You might have heard Ipswich has a few old houses worth a look. Well, it’s true. And the visual feast of so many heritage beauties in one location will likely exceed any expectations you might arrive here with.
This is a city that had surged to great heights by the late 1800s and into the turn of the century on the back of booming industries such as coal and rail and wool. Entire streets of elaborately detailed and incredibly grand mansions rose up as the town reached further into the hilly surrounds and dales.
Those houses today – included in the city’s 7000-plus heritage listed sites – showcase another era while also bringing great character to Ipswich as a city.
Take a drive around some of the old inner suburbs such as Woodend, Coalfalls, Sadliers Crossing, Eastern Heights and Newtown – and get out and walk to take in the majestic architecture gems lining the streets.
Some of the region’s heritage landmarks, once residential homes, are now the sites of flourishing character-filled businesses, including The Cottage restaurant in historic Darver Cottage, built in 1861, and Cumquat House, a B&B set in a fine early 20th Century example of Mission Revival architecture.
Out of town, Woodlands of Marburg offers a wedding and event space, accommodation and café on the site where Thomas Smith built his stately home in 1890 and where he and wife Mary raised their 11 children.
Twice a year the National Trust of Queensland runs Great Houses of Ipswich – a chance to step inside three privately owned heritage homes.
The next is scheduled for May 8, 2021. Coach tours are available on the day, including Devonshire Tea (inquire at the Visitor Information Centre or call 3281 0555), or visitors can travel between one or two or all three under their own steam and pay a small entry fee at each home. For more details see discoveripswich.com.au