Carnival of Flowers highlights extend to the surrounds of Highfields……and on a mild Spring day in September it was easy to see why so many were taking advantage of the well-kept parks and walks and the Highfields Pioneer Village.

Billed as The Festival of the Big Cow, Highfields Pioneer Village boasts a giant concrete statue 7 times the size of the Ayrshire cow originally located on a dairy farm which was craned in thanks to generous sponsors, chief of whom was local philanthropist developer and ex Toowoomba Mayor Clive Berghofer. It is quite a sight as visitors drive along the entrance where ducks and geeses are foraging along the roadside, and the trees shade the impressive bovine.

Though not quite a parkland, the Pioneer Village offers visitors the parkland feel alongside its extensive historical buildings, American style windmill and huge machinery from times long gone – as well as the chance to experience the chores of milking and making butter as part of the visit. Being able to go up inside the cow is also a bit of an experience in itself. The quiet surroundings are a bonus.

Keen to stretch your legs and soak in the smells of the bush? Williams Park is in the heart of quiet sprawling suburban houses and a stone’s throw from the Highfields Shopping Centre. A short but vegetation-laden walk, this track was recommended by local community advocate Kim Cahill, owner and staunch promoter of the small and micro business platform http://www.ToowoombaDarlingDowns.com.au as the place to discover Arum Lillies growing in the shady surrounds or to spot feathered friends along this noted bird trail.

Perhaps most familiar to locals and to the many visitors who find their way out during the Carnival of Flowers drives is Peacehaven Park. Kudos to local volunteer groups, Toowoomba Regional Council and individuals inspired to transfer the seeds of ideas in to action, this parkland provides extensive grassed areas for picnics, and the design has encouraged wildlife to thrive.

The view spreads out across the valley and the surrounding communities of Gowrie Junction and Kingsthorpe, then carries the eye to the outline of the Bunya Mountains. What a peaceful expanse!

You need to keep alert to spot the rather small sign for the Park along Kuhls Rd, but once you arrive the park is a joy!

Sitting in the sun, sharing a picnic, families enjoying the well-maintained walking paths, or learning about the native tree and plant species, there is something for everyone here. Trying to spot wildlife on the ground or in the majestic trees, under the clear blue sky on a Spring day in September is truly special.

The story of The Stump is intriguing, as is the understanding of the start by Stan Kuhl of the Native Plant Nursery – closed when we visited, but hopefully such a venture is not closed for long. It wouldn’ t be Carnival time if there were not amazing floral tributes out in honour of Spring. These caught my eye.

The Stump signifies events over time and the changes life takes……an interesting piece of history to add to the serenity of the park.

It truly is Peacehaven!

Not far down the road to Cawdor Rd, and again using eagle eyes to spot it, is the Davidson Arboretum, a tree garden on one hectare donated to the Council in 2007 to ensure the future of the Tree Garden. This is another haven for locals and visitors alike with the Spring bulb plants like jonquils and daffodils a real treat.

Highfields is a wonderful Springtime, or anytime, parkland destination. Park yourself in Highfields!

Blog by MOLL Y B