Toowoomba is known for two things: as the home of the Lamington, and as the home of the Carnival of Flowers, held every year in spring.
Opened in 2015 by Dan and Edwina Farquhar, The Finch cafe has become a local favourite for its cool, Melbournesque vibe, industrial good looks and modern Australian menu with a Southeast Asian twist.
Here, owner Dan shares his perfect day in the hip hub of Toowoomba.
Around 132 kilometres west of Brisbane, in the Darling Downs region of southern Queensland.
What it’s all about
Sitting on the edge of the Great Dividing Range, Toowoomba is more than a quaint country town. This sprawling hub is the country’s second largest inland city after Canberra, home to 150-plus parks and gardens, the iconic Cobb+Co Museum and charming tree-lined streets with historical architecture.
But it also has an urban edge with a buzzing cafe culture, epic street art and a fascinating cultural and events calendar.
6am: Rise and shine
Start the day just before dawn with a climb up Table Top Mountain to catch the sunrise over the Lockyer Valley. The early morning is worth it for the views!
7.30am: Early bird
Pop into The Finch cafe for a well-earned coffee and brekkie. Be sure to try my favourite – the local roasted Goombungee mushrooms.
9.30am: Market days
If you’re here on a Saturday, wander through the Farmers’ Markets [at the Cobb+Co Museum] on Lindsay Street where you can pick up the best seasonal produce and chat with the growers.
10.30am: Art and interiors
Visit the Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery on Ruthven Street, which exhibits local artists. And afterwards, pop down the road to Magnolia Home & Gift and The Cumquat Tree for some home interiors retail therapy. Harolds Finishing Touches is another great store to check out while in town.
12pm: Seoul food
Visit Kajoku for lunch. It’s almost hidden from the street but upstairs you’ll find an authentic eatery serving the best Korean [and Japanese] food in town.
2pm: Garden leave
Wander through Queens Park or Laurel Bank Park to check out the gardens that give Toowoomba its nickname, The Garden City.
4pm: From the rooftops
Swing past George Banks, a bar and bistro housed in a historic bank building, and enjoy a beer or two at the rooftop bar.
6pm: Pizza party
For dinner you can’t go past local favourite Piccolo Papa Pizzeria. The Porcini e Tartufo pizza is sublime.