Sadly, we had to leave Hervey Bay after spending a fantastic two weeks there. We had to find accommodation for four nights before we could return to our “home” in New Farm. Glenda remembered that the flower festival was on in Toowoomba, so that seemed like a good destination for a few nights. As usual we left booking accommodation to the last minute and the day before we left, we found what seemed like a good option – Ecoridge Hideaway.
Our first stop was Goomeri – we had been through Goomeri twice last year and knew it had one of the best bakeries around. Perfect for lunch and to get some food for diner. It did not disappoint and we left with full tummies and more yummy food for the night.
The drive to Ecoridge near Toowoomba was largely uneventful other having to stop for about 10 minutes on the New England Highway whilst they were working on electrical cables that crossed the highway. So much for a highway, but as is common in Australia, a highway is often just a single lane road.
On arriving at Ecoridge Hideaway we were pleased to find we had a really nice cabin with a fantastic view through the valley. The east coast of Australia was due to experience a very cold few days and so it was nice to find we had a wood burning indoor fireplace. After quickly unpacking we enjoyed a late coffee on the balcony. It was then time to head off into Toowoomba to go and see one of the flower displays as the sun set. Within 20 minutes of us getting there, it decided to rain. We rushed back to the car for shelter. Fortunately, it stopped raining within 10 minutes and we headed back to the flower display. The good thing is that it was a lot quieter with many people having left. The flowers themselves were nice to see and they had a number of garden beds with very colourful flowers. As it was getting dark, we saw a few light displays.
Back ‘home’ we enjoyed our diner and then had an early night. The next morning, we were awake early and braved a cold windy day to go and see a number of the flower displays. We started back at Queenspark where we had been the previous evening. It was nice to see the difference in the morning light and after some overnight rain. It was cold though, lucky we had some warm clothing. Our next stop was breakfast and we headed to Ground Up Espresso where we had been on a previous visit to Toowoomba. Unfortunately, they only had outdoor tables and with the strong cold wind, it was not going to be much fun. Instead, we found an alternative (The Finch) where we enjoyed an indoor table with a view.
The next stop was Laural Bank Park. The flower display there was totally different. Most interesting were the animal topiaries and themed flower displays. Glenda enjoyed one of the better dunnies we have found in Australia.
Our third stop for the day was the Boyce Gardens. It promised a breath taking rainforest. Hmmm, on arriving it was difficult to even find where we should enter and after wandering around for 5 minutes we gave up. It did seem that there was not much to see.
By then it was time for another coffee. We had seen that one of the coffee shops used Bluesky coffee which happens to be one of our favourite blends. We chose our storage unit close to the Bluesky coffee roaster – only half kidding. The coffee was good but we ended up leaving quicker than planned when a family with a number of children arrived who seemed intent on misbehaving.
Walter was keen to see the Japanese garden. Whilst they have not specifically done anything different for the flower festival, there is something relaxing in spending time in a traditional Japanese garden. This one was well done and we enjoyed spending time sitting relaxing and also walking around it.
We had one final stop, Picnic Point Reserve. This is not one of the gardens but, being perched on top of the Great Diving Range it provided a great lookout spot over the surrounding valley and mountains that form part of the Scenic Rim. With the wind, we expected it to be unpleasant. We were lucky and found a secluded spot where we could enjoy the view.
By then it was time for lunch. We had arranged to meet Andrew & Lucy, friends from our Sydney days. They recently moved up to Toowoomba (not the easiest during Covid restrictions). We parked near there home and walked to meet them at a nearby hotel. It was nice catching up with them and then getting to see their new home after lunch.
Being late afternoon, we headed to the supermarket to buy food for the night and the next day. It was good getting back home after a long day out. With the outdoor temperature dropping into the single digits, we were glad to have a fireplace. Walter had to put some of his boy scout training into practice to get the fire lit and then keep it going overnight. During the night the fire was appreciated as even then the indoor temperature went down to 15 degrees. Whilst for some this is not cold, we have generally been living in summer climates for the last four years. Our blood needs to thicken up to handle the colder weather.
The next day was a day spent at home enjoying relaxing, looking at the view and catching up on admin. We are glad to have discovered this hideaway and may return at some point.