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Moving to Toowoomba (A Complete Guide)

Sunrise at Picnic Point in Toowoomba

Whether you’re going for its beautiful Autumn days, its colourful springs or its many parks and gardens, Toowoomba is truly a unique Australian city. In many ways, Queensland’s Garden City is the go-to for those who are looking for the fun of a city like Brisbane, but with all the charm of a smaller country town. It’s only 90 minutes from Brisbane, and yet it is so different being there compared to Queensland’s capital.

If you are moving to Toowoomba, there are many things you will need to consider. Check out this handy guide to discover all you need to know about this amazing city.

Finding A Home

Finding somewhere to live in Toowoomba shouldn’t be too hard, as it is a city on the smaller side with plenty of great real estate options. However, it might be good to know about the different regions you might choose to live in.

Popular Suburbs in Toowoomba

Some of the most popular regions and suburbs include:

  • Rangeville. With a population of more than 8,000 people, this is both one of most populated areas of Toowoomba, and also one of the most popular in general. Located on the south-east side of town, its well-known reserves and parks include Picnic Point, Tabletop Mountain and Waterbird Habitat. Some people say this is the best area to raise kids.
  • Mount Lofty. Situated at the north-east side, Mount Lofty is an inner suburb with a population of around 3,500. It is home to a rainforest by the name of Jubilee Park, so it’s a great choice if you want to be relatively central but still have access to the countryside.
  • Westbrook. Westbrook has something of a similar location to Mount Lofty, but unlike the other one it is one of the fastest-growing parts of the city. If you want to be in an up-and-coming area, this is almost certainly the place to go.
  • South Toowoomba. This is a very popular inner suburb of the main city, with a population of 5,000 and St. Patrick’s Cathedral and City Golf Club to boot. It is known to have the city’s oldest school, Toowoomba South, which was built in 1865. This is an affordable part of the city near to its centre, and well worth considering if you have a family.
  • Kearneys Spring. If you want to live near the site of Toowoomba’s only operational steam railway, then Kearneys Spring is for you. This is an uncompromising and peaceful suburb, and a beautiful one too, with plenty of amazing natural scenery to amaze you.

Renting Or Buying?

No matter where in Toowoomba you decide to live, you’ll need to know whether it’s best to rent or to buy. At the present time of writing, the property market in Toowoomba is on the up. That means that, if you are in the position to do so, you might want to consider buying rather than renting. However, you might prefer to rent if you need to save a deposit for a home, or if you want to explore whether or not a particular suburb is right fit for you and your family.

In 2020, the Toowoomba market has remained strong, with some experts expecting record highs still to come. For that reason, you might find that it’s a good investment to take a look at some of Toowoomba’s boom suburbs.

Of course, if you need to wait a while before you can buy, then you should simply rent - and use it as an opportunity to get used to the city, learn its ways, and find the best area for you.

Toowoomba House Prices

Here are some statistics about Toowoomba’s housing market as it currently stands:

  • Median property price over 12 months: $292,500 (houses) to $285,850 (units).
  • Average rent: $330 pw for houses, $250 pw for units.
  • Five year growth rate: -2.4% (houses) and 2.3% (units).
  • Low competitive demand - with an average 215 visits per property, compared to the QLD average of 540.

Finding Work In Toowoomba

On top of finding a home, you will also need to find some work, or else you won’t be able to maintain your new lifestyle in Toowoomba. If you are not carrying your work with you (for instance, by transferring or by working from home), you will want to consider some of the most popular industries in the city. These industries include:

  • Healthcare and social assistance - the most popular industry for workers in Toowoomba in 2016.
  • Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing.
  • Mining.
  • Manufacturing.
  • Construction.
  • Utility supplies.
  • Wholesale trade.
  • Retail.
  • Accommodation.
  • Tourism.

If any of these industries suit your skills and experience, then Toowoomba could be the place for you.

Cost Of Living

It’s always a good idea to have a sense of the average cost of living before you move anywhere, and that’s no different when you are planning on moving to Toowoomba. So how does its cost of living stack up against the statewide and nationwide averages?

Rent

We have looked at rent briefly above, but to reiterate on a monthly basis, Toowoomba’s average monthly rent is $1,765 for furnished accommodation in an expensive area, down to $1,291 for the same in a normal area of the city.

Utilities

On average, you can expect to spend $213 on utilities per month for 2 people in a normal sized flat. For 1 person in a studio flat, it would be around $388. Internet will cost you an average of $58 for the month.

Food

Food is always a strong indicator of the general cost of living. A basic lunchtime menu in the business district will cost an average of $18. Alternatively, a fast food meal is going to cost you around $11. A litre of milk is $1.47, and 12 eggs will cost $7. And importantly: one bottle of good quality red wine is somewhere around $18.

Transportation

What if you need to get around the city? A litre of fuel for your vehicle will only cost you an average of $1.33, while a monthly ticket for public transport around the city will set you back by $60, and a basic tariff for the average taxi business trip across town is $27.

All in all, the cost of living in Toowoomba is slightly above the Australian average for most areas. But as they say: you get what you pay for, and it is an incredibly beautiful city to live in.

Toowoomba Weather

Sunflower field in Toowoomba

So, what’s the weather like in Toowoomba? One of the main attractions for many people to this city is that you can experience all four seasons relatively well, especially when compared to other nearby Queensland cities like Brisbane. In Toowoomba, you can have beautiful spring days, crisp autumnal evenings, and hot summers all in the same place.

Toowoomba’s climate is classified as warm and temperate, like most of Australia, but it also gets a higher than average amount of rainfall, even during the drier months. The average temperature in Toowoomba is 16.9°C, and the average amount of annual precipitation is 35.2 inches.

Culture & Entertainment In Toowoomba

Toowoomba's Carnival of Flowers

If you are moving to Toowoomba, it’s good to know what kind of culture you can expect from the place. One of its famous cultural highlights is the annual Carnival of Flowers, held every year in September. This festival brings in people from all over Australia, many people arriving via bus from Brisbane. Many of Toowoomba’s gardens and parks get involved in the flower-based festivities, and it is known to be a beautiful site, and includes a parade of flower boats.

For three days of the festival, there is a concurrent food, cheese and wine festival too. Speaking of food, that is another great part of the Toowoomba culture, and it has a bustling cafe and restaurant scene.

Another valuable part of Toowoomba culture is sport, with Rugby League being particularly popular across the city, as well as football and a range of other sports too. Whichever sport you love to play or watch, Toowoomba has it!

Transport

When it comes to getting around the city, you have numerous options, notably car, public transport or taxi. As well as the local taxi service, Uber also operates in the city. The bus system is intricately connected and affordable, and you can use Moovit’s Live Directions and Get Off Notifications to ensure you arrive at the right spot every time. Getting around Toowoomba generally poses no problems, even to tourists and visitors.

All in all, Toowoomba is a wonderful place to live, offering many opportunities for people of all kinds. If you are considering moving to Toowoomba, remember that Chess Moving can help. Chess have over 100 years of experience moving to and from Toowoomba, so you can definitely trust them with your move, regardless where you are moving from. They also have an office in Toowoomba as well as every other capital city, and some regional locations. You can read more about the service Chess offer here.

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