Charlie’s big day out at the rail museum
Finally the day had arrived for us to visit The Workshops Rail Museum – it had been high on our list of places to check out since moving to Ipswich recently.
Since it was a Sunday, my partner and I, and our six-year-old son, Charlie, had plenty of time stretched out before us to let some serious exploring unfold.
Once Charlie had a map gripped tightly in his hand, we were ready to head off. As we walked across the lawns, we could hear the sounds of an enormous steam train which greeted us at the entrance to the museum. We learned this was the last steam train to run in regular service in Queensland, the PB 15 No. 444 locomotive. Charlie was floored by the sheer size and sound of it. It was good to see lots of picnic tables dotted around this area outside – nice if you want to break up your day.
Inside, there’s plenty to see and do. While we were on a beeline to the first train we could climb on, we passed (later to double-back and check out) loads of interesting exhibits with stacks of information and intriguing facts about rail history. The main drawcard for us was the children’s play area – called the Nippers Railway. With a railway track, kid-sized ticket office and model train carriage, it was a big hit. Sitting on the outskirts of the play area, it’s easy to see how the kids let their imagination run wild there. Charlie especially loved the ride around trikes and the conductor/ railway worker dress up boxes spotted around the tracks. There’s plenty to keep smaller kids entertained too, with soft building blocks, a little library and smaller play stations.
When we finally (finally!) could drag Charlie away from the Nippers Railway, it was into the special exhibition area. It is currently home to an amazing array of taxidermy exhibits including a tiger, lion and a polar bear. While Charlie stood transfixed by the cheetah, I couldn’t look away from the moose. It was enormous! A Room for Wild Animals was a popular choice for the other families as well. It continues until April 16, 2018.
It’s also well worth taking a stroll outside. The vintage buildings are stunning and the lawns are absolutely beautiful.
It was so easy to spend the entire morning here and if I hadn’t dragged Charlie away from the Nippers Railway, it easily would’ve been the whole day! We still didn’t manage to see everything, so another visit is definitely in store for us one weekend soon.