Things to do
Brisbane to Ipswich and back in a day
You don’t have to go too far west to find the history and heritage that dominates Queensland’s biography. It’s only a quick trip down the M5, to experience the provincial vibes of Ipswich, escape the city limits and see the landscape change, with a daytrip to one of Queensland’s oldest settlements.
If looking to discover what lies west of Indooroopilly Shopping Centre, here’s our guide to a day out in Ipswich, driving from Brisbane:
Hit the road
Firstly, the drive from Brisbane to Ipswich is quicker than you might expect. Just over 50km connects both CBDs, and a Saturday morning drive will leave you with change from an hour.
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.
Replenish your efforts
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
Now that you’re sated, take a spin around town to work up an appetite for afternoon tea. The ‘Top of Town’ boasts a selection of vintage, antique and contemporary curiosities. Check out Ipswich Antique Centre on East Street and The Vintage Advantage for retro clothing and accessories.
Not to be missed is the Ipswich Art Gallery, which has a great permanent collection and frequent exhibitions – many of which are great for kids.
Have a picnic in a park fit for a Queen
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
Don’t relax for too long at Queens Park, if you want to catch sunset at Denmark Hill. This is one of those only-a-local would know sort of spots; Denmark Hill Conservation Reserve and water reservoir tank offers one of the best vistas of the West. Check out the D’Aguilar Ranges, the Amberley RAAF base, and get a new perspective on the city that you’ve spent the day getting to know.
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.