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Petals and Pups at Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers - September 2023

Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers
 (TCOF) has released their 2023 Petals and Pups program – the official dog-friendly schedule, completely dedicated to hounds and their humans and in salute to Toowoomba’s first canine Ambassadog, ‘Puppy’ the Pomeranian.

TCOF will be held across all 30 days of September, starting this Friday 1st September, allowing more people to spend more time in the floral-filled parks, public spaces and gardens, to taste the flavours of the region and to stay a little longer.

With the program featuring more than 20 dog-friendly activities and 27 off-leash parks, prepare to paws in the petals, petals!

Over 190,000 blooms have been planted across the city’s major parks and public spaces to create a spectacular canvas of colour for the celebrations, with the Petals and Pups program a highlight for owners of pups of all shapes and sizes.

Who was Puppy?

The much-loved Puppy led the Toowoomba Thistle Pipe Band in the very first Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers parade in 1950. 

The Pomeranian belonged to the band’s drum major, Mr Hugh Morgan and was suited up in a coat in the band’s tartan pattern. The statue commemorating Puppy stands at Picnic Point (164 Tourist Road) and is the picture paw-fect spot for pooches amongst the local scenery.

Petals and Pups Itineraries:

#1. Cultured Canine

If spending a weekend strolling through perfectly manicured gardens, taking in amazing art, and indulging in a long lunch (all with your canine companion by your side) sounds like your perfect day, then the Cultured Canine itinerary is for you!

✔️ Get lost in the laneways

The First Coat street art has changed the face of the Toowoomba streetscape for good and the work of the many talented artists is regarded as world class. Check out this interactive street art map if there’s a particular mural you want to find.

✔️ Views and brews

A visit to the iconic Picnic Point parkland (164 Tourist Rd, Toowoomba) is a must do on the Cultured Canine list! Pick up a freshly brewed coffee from the Picnic Point Café (164 Tourist Rd, Toowoomba) and enjoy the spectacular views of the Great Dividing Range. Be sure to stop by at the bronze statue of the famous Puppy and snap a selfie with your own canine. #tcof

✔️ Lunch at your leisure

After a busy morning art-hopping, stop in at Park House Café (92 Margaret St, Toowoomba) opposite Queens Park to enjoy a delicious long lunch featuring a fresh spring salad or a hearty burger and a glass of your favourite beverage. Make sure you request an outdoor table so your pup can join you right at the table.

✔️ Parkside perfection 

Following your long lunch, stroll directly across the road to the centre of Queens Park (43-73 Lindsay St, Toowoomba). The Queens Park off leash dog park is a social hub for both small and large breeds with lots of friendly owners and dogs. Once you’ve had your fill of playtime, wander into the Botanic Gardens to admire the perfectly manicured gardens featuring an ever-changing display of flora.

#2. Pampered Pup

There is no mistaking a pampered pup and their owner! Your fur baby is your life and you love nothing more than making amazing memories together. Follow the Pampered Pup itinerary for an Instagrammable day of indulgence. #pupsofinstragram

✔️ But first, coffee

Start the day right with a puppuccino (and cappuccino) from the lovely team at Grinds Espresso Rail (2/255 Margaret St) in the heart of Toowoomba’s CBD. Get your puppuccino to go or enjoy it al fresco before setting off on a day of adventure.

✔️ Doggie day spa

A pampered pup must always look their best! Book in for a quick wash and blow dry at Toowoomba Grooming (6/100 Hill St, Newtown) to make sure your pup is Insta ready! Make sure you book well in advance as clients travel from interstate to get a signature cut with the experienced team. #freshhairdontcare

✔️ Hello Harolds!

Have you experienced Harold’s? Fellow dog lover and proud pampered pup owner, Aaron Bourne from Harold’s Finishing Touches (cnr Bridge & Hume Sts) is a must visit if you are in town. Having featured in national magazines and TV shows, Harold’s is a treasure trove of curated collectibles to make your house a home. The best part of visiting this amazing store is your pampered pup can show off their very best manners and browse alongside you in the store!

✔️ Stop and smell the flowers

Following a busy day of salons, shopping and snacks, visit the floral haven of Laurel Bank Park (50 Hill St, Toowoomba) to wind down and smell the flowers! The extensive park features a hedge gallery, scented gardens and many shaded spots – perfect for relaxing with your pup, taking some spring photos to send to friends and planning your next adventure together.

#3. Adventure Dog

Adventure dogs and their owners are active go-getters who love action and adventure! If you and your pup love adventuring and getting back to nature, the Toowoomba region is your ideal location.

