Queens Park is one of the oldest parks in Queensland and it’s easy to see why it’s a popular destination: the free mini zoo, Japanese gardens, Environmental Education Centre and cafe are all located on site in the heart of the city of Ipswich! Whether you’re local to the area, or visiting from out of town, it’s only a quick 45-minute drive from Brisbane and is the perfect place to take the kids for a day out these school holidays–without the hefty price tag attached.
Ipswich Nature Centre
When you first arrive at the Discover Ipswich Visitor Information Centre, you’ll be greeted by someone like Glenda to point you in the right direction, based on how you plan to spend your day at Queens Park. Being home to south-east Queensland’s only free mini zoo, the Nature Centre is always the first attraction that’s quick to be recommended. With pram-friendly wooden ramps winding between enclosures and beneath the trees, kids can safely roam and marvel at an array of native animals, including kangaroos, quolls, wombats, snakes, emus and bilbies. There is also a barnyard section where you can get more hands-on with the animals by giving them a feed and brush! The Nature Centre also offers VIP tours, which can be booked online here, where visitors are led through the enclosures by a tour guide to get to know all the local residents by name and to help the keepers with their feedings, plus more!
April School Holiday VIP tour dates:
- Wednesday April 10 at 9:30 a.m.
- Friday April 12 at 9:30 a.m.
- Monday April 15 at 9:30 a.m.
- Wednesday April 17 at 9:30 a.m.
Located at the southern end of Queens Park are the Nerima Gardens – a place of peace and tranquility. They’re free to visit and are open seven days a week during school holidays. Once you’re in there, it’s like you’re in your own little world and have been transported straight to Japan! If that’s not enough, Nerima Gardens are also home to traditional tea ceremonies, held on the last Saturday of the month during the cooler season. Tea ceremonies can be booked here through Discover Ipswich’s website.
Upcoming tea ceremony dates:
- April 27
- May 25
- June 29
- July 27
- August 31
- September 28
- October 26
Also located within Queens Park is the Environmental Education Centre and cafe, both a great place for the kids to stop for a bite to eat and reconnect with nature. Overall it’s a great day out for the whole family, and the kids are sure to be worn out after running tirelessly through the park’s popular and coal-mining-inspired playground!