A huge lace monitor reclining on a hollow log, a 25m swimming pool with a fascinating history hidden away on an historic estate, a picnic spot with views of the Brisbane River and an entire museum of old restored trains…
These are just a few of the fascinating things to see and places to go this school holidays in the Ipswich region – if you know where to look!
Meet the creatures of the Nature Centre
The Lace Monitor can be found in his leafy log-strewn enclosure at the Ipswich Nature Centre which happens to be the only free-entry zoo in south-east Queensland. It offers a pleasant stroll through open-air enclosures and temperature-controlled settings where you’ll encounter everything from a wombat, swamp wallabies, pademelons and a family of cheeky spotted tail quolls. The centre also includes a section of farm animals and a walk-through bird aviary.
And a visit here can be the basis for a whole day trip. The centre sits at the heart of Queens Park – the oldest designated public parkland in Queensland – which also has an adventure playground, a café and vast areas of lawns and shady spots to put down a picnic rug. Inside Queens Park is the Japanese-themed Nerima Gardens with lily ponds, trickling streams and pathways through swatches of trees.
And speaking of trees… take a wander at Kholo Gardens
Kholo Gardens, formerly a water pumping site, sits high over a wide stretch of the upper reaches of the Brisbane River. You’re spoilt for choice here when it comes to views.
Choose a table overlooking the river or kick back on the lawn near the idyllic lily pond, or under the giant fig tree next to an historic chapel that was relocated to Kholo Gardens in 1990.
There are public barbecues and the park is a starting point for a number of walking trails through the surrounding bushland.
Tanks for the memories
Did you know Ipswich has an entire museum dedicated to trains and rail history? It is based next to the still operating North Ipswich Railway Workshops which are the longest running in Australia.
The buildings that make up the workshops and The Workshops Rail Museum today were built during the late 1970s and 1880s and impart a grand majesty to the visitor experience.
Allow plenty of time to explore the restored carriages and a vast model railway and let the littlies get busy in the various play zones and interactive exhibits.
And save a date for the ever popular Day Out with Thomas, returning from December 27 to January 23. Meet Thomas the Tank Engine and the Fat Controller and be immersed in the world of Thomas with loads of fun activities on offer.
Built for Speed
Catch this trackside fun at Ipswich Art Gallery this school holidays. Dream up and create your vehicle then put it to the test!
This is a fun family day out that won’t break the bank, in the heart of the heritage city. Perhaps head next door to Indian Mehfil restaurant for lunch or dinner afterwards!
Splash into summer
Why not book a night or two at a place with a pool to unwind and cool off this summer!?
Woodlands of Marburg is an historic estate on the outskirts of the country town of Marburg just 30 minutes from Ipswich. The location is steeped in history and was once a sugar plantation.
The half Olympic sized pool was dug by hand by the priests and brothers who were based here in a former era and today it is a little-known but spectacular spot for guests who come to stay.