I enjoy writing about my adventures, great and small.
Published June 25th 2013
A mini zoo in Ipswich's Queens Park
Hidden in the heart of Ipswich City, within Queens Park, is a mini-zoo of Australian wildlife, called "The Ipswich Nature Centre". Entrance is free, but a gold coin donation is appreciated.
Well maintained, pram-accessible paths and boardwalks traverse lush greenery, as they meander through enclosures housing indigenous animals. Visitors with small children can safely view dingoes, wombats, kangaroos, wallabies, water birds, and so on. The centre also includes an area containing baby farm animals, a special treat for little ones.
Although children will love this small zoo, there are features of interest for adults too, in particular, wildlife that's threatened or endangered. One such species is the spotted-tailed quoll, visible behind glass, in carefully designed accommodation. Quolls are considered vulnerable, but appear to be making a comeback in some areas. I've never stumbled across any in the bush, and greatly valued the opportunity to view them up close.
The other endangered animal on display is the bilby. Of the six bandicoot species that once lived in the arid and semi-arid areas of Australia, the bilby is the sole survivor. It's the only remaining representative of the sub-family Thylacomyinae. It was my first encounter with these unique creatures. The furry bundles are viewed in a dark tunnel, lit up with soft, blue lights.
Judging from the smile on every visitor's face, both young and old, this hidden gem within an Ipswich park, has plenty on offer for all.
Afterwards, why not enjoy a picnic in the beautiful gardens of Queens Park. Alternatively, just outside the Ipswich Nature Centre is a café.
Directions: From Ipswich Central, travel east along Brisbane Street, then turn right into Milford Street. Turn left into Goleby Avenue and you will be inside Queens Park, with Ipswich Nature Centre located on your right.