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REVIEW: Ipswich Nature Centre (Ipswich Zoo) for Kids

The Ipswich Nature Centre (Ipswich Zoo) is the PERFECT place to take kids. Nestled in historic Queens Park in Ipswich, the Ipswich Nature Centre boasts FREE ENTRY with a gold coin donation. What a gorgeous, educational, cost-effective outing for your family!

The Ipswich Nature Centre is open every day on school holidays from 9.30 to 4 and is only closed Mondays outside of school holidays. It can be found on Goleby Avenue inside Queens Park in Ipswich.

There is an expansive free parking lot in between the Ipswich Zoo and the Japanese Gardens. If this is full then the streets within Queens Park have parking bays which can be easily accessed. There are many wheelchair parks available throughout the grounds.

What is the Ipswich Nature Centre?

Ipswich Nature Centre - Ipswich Zoo

The Ipswich Nature Centre has been a family-friendly destination for over 80 years! Australian wildlife are housed inside exhibits that are exactly like their local habitats. There is full accessibility for both wheelchairs and prams as ramps and footpaths gently wind their way around the exhibits so everyone can have a close look at the animals.

The Ipswich Nature Centre is beautifully landscaped with an incredibly array of native flora. It also hosts a lovely pond where ducks and swans reside and a fully operational rainforest aviary where you can see all sorts of interesting birds. There is also a nocturnal bilby exhibit where you can go through a tunnel to see these adorable little creatures snuggled up peacefully.

Just prior to exiting the Ipswich Nature Centre you will find a barn where all your children’s domesticated favourites live – piglets, goats, lambs, cows, chickens and more! Barn residents can change so if you would like to prepare your child for who they will see you might want to call ahead and check (07 3810 6666).

What Australian animals are at the Ipswich Nature Centre?

On our visit, we saw:

• An astounding amount of large lizards (who are very bold!)
• A variety of ducks
• Beautiful black swans
• A variety of wallabies
• Kangaroo
• Emus
• Wombats
• Bilbies
• Snakes

What else is there to do at Queens Park?

Ipswich Nature Centre - Ipswich Zoo

After you have finished at the Ipswich Nature Centre (making sure to leave your gold coin donation!) there is still plenty to do at this historic location. Queens Park in Ipswich was the first park to ever be built in Queensland! It was designed in 1892.

At Queens Park, you will also find:

• State-of-the-art, beautifully maintained playground (complete with water pump, climbing wall and a sunken train)
• The Japanese Gardens (Nerima Gardens)
• The Environment Education Centre café
• The Bush House and Bush Chapel for some quiet reflection

What facilities are there at Ipswich Nature Centre and Queens Park?

You will find this area to be wheel-chair accessible. The playground has a liberty swing. Queens Park has well-equipped bathroom facilities (including nappy change), four barbeques, plenty of car parks and picnic tables. There are also plenty of beautiful shady trees to spread a picnic rug under and watch the day go by.

So why wait? Visit the Ipswich Nature Centre now!

It’s so rare nowadays to find a quality activity for kids to do that’s cheap, let alone free! The Ipswich Nature Centre runs based on the donations of the people who attend so make sure you’re one of them. This is a wholesome, old-fashioned, healthy experience and a fantastic way to spend some much-deserved family time.

Check this out – Things to do in Ipswich with kids! And if you’re hungry, try these spots for the best child friendly restaurants in Ipswich!

We also highly recommend a visit to the Ipswich Children’s Library and the Ipswich Art Gallery.

Photo of author

Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

2 thoughts on “REVIEW: Ipswich Nature Centre (Ipswich Zoo) for Kids”

  1. Yes the nature park has plenty to see and to engage all ages.
    It has very good walk platforms that are accessible.
    As a public facility it left me with a sense it is lacking attention to tourism potential. It was drab in it’s overall appearance.
    We had trouble finding the entrance and it gave double messages with a sign poked into a side fence saying closed when it was open at 2.30.
    No staff were around to welcome visitors and answer questions.. No clear signage was on display giving specific details of the lay out and map of the site and the different pens with the different animals and details of the geographical spread of these animals in Australia and the feeding routine for the different animals.
    The Bilbies pen was very interesting but lacked before entrance details or protocols on best way to observe the Bilbies without frightening them particularly with with children screaming in excitement as they moved around their pen.
    I made a critical comment to my partner that if this was in the Moreton Bay Regional Council area it would be a very significant gold plated tourist attraction.
    My partner went there as a child as a family outing since Ipswich was her regional town.
    Here is a resource well used but lacking in making presentation


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