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Things to do

Exploring Ipswich with your bestie

Chloe Warne, Blogger

Overdue for a girls getaway with your bestie? Don’t worry, I’ve got your back. Pack your Country Road duffle bags, jump in the car and head out to Ipswich for a weekend of relaxation, luxury and adventure.

Start off with a hike

Kick things off with a drive out to the White Rock-Spring Mountain Conservation Estate for a hike to White Rock. The 6.5km return walk begins at the Paperback Flats picnic area, just 15 minutes from Ipswich, and takes only a couple of hours to complete. It’s a relatively easy hike (great for chatting along the way!) with a couple of steady climbs and multiple trails to choose from. The track winds around White Rock, an imposing and sacred pale-coloured formation.

Traditional Owners request that visitors don’t climb onto the rock itself. You can head back via the White Rock Ridge Track which offers spectacular rocky outcrop views.

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Once you’re finished with the trek, head to the Ipswich CBD and grab a pick-me-up at Strictly Coffee. This little gem is located on Brisbane Street and offers three different blends as well as cold drip coffee for those warmer days. Go for a wander around the heritage Top of Town and soak up some of that old-school Ipswich charm. There are a bunch of eclectic shops and vintage stores to check out, as well heritage buildings like the Old Flour Mill, gothic-style churches and retro-styled cafes.

Time for lunch

Pop into Deann’s Coffee House for a well-earned bite to eat. The cheerful 1950s-esque cafe serves all-day breakfast and lunch with a focus on homemade comfort food. Think pastel walls, Elvis photographs and jam swiss rolls. While you’re in the area, grab some jams from the homemade selection at Rafter and Rose, you won’t regret it! Check into the Metro Hotel International Ipswich for a shower and nap before walking up to the Denmark Hill Water Tower. This is an awesome spot to catch the sunset and get a bird’s eye view of the city’s gorgeous heritage homes.

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The new Dovetails Restaurant is a great spot for dinner, particularly for meat eaters! It’s a little fancy, but totally worth it on a weekend getaway. They’ve got Kangaroo Carpaccio, Twice-Cooked Pork Belly and Salmon with an Apple and Fennel Slaw. You can’t go past the Sticky Date Pudding for dessert. It’s a literal tower of gooey caramel goodness.

Yep, drinks…

Cap off the night with some wine and local beer at Pumpyard Bar and Brewery. Pumpyard is a super cool space (right next door to Dovetails!) and perfect for after work drinks and eats with friends. There is a comprehensive list of share plates, burgers, pizzas and nibbles and multiple seating areas both indoors and out.

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Start the day with a balloon flight

Depending on how many drinks you downed at Pumpyard the night before, wake up early and admire the sunrise from a hot air balloon ride over Ipswich. Floating Images Hot Air Balloon Flights offer a boutique experience with only one ride per day and a maximum of 10 passengers per flight. Spend a heavenly morning floating over old Queenslanders, parks and rivers as the sun rises over the Scenic Rim, Somerset region and Great Dividing Range.

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Check out of the Metro Hotel and make a beeline for Spicers Hidden Vale, the premier luxury country estate in Grandchester. Your first port of call must be a massage at Spa Anise (thank me later) before a degustation dinner at Homage Restaurant that will rival any other foodie experience available.

Finish the weekend by relaxing

Order brekky before picking up a map from reception and venturing out along one of the estate’s popular walking trails. Afterwards, relax by the pool or make another sneaky trip to Spa Anise for a well-deserved pamper session.

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Head home via the Ipswich CBD and stop by Fourthchild Cafe for an afternoon coffee and slice of house-made gourmet cake. Get it to take away and soak up those last moments in Ipswich with a cute picnic at the nearby Queens Park.

Chloe Warne

Chloe Warne

Blogger

Chloe Warne is an ardent traveller and writer with a background in journalism and creative communications. She hails from the Gold Coast and loves exploring natural treasures.

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