Carnival of Flowers Toowoomba | 30 Days of Flowers & Flavours

Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers Ferris Wheel
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We’ve got blooming great news! In 2021, the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers has been extended to 30 petal-filled days. Plus, the Festival of Food and Wine is making a return and our family favourite, the Grand Central Floral Parade (a free-event) is back bigger than ever!

What is the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers?

A breathtaking festival of flowers, flavours, and sounds, the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers takes over the Southern Queensland city of Toowoomba each September. This unique festival offers a program bursting with award-winning experiences including stunning private gardens and public parks, streets blooming with floral colour, internationally acclaimed musical acts, and some of the best food and wine to be found in Queensland.

This year, Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers organiser’s have unveiled a month-long program of celebrations for 2021. This is a welcome extension to the 10-day event that has taken place in Queensland’s city on the range for the past 72 years.

190,000 blooms have been planted across the city’s major parks and public spaces to create a spectacular canvas of colour for the much-needed, month-long celebrations in September.

History of the Carnival of Flowers

Since its inception in 1949, the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers has flourished and is now an iconic Queensland event.  The brainchild of Essex Tait and the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce, Carnival was introduced as a way for the city to use their “Garden City” reputation to bounce back after the hardships of war.

On October 21, 1950 the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers commenced with a street procession that stretched three miles. Led by a bullock team and watched by a crowd estimated to be 50,000 strong, it was a huge success.  

2021 Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers dates

This annual event will be held in 2021 from Wednesday 1 – Monday 30 September.

Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers highlights

Grand Central Floral Parade

Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers

We’re so excited one of the highlights of Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, the Grand Central Floral Parade, is returning this year! It truly is the event that stops the city, with thousands of families lining the streets to watch the colour go by. It will be held on Saturday September 18 with a much earlier start time of 10am, allowing families to enjoy a full day shopping, sightseeing and adventuring in Toowoomba.

The iconic Grand Central Floral Parade is one of Toowoomba’s favourite events of the year! Head along to watch street performers, carnival characters and roving entertainment escort the stunning floral floats on their journey through the heart of the city to Queens Park.

The Floral Parade departs from the corner of Herries & Hume Streets, continues along Herries Street. It will then turn right into Ruthven Street, right into Margaret Street, left onto Hume Street and finish on Godsall Street Oval on the corner of Hume & Godsall Streets.

Night Garden powered by Ergon Energy Retail

As twilight settles in, Queens Park will spring to life with lighting displays that weave through a secluded section of the parkland. Designed as a family-friendly space, the Night Garden features light installations and illuminations of colour!  Get your camera ready to capture each installation. This event will ‘brighten’ your night.

  • Wednesday 1 – Thursday 30 Sept 2021, 6pm – 8:30pm.
  • Queens Park, Botanic Gardens, Toowoomba

Festival of Food & Wine

We can confirm the return of the popular Festival of Food and Wine, to be held from September 10 to 12 celebrating the best in regional produce and Australian music in Queens Park. The line-up is impressive with performances by Wendy Matthews & Grace Knight ‘We’re Going to Graceland’ The Songs of Paul Simon, GANGgajang, Richard Clapton, The Beautiful Girls, and Sarah Blasko to name a few.

  • Friday 10 September 3pm – 10pm
  • Saturday 11 September 10am – 10pm
  • Sunday 12 September 10am – 9pm

Sideshow Alley

Head to Lower Queens Park for thrill-seeking rides, fairy floss, dagwood dogs and show bags! Have a shot at winning a top shelf prize at one of the sideshow games or take in a birds eye view upside down from the heart-stopping 360º ride. 

  • Friday 17 Sept, 5pm – 10pm
  • Saturday 18 Sept, 10am – 10pm
  • Sunday 19 Sept, 10am – 9pm

Free entry. Rides and some activities require coupons: $2 = one coupon, $30 = 18 coupons, $60 = 40 coupons, $99 = 70 coupons.

Fireworks

The skies over Toowoomba will light up with breathtaking displays over three nights. 

  • Friday 17 Sept & Saturday 18 Sept at 8:30pm & Sunday 19 Sept at 7:30pm.

Ferris Wheel

For a blooming marvelous view over the Botanic Gardens get on board the Ferris Wheel! The Ferris Wheel is a truly wonderful way of seeing the floral filled Botanic Gardens from above. The Ferris Wheel will be open at the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers from 9am-6pm on Fri 17 – Sun 26 Sept. 

  • Adults $8
  • Children (2-13) $4
  • Children under 2 – free
  • Carers ride free on presentation of Companion Card

Families tip: The Ferris Wheel offers card payment only.

