The Queensland State Rose Garden in historic Newtown Park, Toowoomba commenced in 1999. Three enterprising businessmen approached the Toowoomba City Council (currently the Toowoomba Regional Council) with a Tourism Growth Plan. The plan focused on transforming a section of Newtown Park into an International Standard Rose Garden.
The proposed rose garden would, with careful planning and care, display rose blooms nine months every year for all to enjoy. As well as allowing this unique, historical 30 acre park to continue as "A Breathing Space for the People". The plan also outlined a "Not for Profit Group" to be formed with the intention that "The friends of the Queensland State Rose Garden in Newtown Park" would work under the Council and together with the parks & recreation staff. The friends of the Queensland State Rose GArden in Newtown Park, would be responsible for fundraising to assist with the set up expenss and for all future developments in accordance with Toowoomba Regional Council.
The first major section of Stage 1 was completed using funds raised and in-kind donations totalling $1.25 million. All labour work by businesses was donated in-kind. In 2001, the first 500 roses were planted and the official opening was celebrated with over 500 official guests, citizens and contributors in attendance.
Fundraising and further developments have continued enabling a carpark to be constructed, as well as paths, toilets, seating, gazebos, plaques and signage to make a safe, educational environment for all to enjoy the roses.
Each year the rose gardens have continued to expand with new beds being allocated to specific colours and varieties. Swags have now been erected for climbers and metal structures for pillar roses. There are now approximately 2,000 roses growing in Newtown Park and we pride ourselves in having the largest number of collections.