Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers 2023

For the 74th time, Toowoomba will celebrate spring in the most fitting way possible: with a massive splash of blossoming florals.
Sarah Ward
Published on January 17, 2023


Thirty days. A 100-minute drive out of Brisbane. Fifty-three community events and tours. A whopping 190,000 blooms. Over 350,000 attendees. That's some of the maths behind 2023's Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, which has just dropped its annual program for its whopping 74th year celebrating blossoms and colourful petals as far as the eye can see.

Winter might not be here yet, and autumn hasn't even reached its final month, but it's never too early to start making spring plans. Once again, this bloom-filled festival will return for the entirety of September — and if its record-breaking popularity in 2022 is any guide, it just might top its attendance figures again.

This excuse for Brisbanites to head west to frolic among the flowers didn't always run for 30 whole days, but it's been brightening up the Darling Downs city for as long as it can since 2021. For 2023's event, it'll also mark the 50th anniversary of the carnival's exhibition garden program, which sees folks around Toowoomba open up their own patch of turf to visitors.

From Friday, September 1–Saturday, September 30, garden lovers can look forward to blossoms and floral displays galore as the event takes over a variety of locations — including Laurel Bank Park and the Botanic Gardens of Queens Park — to showcase all of the gorgeous florets and growths and gardens around town, kaleidoscopic arrays of tulips, petunias and poppies included.

Among the 2023 highlights, the floral parade returns and there'll be an extra batch of twilight tours through Laurel Bank Park. Or, there's a succulent fest with plenty of plants to buy, a bonsai show, a heap of strolls across Toowoomba, a sideshow alley filled with games, the dog-friendly Petals and Pups program, and three nights of fireworks mid-month.

The beloved ferris wheel is making a comeback, letting attendees scope out the flowers from great heights. For film buffs, so is the cinema under the stars. And, it wouldn't be the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers without the three-day Festival of Food and Wine, which celebrates regional produce and Australian music, with the onstage talent still to be revealed.

Still on bites to eat, the #trEATS regional food trail showcases local eateries, and sees participating cafes, restaurants and bars serve up floral-inspired dishes. And, for those fond of a sip, there'll be a pubs tour as well. Beer-loving outfit 4 Brothers Brewing is whipping up a signature floral tipple for the fest, while Pechey Distilling Co is getting botanical — naturally — with its gin and vodka.

Basically, there's no bad time to head along throughout September, so much so that you might want to make the trek more than once. Indeed, when it comes to scenic spring sights, there's no prettier place to be. And, given it takes less than two hours to head up the mountain from Brisbane, it's perfect for a weekend day trip.

Updated September 1. Top image: Tourism and Events Queensland.


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