Thursday, 11 March 2010

Virtual World Tour - Next Stop: Toowoomba!

Now some of you may be wondering what on EARTH is she going on about?!?! And, OK, it may not be the FIRST time you've thought that about me! :0) But ... there IS a perfectly good explanation for my title today. You see, back on THIS post, my blogging buddy Chookyblue, planned out her blogger's world tour that she would take when she wins the lottery. She listed some of her blogging buddies from all around the world that she could drop in to visit - what a WONDERFUL trip she planned! (although I got left off, cos I forgot to leave a comment on her original post! Oops!) But because she hasn't won lotto ... YET ... Chookyblue invited her blogging buddies to post some photos of their home-base so we could ALL take a little scenic tour around the world ... bloggy style! :0) I have to say, my Beloved Geek Boy and I have joked on occasion that now that I have blogging buddies all over the world, we sure could have a FABULOUS holiday visiting them all ... but we too have to wait to win the lotto! :0) (Note to self: it is more likely that you will win lotto if you actually buy a TICKET!!! Tee! Hee! Hee!)

Now ... in my last few posts, I've been telling you about our overcast, foggy, wet weather, which didn't really lend itself to photo shoots, but yesterday was a lovely warm sunny day, so after work, I grabbed my trusty point-and-shoot and off I toodled to take some scenic shots of Toowoomba for you all.

Toowoomba sits atop the Great Dividing Range, about an hour and a half drive from Brisbane, and was settled by pastoralists in the 1850's. Many of the original historic buildings make up the streetscape in older subburbs. It has a population of 121,000 in the city, with around 151,000 in the Regional City Council area. Canberra (Australia's national capital) is the only bigger inland city than Toowoomba. Here's a map to help you picture where we are ...

Toowoomba is known as "The Garden City" and some of you may remember I showed lots of photos of some of the spectacular gardens I took during last year's spring "Carnival of Flowers". As a result, Toowoomba has LOTS of wonderful parks that are great to enjoy a picnic, some serious play time for the kids, or just a quiet snooze under a tree on a weekend ... as long as those kids aren't indulging in their serious play anywhere near your tree! :0) One of the most spectacular parks to visit in Toowoomba is Picnic Point, so here are some of the views I took photos of for you ...


If you click on the photo, you might be able to pick out the main highway from Brisbane that winds up the range, which we affectionately refer to as our 'hill'. You can also see one of the lucky suburbs that enjoys range views. I found it was actually a bit tough to get any pics looking back over the city, because of all the lovely big trees. Still ... if you've seen one city ...! :0) Here're some more views


This is looking back down into the Lockyer Valley (which you drive through when you come from Brisbane) and that plateau is known as Tabletop Mountain. Lots of people hike up it ... I'm NOT one of them!! (I'm one of the ones who would NOT climb Mt Everest 'because it's there' ... I'd just say, "Yep, there's a REALLY big hill" as I looked out my comfy, heated ski-lodge window! Tee! Hee! Hee!) And occasionally, someone falls off it and has to be rescued by the local SES (State Emergency Service) volunteers. Personally, I'm happy to look at it from here! :0)


There we go ... I did manage to get a little bit of the city in this shot. Hmmm ... is that MY house?!?! Just kidding! :0) Picnic Point has long been a gathering spot for community events and there are still live concerts held in the rotunda ...


OK ... perhaps I could have planned this photo better!! That little shelter on the right is an information point ... the rotunda is in the background to the left ... behind the big trees. Hmmm ... are you starting to get the feeling that if you come and visit me in Toowoomba you're going to see a LOT of big trees!! Tee! Hee! Hee! You'd be right!! Picnic Point is also home to Australia's biggest flagpole and flag ...


Isn't that nice and patriotic! :0) You can see it was pretty windy up there yesterday, too. And to help you all work out how long it will take you to come and visit me, there is a direction sign to help you (you should have seen the funny look I got from a man walking past as I walked around the base of this sign to photograph all sides! Tee! Hee! Hee!...


Can you see your place listed there? If not, what about on THIS one ...


Still can't find your spot in the world? Try THIS one ...


And if you STILL can't find yourself on there ... you might just need to hop across to one of the places on the list before you start your trip to come and visit me! Tee! Hee! Hee! Picnic Point has lots of little pockets, vistas and 'garden rooms' to enjoy, but I think this is one of my favourites ...


