Close enough to Brisbane and the Gold Coast to avoid hours of driving, yet far enough to embody the charm of regional Queensland, here’s 8 family fun-filled things to do in Ipswich
1. Go old-school and watch a movie at the drive-in
Way back before small screen smartphones and tablets and big screen modern movie theatres, even before the internet was a thing, if you wanted to see a movie you packed the family into the car, with the little ones dressed in their pyjamas, and went to the drive-in movie theatre. The Tivoli Drive-in offers the chance to relive this terrific experience every Saturday night.
2. Hike and bike the Blackstone Reserve trails
Castle Hill Blackstone Reserve is a living museum with its culture-rich mining heritage linked by over walking and mountain bike trails. This iconic biking destination is best known for its technical single track routes which can challenge the most experienced riders.
Trails take walkers back in time through the area’s coal mining history. Hand-dug mine shafts and tunnels, remnants of the famed Castle and underground coal fires provide a glimpse into Blackstone’s fascinating history.
3. Watch for birds, walk and ride at Flinders-Goolman Conservation Estate
Popular with bird-watchers and nature-lovers, Flinders-Goolman Conservation Estate is home to extensive forests and rugged volcanic peaks including Flinders Peak, Mt Blaine, Mt Goolman and Mt Catherine. The area is an important wildlife refuge and supports diverse species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians and hundreds of native plants. The park is also terrific for walkers and mountain bikers with a network of scenic trails varying in difficulty from easy to challenging.
4. Discover nature’s treasures at Ipswich Nature Centre
Set amidst historical Queens Park, the Ipswich Nature Centre is a treasure trove of natural discovery. Take a free guided tour to meet some of the more than 40 species and 200 animals such as dingoes, bilbies, wallabies, water dragons, an emu called Hemu and a petting zoo. Wander amongst lushly landscaped gardens, admire the magnificent 130-year-old rotunda and soak up the serenity of Japanese Nerima Gardens.
5. Follow the Cobb & Co historic drive
Follow the historic 1860’s era Royal Mail coach route that once carried Cobb & Co passengers. On the way, visit heritage-listed hotels along with historic buildings and quaint villages that evoke times long ago when horse drawn carriages were the only mode of transport.
6. Get wet at Robelle Domain
The centrepiece of Robelle Domain is the water park where the kids can keep cool with fun interactive features like spray jets and a tipping bucket. There’s 24ha of boardwalks, playgrounds, sports fields and walking paths along with a café for parents to recharge while keeping an eye on the kids.
7. Tempt the tastebuds with wacky ice-cream flavours
Ungermann Brothers is a modern ice-creamery with a retro twist. The deco is all retro-style with chequered floors and blue lounges while electro swing music ensures a happy vibe. The ice-cream flavours are as modern as they come – think coconut curry, gooey caramel and cashew nut. Or Dutch spice, finger lime, dark chocolate, orange, lemon honey and thyme. Tempted?
8. Explore the riverside at River Heart Parklands
The boardwalks lining the river (pram and wheelchair friendly) extend from the old rail bridge through to Bob Gamble Park, taking walkers alongside the Bremer River through a mini rainforest and past a waterfall and sculpture pond. Information plaques along the way offer an insight into Ipswich’s fascinating history. At night, laser light projections create a magical atmosphere riverside.