What to do in Toowoomba

Are you having some extra time in Toowoomba?

Bringing a partner and/or family with you and wondering what they can get up to whilst you are enjoying all the informative sessions?

Here are just a few ideas that you might like to consider:

Japanese Gardens and Gumbi Gumbi Gardens @USQ

The Japanese Gardens are the location for our Welcome Reception on Monday night and well worth a return visit- a wonderful place for reinvigorating your mind at lunch time. Gumbi Gumbi Gardens are our award winning Indigenous gardens and another peaceful area of the university to visit in the lunchbreak. Check out the self guided tour on our app, available from the webpage

Christmas Wonderland

Our iconic Queens Park comes alive with themed Christmas lights and displays, with performances for local music groups and dance troupes. Gold coin donation that supports local charities

Cobb & Co Museum

With a core exhibit of horse drawn carriages, hands-on activities and lots of local history and culture, Cobb & Co is well-worth a visit – allow yourself at least a couple of hours

Toowoomba Sightseeing Tours

Offering two different tours - East side and west side that each last two hours. A fun way to orient yourself and see all the highlights of our beautiful city

Picnic Point

The venue for our conference dinner, the parklands around Picnic Point offer spectacular views across the Lockyer Valley and several walking tracks

Queens Park and other gardens

No visit to Toowoomba is complete without a stroll through our beautiful Queens park – well worth an early morning visit for those staying in the CBD. There are also many other parks and gardens throughout the city- and for the energetic, you can always walk all the way to USQ??

For other ideas and attractions visit the Toowoomba Tourist Information Centre  or the Toowoomba Regional Council website

Of course, these are only a few of the experiences in Toowoomba - make sure that you share yours either in the comments below, or via our Twitter hashtag #ASCILITE17.

Dine Around for ASCILITE 2017

Monday night in Toowoomba is usually the quietest night of the week, but that will not be the case this year as this is the chance for all ASCILITE delegates to hit the town and make merry with friends old and new.

We have compiled a list of some of the iconic establishments in the CBD and around the City Golf Club giving you a range of cuisines, prices and timings with an aim of meeting all tastes. Dine Around options will give you the chance to wine and dine with a group of friends/delegates with a common interest (think about the ASCILITE SIGs, or  Mentor/Mentee meetings), for first timers to meet the faces behind your favourite paper, or even put some faces to those Tweets.

On the conference website we have provided details of all the restaurants and will have sign up sheets available at the registration desk. Start thinking now about who you would like to dine with, and where you would like to go. Of course, there is no obligation for you to dine at any of these establishments but we do recommend all of these.

However, we understand if there are some difficult choices ahead, given your options and the fantastic location of the conference dinner.  You might like to visit other places on the list during the week. Other options for casual dining - particularly over the weekend -are the newly-completed café and restaurant precinct of Grand Central Shopping Centre, and the cafes and eateries at Waltons Stores.

We are looking forward to a chance to chat, reminisce, and make new memories with friends old and new.  Start making your plans today because there are less than twenty sleeps until the conference (a thought either exhilarating or terrifying - depending on whether you are on the organising committee, or an attendee).

What to expect in Toowoomba

As  I sit here at my desk listening to the howling wind and rain I am reminded that Queensland does not always live up to her name of “The Sunshine State".  This is the view today from our office window looking over to Alison Dickson Theatre, the main venue for our conference in just a few weeks.

This post was prompted by conversations at the recent ASCILITE Spring into Excellence Research School (an exhilarating and rewarding few days which I would highly recommend). Attendees wanted to know more about Toowoomba and what to expect while they are at the conference.

So here are a few facts and figures to help answer that question.

Toowoomba (The Garden City) sits on top of the Great Dividing Range at an altitude of 691m. With a population of approximately 115,000, we are the largest inland non-capital city in Australia.

In December we have almost 14 hours of daylight, with sunrise around 4.50am and sunset around 6.30pm. We suggest you make the most of this with an early morning stroll through one of our numerous parks and gardens or a leisurely breakfast catch up with friends new and old.

Our weather is variable so we suggest you bring layers and raincoat. While the average temperature in December is 29OC, the current long term forecast on one site is for some thunderstorms for the week of the conference. All rooms at USQ are air conditioned, which means it can be considerably cooler inside than out so a light cardigan or jacket is suggested.

Our campus is 6.5 km from the CBD so we highly recommend using the free shuttle bus being offered for delegates from the three conference hotels. More information on this will be posted closer to the conference start. Public transport consists of buses only with several routes passing by the university and services approximately every half hour. More information on travel.

If flying in to Toowoomba we recommend you request a window seat so you can view the rich tapestry of farmland as you descend into Toowoomba.

What you won’t see much of around Toowoomba is running water – there are no rivers in our area and the nearest lakes are about half an hour drive. Our tap water has just been announced as tastiest in Australia, so bring a refillable bottle with you!

What we can guarantee for this year’s ASCILITE conference is a friendly welcome, good times, good company, stimulating presentations and opportunities for networking. We look forward to welcoming you.