What to pack for ASCILITE 2017

Are you a last minute packer? Not to worry! We've got your packing list sorted.

As well the essentials, we recommend you pack the following.


Given the nature of ASCILITE and the conference program, technology should be at the top of your packing list. We want you to fully engage in person and online, so don’t forget your:

  • Smartphone – possibly your best friend at the conference. This is how you’ll access the conference app, Click Game, social media and photograph slides for reference.
  • Tablet – for all your email/blogging/capturing-moments-of-inspiration needs
  • Charging cables for all your devices.
  • Portable charger/power bank - you don’t want to tempt your phone on 1% when you’re so close to snapping the perfect shot for the Click Game on the app!
  • Power board – pack a power board to use at the hotel and at the conference. This is a proven way to make new friends - help others power up!
  • USB with your presentation materials – if you're speaking, we recommend you bring a USB with your presentation materials on it just in case.

Remember to load up your mobile devices with all the essentials:

  • The conference app – check your email for your invitation to download the app.
  • Uber app (download from the App Store or Google Play)
  • Garden City Cabs app (download from the App Store or Google Play)
  • Twitter – you can tweet from the conference app, but if you prefer to use the Twitter app, make sure it's on your devices and you've got a search set up for the conference hashtag #ascilite17.
  • Tripit – forward your flight and accomodation info to TripIt and you'll have all your travel info in one place.

And don't forget the low tech:

  • Business cards – I have a tendency to forget these!
  • Pen and notebook – if you're not a digital notetaker, make sure you pack something to write with.

Clothing and accessories

  • Shoes – USQ is situated on a beautiful campus full of greenery. This means you’ll be walking between sessions and probably wanting to take a stroll around the Japanese Gardens or Gumbi Gumbi Gardens, so include some comfortable shoes.
  • Clothes – in addition to your regular sartorial aesthetic, it might be wise to pack a jacket or jumper in case of a temperature drop or chilly air conditioning. BOM predicts temperatures of between 16 and 26 degrees.
  • Umbrella– BOM tells us the chance of rain is high: 90% on Monday, 60% on Tuesday, and 5% on Wednesday. We recommend you pack an umbrella that will fit in your satchel to keep you dry as you move around campus.
  • Conference Dinner – hunt down your perfect op shop gem to fit the theme and dust off your favourite (however impractical) pair of shoes and dance the night away.

Emergency supplies

Pack a few emergency supplies to bring to the conference:

  • Panadol – we suspect this will be needed the morning after the conference dinner!
  • Bandaids – particularly useful if you're planning on bringing some fancy new shoes or dancing the night away in killer heels.

Have we missed anything? What other essentials are on your packing list?

Where to go for drinks in Toowoomba

After jam-packed days of listening to world-class keynotes, engaging in innovative sessions and connecting with peers and colleagues, you might think it’s time for a drink. Toowoomba does not disappoint, whatever your tipple.  As always, you can find a Google Map embedded in the name of each establishment.

The Moose
Domestic Lane, Walton Stores

The Moose is the newest player on the Toowoomba drinks scene, but also on the dessert scene. Not only is it a cocktail bar by night, but a chocolate parlour too. As you’re greeted by the large copper moose head above the fireplace, sit back and indulge in chocolate fondue with doughnut bites, or perhaps enjoy the Nutella tap. On the drinks front, try a candy sour that resembles a pink and white strawberry cream lolly with raspberries on top.

Muller Bros
25-27 Bell St

Muller Bros is Toowoomba’s favourite rooftop bar, situated in the city just off Ruthven St. The building dates back to the early 1900s as a hardware store alongside a motorbike workshop and sales department for Royal Enfield. At present day, as a restaurant, café and bar, they have one of the best cocktail menus and wine lists. Try a grapefruit margarita, traditional, yet classic grasshopper (aptly named, Patience my Young Grasshopper) or for something more adventurous, The Fig Honey Collins which has fig liquor, Bombay Gin, lemon juice, lemongrass syrup all mixed with soda. If you’re heading out with a group of your new #ASCILITE17 friends, get a pitcher of spiked ginger beer. All these drinks are of course accompanied by a delectable small plate and platter menu.

