Cooneana Heritage Centre, 1041 Redbank Plains Road New Chum

Cooneana Heritage Centre is proud to be the starting point for a Heritage Bus Tour around the historic Blackstone area. The bus, used in Ipswich in the 1960s, takes 30 passengers allowing for Covid Safe seating arrangements.

The wonderful driver, Donald, stops at a number of historical sites on the tour and provides a great commentary, ably assisted by Hugh Taylor, President of Ipswich Historical Society. They really know their history. Blackstone Hill was the site of ‘The Coal King’ Lewis Thomas’s “Castle” – Brynhyfryd. A park has been developed at the base of the hill with artworks relating to the now-demolished castle and its owners. You will also see one of the last small shops with a petrol bowser still in use.

The United Welsh Church has been the centre of Welsh culture in Ipswich for generations. The tour will take you there, sometimes with the chance to enter, and there is much more for you to enjoy. The tour takes approximately one and a half to two hours, depending on passengers’ interest in the places visited.