The botanical name of the Arrowhead Violet is Viola Betonicifolia, it is an evergreen perennial, also referred to as the Mountain Violet is a species of violet native along the eastern side of Australia mainly along the Great Dividing Range, which Toowoomba sits on. This species of violet is also common in India and Pakistan.
So named due to the shape of it's leaf in the formation of an arrowhead shape, in comparison to its European cousin Viola Odorata which instead has a large heart shaped leaf formation.
The violet prefers a semi shaded rockery environment such as the edge of forests.
The Australia Fritillary Butterfly, which is now almost extinct is dependent on the Arrowhead violet for existence.
Spring Bluff Railway Station forms part of the Ipswich to Toowoomba rail line.
Construction of the line began in 1864 and the premier train came through Toowoomba in 1867.
Originally known as Highfields Train Station, it was renamed Spring Bluff Railway Station in the later part of the nineteenth century by then Queensland railway commissioner Robert John Gray.
The namesake comes from the spring water and sandstone bluffs (broad rounded cliffs) that were prevalent in the area, hence ‘Spring Bluff’.
The railway station today itself serves no operational capacity, this having been ended in 1992, but it still serves as a reminder of the railway heritage and famous garden landscapes of the area and social significance at the time.
The station was heritage listed by the National Trust of Queensland in 1994.
The aim was to showcase works of art from the Toowoomba region, and to that extent, the gallery itself was established by the Toowoomba Art Society in 1937.
Originally located in a section of the Toowoomba City Hall, and eventually consuming an entire floor, the gallery is the oldest public regional art gallery in Queensland.
A movement to give the art gallery a dedicated premises by the Toowoomba Art Gallery Society culminated with an old office building adjacent to the Toowoomba City Hall being purpose modified and fitted to accommodate three times the area of the gallery's former location.
In 1994 the gallery relocated to its present location, 531 Ruthven Street, Toowoomba, and the gallery now hosts approximately 3000 pieces of artwork.
The Gallery has three permanent collections, those being the Toowoomba City Collection, the Lionel Lindsay Gallery and Library and the Fred and Lucy Gould Collection. The Gallery also offers a section dedicated to local artists as well.
The Gallery itself is owned and run by the Toowoomba Regional Council and offers guided tours and a Gallery shop with great gift ideas.
Useful links: Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery
Although the property market in Toowoomba has softened a little due to an oversupply related to new property developments it is predicted by many economic experts that the Toowoomba housing market is set to boom once the new infrastructure projects under construction in Toowoomba are realized.
With major investments in a new infrastructure like the Toowoomba bypass - also know as the second range crossing, which is set to divert heavy vehicles to the north of town, the Brisbane West Wellcamp airport capable of accommodating international flights and also a business park, and a major expansion of the Grand Central shopping centre,
With Toowoomba's population now in excess of 110,000 people demand for property is set to steadily increase in the future. The average median house price is set to increase in coming years.
Toowoomba is still considered to be a very affordable market.
The city provides a great lifestyle, where country meets city.
The Willow Springs adventure park was established during the 1970's by Cos and Helen Whish-Wilson.
It was located on a 40,500 square meter (10 acres) in the Toowoomba suburb of Kearneys Spring at 333 Spring St.
The recreational adventure park included included many outdoor activites and barbecue areas.
The park was purchased by Ashley McEwan and eventually shut down and reincarnated as 'The Springs Garden World' nursery.
The Toowoomba second range crossing is much needed infrastructure for the Toowoomba region. The benefit of the range crossing will have a positive impact both in the short and long term.
The immediate benefit will mean that much of the heavy traffic will be diverted out of Toowoomba city, which will reduce noise and pollution and reduce travel time, and increase safety. Long term benefits which will filter through the economy is greater transport efficiency, i.e.: quicker delivery of stock to the western downs and better financial outcomes for all the stakeholders involved.
Work on the project is expected to commence during the second half of 2015 and the construction period will take approximately 3 years. The project should be completed around late 2018, early 2019.
The improved transport efficiency will arise out of the fact that the steep climb up the range incline will no longer be a factor, and also the fact that seventeen sets of traffic lights will be bypassed. This will reduce travel time through the City of Toowoomba by forty minutes.
Funding for the project has been secured on an 80:20 basis, with the federal government committing 80% ($AU1.28 billion) and the Queensland government providing the shortfall of $AU320 million dollars. Total cost will be approx. $AU1.6 billion.
It will create approx. 1,800 jobs for the Toowoomba region during the 3 year construction phase, which will also bring immediate economic benefit to the region.
The second range crossing will be a 43Km stretch of road that will start at the Warrego highway in Helidon (east of Toowoomba) and end in the west at the Warrego highway in Charlton.
The bypass will comprise of 41Km of bypass, 700 metre twin three lane tunnels, thirty bridges, four viaducts.
