Hit the road
With limited commute-time to contend with, you might as well carry on a little further west and tick off a weekend routine while you’re here, completing your weekly fruit and vege shop at Peak Crossing. Swap the grocery store shopping for one of the best local organic farmers markets in the region at Peak Crossing, just 25 minutes afield from Ipswich CBD. Peak Organics at Ivory’s Rock is open from 9am-2pm on Saturdays and stocks the season’s best.
Although a little off the beaten track, it’s nothing your average sedan can’t handle – just follow the hand painted signs to this organic produce nirvana. The volunteers who run the Saturday market are neighbourhood green thumbs, who are more than happy to navigate what’s in season and share their recipe suggestions for how to best use 1kg worth of capsicum.
After you’ve stocked up on fresh organic produce, head back to the ‘City’ (Ipswich) for an organic experience of a different kind … knocking back a local beer or two. Organic might seem like the wrong adjective, but Pumpyard Bar and Brewery are specialists in making beer with full flavour, no chemicals, artificial flavours or preservatives. Join them for lunch and perhaps a cheeky pot or two of the local Four Hearts craft beer that’s brewed on site.
Set inside a spacious heritage-listed building dating back to the 1900’s, the brewery was once a pump yard where locals would come to get water. Today they still serve the town’s water – only it’s now mixed with barley and hops. The modern fit out does justice to the heritage with its beautiful exposed brick and copper pipes. The lunch menu? Think new-age pub-grub like burgers, pizzas and mains signed with a Gourmand seal of approval.
Work it off
Onwards to Queens Park, Queensland’s oldest park to explore the 26-hectare grounds including the Ipswich Nature Centre, impressive playground, and Japanese Nerima Gardens. If you grow tired of walking through immaculately manicured gardens, why not throw down a picnic rug and take a load off instead? Pick out some sweet afternoon treats from the Queens Park Cafe and enjoy the sprawling green space that Queens Park has to offer.
Take in sun set
Top it off with dinner
Fancy some fine dining during your visit to ‘the other capital’? Look no further than The Cottage Restaurant – set inside a heritage Queenslander. Fact: Ipswich was originally intended to be the Queensland capital but Brisbane was instead chosen for it’s more attractive port access. This restaurant has all the trimmings for an exceptional dining experience – complete with a fireplace for the cooler months.
Serving Modern Australian with a European twist, you can indulge in a degustation with paired wines or be spoilt for choice from the a la carte menu. *Bookings are essential.