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A pretty park exists in the heart of the city of Ipswich that displays a mini-zoo of Australian animals. Within undulating green lawns and lush gardens, is a well-maintained series of pram-accessible paths and boardwalks. These meander through enclosures housing Australian native animals.
Overseas visitors, with small children, can view dingoes, wombats, kangaroos, wallabies, water birds, spotted-tailed quolls and the endangered bilby. The center also houses a small area with baby farm animals, created especially for young children.
Of interest to adults, is the chance to view Australian wildlife that is threatened or endangered.
One such animal is the spotted-tailed quoll, visible behind glass in their own house. Although quolls are vulnerable, they appear to be making a comeback in some areas. However, I have never seen one in the Australian bush.
The other “endangered’’ animal on display is the bilby. Of the six bandicoot species that once lived in the arid and semi-arid areas of Australia, the bilby is the sole survivor, the only remaining representative of the sub-family Thylacomyinae. This is the first time I’ve ever looked at a one. They are viewed in a dark tunnel, lit up with soft, blue lights.
Just outside the Ipswich Nature Centre is a café, but many families also choose to have a picnic in the beautiful gardens.
Updated Apr 15, 2013
Address: Ipswich Nature Centre, Goleby Ave, IPSWICH
Do you watch Rally racing on television, well, you can choose to drive a Rally car for the time you want! A "Ute Man," no problem, drive a Rally Ute on dirt!
Rallying is one of the most exciting forms of motorsport on 4 wheels, and at international level, man and machine are tested to the limit where car speeds and driver skills are incredible. You are strapped into the race seat and race harness with your helmet on, to drive one of their V8 competition-prepared Holden Utes [or what ever you choose] for a 6 lap power trip experience on dirt.
To top it off you will receive a 'Hot Lap' with one of their professionals driving.
Website has all details on cars, etc.
Prices vary, so check the website for what you want to do and to find out the prices.
Price for 6 laps in the Ute in 2012....$249
Updated Sep 25, 2012
Address: Willowbank near Ipswich
Phone: 1300 791 793
Located in Queen's Park, Ipswich, is an Animal and Bird (Ipswich Nature Centre) enclosure that you can visit for FREE.
In July, 2009, a new addition, the silky, grey furred BILBY was added.
Known for their silky grey fur, and they are so cute!!..... four endangered Bilbies have been given a new chance at life in the custom-built habitat.
The bilby is a nocturnal marsupial that has large ears, a silky light grey and white coat and a long black and white tail. They have a long snout and well-developed sense of smell to aid in finding food.
The bilby is a bandicoot, has large, hairless ears, which are extremely useful for listening for predators.
The bilby does most of its foraging at night. One of the bilby's favourite plant foods is the bush onion or yalka that grows in desert sand plains after fires.
The bilby can burrow down two metres.
The enclosure contains a computer controlled environment which tricks the animals into believing night is day and day is night.
There were two on display, one was 2years old, and the other, Huge for a Bilby, was 4 years old. The Keeper told us, that they don't usually grow as big as the 4yo.
YOU ARE PRETTY LUCKY IF YOU SEE A BILBY, AS THEY ARE AN ENDANGERED SPECIES, AND NOT ON SHOW IN A LOT OF PLACES.
You can now see the nocturnal creatures at the Ipswich Nature Centre from Tuesday to Sunday between 9.30am and 4pm.
TRANSPORT.....Regular trains run to Ipswich from Brisbane, the trip takes about 50 minutes from Central Station.
LOCATION......Queens Park, Milford Street, Ipswich
Updated Sep 25, 2012
Address: Queens Park, Ipswich
Ipswich is QUEENSLAND'S OLDEST PROVINCIAL CITY and dates from the state’s earliest colonial days.
Established in 1827 as a convict out-station for the quarrying of limestone and farming, Ipswich soon became a busy port on the Bremer River and later grew in importance with the development of its coal mines and railways.
Ipswich has many imposing public buildings, fine mansions, historic homes and cottages and several of the oldest churches in Queensland.
A drive around the streets, and you will find many, old historical Queensland homes.
Painted nicely, they are a reminder of the of the past, and obviously, cherished by their owners.
There are many different styles, shapes and sizes, one day, I will get the time to have a real extra long look, I love these old heritage buildings!
You can pick up Heritage Trail brochure which have an easy-to-follow map with lots of interesting historic facts and descriptions. The Inner-city Heritage Trail can be explored on foot while those further out are ideal for short drives.
You can get your FREE COPIES FROM THE VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE
OPEN...Monday to Friday: 9:00am to 5:00pm
Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays: 9:00am to 4:00pm
It is a new building, located in Queens Park, Ispwich,
a must visit in its own right......see other tips............
Ispwich is easily reached by regular train from Brisbane, takes about 45mins. www.translink.com.au
Daily bus connections are available from the Brisbane Transit Centre in Brisbane,
Phone (+61 7) 3236 2020.
Updated Sep 25, 2012
St. Stephen's Presbyterian Church is a lovely looking Church near the centre of Ipswich. This Church was built in 1866. An earlier Church was on the site, however the foundations were faulty and it had to be demolished.
Outside the Church is a noticeboard with some details. The Steeple is quite tall, and can be seen from quite a distance in Ipswich
As with most Churches in Australia, they are closed except for services, a shame, as this Church is said to have interesting stained glass windows.