Toowoomba /tə'wʊmbə/ noun. a city in south eastern Qld on the Great Dividing Range, commercial and industrial centre for the Darling Downs. Pop 75 973 (1991).
- Macquarie A~Z People & Places
Toowoomba |tə'wʊmbə| a town in Queensland, Australia, to the west of Brisbane; pop. 114,479 (2008). It was formerly known as The Swamps.
The Toowoomba City Hall is the seat of the City Council of Toowoomba, Queensland , Australia. It is located on the 153 Herries Street and on 543 Ruthven Street. The building is the location for the proclamation that Toowoomba was a city and was the first purpose built city hall ever constructed in Queensland.
Tenders were called for the construction of a town hall in 1861. It was built by Frederick Stein in 1862 in James Street. The first City Hall was a timber building, which was demolished and replaced in 1881 by a brick building. The School of Arts in Ruthven Street was destroyed by fire in July 1898. The local Council agreed that new municipal buildings and a Town Hall should be built on the place of the School of Arts which had been destroyed that year, pending the sale of the old Town Hall to the Roman Catholic Church for £ 2,000.
The new building was designed by the Brisbane architect Willoughby Powell. In 1900 was inaugurated the present Town Hall at a cost of £ 10,000. The exterior of the building was restored to its original state in 1997. It now houses a regional art gallery and theatre.
The photo of the city hall above was taken in 1915.
Toowoomba's floral emblem, the Viola Odorata is a species of the genus Viola. Commonly known as the Sweet Violet it actually is a European native. It's significance to Toowoomba and hence it being known around Toowoomba as the 'Toowoomba Violet' can best be explained by the following extraction that was found on Jean Ann French's Blog.
Toowoomba Violet – Floral Emblem Viola Odorata “Princess of Wales” commonly known as the “Sweet Violet”
The violet was declared Toowoomba’s Floral Emblem at a meeting of Council on 11th January 1932. the mothers and other family members of the lads who went to war in 1914-1918, picked and sold bunches of violets to raise funds. the bunches each held 50 blooms and three leaves, tied with cotton and were sold for threepence. 1800 pounds were raised to build the Mother’s Memorial now located in East Creek Park.
Characterized by it's sweet scent, heart shaped leaves, and vibrant violet colour, there is more to the Toowoomba Violet than first meets the eye.
Besides it superficial attributes the Viola Odorata has other applications. It has long been known for it's alternative medicinal properties which is commonly used for the treatment of respiratory conditions like sore throats. Other medicinal aspects of the plant are also being studied from a scientific perspective.
The Viola Odorata's usefulness continues, where in cooking the flower can also be used as an ingredient in salads and for decorative purposes . It's cooking practicality is not just limited to the flower but in fact every part of the plant can be used. Tea, for example can be made from using the whole plant.
From a symbolic point of view, the Sweet Violet's significance goes as far back as Ancient Greece where the plant was linked with love and romance.
To discover further useful information about this amazing plant that is the 'Toowoomba Violet' one only has to Google 'Sweet Violet' or 'Viola Odorata'.
Useful Links: Viola Odorata.
The Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers was an idea conceived by local businessman Essex Tait in 1949
The idea was put to the Toowoomba chamber of commerce that in order to promote the region and it's businesses, it would be worthwhile to take advantage of the Toowoomba regions ideal location and already renowned 'Garden City' status.
The first parade took place in the Spring of 1950 where a crowd of 50,000 people attended and has since been an iconic event of the city. Toowoomba just wouldn't be Toowoomba without the carnival
This year marks the 67th anniversary of the annual Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers which will be held from Friday 15th September until Sunday 24th September 2017.
The Toowoomba Carnival of flowers is held in the last full week of September and features many events including a floral street parade, garden tours, live music concerts, arts and crafts, flower, food and wine festivals, and a garden competition and more.
For a full list of events please visit the carnival events page.
If you would like more information on this fantastic event, then please visit the official website.
Most of all though, remember to have lots of fun and enjoy.
Toowoomba is a picturesque mountain city located in south east Queensland some 127Km west of the states capital, Brisbane.
Clinging to the edge of the Great Dividing Range escarpment at an altitude of seven hundred meters above sea-level, the city affords breathtaking views of Table Top Mountain and the Lockyer Valley region across the east.
The city covers an area of approx. 117 Sq Km and is centred at the intersection of the Warrego and New England highways.
Toowoomba's climate can best be described as pleasant with temperature ranges averaging a cool 5°C to 16°C in winter and a mild 17°C to 27°C in summer.
With a population of over 90,000 people, Toowoomba is Australia's largest inland regional city and is the commercial and economic hub of the Darling Downs, thereby serving a population in excess of 250,000 people.
