Flowers, flowers, flowers! If there’s one event that everyone is talking about come Spring it’s the
Toowoomba Regional Hayfever Society AGM Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers.
We left Gatton – and no we didn’t spot any lions, but Willow kept an eye out. Once ascending the range into the Garden City there was one thing I had to do before checking out the blooms.
Tabletop Drive takes you 2km from the edge of the city down a dry-weather-only dirt road to the base. The mountain loomed over us as we parked up and I asked Willow if she’d like to come.
She replied, nahh mate I’m good you go I’ll wait here ok.
The walk is a short but intense 2km on a rough trail – and would only suit the most agile of pets (and humans). The last section is mostly scree then finishes with a very steep near vertical clamber.
Upon reaching the top I received impressive views out over the Lockyer Valley. But the best views of Tabletop Mountain are of course, not at Tabletop Mountain.
Now, I would just like to thank everyone who has commented, emailed, and messaged with suggestions of places for us to visit. One of those places was Picnic Point parklands to see ‘Puppy’.
Puppy was the real-life mascot of the Toowoomba Thistle Pipe Band and loyal friend to Mr. Hugh Morgan, the band’s drum major.
At Picnic Point overlooking Tabletop mountain is the statue that honours him.
Puppy became somewhat of a local celebrity as he lead the band in the Carnival of Flowers parade from 1950-1958 adorned with the band’s tartan.
The parklands also feature beautiful gardens and even a waterfall.
Every September hundreds of thousands of locals and visitors will attend events held as apart of the Carnival of Flowers – now in its 70th year.
The events includes a food festival, garden tours, exhibition gardens, live music, and a LOT of flowers. Though I’m told that the crowd favourite is the parade that fills the city streets with highly adorned floats celebrating the Garden City.
Now you might say we’ve done it again – we have arrived three weeks early. Yes. But have we beaten the crowds? Also yes.
Though the masses had not yet arrived the flowers had. So Willow and I headed to Queens Park Botanical Gardens to check them out.
Toowoomba’s gardens are held with a sense of pride by its residents.
You must check out the Red Cedar, a local insisted as he passed me through the park on his commute. But, we were there for flowers.
Tulips, Dahlias, Daisies – and those other ones..
As I walked through the displays stopping to get a snap of a honey bee, I smelt the fine scent of Sweet Pea and was reminded of the garden I once gave up.
Then I remembered the weeding I gave up – and the lawn-mowing, and the pruning!
There was one last thing we had to do before we left Toowoomba.
Haku the Spirit Dragon
We visited Haku and his cat-mom Kara.
The nearly-three Haku gets his name from the 2001 Oscar-winning animated film Spirited Away. But as Kara was quick to add, there’s also a bit of Haku-na Matata in there as well.
He gets really spoilt, Kara told me. As we sat in their living room I noticed Haku’s extensive toy collection spread out over the floor.
But Kara wasn’t the only one to spoil him.
Their late friend Robert was known to pamper him and even gave Haku an allowance to spend on new toys and treats.
Though he tends to be a big mummies boy, Haku opened his heart to Robert and felt his loss as much as Kara.
These days sweet Haku has settled into suburban life but as a young kitten his fate was undecided.
It was Christmas 2016 and Kara responded to a Gumtree ad giving away some kittens.
He wasn’t getting the best life, Kara told me.
At 12 weeks old, Haku was living with two other litter mates and a dog in a one bedroom dwelling. When Kara first saw the underweight and flea-ridden Haku she knew she had to have him – but it was Haku’s love heart nose that sealed the deal.
On his first night home, Haku made it very clear that he was a creature of habit.
At 6:30pm – after playing with his new toys – he let out a meow to make it known that it was dinner time. He then waited by his bowl for Kara to place down his dinner where he meowed once more in thanks and began to eat.
Later when the lights were turned off, Haku knew it was time to sleep, and so, put himself to bed – a routine that he sticks to to this day.
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We have now left Goondiwindi for Moonie on our Springtime Road Trip. Remember to check out our road trip tracker here and also to vote on our next destination!