What is it like to live and work in Toowoomba?
Toowoomba is Queensland's largest inland city and offers the benefits of urban development without any of the big city drawbacks. Known as the 'Garden City', there are more than 150 public gardens and parks scattered throughout Toowoomba for residents to enjoy.
Located 125km west of Brisbane, the city has developed into a regional centre for government and business services and is also known as the capital of the Darling Downs.
A cathedral and university city, Toowoomba is also a hub for education, manufacturing, retail, health and professional services.
At an altitude of 700 metres above sea level, perched on the edge of the Great Dividing Range escarpment, the city offers stunning views of the Lockyer Valley region and Table Top Mountain. The climate is temperate, with mild to warm summers and cold winters, although it does experience its fair share of high winds, hail and fog.
The verdict: While it may be one of the quieter and less developed cities in Australia, Toowoomba does offer a relaxed lifestyle and easy access to Brisbane and the Gold and Sunshine coasts. If gardens, parks and beautiful views are your thing, it might be worth checking out.
What are the prominent industries?
Economic growth in Toowoomba can be seen in the retail, construction and food processing industries, as well as the development of energy resources found in the Surat Basin. The Australian Defence Force also has a presence in the local community as the city provides housing for many personnel based at the nearby barracks.
What is the area famous for?
? Toowoomba hosts the national championship events for motocross and mountain biking.
? Each year in September the city hosts the renowned Carnival of Flowers, when many of the city's major gardens and parks are prepared especially for the carnival. Buses and antique steam and diesel trains bring people from all around the nation for the event.
? Toowoomba has over 50 heritage listed sites which means lots of interesting, historical buildings to explore.
Toowoomba's urban population sits at about 113,600 people, with the regional population estimated at over 160,000. Approximately 82% of residents were born in Australia with the next most common countries of birth being the UK, New Zealand and South Africa.
Some key landmarks in the area:
? The Cobb & Co Museum, which recently underwent an $8 million redevelopment, focusses on the famous mail company's humble beginnings as a small mail run and is also home to the largest collection of horse drawn vehicles in Australia.
? Toowoomba city hall, inaugurated in 1900, was restored to its original state in 1997 and now houses a theatre and an art gallery.