Spend the day exploring history and heritage…

Explore history and heritage year round... or come during the city's Galvanized Festival of Heritage August 31-September 10.
22 Aug 2023

Ipswich is Queensland’s oldest provincial city with a rich and interesting history, which is being celebrated in their upcoming Galvanized Festival, but did you know that you can explore the history and heritage of Ipswich year round?

Before I share my heritage itinerary, let’s stop for a minute to appreciate that Ipswich is renowned for its architectural, natural and cultural heritage and is a city that proudly preserves and still operates from many of its historical buildings and homes.

Fun fact, there are more than 6000 heritage-listed sites within Ipswich and her regions!

Let’s begin our adventure as I show you how you can explore Ipswich with my suggested heritage itinerary …

Pancakes at Tommy Smith Cafe

Located only 30 mins from Brisbane by car and accessible by train, Ipswich provides a great day out of Brisbane and I’ve done the hard work of thinking what to do by creating my Lady Brisbane heritage itinerary.

Begin your adventure by making your way to Marburg, located half way between Brisbane and Toowoomba, about a 56km journey from Brisbane and start your day with a hearty breakfast or leisurely brunch at Tommy Smith Cafe situated within the grounds of the historic Woodlands of Marburg estate

Woodlands of Marburg mansion

The cafe (open Saturday and Sunday till 2.30pm) overlooks picturesque Marburg Valley, and is named in honour of one-time owner of the property, Tommy Smith, the cafe itself was once the original chapel for monks when the property was owned by the St. Vincent’s Seminary.

From the menu you can enjoy the ever popular smashed avocado on toasted sourdough or satisfy your sweet tooth with pancakes or waffles, of course accompanied by a coffee, tea or cold drink of your choice, relax and enjoy your selection as you take in the breathtaking views.

The grotto at Woodlands of Marburg

After fuelling your body, it’s time to explore the majestic Woodlands of Marburg. Built in 1889, the plantation style mansion sits proudly within the estate.

With sweeping verandahs and decorative iron lacework the mansion and grounds are a treasure chest to explore as you step back in time to the days when owner Tommy Smith and his wife Mary Stuart (and more recent owners) owned and occupied the home.

Tours are available to the public twice a month on Sundays and during special events (book ahead online to ensure the tours are running). I highly recommend taking the time to explore the grounds of the mansion and definitely don’t leave without taking a look at the 19th century chapel, grotto and cemetery.

Scotland Yard Antiques

The small rural town of Marburg, just off the Warrego Highway, is worthwhile visiting for a look at Scotland Yard Antiques, a visit to Ewe Nique Hobby Farm or a bite to eat at the Marburg Hotel, standing proud since 1879.

St Mary's Catholic Church

Time to head back to the centre of Ipswich for a look at the majestic St Mary’s Catholic Church, or a quiet browse through Ipswich Art Gallery (open daily 10am – 5pm) or perhaps relax and enjoy a drink at Pumpyard Brewery, located on the site that once supplied water to the city of Ipswich.

Steak at Bakehouse Steakhouse

Finish you heritage adventure with dinner at the historic Bakehouse Steakhouse. Circa 1875 the site was once home to Haleys Bakery and fun fact – you can still see the original bakery ovens from the 1800’s located within the restaurant.

Bakehouse Steakhouse, like the name suggests, specialises in steak and be assured that the quality of steak is excellent. I highly recommend a visit to Bakehouse Steakhouse for your steak fix, especially if you are a t-bone or rib fillet lover. In fact I’d travel from Brisbane for their steak.

Bakehouse Steakhouse

After dinner, if you feel you need a sweet end to your day, stop by Ungermann Brothers for a gourmet, locally made ice cream.

As the sun sets on the day and my heritage itinerary comes to a close, if the thought of travelling back to Brisbane sounds like hard work there are a number of overnight accommodation options available, check them out here.  

The chapel at Woodlands of Marburg

Galvanized is Ipswich’s festival of heritage, showcasing the best heritage experiences and events of the Ipswich region. On for 11 days from 31 August – 10 September, be transported back in time by visiting iconic venues and historic sites and participating in open days, tours, demonstrations and workshops.

You can find more information about Galvanized Festival here.

Lady Brisbane Blogger
Lady Brisbane, aka Anna McGhie, is an Instagrammer and blogger here in the sunshine state who shares her love of all things Brisbane – and the heritage city next door - through her iphone photos and blog at www.ladybrisbane.com.

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