Planet Ipswich : A bridge between the Ipswiches of the world

Ipswich, Queensland, Australia

The oldest provincial city in Queensland, Ipswich is situated at 27° 37 S 152° 46  E on the Bremer River, approximately 25 miles west of Brisbane. The city covers an area of 420.9 sq miles (1090 sq km).

Population:- The population as at August 2016 was 193,733.*

*In January 2017, the population reached 200,000

How to get there:-

By road: From Brisbane & the east take the Ipswich Motorway. From the west use the Warrego Highway (Highway 54). From the south take the Cunningham Highway (Highway 15), & from the north,  the Brisbane Valley Highway (Highway 17). From the Gold Coast & the south east take the Logan Motorway.

By rail: Queensland Rail
s Citytrain network runs regular services on the Ipswich & Rosewood Line to & from Brisbane, with connections to the Gold Coast & Sunshine Coast.

Brisbane International  & Domestic airports are approximately one hour’s drive from Ipswich.

Time Zone: Australian Eastern Standard Time (GMT +10 hrs).   No daylight saving time in summer.


Order of contents on this page: (Click on the links below)


Pre-European Settlement

Early Settlement & Derivation of Name

Ipswich City Crest & Arms

Ipswich Volunteer Corps

First Television Broadcast in the Southern Hemisphere?

The Ipswich Floods (1893, 1974, 2011)

Recognition by the Intelligent Community Forum 


Top of Town

Old Town Hall

RSL Memorial Hall & Ipswich Technical College

Incinerator Theatre





Booval House

The Old Court House

Ginn Cottage

St Paul's Church - Link with Ipswich, England

Ipswich Grammar School

University of Queensland - Ipswich Campus

Parks/Nature Reserves:

Denmark Hill Conservation Park

Ipswich Pteropus Conservation Park  & Woodend Nature Centre

Queens Park

College’s Crossing Recreational Reserve 

Kholo Botanic Gardens

Flinders-Goolman Conservation Estate

Purga Nature Reserve

Haig Street Quarry Bushland Reserve

White Rock – Spring Mountain Conservation Estate

Camira Bora Ring   



The Workshops Rail Museum

Rosewood Railway Museum

RAAF Amberley Aviation Heritage Centre

Australian Motorcycle Museum - Haigslea

The Ipswich Motorway


Ipswich Jets RLFC

Ipswich Motorsport Precinct

Ipswich Turf Club

Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club


George Thorn - The ‘Father of Ipswich’

John Bradfield

Edward & Daniel Carroll

Neville Bonner

d’Arcy Doyle

Thomas Shapcott


Ipswich Show

Sister Cities:

Nerima, Japan - Sister City of Ipswich

Hyderabad, India – Sister City of Ipswich & Brisbane


Bremer River & Brisbane River

The Expansion of Ipswich

Ipswich Suburbs & Localities

County of Stanley

County of Churchill

Pre-European Settlement

Prior to European colonisation, the area around what was to become Ipswich was inhabited by three tribal groups of Aboriginal people. To the North & North East of present day Ipswich were the Yuggerapul  (or Ugarapul people), a subdivision of the Yuggera or Jagera tribe, whose territory stretched east in the direction of Oxley & northwards as far as Esk. In the Yuggera language, the area around Ipswich was known as Tulmur or Doolmoor. Another group, the Cateebil extended westward towards Gatton & Grantham.  To the south the Yugumbir tribe, a subdivision of the Bundjalung people, were prevalent in the region of the Logan & Albert Rivers. None of these tribal areas were particularly well defined, however, & much overlapping of territories appears to have taken place.

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Early Settlement & Derivation of Name

The area was first explored in 1826 by Captain Patrick Logan, who was commandant at Moreton Bay Penal Colony. A convict camp consisting of the superintendent’s house and a blockhouse for the convicts was established the following year to mine the limestone that had been discovered in the vicinity.  This penal outpost was referred to as “Limestone Station”.

