10 reasons to visit The Workshops Rail Museum this summer

You might be surprised at the variety on offer this summer at one of Ipswich's most popular attractions.
08 Dec 2017
Discover Ipswich, Staff Writer

Things to do

10 reasons to visit The Workshops Rail Museum this summer

The Workshops Rail Museum of Ipswich is much more than an adventure in rail history. Pack a picnic and make a day of it – or include a visit to the on-site cafe. Here are 10 reasons to put it on your list this summer.



Discover the incredible work of the Butterfly Man of Kuranda

Frederick Parkhurst Dodd moved at age 21 from Victoria to Townsville in 1884 and developed a fascination for the tropical insects of North Queensland. His extensive collection toured the nation in 1918. Almost a century on, you can see the artistry of his beautiful displays, featuring insects from the Queensland Museum’s collection. Technology allows you to also view the insects in a way Dodd himself was never able to – through a series of large-scale microscopic photographs. Insectarium, which also includes interactive activities for children, runs until January 21.


Meet the little engine with a big tale


It may be small but The Hunslet – the museum’s latest locomotive – has a big story to share. Dispatched during World War I it moved munitions to the front lines in France.  It wasn’t expected to survive but did and after being restored, went on to have new adventures, including 40 years as a cane train in Queensland. The Hunslet sat in a park for some time before being donated to The Workshops. where it has been carefully restored to its original WWI configuration.

Compare your height to that of a moose

Have you ever wondered how you measure up beside a moose? At A Room for Wild Animals you’ll find out. This wild exhibition of 20 taxidermy specimens includes big cats, bears and deer, mounted I such a way that you can see how tall they would have once stood. This popular exhibition’s season at The Workshops has now been extended to April 16, 2018.


Get up close to a goliath stick insect

Once you spot them in their eucalypt branches, you won’t believe how big and unusual these giant green guys are! They’re here as part of Insectarium.


See a working model of the Qld network

Check out the model railway layout of Queensland’s extensive rail network. There are scenes recreated in the layout from Brisbane’s suburban network, from the Darling Downs wheat district, and from North Queensland’s sugar cane fields and much more.


Get on board

You can get into some of the many engines and carriages on display and take a walk into history along a recreated platform that even projects the sounds that would have been heard back in the day.  There’s plenty on offer for the littlest kids too in the Nippers Railway – an entire play areas of rail-related adventuring.


There are markets

The last Museum Twilight Markets for the year will be on December 15 and there’ll be food trucks, craft stalls, live music and lots more – stayed tuned for 2018 dates.


Explore the museum by torchlight

This is an extra feature of market nights – you can sign up for a torchlight tour of the museum. Check the website for prices.


Learn some indigenous tales

Hear poignant tales from indigenous artists and educators through the exhibition, This is My Heritage. Through images and film, this exhibition reveals surprising connections that objects can have to family, country and culture. It runs until January 21 at the museum.


Soak up some rail history

Find out about the history of rail in Queensland – this is, after all, where it all began. And the workshops out behind the museum in their beautiful heritage-listed buildings are the oldest continuously operating rail workshops in Australia.


Discover Ipswich Staff Writer
Rocky the Rock Wallaby is a Sagittarius who lives at the Ipswich Nature Centre and often contributes to Discover Ipswich in his spare time. When he's not busy showing tourists around, blogging or hanging out with his cute and fluffy mates at the Nature Centre, he likes to hit the gym for a leg session, graze on quinoa salad and ponder the possibilities of the universe.

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