Doesn't it just look like a tropical paradise down there?? (I took it from the top level to get the full effect of the lush leafy plants.) Hmmm ... OK, perhaps we'd need to clean up that water first - it's a bit muddy and stirred up from our recent rains. So, now we've seen Picnic Point, we could go to Queens Park for a little look ...


More gorgeous big trees and some playground equipment to keep the kids out of your hair ... er ... amused!! Queens Park was established in the 1860's and lots of the original trees are now HUGE!! The Botanic Gardens are also at Queens Park, but they're at their best in September when the Carnival of Flowers takes place. That's when you see gardens around town that look like this ...


And this ...


And this ...



OK ... enough gardens for now. I DID tell you there were some wonderful historic houses in Toowoomba, right? Like this one ...


Isn't it GORGEOUS!!! The owners have really done the garden nicely - that pot that you can just see to the left of the front gate has a fountain bubbling in it. Aaaaaaahhhhh .... how's that SERENITY!! As well as taking my blog world tour when I win lotto, I'm going to buy this house!! But for now, I'll just have to live in another historic building ...


OUR PLACE!!! :0) Which was built somewhere between 1910 and 1915. (OK, I realise some of you gals from overseas are thinking that a house that's less than 100 years old is NOT historic, but you have to remember, Australia's only been settled since 1770!!) Uh oh ... can you see the Triffods in the front yard that are plotting to take over the world?!?! Actually, they're Geisha Girls and whenever they're flowering, I just don't have the heart to cut them back!! Plus, the recent rain has curtailed outdoor activities for a few weeks ... I think this Saturday will be designated "Gardening Day" in our household ... unless it rains again! :0)

The other spot that is a MUST SEE when visiting Toowoomba, is actually about 20 minutes drive north, to Highfields. Let me show you the views from my workplace ...


The property the Retirement Village where I work is built on, is 120 acres of former dairy farm and although the top corner is now home to some very happy retirees living in lovely units, the rest is still used for grazing and our views look west towards the Bunya Mountains. Everything is so GREEN at the moment, that it just about hurts your eyes to look at it! Such a nice change from just a couple of months ago!!! I often joke that one day, someone is going to find me playing flat on my back, knocked out, in the middle of somewhere at work, cos I'll have been so busy enjoying the scenery that I'll have run into a post and knocked myself out! Tee! Hee! Hee! It really is a great spot to work!


You can just make out a couple of the outlying communities that have grown up around Toowoomba ... rural living that's handy to a major city! :0) And of course no visit to Toowoomba, Highfields or ME would be complete without visiting ...


My home-away-from-home, Quilters Angel!! I've now introduced a few blogging buddies to my H.A.F.H ... Lilly Linda, Chookyblue, Joy-Belle, Bluebird Lyn and Miriam from Bubba Chenille ... although I'm pretty sure Miriam had already discovered it, it was just a REALLY good excuse for us to meet up there for lunch and some retail therapy! Tee! Hee! Hee!

So there you are ... a bit of a look around the place I call home. Hope you enjoyed it! And of course, if you come to visit in person ...


... the spare bed is always made up ... you just have to share it with lots of dolls and bearbies! Tee! Hee! Hee! And even if you're just passing through the Garden City, drop me a line ... I'd love to meet up with you for a cuppa ... perhaps I can show you my H.A.F.H in person! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Thanks for starting the ball rolling with the Virtual World Blog Tour, Chookyblue! I had fun running around playing tourist to get the photos! :0) And now ... I'm off to another room in the house that I am NOT showing photos of cos it looks like the cupboards spat all of the contents onto the floor and other furniture ... the SEWING ROOM! :0) Hope you're having a fabulous week! Til next time ...

BEAR HUGS!
CHEERS!
KRIS

21 comments:

Mistea said...

You sure do live in a beautiful part of the country and I see it is about 1300 kms away - maybe one day I will get to visit. Thanks for sharing your neighbourhood.

Kriza said...

thanks Kris, lovely pictures! the word that comes into my mind everytime I see pictures of those Australian mountains is VAST - I loved that feeling of freedom when going around places and we saw nothing else but trees and trees and maybe some trees and valleys and the that fabolous blue sky :-) my favourite parts were the Blue Mountains and the Southern Highlands, and Berrima Patchwork of course :-)
Kristina

Peg - Happy In Quilting said...