153 Margaret St

If pubs are more your scene, look no further than Fitzy’s on Church and it`s adjoining bar Tapestry. There are a range of dining areas and bars, indoors and outdoors. There is a huge selection of drinks ranging from craft beer to cocktails, and food ranging from snacks to multi-course meals so you can sit back and settle in for as long as you want. The espresso martinis are especially delightful. Live music is often playing here too.

Now that you're sorted for food and drink in Toowoomba, look forward to some more conference news over the next week.  The organising committee still have surprises to be revealed.

Where to go for coffee in Toowoomba

Toowoomba is holding its own as a destination for a superior caffeinated experience. Try some of the cafés below to indulge your tastebuds.  As with the post covering breakfast, you'll find a handy Google Map embedded in each address.

Ground Up Espresso Bar
501 Ruthven St, Toowoomba
6.30am - 3.30pm

Ground Up is one of the most popular coffee locations in Toowoomba for very good reason. It consistently rates high on Trip Advisor, Bean Hunter and Facebook and brings a little taste of Melbourne to Toowoomba. With its cool laneway vibe filled with street art, Ground Up offers a range house blends, single origins and cold pressed options. You can also buy handmade ceramic keep cups at the counter – first coffee in it is free.

Deli Delicious
125 Herries Street
6.30am - 6.00pm

Deli Delicious has been providing Toowoomba with exceptional coffee since 2004. As a family run store the hospitality is generous and the atmosphere casual and friendly. There’s a wide selection of drinks to choose from and this can be accompanied with cabinet lunches and desserts. While you’re there, don’t forget to try deli goods, such as local fruit and vegetables, meats and cheeses.

GPO Bar and Café
140 Margaret Street
6.30am - 4.00pm

GPO is housed in the old Toowoomba post office – a stunning sandstone building just off Queens Park. They offer Campos Coffee (with fantastic latte art), including the flagship Superior Blend in addition to various teas, juices and smoothies. For something different, try the citron presse – a mix of lemon juice, mint, syrup de gomme and soda. GPO also offers a full breakfast and lunch menu.

Right now, ASCILITE 2017 has you covered for the conference dinner, breakfast, and that all-important coffee. We've not forgotten other meals, so the next posts will take you onward to dinner (and drinks!).

Where to go for breakfast in Toowoomba

You will be spoilt for choice if you venture outside your hotel and explore some of the breakfast options Toowoomba has to offer.  We've done the hard work of whittling the list down for you.  If you find a place for the ultimate breakfast experience, be sure to share it via Twitter - don't keep the best spots for yourself!  Each location has a Google Map embedded in the address.

15 Railway Street
7:00am – 3:30pm

Ortem is situated in an old ball bearing factory and has a cool, industrial vibe. Delicious food and drinks are served indoors and out, with street-side seating overlooking the heritage-listed railway station. Breakfast items include smashed avo, croissant French toast and the brekky bagel made with a Bagel Boys bagel, bacon, soft scrambled egg, guacamole and béarnaise sauce.

Park House Café
92 Margaret Street

Park House Café is a staple on the Toowoomba dining scene and has the enviable location of being directly opposite Queens Park. All produce is sourced fresh from local farms on the Darling Downs and in the Lockyer Valley. Breakfast is available all day and includes sweet coconut bread with honeycomb butter, waffles with maple syrup and ice cream and spinach and feta hotcakes. Or, if you’re feeling especially hungry, the Park House Breakfast is one of the biggest in town.

The Finch
Shop 2, 469-473 Ruthven St

The Finch provides real food on the fly and are known for their Bahn Mi rolls. Breakfast is served all day with the early bird deal of a ham and cheese croissant with regular coffee a favourite for $10 (available until 9:00am daily). Gluten free and vegetarian options are available, such as roasted Goombungee mushrooms with garlic, thyme, feta and a poached egg on sourdough and 100g Angus beef fillet with bacon, hash brown, pork sausage and poached eggs with house tomato and onion relish. For something different, try the shakshuka – a Moroccan spice infused baked egg.

There you have it; your guide to breakfast in Toowoomba.  Many of you though will be asking 'what about coffee?', and we'll address that in the very next post, so stay tuned to stay caffeinated.