The city of Ipswich is the oldest provincial city in Queensland. Once upon a time it was known for it’s coal mines. The coal was used to power locomotives in the early days of the town. Today Ipswich is known for it’s heritage protected buildings, the fabulous shopping for antiques, art, and unique fashion designs, trendy cafes, and the rail museum, showcasing the very locomotives that were once powered by the coal mined in the area.
Ipswich is a mere hours drive from Brisbane, and yet it is like travelling back in time. Once the mining industry was unable to sustain the town it faced massive economic hardship, however it has bounced back using the tourism industry. The small city is capitalizing on the fact that is has so much rich history, an art gallery that has been showcasing artists for over 150 years, and has attracted many artisans eager to show off their skills at fashion design, eclectic dining, or making the perfect cup of espresso.
A trendy tourist town, with a rich colonial past. The day trip minibus tour to Ipswich is an interesting way to spend a day. Depart from Brisbane in the morning. The driver of your private minibus will pick you up from your accommodation and you will drive an hour inland on your way to the historical town of Ipswich.
The first stop on the tour will be the Top of Town. This two block stretch has the area's oldest heritage protected buildings. Here you can see many of the landmark buildings, such as the one that housed the Queensland Times and the Flour Mill which housed the retro radio station. From print to radio Ipswich can take you on a tour through time.
Today the old Flour Mill has some of the best shopping in town. Hunt down Cassandra’s hidden away in what appears to be a nearly empty arcade and you will be rewarded with wicked steampunk styles, Victoriana, and alternative clothing inspired by all kinds of craziness. For leading edge fashion that pushes the envelope keep your eyes peeled for Pimp My Closet.
After a hard morning shopping grab something to eat at anyone of the dining options. Our pick is the Stump Hotel, once known as the Settler’s Inn. The building has been there for 150 years and boasts a fabulous view of St. Mary’s cathedral. Inside you will find Tapas Tree where you can choose from wine coming from local wineries, hand crafted beers, and an array of delicious dishes made from local ingredients and masterfully put together by master Chef Russell Armstrong and Jamie Pearce.
Queens Park, the first park in Queensland was designed in 1862. It is like taking a step back in time, seeing the terraced gardens. It is reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland and the Queen of Hearts. A favourite among families the park has a children’s playground area that is fun for all ages. Build up the excitement of the last stop at the Rail Museum by starting off on the fixed model train. Another fantastic feature of the park is the Liberty Swing, a new piece of playground equipment which is basically an accessible swing for children who use wheelchairs to move around.
The Ipswich Nature Centre has special enclosures for viewing bilbies, and spinifex hopping mice both of which are endangered. The Centre is a free zoo and has wild animals native to Australia, snakes, reptiles, birds and a barn of baby farm animals for petting.
There are wide open areas for playing kick ball and croquet. The Nature Centre has an amphitheatre used for showing educational films and is open every day but Mondays. After relaxing and playing the park the last thing to see is the Rail Museum.
For everything you have ever wanted to know about trains the Workshops Rail Museum has it all. There are 15 permanent exhibits most of which are interactive for maximum learning. Real locomotive engines, tiny models, and children size models that can be interacted with are just some of the things available. A complete history of the railway and the movement of goods, and the revolution of coal to diesel, followed by a revival of the rail industry that is powered by high speed trains, mag lifts, and the desire to enjoy the journey not just the final destination.
Every Friday at the Top of Town is the Sunset Market held from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm. This farmers market sells local produce, meat, eggs, milk, handmade crafts, works of art, and much more. There are always unique things to see at the Sunset Market and for trips made on Fridays we will dedicate the last hour of the trip to this market unless otherwise specified by the group. Remember all of our tours are suggestions, we love to customize all tours to suit what our clients want.
After the rail museum or the Sunset Market if it is a Friday the journey back to Brisbane on your minibus should be a relaxing one. Enjoy the drive, and the sights as the sun goes down. Our friendly drivers will get you back to your hotel of Brisbane residents. To find out more about this day trip to Ipswich, other day trips, or to create your own custom day trip please call our office at 1 800 BUS CHARTER, or use our online contact form.