I am exhausted...I have visited so many places in just 10 minutes..great post Kris and your house is just what I imagined you would have...so beautiful....

Farmyard Crafts said...

Ahhh.... Toowoomba...! Cute house too!! What about the Chocolate Shop Cafe????????? When at Highfields there are TWO places to stop..... fabric and chocolate!! Chooky would definately want to go to the chocolate shop!

Anne-Lise at Rag, Tag, Bobtail said...

What a great idea! Thanks for the tour - you live in a beautiful place. Your house is lovely - and your guest room so inviting. I'd love to see your quilting shop .... and I'd love to meet you for a cup of lavender tea. :)

Chookyblue...... said...

hey well done.............wonderful virtual blog post..........must do some gardens when visiting and of course the patchwork and chocolate shop..........Maree knows me too well.........my bed looks very comfy.......

Wendy B said...

I'll be there soon!!!!.....I wish!!! I've been to Highfields and 'that' patchwork heaven where the angels live!!!...so you can add me to your bloggy buddies that have been! Must visit you next time I come down to see the SIL!
XX loved the memories revisited....such a beautiful city
sugary hugs always XX WendyB :O)

Gail said...

Wow! Toowoomba was already on my list, I could never pass up visiting a place with such a name! It is beautiful there, I'm afraid I might just stand and look out the window all the time! you've inpired me, I'm off to take photos of my home, which wasn't listed on your signpost!

Sheila said...

What a wonderful visit I had in your home town, beautiful, beautiful,you did an amazing job of the tour and your house is adorable . We are only about 14,000 km from you ,LOL or maybe that is 16,000 depending on which way the crow flies ;-0
Thanks for the tour .
Sheila

Elizabeth said...

Oh! Thanks for the lovely tour. I felt right at home. You make a most accommodating tour guide! Cheers!

Lynn said...

How wonderful, this virtual tour is so fun! You live in a beautiful place and have a darling and in my opinion historic house.

Stina said...

NOPE.. I didnt see my hometown... huh??? ;o) Maybe too far away!!!
What a wonderful and GREEN place you live in... pretty.. and NO SNOW.... And I love your cute house!!! Want it!!! :O) Good to know a bed is waiting if I should drop by someday..lol..

Anna Rosa Designs said...

Hi Kris,
What a lovely place to visit and only 1306 km from me! lol
Oh, I must come to see that gorgeous place for myself one day and I'll definately call past your place for a cuppa, oh so cute!
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs,
Anna

toni said...

Oh my, I had forgotten just how lovely Toowoomba is. It's been a little over two years since I was up the hill. Your house is gorgeous Kris, I love it! Do I recognise that spare bedroom? (from a Fresh Hope pattern). toni xxx

Thimbleanna said...

Ohmygosh! I'm DEFINITELY coming to visit YOU!!! It's BEAUTIFUL where you live! Your house is adorable and I can't wait to cuddle all those little dolls.

My youngest son spent a semester in Sydney two years ago -- he LOVED it! At the beginning of their trip, they had orientation for several days in Brisbane. Then he returned to your area so he could go sky-diving. What a lucky girl you are to live is such a gorgeous place!!! Thanks for the tour!

ittybittyandpretty said...

aaaahhh my home town...thanks for that, just what i needed :)
your home is just lovely, and your photos show just how green it really is at the moment.

have a great weekend
xxrosey

Janice said...

What a lovely armchair tour of Towoomba. Your house is too cute.

Wendy said...

Chris, thank you for the lovely pictures. I so want to come to Australia one day. I really enjoyed looking at all the lovely pics. Street signs were so funny.lol Your country is very beautiful indeed.

Guðrún said...

Thanks for that lovely tour. Your country is on my wish list over places I want to visit.

Quiltycat said...

Thanks for a lovely tour of the town I was born in. As a kid, I was always totally fascinated with Tabletop Mountain. Seeing it again now, I had still that same feeling of delight. My early years were spent in a street that led to the park. The town is looking a lot greener than when I last saw it. Loved the pic of your house too. Reminded me of my grandmother's house which was sold last year. Carmel

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