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Darling Downs

Map of Darling Downs region

Our 12 Queensland regions are the best that Australia has to offer.

Only 90 minutes from Brisbane, the Darling Downs is a farming region on the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range. It is one of the major regions in Queensland and comprises of the Southern Downs, Western Downs, Toowoomba and Goondiwindi.

This region is home to memorable tourism experiences and filled with innovators with ground-breaking ideas that are putting us on the world map.

Whether it’s turning agricultural waste into energy or making sure we support the growing wine industry to attract visitors, create jobs and a strong local economy, we’re backing Queenslanders who live and work in this region.

We know innovation and tourism are crucial to the region’s growth – now and in the future.

The Darling Downs region has many local success stories supported by our strong innovation and tourism investment. We’re working together to deliver jobs, economic growth and benefits for your community, our state and the world.

  • $55M+

    leveraged from external investment

  • $33M+

    Advance Queensland funding

  • 500+

    Qantas Group Pilot Academy jobs

  • $2.97M+

    local tourism investment

  • 17

    new tourism jobs in Roma

  • $220K

    international wine region promotion


Anyone can have a great idea or come up with an innovative solution to a problem. The hard part when you’re in a region can be getting access to the help you need to turn your idea into a business and your business into a global success story.

Advance Queensland is helping Queenslanders to grow their business and build our innovation economy.

The Darling Downs has many local success stories that we support though programs such as Ignite Ideas and the Industry Attraction Fund.

We have designed or funded many programs to support innovators across Queensland including:

  • Advancing Regional Innovation Program - gives each region up to $500,000 to develop region-wide innovation projects.
  • Regional Startup Hubs Support Program - a local skills-building program delivering education and networking events.
  • Startup Onramp Regional Queensland Program - shows people with a great idea how to become a startup founder.
  • Queensland Connects Regional Pilot Program – Toowoomba has received up to $100,000 in funding to further grow and encourage entrepreneurship in the regions while diversifying the economy and supporting job creation.

Case study: Making farming easier and cheaper

Advance Queensland's Ignite Ideas Fund is helping DataFarming Pty Ltd to commercialise an online tool to monitor crop or pasture with imagery. This tool will identify on-ground issues and pasture quality and deliver targeted solutions to water needs. The Crop Monitoring Tool can also identify long term productivity zones and instantly create a file that can be uploaded to a tractor to apply variable rates of fertilisers to crops.

DataFarming uses mobile friendly mapping, satellite imagery and cloud-based processing engines to put decision making information in the hands of farmers. DataFarming users have mapped over three million hectares of farms worldwide. DataFarming is creating technology solutions for farmers that are simple, automated and low cost that can be used around the world.


Tourism is crucial to Queensland’s economic growth. The Darling Downs has no shortage of things to do and see in the region and we have invested in tourism to attract visitors and create jobs.

One of tourism’s best kept secrets is the wine industry. Many of our grapes are grown in the Darling Downs which has some of the best wine the state has to offer.

We have supported the industry with funding for the International Wine Tourism Strategy. The strategy supported the development of initiatives to attract more visitors to the region.

We have also supported Stage 2 of the Yelarbon Silo Art project. Stage 2 finished artwork painted by Brisbane-based artists’ collective the Brightsiders Group, on GrainCorp’s eight silos at Yelarbon. Visitors following the silo art trail travel to Yelarbon via towns like Thallon and Goondiwindi, supporting local businesses along the way and benefiting many communities.

The Darling Downs is a region full of natural wonders and unique attractions that tourists love to visit. We will continue to support projects within the region to boost jobs and the local economy.

Last updated: 25 Feb 2021