On the Great Dividing Ridge and in the Darling Downs region, Toowoomba is 80 miles west of Brisbane; it is nicknamed the Garden City for its rich soil and almost 250 parks. Toowoomba's MICE venues are many and varied, thanks to its being the largest inland Australian city that is not a provincial capital. Every September, tourists come especially to see something fairly rare on this vast continent—Toowoomba's deciduous trees that turn pretty colours and then lose their leaves. Also being situated at more than 2,000 feet above sea level, Toowoomba gets another Australian rarity—four seasons.
Toowoomba Airport (TWB) is two miles northwest of the city centre and has service to the large cities of Brisbane and Sydney and 10 smaller ones, including remote Mount Isa.
Chief among MICE venues in Toowoomba is the unusually named Rumours International Convention Centre, which has space for banquets of up to 1,000 persons and receptions of double that number.
MICE hotels in Toowoomba include the 95-room Toowoomba Central Plaza Apartment Hotel, which has a meeting room for 50 persons; the 85-room Burke & Wills Hotel (named for the two leaders of the legendary 1860 trans-Australian expedition that set out from Melbourne to walk all the way north to the Gulf of Carpentaria), which has seven meeting and function rooms that can cater to up to 350 persons; the 52-room Quality Hotel Platinum International, which has two meeting rooms for up to 70 persons; the 47-room Park Motor Inn Toowoomba, which has one meeting room for up to 50 persons; and the 34-room Best Western Plus Ambassador on Ruthven Motor Inn, which has a meeting room for 30 persons.
Unique MICE venues in Toowoomba for special events include the Empire Theatre in the heart of the city, which has a 1,567-seat theatre and banquet space on the main stage for up to 350 persons, among other areas; James Byrne Centre, which is a religious centre five miles north of the centre of Toowoomba that has gorgeous, countryside surroundings, a wonderfully isolated main function room and the Marian Conference Hall for up to 120 persons; the magnificently pretty and airy Gabbinbar Homestead & Gardens, which has a conservatory and extensive grounds that include a 100-year-old fig tree; and Picnic Point, which has wonderful views and the Panorama and Table Top rooms, each with space for up to 150 persons.
Restaurants in Toowoomba include Veraison, which has a good wine cellar and, apart from the main dining room, The Gallery for 50 persons and The Courtyard for 45; Encores, which is adjacent to the Empire Theatre and has 100 seats and a private room for 30 persons; GPO Bar & Cafe, also in the heart of town; Angelo's House, which has an international and Italian menu and a private room; and Weis, which is known for its seafood menu and can host up to 600 persons.