Japanese gardens Discover the tranquility of one of Toowoomba’s most peaceful and beautiful parks – the 4.5 hectare Japanese Garden at the University of Southern Queensland. Ju Raku En roughly translates as ‘to enjoy peace and longevity in a public place’ Located on the northern side of the campus, it’s Australia’s largest, most traditionally designed Japanese stroll garden. Its elements of mountain stream and waterfall, Dry Garden, central lake, Azalea Hill, 3km of paths, 230 species of Japanese and Australian native trees and plants, and lawns combine in seamless and restful harmony. Japanese gardens emphasise the use of rocks to create three dimensional pictures. All of the large rocks in Ju Raku En were placed by the garden’s designer, Professor Kinsaku Nakane of Kyoto, to appear naturally dispersed in a random way. Visito rs stroll through the garden or relax on the seat near the Dry Garden; it’s not uncommon to see photographers out early, artists quietly painting a scene or children feeding bread to the fish. Bird species include swans, ducks, geese and smaller natives. Japanese maples provide a riot of autumn colour, while in spring masses of lilac blossoms hang from the Wisteria Pergola – the perfect backdrop for a wedding.