A day in Ipswich exploring transport history
A day in Ipswich exploring transport history

Ipswich day trip, explore rail history: guide & itinerary

Cyclists start the day on a train journey from Brisbane to Ipswich, a 15 minute ride from Brisbane. Ipswich is the birthplace of Queensland’s rail history. The very first train to run in Queensland was a steam train that travelled from Ipswich to Grandchester. The Workshops Rail Museum is the best place to see it all – this former workshop is now a railway buff’s must see destination. Then there are the pioneer railway tracks for a train ride in a vintage train, belching smoke guaranteed.  In the afternoon hop on another train for a journey to Rosewood.

NOTE: Cycle your way around Ipswich and the surrounding district. Avoid traffic and the issue of car parking. Check the Ipswich Local Council guides to cycling Ipswich in the travel pack information section of this day trip.

Route map:

Ipswich Central Raiway Station to Riverheart Parklands to Workshop Rail Museum to Rosewood to Grandchester Railway Station

Ipswich, Australia @Smart Cities World


Arrive at Ipswich Railway Station, Bell St and let’s get going with a brief cycle/walk around Riverheart Parklands with an obligatory cafe stop. Riverheart is the original heart of the city destined to be the state capital however the depth of the river resulted in Brisbane claiming that right. A mini rainforest, cascading waterfalls and sculpture pond are part of the shared walk/cycle trail. For cyclists there are cycle routes.


Workshop Rail Museum

The industrial workshop buildings build the excitement levels invoking an authentic industrial vibe to the visit. The workshops are still a hive of activity with specialised workers ensuring heritage trains are still in working order. You can climb aboard real trains and wander through carriages that are from the mid-nineteeth century. Perhaps you would like to try your hand at being Ipswich’s train driver in a diesel simulator. There is a sudden stop and a railway platform to negotiate when you are behind the steering wheel. Recommended is a free tour of the oldest operating railway shop, where you peep behind to see how everything is kept in order. Enclosed shoes are compulsory as, after all you are wearing high visibility vests.

For opening details check out for further information: The Workshops Rail Museum


Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway

Plan your day to coincide with Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway. Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway operates three weekend services. The Market Train, from the Racecourse Station, gives you the chance to explore for some Handmade goodies in the markets before catching the 30-minute train trip. The Picnic Train is a one-hour 45-minute trip to Swanbank where there’s a children’s playground, and heritage railway gifts can be bought at Swanbank Station. Also check out the heritage buses dating from the 1940s which operate tours to the nearby Historical Centre giving you a longer day out. Bring your own picnic or barbecue and enjoy walking tracks overlooking the lake.

Check Pioneer Steam Railway website for up to date information and online booking.


Depending on how your day has evolved there is the possibility of squeezing in a visit to…

  • Grandchester Model Live Steam Association is a popular choice for visitors with families. Remember to wear enclosed shoes.

Duration 1 hour

  • Grandchester Railway Station is a quiet place often overlooked by railway buffs. The rural town of Grandchester is home to Queensland’s first railway station. The restored railway station with its nineteenth century equipment is open for visitors the first Sunday of the month from March to November 10.00 – 2.00pm. Rail heritage doesn’t come any better than an original railway station.

Duration 1 hour


Aussie staples with flair and style. From an enormous customised BBQ the Ipswich Club, every Saturday night tempts the palate with the scent and ordour of roasted brisket, ribs and chicken.

It is a guaranteed local favourite making booking essential to avoid being disappointed. Fentons at The Ipswich Club Tapas Bar & Restaurant in Ipswich. You can choose to eat on the 1916 Queenslander veranda or opt for takeaways and eat al fresco on the surrounding lawns. A great way to finish your day in Ipswich. For contact details 14 Gray Street, 4305 Ipswich, QLD, Australia, Get Directions +61 407 115 049 Contact Fentons at The Ipswich Club on Messenger.

Replete with a busy day driving trains, hopping on a vintage train carriage and understanding the details needed to restore heritage trains and the finale of a fabulous outdoor BBQ you are ready to return to Brisbane.


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