What’s new at the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers in 2021

There are two NEW events coming to the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers this year. 

Cinema Under the Stars

Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers Cinema

Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers will host Cinema Under the Stars in 2021, a free community event, in the leafy lawns of the Drayton and Toowoomba Cemetery.

  • Saturday 25 Sept, 5:30pm food trucks operating, 6:30pm movie commences.
  • Drayton & Toowoomba Cemetery, 221 Anzac Avenue, Toowoomba.

High Cheese to Spring Bluff

In a major coup for foodies, High Cheese to Spring Bluff will be hosted by famed chef and local produce champion, Alastair McLeod! High Cheese is a 18+ only (sorry kids) high tea with a twist – instead of scones and sandwiches it’s all about cheese. On its own or with a smorgasbord of regional flavours, if you’re a cheese fiend, this is the event for you!

  • Saturday 4 September
  • 9:30am – 11:30am or 2pm – 4pm
  • Tickets $124 per person

What’s on all month at Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers

  • Floral Displays in all parks and public spaces including feature blooms in Queens Park, the Botanic Gardens and Laurel Bank Park, as well as floral chalk art.
  • #trEATS regional food trail which shines the light on cafes, restaurants, bars and pubs with floral inspired dishes – 36 eateries took part in 2020, with many more flavour-makers expected in 2021.
  • The famed Talking Pubs tours will be held every Sunday with more to be announced.
  • The stunning light-filled Night Garden in the Botanic Gardens.
  • Parkland entertainment featuring local musicians and entertainers.
  • Twilight Tours in Laurel Bank Park.
  • The popular dog-friendly Petals and Pups.
  • Guided and non-guided walking tours.
  • Cobb + Co Museum will have a packed program for young and old to discover.
  • Community events, gardening experiences and gardening displays will be happening across the month.

Weekend highlights at Carnival of Flowers

Carnival of Flowers GrandCentralFloralParade

September 3 – 5

  • #trEATS regional food trail.
  • Night Garden in the Botanic Gardens.
  • High Cheese at Spring Bluff on Saturday September 4.
  • Talking Pubs and Foodie Dinners.

September 10 – 12

  • The Festival of Food and Wine returns in 2021 to Queens Park, celebrating the best in local produce, flavours and sips.
  • Parkland Entertainment, Talking Pubs.

September 17 – 19

  • The Grand Central Floral Parade on Saturday September 18 at 10am.
  • Side Show Alley in Queens Park returns in a kaleidoscope of colour, crazy and cool!
  • The much loved Ferris Wheel in the Botanic Gardens will be open for all ages.
  • Talking pubs and Foodie Dinners plus Parkland Entertainment.

*School holidays commence for QLD and NSW.

September 24 – 26

  • Cinema Under the Stars at the Drayton and Toowoomba Cemetery.
  • Night Garden, Parkland Entertainment, Talking Pubs, Ferris Wheel.

Play in the Petals: floral-filled public parks

Toowoomba Carnival of the Flowers

The two major feature displays of bulbs and flowering annuals are located at the Botanic Gardens, Queens Park and Laurel Bank Park. Additional plantings occur around the CBD (Ruthven and Margaret Streets), Picnic Point Lookout and Spring Bluff Station. We recommend taking a stroll around to enjoy the wide variety of plants on display.

Queens Park

Spread across 25 hectares, Queens Park is something to behold, with bright flower beds, large canopies of stately trees and acres of expansive green lawns, plus two playgrounds to delight the kids. 43 Lindsay St, Toowoomba.

Laurel Bank Park

Laurel Bank Park is one of Toowoomba’s premier parks featuring manicured gardens, mature trees, children’s play equipment, barbecue and picnic areas and two croquet lawns. It’s a must-see destination during the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers. 50 Hill St, Toowoomba.

Picnic Point Parklands

Just a short drive from the city’s CBD, the State heritage-listed parklands provide breathtaking panoramic views eastward to Table Top Mountain and the Lockyer Valley. At night, the glow of Brisbane city lights can be seen from the iconic Picnic Point Lookout, perched high on the crest of the Great Dividing Range. 164 Tourist Rd, Toowoomba.

Spring Bluff Railway Station Gardens

Heritage-listed Spring Bluff Railway Station is home to 150 years of railway history and beautifully landscaped gardens. Nestled on the main railway line between Ipswich and Toowoomba, the gardens will stop you in your tracks. The spring exhibit is absolutely stunning with poppies, ranunculus, stock, snapdragons, petunias and many other flowers bursting into colour.

And there’s more!

Lock in the dates and get ready for the flowers, food, and fun at this year’s Carnival of Flowers! Find out more about the event at the Carnival of Flowers website.

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