Here's What's in Store at 2024's 75th-Anniversary Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers Other Than Thousands of Blooms

This spring event includes a symphony orchestra performance under the stars, a floral Lego exhibition, a food and wine festival, and more.
Sarah Ward
April 03, 2024

When spring arrives, winter subsides and chilly weather gives way to warmer days, of course it's worth celebrating. When flowers start blooming — because that's what they do at that time of year — it's an occasion worth marking, too. Commemorating the season and its blossoms is what Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers is all about, and has been for seven-and-a-half decades. Reaching 75 years of frolicking among the petals warrants a heartier party than normal, however, so get ready for plenty of reasons to take a trip west of Brisbane this September and October.

Back in January, the festival announced that its 2024 event would undergo a few minor changes. Instead of spanning a full month, as it has in recent years, it'll start on Friday, September 13, then end on Monday, October 7 (which is a Queensland public holiday). But beyond that minor tweak, the scene is set for floral shenanigans galore in the Darling Downs city — as the just-dropped program for this year's Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers makes plain.

As always, flowers as far as the eye can see is the big highlight. The event will also attempt to break its attendance record — again. That occurred in 2022, with 364,775 people making a visit, and then when 417,517 folks went along in 2023.

If you're only interested in gardens, gardens and more gardens, you have options. Thousands of blooms always feature at the fest, including 190,000 in 2023. This year, Laurel Bank Park and the Botanic Gardens of Queens Park will boast displays, as always, while you can also scope out the University of Southern Queensland's Japanese garden, an ikebana display at Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery, the local orchid society's spring show, a bonsai exhibition, and everything from geraniums to succulents. Plant sales are also on the lineup, should you want to take some new green friends home with you.

Heading to Laurel Bank Park as the sun sets means enjoying a twilight tour. If you're keen to get a unique vantage over the blossoms, the Botanic Gardens of Queens Park is home to the festival's ferris wheel. The latter will feature an entertainment precinct as well, plus a three-day sideshow alley and outdoor movies amid the flowers.

From there, the program has been curated around celebrating. The theme: it's a party. That comes through in a variety of ways, whether attendees are taking in a performance by Queensland Symphony Orchestra under the stars, wandering around a floral Lego exhibition, seeing a showcase celebrating the fest's 75th anniversary, moseying along on an art trail or enjoying a jazz session.

Tourism and Events Queensland

Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers's food and wine festival is back, too — and so are food trucks, farmers markets and the regional food trail that sees local eateries whip up spring-inspired dishes that'll only set you back between $10–20. Plus, for more excuses to hit up the city's hospitality venues, joints that usually only do breakfast, brunch and lunch are opening on select evenings to serve up dinner.

As proves the case every year, there's no bad time to head along throughout from mid-September to mid-October — and 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.

The 2024 Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers will run Friday, September 13–Monday, October 7 across Toowoomba. For further information, head to the event's website.

Published on April 03, 2024 by Sarah Ward
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