My Brisbane : Toowong, Queensland
Residents of Toowong profit from both the natural and the man-made environment. They have a convenient access to local resources while still being surrounded by nature.
The western border is fringed by Mount Coot-tha. From its peak, you will see the sprawling city of Brisbane – a view so breathtaking that it is a popular location for wedding receptions.
The eastern side of Toowong is guarded by the Brisbane River. Tall eucalyptus trees – the trademarks of Australia, queue up along the waters, marking out the eastern border. Perched upon these trees are birds who, every evening without fail, will cry out with such animation they drown out even the noises of the rush hour traffic. The onomatopoeic sound of these bird calls – Tu-wong, To-wong, Toowong; may very well explain how the suburb was named.
Yet there are others who believe the name was derived from an aboriginal word that translated to mean a “place of plenty”. Either way, Toowong lives up to its name.
The array of local amenities, public transport options, connections to other areas, housing choices and its proximity to nature are just some of the factors that make Toowong such a desirable residential area.
The option to travel by train, ferry or bus makes almost everywhere accessible and makes daily commute much simpler.
Alternatively, those with a car can use the major roadwork connections of Coronation Drive or Moggill Road to arrive straight at the heart of the city! And once the construction of the Legacy Way is complete, Toowong will become connected to the Western Freeway and the Central Business District – reducing travelling time even further!
Strolling casually around Toowong, you will easily see an abundance of quaint coffee shops and eateries that rest upon the district’s gentle hills and slopes. Joggers and cyclists often take advantage of the walking trails, cycling paths and local parks that are scattered around the area. Playgrounds for students to visit after their classes end at nearby schools, are also ideal places to spend the day with younger children. There is even a pond with ducks at Anzac Park! Toowong is simply very people-friendly and community oriented.
Outside the train station is Toowong Village, the major shopping centre. Here, residents have the option to buy fresh foods from local greengrocers or from supermarket chains like Coles, K-mart or Woolworths.
As always, Toowong is constantly trying to improve itself. In fact, the shopping centre is currently undergoing a $50 million upgrade that will be completed by mid-2015.
Yet in spite of the constant renovations and improvement initiatives, remnants of Toowong’s past can still be seen through the architecture of the buildings. For example, the Royal Exchange Hotel is a bar with an old western feel. Pushing past the wooden saloon doors on a weekend, you will find yourself amongst crowds of locals celebrating the end of yet another week. The Regatta Hotel and the Boathouse Restaurant are a few other places that exude a strong heritage vibe. They are ideal places to spend a quiet evening, offering diners a view of a calm Brisbane River whilst they enjoy their meals.
Even the dwellings reflect Toowong’s union of the old and the new. The mixture of traditional Queenslanders, town houses and sleek modern apartments make it easy for anyone to find a home that best suit their needs.
Unfortunately, Toowong’s convenience and its proximity to the University of Queensland, Wesley Hospital, and the city centre means that competition for housing is high. Most properties are held quite tightly and it is hard to find a free place.
Although it is difficult, it is definitely possible to find an affordable place to stay. All it takes is time, dedication and someone to monitor the market for you, so that you will be alerted immediately whenever a place becomes available. This will take time, but considering the liveability of Toowong, the wait is certainly worthwhile.