Seven perfect Ipswich picnic spots
Whoever said the best things in life are free must have been referring to picnics. With a rug, basket and a bit of culinary imagination, you can give swanky restaurants a run for their money. Then you can chew with a view just about anywhere.
When it comes to picnic grounds, Ipswich delivers, with no shortage of parks for picnicking. In fact, the city spreads across an area of 1090 square kms with a population of just 200,000 people amongst its borders. That’s nine tenths the size of Los Angeles! What are you waiting for? Make like Yogi Bear, pack (beg, borrow or steal) a picnic basket, don a hat and discover Ipswich’s best picnic spots with this guide.
Colleges Crossing Recreation Reserve
If you’re all about the scenery, turn off Mount Crosby Rd, and set up your picnic at Colleges Crossing Recreation Reserve.
Every weekend you’ll find this spot packed with other picnickers who come for the Brisbane River views, but stay for the grassed area, playground and public loos.
It’s equipped for family picnics with shade sails and enough trees to go around to ensure your picnic isn’t spoilt by the Queensland sun.
Want to dial up the action after lunch? Try the walking tracks and bike paths that start from the park.
Ps – if you don’t want to DIY – pick up a cold drink and lunch at the nearby cafe, Colleges by the River.
As far as parks go, this one is royalty. It dates back to 1864 and there’s history at every turn to prove it.
As far as picnic locations go – this one has a winning trifecta of views, shade and plenty of things to do.
After you’ve polished off your picnic you can explore the Japanese Nerima Gardens, the historic greenhouse, play a round of lawn bowls or catch a show at the heritage-listed Incinerator Theatre (designed by the same architect as Canberra).
Of more interest for young and young at heart, after your picnic you can pop into the Ipswich Nature Centre to see native animals from kangaroos, emus to bilbies and wombats.
Prep your own picnic or better yet, get take away from Queens Park Cafe & Kiosk so you don’t have to lug any dirty dishes home with you either.
Consider the 40 hectare world of Kholo Gardens your picnic oyster.
Choose between picnic tables, ample grassy areas by the water or shade of Kholo’s giant trees to create your perfect picnic moment.
This picnic spot delivers all the essentials – public toilets, BBQs and enough space so you won’t be competing for rug room here.
Once you’re done with the antipasto platter, you can choose from five different walking trails that criss cross the park through sub tropical rainforests and Aussie native bushland to get a glimpse of Ipswich’s Bremer River.
Recreation options don’t stop there with bushwalking, canoeing, fishing and flat grassy areas primed for kicking a football.
Bob Gamble Park
How would you like to picnic in a water park? That’s what Bob Gamble Park is all about – and you’ll find this parkland along the banks of the Bremer River.
There’s a water park, myriad of bike paths, even a 25-metre flying fox – and that’s all before you get to the Discovery Forest, which tests balance and agility with balance beams, forts and bridges.
For your picnic comfort there are picnic tables, BBQs, loos and showers – so there’s no madly packing up lunch early because someone needs the amenities.
You’ll find the park close enough to Brisbane Street if you need extra supplies to pad out your picnic spread. Our pick is Tighty Whities whose takeaway snacks and cocowhips are the stuff healthy picnic dreams are made of.
White Rock Conservation Park
If you’re all about action – why not picnic at the doorstep of 2500 hectares of bushland that’s ripe for the hiking.
At the entry of White Rock Conservation Park you’ll find picnic facilities (bench seats and loos) by the car park so you can fuel up and return your picnic gear to the car before your hike.
The trails here are suitable for everything from hiking to horseback riding – ranging from 200m to 19km for the more adventurous.
As far as your picnic supplies are concerned, there’s no BBQ facilities here – so keep things to a cold food spread only.
Johnston Park, Rosewood
Picnics with little kids can be more trouble than they’re worth, that is, unless you know where to go.
In the quaint historic town of Rosewood in the Bremer Valley, set your sights on Johnston Park.
Under the shade of established trees, you’ll find a fenced playground for little ones and benches for mum and dad to watch on from a distance.
No need to hold the hot food for this one – you’ll find BBQs and picnic tables so you can whip up a feast for the family.
Robelle Domain, Springfield
No Ipswich picnic list would quite be complete without a mention of the wildly popular Robelle Domain parklands in Springfield Central.
Just half an hour from Brisbane’s Central Business District, the parklands offer visitors a rainforest walk, waterfalls, water play areas, bike tracks, the country’s first Icon on Galaxy interactive play equipment in an all-abilities playground, and lots more.
Robelle Domain has an 11-km pathway network for family fun during the day and also at night when the 9-metre high light tower installations give off a spectacular light and sound show. Across a footbridge is Orion Lagoon – an amazing oasis of interconnected pools of varying depth.
There are cafes right by the water – or stock up for your picnic at nearby Orion Springfield Central, also just a stroll away.
Good to know: Robelle Domain is also the scene of monthly Springfield Markets.
And if you’re after a picnic for a special occasion you’ll need to be talking to the good folk at Soul Nook Collective who can style and cater it all for you.