The Worst Suburbs in Toowoomba, QLD (and one on the rise)

April 9, 2024
worst suburbs in toowoomba

Key takeaways:

  • Certain suburbs in Toowoomba, such as Newtown, Harlaxton, Wilsonton, and Rockville, face challenges like higher crime rates and infrastructure concerns.
  • Despite these challenges, these suburbs also house dedicated residents working towards community improvement.
  • Before making any judgments or decisions about these suburbs, it’s essential to stay updated with recent data and firsthand experiences.

Toowoomba, nestled in the heart of Queensland, Australia, is a haven of cultural vibrancy, lush gardens, and remarkable heritage sites. Yet, as is the case with many cities, there are pockets that don’t quite match the overall charm. Some may even label them as the worst suburbs in Toowoomba.

These areas, while bearing the weight of various socio-economic challenges, stand in stark contrast to Toowoomba’s more celebrated neighborhoods.

Despite their rich histories and potential, they grapple with issues ranging from high crime rates to infrastructural decay. Often overshadowed by their challenges, these suburbs also possess the untapped potential to transform and thrive.

This duality, of struggle and potential, makes them an essential part of Toowoomba’s larger narrative. As we venture deeper, it’s vital to approach these suburbs with an open mind, understanding their nuances and envisioning the possibilities they hold for the future.

Newtown – A Suburb in Toowoomba with Rising Concerns

worst suburbs in toowoomba

Crime Rate & Other Challenges:

Newtown’s crime rate is a matter of concern, but to truly understand a suburb’s safety, one must delve deeper into various factors like infrastructure, community spirit, and more. Factors such as these play an integral role in determining what makes a suburb safe.

Furthermore, deteriorating infrastructure and a perceived lack of amenities, including good schools and shopping centers, paint a less than rosy picture. The area has also been associated with higher rates of drug and alcohol abuse, which can trigger societal problems, notably crime and violence.

Environmental Concerns & Economic Strain:

Beyond crime, Newtown grapples with other substantial challenges. The above-average poverty rate in Newtown, compared to Toowoomba’s overall 17.2%, indicates deeper socio-economic issues.

Its proximity to main roads, like the New England Highway, means some areas are noisier and more polluted. This situation has likely deterred families from considering it a prime residential spot, despite its potential.

Community Efforts & Hidden Gems:

Residents often emphasize the sense of community that persists, with local events and initiatives often initiated to uplift the neighborhood. Local shops and parks, though fewer in number, become focal community points where bonds are strengthened.

The Brighter Side:

However, not all of Newtown is bleak. Pockets of the suburb boast welcoming neighborhoods and are home to many devoted residents who strive to enhance their community.

Harlaxton – More Than Meets the Eye

worst suburbs in toowoomba
Gilmore Court Harlaxton Shiftchange, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Crime Rate & Other Concerns:

Harlaxton, another suburb in Toowoomba, witnessed a crime rate of 13953 incidents per 100,000 population in 2022, marking a 4% uptick from the previous year.

Along with this, the high poverty rate, above Toowoomba’s average of 17.2%, and the lack of employment opportunities pose significant challenges. Furthermore, flood risks in the area are a genuine concern for residents.

Historical Significance & Modern Struggles:

Harlaxton, with its blend of historical and modern architecture, could be a cultural treasure. Yet, with streets like Ruthven bearing the brunt of traffic, peace becomes elusive.

The historical value of Harlaxton adds depth to its narrative. However, modern challenges, some akin to issues faced in other areas labeled as the worst towns in Queensland, cloud its full potential.

Furthermore, the impact of drug-related issues is more profound here, with some claiming it to be a hub for drug-related activities, intensifying its negative image.

Future Prospects:

Local community groups and real estate agents have continually expressed their belief in Harlaxton’s potential. With its advantageous location, being not too far away from Toowoomba’s city centre, its prospects for growth are undeniable.

Potential for Growth:

Despite the setbacks, Harlaxton has numerous residents dedicated to changing the narrative, proving there’s hope on the horizon.

Wilsonton – A Glimpse into the Challenges

Crime Rate & The Underlying Issues:

Wilsonton’s crime rate stood at 13437 incidents per 100,000 population for 2022, a staggering 38% increase from its prior record.

This suburb’s challenges aren’t limited to crime. From drug issues to poor educational outcomes, the hurdles are diverse. The high rate of school dropouts can hinder residents from securing good jobs, perpetuating a cycle of unemployment and crime.

