The Ipswich Nature Centre | Queens Park, Ipswich
Queens Park in Ipswich is worth a visit just for the play areas and gardens, but it also houses one of Brisbane’s best-kept secrets – the Ipswich Nature Centre. For over 80 years, visitors have come to see native animals in gorgeous surrounds. The park is modern and spacious, and all available to visit for the cost of a gold coin donation.
The Ipswich Nature Centre – The Fun
The Ipswich Nature Centre showcases over 40 different species of animal, focusing on wildlife that is native to the region. After walking down a path lined with tall trees, visitors are greeted by a beautiful rotunda that houses the entrance. Walk down the shady boardwalks past exhibits housing Australian animal species – from the expected, like wallabies, kookaburras, and black swans; to rare animals such as quolls, bilbies, and black cockatoos.
Pay a visit to the bilbies and the spinifex hopping mice in the nocturnal house, stop at the barn to pat a few farmyard friends, and use the detailed information boards to spot different bird species in the walk-through aviary. There are plenty of beautiful locations to stop and have a rest, although visitors are encouraged not to eat food inside the centre. But after leaving the park (and leaving your gold coin donation), the beautiful grounds of Queens Park are ready to explore and offer many great options for a picnic lunch.
The grounds are so beautiful that it’s not only the animals in the enclosures who live there – many wild, free-roaming native animals call the park their home. In particular, look out for water dragons, rainbow lorikeets, fruit bats hanging in the trees near the aviary, and the strange bushstone curlews while wandering between the exhibits.
The beautiful amphitheatre is located near the middle of the centre, and is a great place to stop and play before checking out the nocturnal habitat and the rest of the exhibits. The boardwalks are child-friendly and occasionally offer a choice of directions to follow, which allows your young explorer to pick their path.
The Ipswich Nature Centre is wheelchair friendly, and the enclosures are viewable from a range of heights. Parents with wheelchairs might find the aviary and barn slightly difficult to enter, as these exhibits have double doors to prevent animals escaping. However, once inside, the exhibits are fitted with ramps. There are no toilets inside the centre, but directly outside the centre are accessible toilet facilities.
The Ipswich Nature Centre – The Facts
- Fenced boardwalks
- Over 40 species of animal
- Free entry (Gold coin donation appreciated)
- Toilets directly outside the Centre (inc disabled access and nappy change)
- Wheelchair accessible
- Shaded paths
- Plenty of parking
- Suitable for all ages
- Café, park and gardens nearby
The Ipswich Nature Centre is open 6 days a week, Tuesday – Sunday from 9:30 am until 4pm. On school holidays, it opens 7 days a week. For further information, including pre-booking large groups, contact the Ipswich Council on (07) 3810 6666. You can find out more on the Ipswich City Council website here.
There are many other options to explore in Queens Park, and in the wider Ipswich region. The Ipswich Art Gallery is great for kids and often holds child-friendly exhibitions that are well worth a visit. The Workshops Rail Museum is another popular option.