Treasure Hunt | Ipswich Art Gallery | Review

IAG treasure hunt

Do your Brisbane Kids love treasure? Finding trinkets, precious gems or even (fake, but very shiny) gold? If so, pop a visit to the Ipswich Art Gallery on your must do list for these winter school holidays!

Their latest exhibition is called Treasure Hunt, and it’s definitely a winner! For a small $5 entry fee, young guests are treated to a fun and engaging experience. 

As you head towards the gallery, the Treasure Hunt area is unmissable, filling a large portion of the mall in front of the gallery. 

Tickets can be purchased from the front desk, and visitors are fitted with a wrist band and presented with a calico bag and directed to the stamp activity station right near the gallery entrance. Here kids can use a selection of themed stamps including treasure chests, skull and crossbones, shells and crystals, along with a range of colourful markers, to decorate their bags. This is a fun introduction, and the unique decorations will help to reunite any lost bags with their owners.

The Treasure Hunt

IAG treasure hunt bag stamping

Once their bags are finished, guests are directed back to the treasure hunt area.  A large area of the mall has been fenced off and filled with sand, and within this sand is buried hundreds, if not thousands, of treasures just waiting to be discovered!  Items to find include a range of gemstones of various sizes, glass shapes and trinkets.  

Children are then given a sieve and let loose on the sandpit to fossick, dig and discover a range of treasures seeded into the sand.  There is also a water trough for children to rinse the sand off their finds so they can see the beauty of their treasures before they select their favourite finds to pack into their treasure bag to bring home. 

IAG treasure hunt sieves

While children under the age of 3 are not permitted in the main Treasure Hunt sandpit due to the number of small items and the associated choking hazards, they have their own sandpit inside the fence and adjacent to the main pit.  This under 3 area is filled with age appropriate sand toys and other equipment to explore.  

Brisbane Kids took 2 junior reviewers along, and here are their thoughts:

Miss 7 had a very discerning strategy, only choosing the finds she most wanted to keep and that she deemed the most valuable to put into her sieve. She liked finding the crystals and matching them to the Treasure Hunt Discovery Guides that were attached to the fence surrounding the Treasure Hunt sandpit. She delighted in finding unique and one of a kind pieces.

IAG treasure hunt miss 7

Mr 4 was much more about quantity over quality – he was trying to find anything and everything that he could until his sieve was close to overflowing.  He then decided that he might like to find an amethyst and searched only for them until he found a suitable specimen (with a little assistance from the incredibly helpful museum staff who seem to delight in watching children’s dreams come true). 

IAG treasure hunt mr 4

Both children loved the experience and want to do it again, and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone.

It’s worth noting that this exhibition is outdoors and while it’s located in a sheltered spot with a waterproof shade cover and fencing, it is still somewhat exposed to the elements.  Please dress according to the weather conditions and note that while the Treasure Hunt will be operating in showery weather it may close in the event of heavy rain. 

IAG treasure hunt sandpit

Other things to do at the Ipswich Art Gallery

While you’re at the Ipswich Art Gallery for your Treasure Hunt, you could also book in to their free children’s exhibition On The Move (read our review here).

The gallery are also exhibiting a collection of Lincoln Austin works.  While this exhibition isn’t aimed at children, the pieces are sculptural, fun, whimsical and often colourful, This makes for an enjoyable ‘grown up’ exhibition to encourage children to think a bit differently about art – it’s much more than just paint on a flat surface.

IAG treasure hunt other art

Getting there and parking

The Ipswich Art Gallery can be found at D’Arcy Doyle Place, Ipswich.

There is metered street parking on weekdays and free street parking on weekends, and Ipswich CBD parking (access from Bremer Street) is a short walk from the gallery and has 3 hours of free parking on weekdays and all day free parking on weekends. Ipswich Railway Station is also a short walk from Ipswich Art Gallery.



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