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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 which generates $800 million a year for the state. Many of our grapes are grown in the Darling Downs which has some of the best wine the state has to offer.

We are supporting the industry with funding for the International Wine Tourism Strategy. The strategy will help develop high-quality wine tourism experiences that will attract more international visitors to the region.

We have also supported the Yelarbon Silo Art project. Large silos have been painted by renowned artists and are turning the town into an iconic art destination. Visitors to the silos will 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.

Case study: Tourism leaders of the future

The Young Tourism Leaders (YTL) Program selects influential and inspiring role models to encourage young people to work in tourism. Oliver Hinds from Toowoomba joined the YTL Program in late 2019. He grew up in the hospitality industry and fine-tuned his skills at university so that he could have a career doing something he loves. He is now the Front of House Manager at Emeraude Bisto, a multi award winning restaurant in Hampton.

Oliver loves telling the story of Emeraude, its importance to the region and how it supports local growers and producers. And he’s ready to offer great advice to young people on how to get their foot in the door of Queensland’s tourism industry. Oliver is also part of local tourism group, High Country Hamlets and enjoys being part of a region that is creating great produce and experiences that are helping to shape an unforgettable destination.

Last updated: 25 Feb 2021