Queens Park - East Toowoomba
Address: 43 Lindsay Street, East Toowoomba QLD 4350
Centrally located in the heart of Toowoomba City Queens Park Toowoomba's premier public park has become a key, focal point for the city. Featuring stunning tree-avenues, woodlands, sporting ovals, children's play and BBQ areas, and events space this picturesque landmark is renowned for its heritage and is the focus for many community activities.
Receiving a Queensland state heritage listing in 2010, Queens Park and Botanic Gardens is made up of three distinct park areas:
- Queens Park Botanic Gardens - the premier floral garden display in the city
- Vera Lacaze Memorial Park (CBD entrance) - the formal entrance from the CBD featuring water fountains, floral displays and amenities
- Queens Park greater park area - includes sporting ovals, children's play and BBQ areas, and events space
Queens Park facilities and recreational areas will be undergoing improvement works from January 2016 for more information please visit the Queens Park improvement works article.
The Queen's Park Botanic Gardens is an awe-inspiring garden collection featuring changing displays of annual plants in beds set against a lush backdrop of lawns, shrubs and towering trees. Numerous picnic tables are scattered throughout this area of the park.
The gardens are characterised by a formal layout and plantings, with large trees surrounded by garden beds in geometrical patterns, avenues and hedges. A focal point is the Alfred Thomas Memorial, which sits in the middle of a large circular bedded area. Adjacent is a small historical Naval cannon. Walkways are graveled and most are bordered by narrow flower beds.
The gardens are surrounded by a low masonry fence, with various entrances. The main entrance is a large sandstone structure with "Toowoomba Botanic Gardens Est'd 1875" written on the top section of the structure.
- Historical features - Naval Cannon, Alfred Thomas Memorial, Emma Miller Memorial
- Other features of interest - Sandstone Entrance Arch, National Bank Columns, Fountain
- Garden Areas: Ornamental Display Gardens (annuals, perennials and bulbs); Carnival of Flowers commemorative garden; Endemic Garden (local natives); Rose Walk; Camellia Garden; Parterre Garden; Cycad Garden; Palm Garden; Wollemi Pine.
Queens Park First Curator
Edward Way (1825 – 1881), was appointed first curator of Toowoomba’s Botanic Gardens (Queens Park) in 1874. Trained in London, he implemented work to clear unreclaimed bush, and designed and laid out gardens. In the park’s north-east, he experimented with exotic fruits, trees, fodder crops and grasses. Under the direction of the Commission on Diseases of Animals and Plants, his whole-hearted effort greatly benefitted agriculture in the region.
Alfred Thomas Memorial
The Alfred Thomas Memorial is historically and socially significant as it commemorates a prominent figure in the development of local railway in the Toowoomba region in the last quarter of the Nineteenth Century. The Memorial is located in the Botanic Gardens of Toowoomba and it dominates the area in which it stands. In an attractive setting, the Alfred Thomas Memorial is surrounded by garden beds and landscaped grounds.
Wrought Iron Muzzle-Loading Rifled Gun, 64-Pdr., 64Cwt., Mark III. This gun was donated to the people of Toowoomba early in 1911 after removal from the Marine Defence Force Naval Store, Kangaroo Point, Brisbane, where it had been used for training purposes.
Emma Miller Memorial plaque
Emma Miller (1839-1917) was a suffragist, Union Organiser and Champion of the Rights of Man.
National Bank Columns
Erected in the park from the National Bank of Australia in 1987.
Stone Entrance Arch
In August 1987, this sandstone formal entry arch was completed. It was somewhat controversial at the time but was part of a council upgrade of the gardens, promoted by Alderman Knight. The traditional park entry is the Campbell St frontage particularly as the original showgrounds was located on land where the Cobb and Co museum and TAFE are now located.
Queens Park (greater park area)
- Harding Avenue of Trees; Cypress Avenue; William Charles Peak Memorial; Steamroller; Former Parks Superintendent’s House (now the home of the Toowoomba Historical Society)
- Lindsey Street Ovals – used for sport and events
- Godsall Street Ovals - used for sport and events
- Frogs Hollow – used for sport and events
- Dog Off-Leash Area
- Lindsay Street All-abilities Playground and BBQ area
- Margaret Street Playground and BBQ area
During the reign of Queen Victoria, it was customary for the colonial government to grant land for a Queen’s park.
