Ipswich bound? These are the 5 best things to do there
Residing on the fringes of Brisbane’s borders, the city of Ipswich has long been dogged by a less-than-impressive reputation. But don’t be so quick to judge as there’s plenty to do in the historic district on the cusp of the Scenic Rim, which sits just a 40-minute drive away from the capital. This blossoming residential hub is now overflowing with fresh new offerings waiting for you to explore.
Embrace the coffee culture
Ipswich is now conveniently awash with eateries, particularly in the cafe domain. Make your way to the Top of Town, where the bulk of Ipswich’s cafe venues reside. Housed in a refurbished cottage in the heart of Ipswich city, Ellen and Rod is one of the most popular places to devour breakfast, thanks to its rotating menu and quality coffee (created with the cafe’s own roasted beans True Grit).
Fellow local establishment Rafter and Rose, and Cactus Espresso Bar are another of the city’s stand-outs when it comes to finding a decent coffee in town.
Acquaint yourself with local history
Considering you’ve found yourself in Queensland’s oldest provincial city, it would be a shame not to take a walk down memory lane and educate yourself on a little local history. The town was born back in 1827 as a limestone mining settlement and rapidly flourished from there, soon establishing itself as a major inland port and railway hub.
Today, Ipswich is one of the state’s fastest-growing cities but its strong ties to the past are easily noticeable in the sheer number of historic buildings and Queenslanders draped around town, including the local Ipswich Art Gallery, and the Workshops Rail Museum. Take a solo tour following one of the city’s Heritage Trail Guides, which can be found at the Visitor Centre.
Meander the Bremer River
A tributary of the iconic Brisbane River, the Bremer River is a narrow slip that quietly winds its way through Ipswich. While the length of the Bremer pushes 100 kilometres, you don’t need to trek its entirety to catch a good glimpse. Take the 1.2-kilometre loop that runs along the boardwalk from the Bardfield Pedestrian Bridge to the Bob Gamble Park to see the Bremer at its best.
Budding photographers take note: the Bremer is particularly idyllic at sunset and sunrise, and the heritage-listed Bremer River Rail Bridge is a particularly photogenic local landmark.
Bar crawl the watering holes
Thirsty? Quench your cravings for an ice-cold beer at one of the many pubs and breweries scattered throughout Ipswich’s borders. The craft-inclined will want to head straight for Pumpyard Bar and Brewery run by local craft brewers 4 Hearts. Housed in a 100-year-old heritage-listed building, this community establishment is Ipswich’s first brewery since 1903. You’ll find both house-brewed and sourced drops alongside a menu of pub grub classics.
Then there’s Tap’d at the Prince Alfred Hotel for those feeling a little more adventurous with their drinks. The beer-focused establishment boasts an impressive 72 craft beers and ciders on tap — supposedly the most in the Southern Hemisphere.
Walk your way around town
From Ipswich, the picturesque Scenic Rim is within easy reach, which means ample hiking trails are just a hop, skip, and a jump from the city centre. But, if don’t want to leave the city’s borders, Ipswich itself is heaving with walkways. The Denmark Hill Conservation Reserve is an environmental retreat in the heart of Ipswich which welcomes plenty of families, thanks to its 800-metre forest trail and picnicking options and the water tower, which offer impressive views of the surrounding district.
Walkers and mountain bikers can take on a 19-kilometre round-trip trail in the Redbank Plains district.
Picnic in a park
More leisurely afternoons can be spent watching the jacarandas bloom in one of Ipswich’s many parks. Queens Park is the oldest and most recognised park in the state. This regal expanse of greenery and monuments is one of the best places to watch the sunset. Alongside a much-loved playground, Queens Park also boasts the Japanese-inspired Nerima Gardens.
Those with kids in tow eager to exert some energy can make their way straight to water-based parks Robelle Domain, Orion Lagoon, and Bob Gamble Park — the trio are equipped with ample entertainment for little ones.