✔️ Hearty weekend breakfast

A packed day of adventure needs fuel to keep you going. Start the day right with a mouth watering breakfast from Piccolo Papa at ‘Duggan Lane’ in Grand Central Shopping Centre, off Duggan Street (breakfast on weekends only). Make sure you book a table outside so your furry friend can join you.

✔️ Off leash leisure time

Photo: @yuki_louie_mason Instagram
Following a hearty breakfast, travel down the road to Garnett Lehman Park (1A Aberdeen St, Rangeville) for a bushland adventure. 

Enjoy the varied bird calls as you stroll through the native bushland area (leash on) and unclip the lead and allow your adventure dog to explore designated off leash area which features bridges, natural waterways and stepping stones. This beautiful park is always filled with like-minded adventure dogs who love the freedom to stretch their legs and get back to nature.

✔️ Free range rover

If rolling hills as far as the eye can see and the freedom to roam are your thing, than Dr Alex Horn Park (55 Stuart St, Harlaxton) is for you! Put your running shoes on and grab your pup’s favourite ball or frisbee and enjoy an afternoon of adventure in this unique park as you and your pup explore! Expert tip – the late afternoon sight of the sun setting over the hills is a sight worth waiting for and the perfect end to a big day of adventures!

Variety is the spice of life! Why not step outside of your comfort zone and try one of the other itineraries above – you may just discover that you and your dog have another side you didn’t know existed!


It is no secret that the Toowoomba Region has many amazing parks and with 27 off leash dog parks there is something to suit everyone!
View the Dog off leash maps and plan your visit.

Full itineraries, dog-friendly accommodation options and directions at

Places to Eat:

Toowoomba locals will tell you the café scene is worth sticking around for! Plan your day around stopping in for fresh local produce filled eats and master-brewed coffee at some of the region’s best dog-friendly cafés.

Better dig out your stretchy pants because there’s a record 52 floral-inspired #trEATS to savour at this year’s Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, including six regional venues taking part, and the good news is you have all September to devour them!

#trEATS is the regional food trail that takes place as part of the famous Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers. Introduced in 2020, #trEATS (standing for Toowoomba Region EATS) features signature springtime dishes from cafes, restaurants and bars inspired by Toowoomba’s most famous event, all priced at $10-$20.

The Store Room's sweet petits fours
From Cobb’s Coffee Shop’s Iced VoVo dish of coconut panna cotta and home-made berry jelly with fresh cream and shortbread crumble, topped with toasted coconut and finished with macerated berries, to an Edible Garden from Jilly’s Café, Spring Soft Shell Tacos from Mouse Proof Brewing with raspberry and hibiscus rose and marinated chicken on corn tortillas, to a Butterfly Peaflower Gelato from Gelatissimo Toowoomba, Stellarossa’s Gordonia Flower Carnival Pizza, and The Store Room’s stunning selection of five sweet treat petits fours beautifully packaged and ready for a picnic in the park, the 2023 #trEATS lineup is a culinary knockout petals!

Urth Cafe & Co's "Honey I'm home!"
Muller Bros’ Springtime Strawberry Shortcake of house-made strawberry ice cream on a rich buttery shortbread base served with strawberry jelly cubes and mixed berry coulis needs a mention, as does Urth Cafe & Co’s ‘Honey I'm home!’ dish a medley of tomatoes and whipped fetta on sourdough with hints of chilli, garlic and thyme, topped with prosciutto, a poached egg, fresh watercress, lemon and honey drizzle.

“Flowers and flavour are one of the world’s great double acts and this year at Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers we have a record number of flavour makers taking part in #trEATs,” said Toowoomba Regional Council Environment and Community Committee Chair Cr James O’Shea. 

“We are famed for our incredible produce and flavours, and during the event where Toowoomba shines on the national stage, we can give locals and visitors alike a tasty food adventure for the whole month. Bon Appétit!

Travel Essentials

To ensure your pooch day is pawsome, please make sure you pack a water bottle, bowl, leash, harness, poop bags, familiar food and snacks and a ball or frisbee to chase around the gardens.

What: Petals & Pups - Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers 2023

When: 1st – 30th September 2023

The full program is live and tickets on sale now at

Accommodation, day trip and longer stay itineraries are all available.

Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers is supported by the Queensland Government via Tourism and Events Queensland and is a feature on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar.

Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers – A History

Since its inception in 1949, the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers has flourished and is now an iconic Queensland event. The brainchild of Essex Tait and the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce, the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers was introduced as a way for the city to use its “Garden City” reputation to promote increased economic activity following the hardships of war. On 21 October 1950, the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers commenced with a street procession that stretched three miles in length. Led by a bullock team and watched by a crowd estimated to be 50,000 strong, it was a resounding success, as it has been ever since.

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