Perched high up on the Great Dividing Range, Toowoomba draws travellers with its historic charm and its position as a gateway to the outback, as well as by being a city of flowers.
At the top of the range, approximately 700 metres above sea level, is the splendid Picnic Point Lookout and parkland. This fantastic spot is missed by some travellers driving through Toowoomba. On reaching the top of the range, make a left hand turn and follow the signs to the Lookout, where there are fantastic panoramic views from the Lookout towards the Lockyer Valley.
As you drive along the main road to the area, you will be greeted by a number of mature hoop pine trees on either side of the road. You know you have arrived at the Lookout when you are faced with carefully manicured lawns, full of shade from trees and barbecues. If you travel with children, this area also caters for them. There is plenty of room for them to kick the ball around while you set up the picnic rug or at one of the barbecues on site. There is plenty of room to relax and enjoy the surroundings.
If picnics are not your style, just park the car and walk across to the Picnic Point Cafeteria/Restaurant. There you can enjoy a nice cup of coffee or have lunch while admiring the panoramic view over the Lockyer Valley. You can be excused for thinking that you are on top of the world. The Picnic Point Cafeteria/Restaurant is open seven days a week with a varied menu to satisfy all tastes. It also offers conference/convention facilities and caters for weddings. The Lookout, gardens and restaurant are wheelchair friendly.
After lunch, why not go for one of the many walking trails to explore the surroundings. You may even be lucky enough to find the memorial of ‘Puppy’, the mascot for the Toowoomba Thistle Pipe Band.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and explore!
Words and images by Jose Alonso