day or even a weekend of it and head to some of the wonderful nature spots just a short drive from town, or seek out some of the special events held in the region each year. We’ve got a few suggestions below and you can check out our guide to camping grounds around Toowoomba as well.
Location: About 90 minutes drive north from Toowoomba
This is one of the most divine destinations we know for active families! Bunya Mountains National Park is Queensland’s second-oldest national park and protects the world’s largest remaining bunya pine rainforest. The park features panoramic mountain scenery and breathtaking views over the South Burnett region and southern plains. Read our review here.
Location: 2km east of Maidenwell, about 90 minutes drive north from Toowoomba
Coomba Falls, at Maidenwell, is an exceptionally beautiful place, featuring a deep natural swimming hole and striking granite cliffs. The water is icy most of the year, so it’s the ideal site to cool down on a hot day. The falls are close to Bunya Mountains National Park so you could combine both destinations for a very full day or weekend getaway.
Ravensbourne National Park
Location: About 1 hour’s drive north-east of Toowoomba
Ravensbourne has two day-use areas with shelter sheds, picnic tables and interesting walks to explore the diverse plant and birdlife. You can take a 15-minute walk through the rainforest with signboards explaining how it was use by Aboriginal travellers and timber-getters, or opt for one of the longer walks that take you to palm-filled creeks and eucalypt forest. There’s also a lookout with panoramic views over the range towards Brisbane, the Scenic Rim and the Lockyer Valley. Read more in our guide.
Website: Ravensbourne National Park
Location: About 50 minutes drive north-east of Toowoomba
Less than an hour’s drive from Toowoomba, Lake Cressbrook offers a wide range of activities both on water and on land. Swimming is not allowed as the lake supplies drinking water to the Toowoomba region, but you can still enjoy boating, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, rowing and fishing. On land there are lovely bushwalks, places to picnic and camping is also allowed.
Website: Lake Cressbrook
Carnival of Flowers
Location: Various venues throughout Toowoomba.
Rounding out our top 50 things to do in Toowoomba is probably the city’s most famous event – the annual Carnival of Flowers. Held every September, as Spring brings warmer weather and colourful blooms to gardens and parks, the carnival has something for everyone. If you can time your visit to Toowoomba to attend the Carnival of Flowers, do so. You won’t regret it.
And if you’re visiting at any other time of year, read our guide to events in Toowoomba to see what else might be happening.