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Toowoomba ( tə-WUUM-bə, nicknamed 'The Garden City' and 'T-Bar') is a city in the Toowoomba Region of the Darling Downs, Queensland, Australia. It is 125 km (78 mi) west of Queensland's capital city Brisbane by road. The estimated urban population of Toowoomba as of June 2018 was 136,861, having grown at an average annual rate of 1.02% year-on-year over the preceding five years. Toowoomba is the second most populous inland city in the country after the national capital of Canberra and hence the largest town on the Darling Downs. It is also referred to as the capital of the Darling Downs.
The Toowoomba region is the home of two main Aboriginal language groups, the Giabal whose lands extend south of the city and Jarowair whose lands extend north of the city.
The Jarowair lands include the site of one of Australia’s most important sacred Bora ceremonial ground, the ‘Gummingurru stone arrangment’ dated to 4000 BC. The site marked one of the major routes employed by many Aboriginal tribes to the south and southeast to participate in the triennial bunya nut feast. The feast was Australia’s largest Indigenous event, and of cultural and spiritual significance.
The regions recorded history began when the English botanist Allan Cunningham explored the region in 1827, naming it after Ralph Darling, then Governor of New South Wales. British drays began arriving from 1840, enticed by the rich pastoral lands and established Drayton in 1842. During the War of Southern Queensland, the region experienced bloodshed as Indigenous tribes attempted to force drays from encroaching into the Darling Downs, with the Battle of One Tree Hill being fought near to Toowoomba.
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