Major industries include manufacturing, wholesale, agriculture and with more than 23 private schools, a technical college, and university, Toowoomba can be considered a major educational centre.
Toowoomba's origin dates back to 1827 when Allan Cunningham, an English explorer discovered a vast expanse of rich farming land which he named the 'Darling Downs' after then Governor of New South Wales, Sir Ralph Darling.
One of the first settlements on the Downs, 'The Springs', to be renamed Drayton soon thereafter was established in 1842. Over the next decade Drayton would grow to become well established, but a drought in 1850 saw many re-settle a few miles to the north-east to an area that was seldom visited.
Known as 'The Swamp', one of the first to take up residence there was Thomas Alford. Arriving to The Swamp from Drayton in 1852 he established a house and shop which he named Toowoomba, and hence the cities eventual namesake.
The derivation of the name Toowoomba is ambiguous, though the most widely accepted theory is that it's more or less a pronunciation of the Aboriginal word for 'The Swamp'.
Throughout the second half of the nineteenth century, Toowoomba would prosper, being proclaimed a municipality in 1860, a township in 1892, and a city in 1904.
There are many things to see and do in Toowoomba all year round. In spring time, Toowoomba's parks and gardens become vibrant and ablaze with colour and life, and to celebrate Toowoomba's status as "The Garden City", every year in September the Carnival of Flowers is held, with a street parade, and other activities.
Toowoomba is an urban Centre in south-east Queensland and is the gateway to the Golden West region, also known as the Darling Downs. Just an hour and a halfs drive from the the states capital city, Brisbane.
Offering the best of both worlds, the city retains it's country heritage, whilst offering all the amenities of a bustling modern city.
Toowoomba is full of culture and there are many things to keep you busy all year round. Some of the major events in and around Toowoomba include the Ag Show, the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, Toowoomba Royal Show, Easter-fest – formally know as the Australian Gospel Music Festival, and Farm-fest.
Toowoomba has no shortage of educational institutions and has more capita of primary, secondary, tertiary and universities per person than many other regions in Australia.
Two Royal Australian Navy (RAN) ships are named after the city of Toowoomba.
HMAS (Her or His Majesty's Australian Ship) Toowoomba 1 (J 157), a Bathurst Class Corvette (aka minesweeper). Built during WWII, it was laid down on 6th August 1940, launched on 26th March 1941, and commissioned on the 9th October 1941. It's service with the RAN ended on 5th July 1946. From there on HMAS Toowoomba 1 was transferred to the Royal Netherlands Navy and renamed Boeroe. Boeroe was decommissioned from the RNN in 1958.
HMAS Toowoomba II (pictured) was laid down on 26th July 2002, launched 16th May 2003, and commissioned on 8th October 2005. HMAS Toowoomba is a long range frigate.
HMAS Toowoomba 1 (J 157)
HMAS Toowoomba II (FFH 156)
A violet and sprig of wattle in saltire tied with a red ribbon is used as the crest in Toowoomba's coat of arms. The wattle and violet are Toowoomba's floral emblems and represent the cities colours of gold and purple respectively. The colours were adopted by the city in 1932.
In keeping with tradition, the wreath features the same heraldic colour (red) and heraldic metal (gold) as the mantling. It consists of two ribbons coupled together by twisting them several times, then wound around the helmet, designed to hold the mantling securely in place.
The mantling streaming from the helmet consists of a heraldic colour (Red) on one side and a heraldic metal (Gold) on the other side.
The helmet, sitting atop the shield, is a carry over from the days when a coat of arms was used to distinguish combatants on the battlefield.
The shield of the Toowoomba coat of arms is divided into four fields. The charges that occupy the four fields and their origin and meaning are summarized as follows:
The horse played an important role in Toowoomba's pioneer days, serving predominantly in the areas of agriculture and transport. The purple horses head on gold background represent the colours of this extraordinary garden city.
The Golden Fleece symbolizes the sheep that would have grazed on lush pastures. The red background could possibly symbolize Toowoomba's volcanic rich red soil.
Wheat grain was the main production crop in Toowoomba's early days. The blue background symbolizes clear skies of the Sunshine State.
The emu, a large native bird and unofficial faunal emblem of Australia was originally intended to be used as one of the supporters of the shield. This was decided against as the Australian coat of arms already had a kangaroo and emu as supporters. Instead it was incorporated into the 4th field.
Two kangaroos are used as supporters of the shield. A sprig of wattle is placed on each kangaroos shoulder to make it easily identifiable from other coat of arms.
A grassy mount is used as the compartment upon which the two supporting kangaroos, shield and scroll of Toowoomba's motto rest.
Toowoomba's motto, the Latin Prodimus Dum Crescimus, translates to We prosper as we grow, indicating Toowoomba's prosperity and progression as a city.
Useful Links: Coat of Arms
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