Things to do
What’s on in Ipswich? We’re glad you asked…
Get moving, go exploring, taste something new … this Queen’s Birthday weekend and school holidays the heritage city and adventure region has got it all going on!
Get your Sherlock on at the museum
Have a screen-free day and explore the trains and interactive displays of The Workshops Rail Museum where there’s a bumper program of holiday fun planned this season, including children’s activities to coincide with the Underworld: Mugshots from the Roaring Twenties exhibition. Kids can play detective and grab a map on arrival then hunt for clues. Wednesday Workshops will delve into the intriguing world of sunlight photography and there will be miniature train rides around the grounds (operating 10am-noon and 1-3pm daily – cost $3 per person).
In addition to the school holidays program, the museum’s many displays and activities always make for a great day out. A huge engine hissing steam and complete with sound effects greets visitors and inside there are myriad things to explore, from restored vintage carriages to an impressive model railway depicting parts of the Queensland network. There’s a cafe on site too so no need to rush off when the kids are getting peckish.
Down on the farm…
Country roads lead to some great destinations around the Ipswich region – including several farms that are open to the public. You just need to know where to look.
Explore the magical and surprisingly serene world of camels at Summer Land Camel Farm at Peak Crossing on the Scenic Rim border. You can feed a camel, take a trail ride or kick back in the on-site cafe – with a camel-cino – and explore the well-stocked shop.
At Haigslea EWE Nique Hobby Farm you can meet alpacas and sheep and new kids, while Mum and Dad sip coffee on a hay bale or check out the orchids and plant seedlings owner Penny has available. The hobby farm is open Monday to Saturday for both weeks of the schools holidays. Bookings essential.
Meanwhile, at the farm with the cute name, Naughty Little Kids, you can not only meet the farm animals but enjoy some goats milk gelato or buy some freshly made cheese while you’re there.
At Watercress Creek Olives & Limes, Pine Mountain, just a few minutes from Ipswich city, you can wander in the olive grove and lime orchard and browse produce in the farmgate shop which is open by appointment.
Take a ride
There are so many ways to get moving in this region and most involve some pretty spectacular scenery.
Salute the sunrise as it spills golden light over the land, with Floating Images Hot Air Balloon Flights. You’ll be taking in the scenery of Ipswich and the Scenic Rim as you start the day in a truly memorable way.
Or pick a destination and head there in a helicopter – you can leave from the helipad at Limestone Park or even be picked up if there’s a spot to land nearby. The team at Pterodactyl Helicopters love to tailor the perfect joy flight, lunch date, pub tour or day trip. For the ultimate country lunch or overnight stay, nothing compares to flying over then landing at luxurious Spicers Hidden Vale – home of award-winning restaurant Homage.
Tackle the state’s newest motocross park
Some families head out with the jet ski or the boat on long weekends – others load the trailer and head to the track for a few hours of fun in the dirt. If this is your brand of adrenaline then Willowbank MX should be on your list if you haven’t already checked it out. Queensland’s newest premium motocross park features senior and junior tracks, plus natural terrain, beginners grass and pee wee tracks. This is close to the Ipswich Motorsport Park that is also home to Willowbank Raceway and Queensland Raceway. Open daily from 7.30am-5pm. Bookings essential.
Meet Milly & the quolls
Milly & the quolls might sounds like a rock group but they’re actually some of the stars you can meet at the Ipswich Nature Centre. You won’t get an autograph but you’ll likely be suitably mesmerised by Milly the wombat, who sets a slower pace in her enclosure than her scurrying friends, the spotted and spotted-tail quolls. Be ready with your camera when the peacock struts his stuff and when the swamp and rock wallabies are feeling playful. You can also see bilbies and dingo pups and many more creatures, all lovingly cared for by a dedicated crew of zoo keepers. There’s also a shady walk-through aviary full of birds. All this in the same historic park that is home to Queens Park Cafe and Nerima Gardens and a large adventure playground.
See why Ipswich is a cyclist’s dream
Ipswich punches above its weight as a region for cycling with world-class mountain biking options such as Castle Hill Blackstone Reserve and Hidden Vale Adventure Park and the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail which links to Brassall Bikeway. Check out this list from blogger family Sons of Adventure about their favourite places to ride around Ipswich.
Find a new place to play
Ipswich is home to some pretty cool parks and playgrounds. Among the best known are Orion Lagoon and Robelle Domain at Springfield. Everyone knows about the vast waterways of the lagoon but did you know there’s a pretty cool light show every night in Robelle Domain? Queens Park in the heart of Ipswich city is another family favourite but there are plenty of places to explore tucked away in the suburbs too. For inspiration check these lists of best picnic spots and hidden playgrounds.