In 1839 the penal colony was closed and in 1842 the area was surveyed and opened up for settlement under the provisional name of “Limestone”.  In February 1843 it was renamed Ipswich.
It seems that the original suggestion for the name came from Capt. Harry Rous, when he visited the area in his ship Rainbow in 1832. Rous was from Stradbroke in Suffolk, England & he had said that the countryside in the vicinity reminded him of Ipswich in his homeland. The name appealed to the Governor of New South Wales, Sir George Gipps, who realised that the Old English spelling of Ipswich, Gipeswic or Gippeswic, had similarities to his own name.

With the growth of the coal & wool industries, Ipswich soon became an important river port. A paddle steamer service to Brisbane  began in 1846 & remained the most important form of transport until the Brisbane to Ipswich railway was completed in 1875.

On 3rd March 1860, with the population at about 3,000, Ipswich gained municipal status. In 1904 Ipswich had city status conferred on it by the Government of Queensland.

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Ipswich City Crest & Arms

The City of Ipswich Crest & Arms was designed in 1861 by the Rev. Lacey H Rumsey, who was rector of St.Paul’s Church.

The crown at the top sits upon a rose, a thistle & a shamrock; representing England, Scotland & Ireland. Beneath this, a shield is divided into four quarters by a red cross, each arm of which contains a star, thought to symbolise the Southern Cross.

The upper left quarter of the shield depicts a golden fleece, which signifies the importance of the wool trade in Ipswich’s early days. The upper right quarter represents the mining industry, as it shows a pick, shovel & coal basket. The bottom left shows a plough in a field of wheat, smoking factory chimneys & a church, denoting industry, agriculture & religion. The bottom right segment has an illustration of a paddle steamer, highlighting the importance of river travel to the early Ipswich.

To the left of the shield is shown a sheaf of wheat, whilst the right hand side has some flowering cotton; both important crops in Ipswich’s early days.

At the bottom, a ribbon atop a grapevine bears the motto ‘Confide Recte Agens’, which translates as ‘Be Confident In Doing Right’. The grapevine symbolises the vineyards that were found around Ipswich at the time.

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Ipswich Volunteer Corps

The Ipswich Troop of the Queensland Mounted Rifles and The First, or Ipswich, Company of the Queensland Rifle Brigade (otherwise referred to as the Cavalry and Infantry respectively) have the distinction of being the first two volunteer corps in Queensland.  Formed in May 1860 with a combined force of around 50 men, the two units were assembled in response to Governor in Chief and Vice-Admiral of the Colony of Queensland, Sir George Bowen’s efforts to form a volunteer defence force for the newly formed colony, as he felt that the two principal settlements at the time, Brisbane & Ipswich, were defenceless & open to attack.

On 23rd May 1860, the Governor accepted the services of The Ipswich Troop of the Queensland Mounted Rifles, with Arthur Delves Broughton being appointed as the first captain; & The First, or Ipswich, Company of the Queensland Rifle Brigade, under the captaincy of Waterloo veteran Lieutenant-Colonel Charles George Gray.  Gray had been Police Magistrate in Ipswich, as well as accepting the invitation to become Parliamentary Librarian and Usher of the Black Rod in the first Queensland Parliament in 1859.

To be eligible to join, the Volunteers had to be British subjects over the age of 16, who had to sign a declaration that they would serve for twelve months. Soon after the formation of the Ipswich troops, Brisbane followed suit by establishing their own volunteer corps of The Queensland Mounted Rifles & a company of riflemen to serve as infantry.

The Volunteer movement in Queensland experienced a rapid decline after 1863, and defence was left to regular British Army regiments stationed at Brisbane.  After the Brisbane troop was disbanded in 1863, the Ipswich Troop of the Queensland Mounted Rifles were renamed the Queensland Light Horse. They were disbanded, however, in 1866 due to a decline in volunteers.

The arrival of the 50th Regiment of the British Army (the Queen’s Own Regiment of Foot), stationed at Brisbane from 1866 to 1869, boosted the morale of the remaining Volunteers, and led to a revival of the Queensland Volunteer Artillery and the Queensland Volunteer Rifles.  It seems that the 1st, or Ipswich, Company of the Queensland Rifle Brigade were still in existence during this period, since the Brisbane Courier mentions the 50th Regiment drilling both the Brisbane and Ipswich Volunteer companies of Rifles in January 1868.