In 1861, the municipal council was granted land where the Grammar School is now located but by 1871 it was exchanged for the present site (Government Camping Ground Reserve). This parcel of land had been used for grazing and was studded with deep holes made by brick makers. In 1872, Mayor W.H. Groom was instrumental in obtaining grants to fence the area and establish a botanical garden.
Queens Park Second Curator / Avenue of Trees
Richard Ross Harding (1848 – 1922), the second park curator (1883 – 1917), was responsible for drafting a new plan for Queens Park and the Botanic Gardens, having opened a section to the public in 1885. In 1888 Mr Harding undertook an extensive tree and garden program and planted avenues such as this of Camphor Laurel (Cinnamomum camphora). He was also renowned for the colourful flower displays in the Botanic Gardens.
William Charles Peak Memorial
Memorial erected by Toowoomba citizens as an appreciation of service rendered to Toowoomba & District by William Charles Peak 8th August 1936.
This Buffalo-Springfield steamroller was manufactured by the Buffalo-Springfield Roller Company in Springfield, Ohio, U.S.A in the second decade of the twentieth century. The Toowoomba City Council purchased it in 1937 from the contracting firm W.B. Carr of South Brisbane. At the time of purchase, the machine was overhauled and it remained in active service until 1956 with nothing more than routine maintenance. Due to its historical significance of the Steamroller we discourage play or climbing on the artifact. There is purpose-built children's play equipment in close proximity to the steamroller.
Historical Cyprus Avenue
The Cypress Avenue, planted in an unusual diagonal direction in the early twentieth century, remains partly evident today. The trees are predominantly Monterey Cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa) native to the Central Coast of California.
An avenue of trees originally planted in 1875 creates broad avenues throughout the park.
Known locally as "Frogs Hollow", the sweeping expanse of grassed ovals near the corner of Hume and Margaret Streets makes an ideal venue for large community events. The area is popular for fundraising activities/static displays with its central location to the City Centre. Public toilets are located in this area - adjacent to Margaret Street.
This area is recorded as being where the Alford family, on their way to Drayton, came in contact with Aboriginal Australians in 1842. Later the Eastern Swamp became the official camping ground for travellers and teamsters and a brick-making place. On Boxing Day, 1859, horse races, the first with a purse of 12 pounds and entrance of one pound, were run. In 1914 Junior Cricket was played in “Frogs Hollow”, which name continues today, in 1918 – 1921 its name was sometimes written as “Frog Hollow”.
Godsall Street ovals
Are a popular location for various sports including cricket during the summer months. Public toilets are located in this area.
Margaret street - children's play area
A very extensive children's play area is located adjacent to Margaret Street. A range of equipment provides for all ages - everything from swings to play trains. A large gazebo, picnic tables, BBQ's and seats are scattered throughout this area of the park. To the north east of the play area an open space oval has a cricket pitch.
Lindsay street - all abilities playground
An all abilities playground is located near the car parking area off Lindsay Street. This play area features a Liberty swing, sound sensor games, musical instruments, touch and feel play panels. The area is accessed by interlinking pathways, other features include picnic tables and a BBQ. Public toilets are conveniently located in this area.
A small oval provides an open space area to enjoy various sporting activities. The Toowoomba Historical Society building can also be found within the park - access from Lindsay Street.
The Vera Lacaze Memorial Park forms the formal entrance to Queens Park from the CBD via Margaret and Hume Streets. This park is named in tribute to Vera Elizabeth Lacaze who was the first woman alderman in the Toowoomba City Council. The park features water fountain, paths and picnic facilities.
The modernist landscape design was laid out in 1964, possibly to the design of Mr Arne Fink, a local Landscape Architect, associated with Toowoomba gardens at that time. The sweep of the main concrete path with central garden bed, and 1960s modern light fittings provided a well-considered promenade in this corner of Queens Park. The distinctive fountains of graded sizes and the bridge over East Creek with stylish balustrades provide distinctive design elements to this pocket-park.
- Historical features - Site of Former Baths; Fountains; Bridge over East Creek
- Other features of interest – Ornamental Display Gardens; entrance to Queens Park from Toowoomba CBD
The dog off-leash area is a popular location for animal owners. The park features seating and picnic tables and with the many trees provide a nice shaded area to exercise your dog and relax. For the convenience of the public there are drinking-fountains, bins with bag dispensers and pathways. The unfenced area is designated by signage.