How to have a heritage weekend in Ipswich

Besides entire streets lined with stately colonial Queenslanders across the city, there are plenty of public landmarks to take in...
23 Feb 2022
Wendy Hughes, Writer and social media smith

By footpath, tour coach or car, there’s plenty for history lovers to explore in the city of Ipswich.

Call in at the Ipswich Information Centre as a starting point and grab some trail maps or ask about specific heritage landmarks you can visit.

Besides entire streets lined with stately colonial Queenslanders across the city, there are plenty of public landmarks to take in and many are in use, creating a character-filled backdrop for the events, organisations and businesses contained therein.

sunrise view

You can shop for antiques at the Ipswich Antique Centre in the spectacular 1895 Church Memorial Congregational Hall at 86 East Street or sip an ale in the Pumpyard Bar or Dovetails Restaurant which occupy the old Ipswich Technical College buildings, opened in 1890, at 88 Limestone Street.

88 Limestone Street

Not far from here, Ungermann Brothers Milk Bar have opened a fabulous new milk bar in the old ‘Nolan’s Corner’ building, a grand relic of a bygone era, at the corner of Brisbane and Nicholas Streets. Take a wander further along Brisbane Street for cafes and shops in grand old landmarks, collectively known as the Top of Town.

One of the city’s best known tourist attractions, The Workshops Rail Museum, is located in the vast grounds of the original North Ipswich workshops established in the 1870s.  Head there for a look at rail and architectural history.

Ipswich Antiques

The Ipswich Musical Theatre Company stages shows in the Old Ipswich Courthouse at 75 East Street, and the Ipswich Little Theatre will see you heading to the unusual 1936 Incinerator Theatre on Burley Griffin Drive. It was designed by Walter Burley Griffin who was also the mastermind behind Canberra.

There are many impressive old churches to see, including St Mary’s Catholic Church at 11 Mary Street; St Stephen’s Presbyterian Church at 22-26 Limestone Street and St Paul’s Anglican Church; the oldest Anglican Church in Queensland, built in 1859. Take a road trip out to Rosewood and cast your eyes upon the grand wooden St Brigid’s Church at 28 Matthew Street which dates back to 1909.

Woodlands of Marburg

A visit to Cooneana Heritage Centre will further immerse you in the region’s history. The centre welcomes group bookings by appointment or check the Ipswich Historical Society Facebook page for open times and special events.

You can also book group heritage tours of Ipswich through the Ipswich Visitor Information Centre or look out for special tours that are run as part of annual events including the Galvanized Heritage Festival.

The Old Courthouse

And stay tuned for the much-anticipated return of Great Houses of Ipswich, where three privately owned historic homes are opened to the public, in September 2022. Usually held over a weekend twice yearly, these National Trust events were postponed during 2020 and 2021. Stay up to date with this year’s program on the Great Houses of Ipswich Facebook page.

Romance of Rail The Workshops Rail Museum

To ensure you have enough time to visit all the places mentioned above you could stay at either Cumquat House or Woodlands of Marburg, both properties have beautiful heritage listed accommodation on offer.

For more accommodation options see our accommodation page.

Cooneana Heritage Centre, Ipswich
Wendy Hughes Writer and social media smith
Wendy Hughes has meandered through a long career as a journalist, often with a fork in one hand.. or a glass. She spent several years as a food writer at the Sunday Mail and reviewed for various magazines. These days Wendy produces content and runs social media within the tourism, hospitality and travel sectors. Email [email protected]

Things to do

View more things to do

Tell your story

Got something special you’d love to see highlighted via Discover Ipswich? A new attraction, perhaps, or a restaurant or a venture that people are travelling for? Share your story with us so we can share it to the world!

Send Email