Socio-economic Divides & Community Dynamics:

At the heart of Wilsonton lies a significant juxtaposition – the intermingling of historic homes, contemporary estates, and public housing. This diversity, while offering varied perspectives, has inadvertently ushered in disparities in living standards.

These differences can, at times, exacerbate community tensions, leading to misunderstandings and a perception that Wilsonton might not be among the best suburbs in Toowoomba.

Infrastructure Initiatives & Community Building:

While the diversity is a challenge, Wilsonton is poised at the cusp of transformation. The emerging infrastructure, including the proximity to the Wellcamp airport, is a testament to this potential.

However, the true essence of this suburb lies in its residents’ commitment to elevating the area, drawing a distinct line between the past and the future they envision.

Opportunities: It’s essential to acknowledge the suburb’s potential, with many neighborhoods still maintaining a strong sense of community.

Improving Suburbs in Toowoomba – Rockville on the Rise

Rockville’s story is one of positive transformation. While it previously faced challenges, the suburb is experiencing a revitalization driven by community spirit, strategic development, and a brand new hospital on the horizon.

Crime Rates on a Downward Trend

Previously, crime rates in Rockville were a concern. However, recent statistics show a significant decrease, and residents like yourself have witnessed this positive change over the past 15 years.

The strong community neighbour watch program and proactive council monitoring of the industrial area have contributed significantly to this improvement.

Community Investment & Development

Rockville’s residents are actively involved in shaping its future. Local initiatives and a growing interest from developers point towards an improving infrastructure and amenities.

This investment, along with the construction of a state-of-the-art hospital just a 3-minute drive (or walking distance) from many residences, is fostering a more vibrant community atmosphere.

worst suburbs in toowoomba

Shedding the Old Image

The negative perception surrounding Rockville is demonstrably outdated. With its improving safety record, community focus, and the upcoming hospital, Rockville is attracting new residents who see its potential as a thriving hub.

Affordable Gem with Growth Potential

Rockville offers a more affordable housing option compared to other areas in Toowoomba. This, combined with its ongoing development and the new hospital, makes it an attractive proposition for investors, first-time homebuyers, and medical professionals seeking properties for sale in Toowoomba.

A Brighter Future

Rockville is no longer defined by its past challenges. The collective efforts of residents, developers, and local authorities are propelling Rockville towards a brighter future. While some hurdles remain, the positive momentum suggests a more secure, welcoming, and well-equipped community for residents of all ages.

In Conclusion:

While these suburbs have their challenges, it’s crucial to approach the narrative with a balanced perspective. The dedicated residents of these areas are striving for change, and it’s unfair to label them solely by the negatives.

For those considering moving to Toowoomba or any other city in Australia, thorough research is advised. For the most recent crime data updates, it’s recommendable to visit the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) and

Should you find any discrepancies or feel there’s crucial information missing, please do not hesitate to inform us. We value accuracy and are always open to constructive feedback.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best suburb of Toowoomba?

The best suburb of Toowoomba to live depends on your individual needs and preferences. Some of the most popular suburbs include:

  • Rangeville: This is a quiet and family-friendly suburb with good schools and plenty of parks.
  • East Toowoomba: This is a more upmarket suburb with good restaurants and shops.
  • North Toowoomba: This is a more affordable suburb with a relaxed atmosphere.
  • Highfields: This is a newer suburb with a mix of housing and amenities.
  • Harristown: This is a rural suburb with a country feel.

What is the most expensive street in Toowoomba?

The most expensive street in Toowoomba is Grand Avenue. It is a prestigious street with large, luxury homes.

Why are people moving to Toowoomba?

There are a number of reasons why people are moving to Toowoomba. Some of the reasons include:

  • The cost of living is lower than in other major cities, such as Brisbane.
  • The city is more relaxed and has a slower pace of life.
  • The city is close to the natural beauty of the Darling Downs region.
  • The city has a strong sense of community.

Is Toowoomba cheaper than Brisbane?

Yes, Toowoomba is generally cheaper than Brisbane. The cost of housing, groceries, and transportation are all lower in Toowoomba.

Is Toowoomba rural or urban?

Toowoomba is a regional city, which means that it is located outside of a major metropolitan area. However, Toowoomba is also a relatively large city with a population of over 150,000 people. The city has a mix of urban and rural areas, with the CBD being more urban and the surrounding suburbs being more rural.

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