Woodlands of Marburg is a heritage-listed mansion located on a sprawling estate 20 minutes’ drive west of Ipswich’s city centre.
There are enough compelling reasons to visit that you’ll need more than one day to tick them all off your list.
Learn about Marburg’s history
Learn more about Marburg’s history, including the contribution that Queensland sugar baron Tommy Smith made to the development of local industry. He planted the first sugarcane on the land in 1881; the following year, he built a sugar mill. Not one to rest on his laurels, by 1886 he had added a rum distillery.
View the plantation-style brick mansion
View the two-storey plantation-style brick mansion built for Smith and his growing family in 1891. Designed by Ipswich architect George Brockwell Gill, the residence features elegant doors and windows crafted from local red cedar. Following its sale in 1944, the property became a seminary and, later, a school retreat. In 2002, a local family purchased the land, restored the mansion, and further developed the property.
Dine at The Sugarmill Restaurant
Dine at The Sugarmill Restaurant, which opened in June. Offering an a la carte menu on Friday and Saturday nights only, guests are brought to the formal dining room where Smith hosted visiting dignitaries. The high ceilings, sparkling chandeliers and white marble fireplace give a hint of the grandeur of yesteryear.
Stay at the Woodlands Country Inn
Enjoy a staycation at the Woodlands Country Inn, which is located just a hop, step and jump from the heritage mansion. Ten deluxe and four executive suites were created after the new owners turned the former priests’ quarters into 4.5 star motel rooms.
Visit the Tommy Smith Cafe
Savour a meal at the Tommy Smith Café located onsite. Breakfast and lunch are served on weekends, the menu suits all tastes and budgets, but if you’re packing a big appetite, the Woodlands Breakfast Plate with toasted sourdough, confit tomato, spinach, bacon, sausages, butter, and eggs cooked to order is hard to beat.
Join a ghost tour
The Haunted Mansion Tour explores many of this historic home’s lesser-known tales at night, but don’t overlook the other spooky options when available, like hosted cellar dinners and paranormal tours where guests can experiment with pendulum boards and dowsing rods – if they dare.
Admire the craftmanship
Admire the craftsmanship that helped create one of Queensland’s oldest sideboards. On display outside the Sugarmill Restaurant, the sideboard is made of red cedar felled at Wivenhoe and milled on site at Tommy Smith’s own sawmill. This piece of furniture has remained in the care of Smith’s descendants for the past 131 years.
Snap a selfie
Snap a selfie at one of the many special spots around the property. The solo fig stationed on a ridge overlooking the vineyards is a popular location for photographers, but there are plenty of other nooks and crannies to investigate too.
Get hitched. Woodlands of Marburg has a 19th century chapel or atmospheric grotto available for those who want to tie the knot in style.
Explore the rest of the town…
Use Woodlands of Marburg as a base from which to explore the rest of this charming town.
Stretch out at a styled picnic at The Soul Nook Collective, indulge your love of collectables at Scotland Yard Antiques, Special Branch Collective or The Black Museum, or have a beer and a meal at the Marburg Hotel.