Gone is the long hair, the plaits and homemade dress with the gathered waist. These days the hair is short and grey, gathered waists have given way to comfort dressing but the background is much the same from Toowoomba's beautiful Picnic Point which is perched on top of the the Great Dividing Range and where you can look down onto the Lockyer Valley - Australia's Salad Bowl.
In the above somewhat blurry photo taken in the 1950s, I am the smallest of the three girls and we must have travelled to the Big Smoke of Toowoomba for a ballet exam as we lived in a smaller regional town. In the background behind the tree on the left is Tabletop Mountain which you can see more clearly in the photo on the right. Some energetic people walk from Picnic Point to Tabletop and back in a couple of hours apparently but I am not one of those ;-)
As we are in Carnival of Flowers mode this week my son and I visited the park today and joined in with all the tourists taking snaps of the gardens and the fantastic views. We made our way up to the Cafe and Restaurant which is often the venue for weddings and obviously is now the venue for tired tourists.
I spied this sign which was for a Wattle and Violet Sundae which I had never heard of before and, as my son offered to buy me one, I decided to have my monthly intake of sugar and partake as I couldn't pass up the opportunity to try violet ice cream.
Thankfully they are only small servings but big enough to get a good taste of the combination of wattle seed caramel sauce on top of violet ice cream which is made here in Toowoomba by Home Ice Cream. It was the brainchild of the restaurant owner in 2012 when he came up with the unique idea of creating an ice cream based on the floral emblems of our city. It actually tasted quite nice and not sickly sweet at all and definitely something to try if you are ever at Picnic Point during the Carnival of Flowers as it is only available there at that time.
After leaving the cafe we saw Mr.Kookaburra having his afternoon bath.
Of course there are gardens everywhere and we came across another plaque like the one in Queens Park which has a different scripture on it and I wonder if these were donated to the various parks by one of the locals.
This Azalea bush is huge...
...this garden is full of snapdragons and petunias and the next one was full of pansies.
It is a long time since my children have visited the playground there and I noticed that there is a new one there which is quite quirky and will be a fun place to show my grandchildren when they visit.
There is a huge water tower which is always impressive and often appears on postcards...
...as well as a huge flag which flies well above the gum trees and can be seen right across the city which is just as well as I can never remember which street to drive up to get to Picnic Point as I always get lost over that side of town. LOL!
There are also many walking trails as well as a scenic drive down the Tobruk Memorial Drive where you can stop and have a picnic and take in the views. It is definitely the place to visit when you are in Toowoomba and we always spent time here when I was little and we had a day in town. We used to love it then but there is much more to do these days.
Talking about when I was little, this is what a child looked like at the Carnival of Flowers in 1952, just a couple of years after the Carnival started. Cute eh? :-) I think my hair was put in rags the night before our big day out in the city!