As most of us have already experienced, the very moment we click the last button to finalise enrolment for our uni program, it is virtually automatic that we fall into the ‘uni student budget’ scale of Australia’s economic statistics, whether we are working or not. The weekend rolls around and the recurrent question on what to do always surfaces, with available funds always in the back of your mind. I really enjoy living in Toowoomba and as time goes by, I realise even more what this city, yet country-feel place has to offer. So, for my fellow South West Queensland peers (and for those visiting too of course), here are 7 of many ways to spend your Toowoomba weekend, with most barely requiring coinage…
1. Table Top Mountain
Studying is without doubt the most sedentary hobby I have ever adopted. However, the perfect fix to this is escaping to Table Top Mountain for a hike. It is quite steep in parts but if you take the easiest route, it is only approximately two kilometres return. If you find yourself complaining most of the way up, you’ll bite your tongue when you get to the top and see the awesome view!
2. Milne Bay Aquatic Centre
Another alternative to getting active, however this time in the water! Milne Bay has numerous pool areas located in the one centre. This is ideal for those of you who are studying parents and need a break as it caters for all ages. You’ll get a breather, while the kids have a blast! It goes without saying that the rest of us will also enjoy this approach to a study break!
3. USQ’s Japanese Gardens
The ideal location for a stroll and a study break, situated at our very own uni – how lucky are we, right?! The picturesque features of waterfalls, mountain streams and wildlife are all my favourites. The little red bridge is also pretty cute too! Provided seating and tables opens the option of taking along a picnic lunch or if you’ve got an artistic streak, perhaps a pencil or paint brush wouldn’t go astray.
4. Local Sport
Another option that sticks to the uni budget is heading on down to watch some local sport. The only other better alternative I can suggest is to not just watch, but play! I’m still learning about the Toowoomba district (and I’m sure I will be for a very long time) but I do know there are a range of sports played in the area and surrounding districts, all it takes is some research on what you’re interested in.
5. Cobb and Co Museum
If you’re a history and heritage lover, this is probably a great way for you to pass some weekend time. With only the matter of a 10 dollar note (concession entry), you can explore throughout the museum, with a 30 minute guided tour included in the cost. You may even strike lucky and go the same day as a workshop! Or perhaps research beforehand so you can plan to go the same day as these hands-on activities. Another good one for studying parents as there are family entry packages available and events that the kids will love!
Seems like a pretty original way to spend some of your weekend, but nonetheless relaxing. Toowoomba residents are lucky enough to have two cinemas – Grand Central and the Strand. This is FYI non-local Toowoomba people, as I learnt the hard way. By the hard way I mean turning up at Grand Central ready to see a movie that wasn’t even on at that cinema, only to realise later that it was on at the Strand. By the time we arrived at the Margaret Street location, we were already 15 minutes late, there were no parks close by and it was raining. Yep, another one to add to the ‘Kristie’s moments register! However, Tip 101 – make sure you know which cinema is screening the movie you want to see, and leave a little earlier to get a parking spot!
7. Picnic Point
Take along some snags for the barbie or eat out at the café located at Picnic Point, on the edge of Toowoomba. Another great place for pretty views and definitely a family friendly environment, with playgrounds and plenty of grassed areas to throw around a ball. There are also graded and signed bushwalks for those of us wanting to walk off all those study treats!
As I said before, I’m still learning on what to do of a weekend in Toowoomba and I’m sure my list could be expanded. I would love to hear your ideas and weekend plans to add to my bucket list!
Last but certainly not least – enjoy your long weekend! Eat way too much chocolate and have plenty of laughs with family and friends!