How to enjoy a long weekend in Ipswich

Stuck for ideas on how to spend the long weekend? We have a few...
17 Apr 2024
Discover Ipswich, Staff Writer

Feel like spending a long weekend indulging in delicious flavours, soaking up some heritage or just breathing fresh country air?  We’ve got you!

Enjoy wine and cheese tasting at Spicers Hidden Vale

Wine and cheese tasting at Spicers Hidden Vale

Spend the long weekend indulging in the ultimate luxury escape at Spicers Hidden Vale, where you are invited to savour the finer things in life with a wine and cheese tasting experience!

Immerse yourself in a world of flavour as you sample an exquisite selection of handpicked wines, expertly paired with a delectable assortment of artisanal cheeses. Allow attentive staff to explain why each pair makes a perfect match.

For the ultimate indulgence say in their luxury cabins and enjoy dinner at the award-winning Homage Restaurant.

Go antiquing

Ipswich Antique Centre

You’ll find vintage wares, antique jewellery, second hand furniture and more at Ipswich’s four antique stores.  You could even make a day of it doing a trail from Ipswich to Marburg or Marburg to Ipswich stopping for a coffee and lunch in between.

The first on our adventure is Ipswich Antique Centre, the largest antique store in Ipswich.  The Ipswich Antique Centre, situated inside a heritage building, brings together many dealers under the one roof and a large collection of items.

Next is Vintage Advantage in the Top of Town precinct, the shop is packed full of kitsch wares and hard to find items.  It is also located amongst cafes and fashion stores.

Then drive out to the country town of Marburg to find Scotland Yard Antiques and The Black Museum both on Edmond St.  Both stores are owned by the Birnie family and store rustic finds, beautiful homewares, rugs and other furnishings.

Take a drive to the country

The Soul Nook Collective

The country towns of Marburg, Rosewood and Grandchester are all located in Ipswich.  Enjoy the wide open spaces and fresh air on your drive and stop to take in the tourist sites.

If you’re heading along the Warrego Highway don’t miss The Llama Farm and Kholo Gardens, Watercress Creek Olives and Limes and the Ewe Nique Hobby Farm at Haigslea.

The Llama Farm opens for tours on weekends by appointment and has llamas, donkeys, miniature ponies and more.  Nearby is Kholo Gardens which is a great stop for a picnic and bush walk.

Only a few minutes down the road you can visit Watercress Creek Olives and Limes which sells produce including infused olive oils, olives, tapenades and jams from the farm shop.  You can also book picnics in the grove – they sell picnic packs, coffee and lunch.

A bit further along the highway towards Marburg you’ll find the Ewe Nique Hobby Farm.  A great place to take anyone who loves animals, the farm offers tours at 9am and 10.30am where you can feed the animals.  There is also a cafe onsite with sheep cheese and ice cream, coffee, tea, home baked scones and slices.

Keep driving and you’ll end up seeing the signs for Woodlands of Marburg, a historic mansion that was built by one of the pioneering settlers of the area and has a cafe and restaurant that open on weekends.

As you head a bit further you’ll find The Girls’ Coffee Bar for a bite and cuppa and gifts.  Then turn into the town of Marburg to find The Black Museum, Special Branch Collective and Scotland Yard Antiques all next to each other.

Browse the shops and walk across the road for lunch and a drink at the Marburg Hotel.  Wander around the corner to The Soul Nook Collective for boho finds inside a converted church yards.  You can also book styled picnic settings for lunch or afternoon tea and art classes in the grounds.

Head inland to find the town of Rosewood, where you’ll find country pubs to visit.  Keep driving and you’ll end up in Grandchester, home to the Grandchester Model Steam Railway which runs on the first Sunday of the month from 10am-2pm.

Also in Grandchester you’ll find the luxury retreat Spicers Hidden Vale and their hatted restaurant Homage and Hidden Vale Adventure Park – with over 100km of biking and walking trails.

If you head south from Ipswich you’ll find the Summer Land Camels farm and Naughty Little Kids goat farm.  Both farms offer tours and the chance to feed and pet the animals.

Sneak in a selfie with street art and heritage buildings

Selfie with street art Photo: Denise Cullen

Around Ipswich Central you will find murals painted outside buildings, just waiting for you to take your next selfie.  There’s a self-guided street art walking tour you can take, and if you go on a Saturday morning the area’s cafes and retailers will also be open.

There’s also historic buildings which offer great backdrops, such as St Mary’s Catholic Church in Woodend, the Old Flour Mill in the Top of Town precinct and the clock tower in Brisbane St.

Another great spot is the Ipswich Nature Centre, try and get one of the pademelons (they look like a wallaby) in the background or the wedge tailed eagle.

Go on a scenic drive to a camel farm

Mums get a free farm tour at Summer Land Camels on Mother's Day

Hit the highway with your favourite driving tunes and stop at the Summer Land Camels homestead.  The farm has stunning views and camels you can feed and pet.

Book in for a tour, a camel ride or the new interactive camel experience where you can pat and brush a camel.  Stay for morning tea or lunch and a coffee using camel milk, camel cheese and camel meat.

The farm is open from 9am-3pm daily.

Take to the skies

Floating Images Hot Air Balloon Flights

Take your mini holiday to the next level with Floating Images Hot Air Balloon Flights.

Start your day with a gorgeous sunrise over the Ipswich countryside from your floating wicker basket when you book a flight with Floating Images Hot Air Balloon Flights owner and chief pilot Graeme Day.

Guests can spend the morning floating majestically over the region, admiring the views to Brisbane’s skyline and over fields.