You may be able to enter, if you go to the office at the back of the Church.
Next to the Church, is the Sabbath Hall, opened in 1889, and built in what is known as "Carpenter Gothic."
There was off street parking at the Church
Updated Apr 6, 2012
Address: Gordon Street - Ipswich
Are you a Train buff? or just interested in having a look through a Rail Museum.
This one, has exhibits on everything to do with the Railways in Queensland.
You will see old Trains, photos, Model Railways, the old Timekeeper's building, and even a Nipper's railway for the children to have fun.
You can do a behind the scenes tour of the " working workshops" that leave regularly during the day. If you are going to do this, remember to wear ENCLOSED FOOTWEAR.
They hold different exhibitions throughout the year, and if you check the website, you can find out when they do STEAM TRAIN RIDES.
SOME OF THESE ARRIVE & DEPART FROM ROMA STREET, BRISBANE, and others are from the Ipswich workshop.
The 1 hour trip on a steam train through Brisbane, in 2012 cost $20 for adults.
What was disappointing was when I took a VT friend to see the Museum. It was in school holiday time, and every train had a Thomas the Tank engine face on its engine. OK for children, but not for adults who wants to see the Train.
This is something to remember for when you visit
I really think it is quite expensive for what is on display in comparison with other rail museums I have been to.
OPEN.....9.30am to 5.00pm Daily, CLOSED Good Friday, ANZAC Day and Christmas Day.
GETTING HERE BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT......
Take the Ipswich Train from Brisbane, then on a ....
Monday to Saturday - transfer to Westside Bus Company route 504 at Ipswich station from Bay B in Bell Street (near McDonalds) to the Museum.
Sunday - transfer to Westside Bus Company route 515 at Ipswich station from Bay E in Bell Street to the Museum.
ADMISSION in 2012....Adult $20.00
Child (ages 3 to 16) $11.50 Child (under 3 years of age) FREE
Family (2 Adults and up to 4 Children) $55.00
Updated Apr 6, 2012
Address: North Street, North Ipswich,
Phone: 61 (07) 3432 5100
Website: www.theworkshops.qm.qld.gov.au/ -
Want to see Australian Animals for FREE, then come to Ipswich and the very well set out Nature park.
In this Park, you will see different species of Australian Kangaroos and Wallabies, Birds, Reptiles, a Wombat (often quite hard to spot as they sleep in a burrow), Dingo, and of course, the endangered Bilby (see my other tip)
When we were there, the Male Emu was sitting on the nest, something you are not likely to see in the wild.
Very well set out and maintained, this park is a credit to the Ipswich city council.
The area is not large, but has a good selection of Australian animals, and a large walk in aviary. I did not see a Koala here.
There is a children's section also where the usual calf, piglets, chickens, ducks, etc are.
There is a DONATION BOX as you walk out, and I was more than happy to give a donation to keep this park going, excellent.
It is located in Queen's Park, next door to the lovely Nerima Japanese Gardens.
Updated Apr 6, 2012
On your visit to Ipswich and to the beautiful Queen's Park, make sure you take the short stroll around Nerima Japanese Gardens.
These are well maintained, pretty gardens, and at the moment, they are working on installing more water attractions, so, it will be extra pretty in the nearby future.
It still is very nice, even though the Azalea's were not quite in bloom!
If you want to see WATER DRAGON'S, there are plenty here, lazying around in the sun!
Throughout the year gardens are closed on Mondays for maintenance. However, they will be open on Monday if it is a Public Holiday or during the Queensland School HolidaysSummer Hours
OPENING HOURS ARE.......Tuesday to Friday - 9:30am to 3:45pm
Saturday & Sunday - 9:30am to 5:45pm
Winter Hours.....Tuesday to Sunday - 9:30am to 3:45pm
ADMISSION IS FREE
Please check out the Nerima Gardens travelogue for more photos of this garden, visited in September, 2009.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Ipswich has a few local attractions including museums, art galleries, markets and craft stores but it is better known as the home of RAAF Base Amberley which is the Royal Australian Air Force's largest operational base.
The country area near Ipswich offers the chance to explore country towns, wineries and the nearby Glasshouse Mountains.
Updated May 15, 2008
Favorite thing: As you wander around, you may come across some very unusual Tropical fruit trees.
There used to be a lot at the Big Pineapple on display, but that is closed now, but I did find the unusual 'SAUSAGE FRUIT TREE' the day I visited Ipswich.
These Trees are South African. The leaves are an important livestock fodder, and the fruits are much prized by monkeys and elephants, something we don't have in Australia!
They have hundreds of huge sausage-like fruits that hang down from the limbs on long, rope-like stalks.
The fruits may be over 2 feet long.
The hard, grey fruit of the sausage tree has a thin skin covering a firm, fibrous fruit pulp containing numerous small seeds.
The fruit, although inedible itself, is a common ingredient in traditional beer, and is said to hasten the fermentation process.
The fruit is also used as a cosmetic cream, to ensure a blemish free complexion.
Perhaps I should have picked a few to try and see if it worked!
The one I saw, was at the University grounds in Ipswich. If you visit, there are lovely heritage buildings here, as well as nice views over to the Mountains (Flinder"s Peak).
Fondest memory: The entrance is next to the Ipswich showgrounds, off Warwick Road, Ipswich.
Updated Nov 29, 2009