Feel on top of the world at Flinders Peak

Stacie Timms at the top of Flinders Peak

Ipswich is a fantastic place to get back to nature.  See million dollar views overlooking Ipswich and the Scenic Rim, at the top of Flinders Peak – it will leave you breathless, and not just because you walked up 6km of rocky terrain.

Flinders Peak is not for the faint hearted, and should be attempted by those with a high level of fitness and hiking experience.  The hike is rated as a Class Five (difficult) walking trail, and includes some steep challenging sections, rock scrambling and boulder hopping.

Keep an eye out for a brush-tailed rock wallaby, peregrine falcon and the wedge-tailed eagle.  Allow between 3-6 hours to complete the walk, and be sure to wear hiking boots or running shoes with lots of grip and take plenty of water. 

Have a picnic

There’s plenty of places to have a picnic in Ipswich.  Head over to Orion lagoon in Springfield for one by the water’s edge.  Or next door to Robelle Domain for a leafy spot.

Queens Park is great for the kids as it has a park, nature centre and plenty of room to run around.

The Soul Nook Collective at Marburg has spaces you can book to enjoy a styled picnic setting.

Book a picnic in the olive grove at Watercress Creek Olives and Limes.

Drive to Springfield

Brookwater Golf

Take a road trip to Springfield for amazing food and outdoor experiences.

Spend the morning exploring the waterfalls and trails at Robelle Domain and Orion Lagoon next door.

Or a few rounds of golf at the Brookwater Golf and Country Club.  The onsite restaurant Boulevard is famous for it’s smoked steak and sand crab fettuccine.

In the afternoon either enjoy a few hours of shopping at Orion Springfield Central’s vast array of retailers or indulge in a massage at Chi Massage and Day Spa.

Then kick back and enjoy a few beverages at one of Springfield’s much-loved watering holes, Ballistic Beer Springfield. The owners push the boundaries when experimenting with different brews and flavours, coming up with creations for everyone from beer aficionados to casual drinkers.

The bar also stocks full spirits and wine, and the chefs whip up delicious share plates, burgers, pizzas, pastas, steaks and desserts for you to taste.

Try some unique flavours

Whether you want a full on foodie weekend, or just somewhere to eat lunch we have a few options.

The Rusty Nail is Ipswich’s newest tapas bar and serves up delicious bites along side creative cocktails with live music on Sunday afternoons.

Homage Restaurant’s award-winning head chef Ash Martin believes in food straight from the paddock to your plate.  The restaurant is located at the luxury Spicers Hidden Vale resort and many of the restaurant’s ingredients are grown on site in their market garden, orchard, mango trees and beehives, or sourced directly from the producers who live in the region.

Pumpyard Bar and Brewery is a popular watering hole for locals and tourists, they have a number of their own creations on tap, and serve up delicious burgers, pizzas, beer food like sliders and wings and mains including slow cooked brisket and ribs, fish and salads.

Inside a charming heritage Queenslander cottage on Limestone Street sits The Cottage Restaurant. Built in 1861 as a family home, the rooms have been transformed into secluded dining spaces. The restaurant serves up award-winning modern Australian cuisine in a fine dining setting.

The Prince Alfred Hotel, known to locals as The PA Hotel, is home to Tap’d Bar – the biggest bar in the Southern Hemisphere, with 72 craft beers on tap. The hotel’s award-winning Char’d restaurant has a menu stocked with locally sourced ingredients and a focus on seafood – but there’s also great steaks and brisket on the menu.

Voted Ipswich’s best burger two years running, Ruby Chews Burgers and Shakes plates up mouthwatering beef and chicken burgers, hot dogs, chicken wings, shakes and sundaes.

Set inside a heritage bakery, Bakehouse Steakhouse is an award winning steakhouse. Look out for decadent sides, perfectly cooked steaks and delicious cocktails on the menu.

UB’s Milk Bar (Ungermann Brothers) is serving up their MasterChef inspired ice creams at a new location in Brisbane St.  Look out for their waffles, sundaes, burgers and loaded fries also.

Discover more places to eat and drink here.

Kick back in a luxury room

Spicers Hidden Vale

While they’ve been mentioned a few times already it’s for good reason, Spicers Hidden Vale is a luxury resort set on a 12000 acre property exuding country charm, with impeccable attention to detail.  Add a stay here to the bucket list and indulge in a meal at the onsite restaurant.

For something a little different, book a stay at Woodlands of Marburg, accommodation at the site overlooks the heritage mansion and if you stay on weekends the restaurant is open.

You can relax and unwind in the heritage city at a charming bed and breakfast.  Built in 1914, Cumquat House features six rooms, each with its own king or queen bed.

Also in the heart of town you’ll find three Urban Getaway properties.  Each house has been lovingly restored with heritage features.

In the CBD you can book an apartment at Oaks Ipswich Aspire Suites and Quest Ipswich or a room at Best Western and Country Motel Ipswich.

At Springfield you can stay at Quest Springfield Central and Springfield Lakes Hotel.

There are also tiny homes at Pocket Retreats, glamping and a cottage at Keira Farm, and a charming stay at Tallavalley Farm B&B.


Discover Ipswich Staff Writer
Rocky the Rock Wallaby is a Sagittarius who lives at the Ipswich Nature Centre and often contributes to Discover Ipswich in his spare time. When he's not busy showing tourists around, blogging or hanging out with his cute and fluffy mates at the Nature Centre, he likes to hit the gym for a leg session, graze on quinoa salad and ponder the possibilities of the universe.

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