Although the Colony ran out of funds to finance the equipment for the volunteer forces, the various units managed to keep going and by 1875 a series of annual encampments for training had been inaugurated.  Nevertheless, there was a concern regarding the Colony’s defence, and in response to the build up of German and French forces in the Pacific, the British government sent out Sir William Jervois in 1877 to review the colonial defences.  As a consequence, the 1st Regiment of Queensland Infantry was formed in 1879, when the Volunteer Infantry Companies amalgamated into one body as the Queensland Defence Force.  The individual companies retained their autonomy until 24 February 1885 when a major re-organisation took place following the Queensland Defence Act of 1884.  This introduced a partially paid, permanent militia force, with the part-time Volunteer element downgraded to rifle club status, unless called-up for active service.  This was effectively the end of the separate “Ipswich Company”.

In 1885 a wave of patriotism swept Australia following the unsuccessful intervention and death of General Gordon in the Sudan.  This wave of patriotism resulted in the revival of the mounted infantry, and in 1885 the Moreton Mounted Infantry was established.  On 27th October 1890 the Ipswich Mounted Infantry Corps of 30 men was formed under Capt. Pollet Cardew.  Two other mounted infantry corps were also raised elsewhere in Queensland.  In 1892 it became too expensive for the Colony to maintain four separate mounted units, and they were all merged with the original Moreton Mounted Infantry.  This was renamed the Queensland Mounted Infantry in 1897.

Apart from subduing a group of unemployed rioters in Brisbane in September 1866, the only active service that the Volunteers saw came during the Shearer's Strike, which was started in January 1891 by sheep shearers at Logan Downs Station & quickly spread through Queeensland. Colonel George French, the commandant of the Queensland Defence Force, called out the Volunteers for active service when the Queensland Government proclaimed a state of emergency. The Ipswich troops were used to protect non-union labourers & arrest strike leaders.

Ipswich Battery of the Queensland Volunteer Artillery: In 1862 the Queensland Government submitted a request to London for the provision of a light field battery of four 6 pounder smooth bore muzzle-loading field guns, and on 12 March 1864 it was announced that an Ipswich Battery of the Queensland Volunteer Artillery was being formed.  The guns arrived from Britain in 1866 and the Ipswich Battery came into effect.  From 1880 to 1884 it was renamed the No. 2 Battery (Ipswich) of the Queensland Volunteer Artillery.  In 1885 the No. 2 Battery was moved to Fort Lytton at the mouth of the Brisbane River, hence the name Ipswich was dropped.  In 1886 it was disbanded as a volunteer unit, and absorbed into the regular Queensland Artillery.

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First Television Broadcast in the Southern Hemisphere?

The popular belief is that the first television broadcast in Australia was made by Bruce Gyngell on TCN Channel 9 in Sydney in September 1956.  Although this may have been the first commercial broadcast, it is maintained by some sources that the first ever television pictures successfully transmitted in Australia - & indeed the Southern Hemisphere - were part of an amateur experiment beamed to a house in North Ipswich on 10th April 1934. There are other sources, however, that dispute this claim, contending that the first Australian TV transmissions were those broadcast by Gil Miles and Donald Macdonald in Melbourne on 10th January 1929, more than five years before those involving Ipswich. Even if this is the case, however, Ipswich’s claim would still be that it took part in the first television broadcast in Queensland.

The broadcast, which featured a black & white picture of the American actress Janet Gaynor (1906-1984), was transmitted from an experimental laboratory at the Old Windmill Observatory in Wickham Terrace, Brisbane & was received at a house in Ipswich, a distance of some 25 miles, by Tom Biddle, an electronics lecturer at Brisbane Polytechnic.  The exact location of the house is not recorded, although it is usually described as a “small cottage”, & would undoubtedly have been on high ground.  The group responsible for the experiment was headed by Thomas Elliott, a pioneer of both radio & television, who built the transmitter for this historic broadcast using materials which included cotton reels & parts from a Meccano set.

The experiments continued until the outbreak of the Second World War, when the broadcasters licences were withdrawn by the government.

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The Ipswich Floods (1893, 1974, 2011)

The Bremer River catchment covers an area of approximately 1,800 sq km (695 sq miles).  Heavy rainfall in the Macpherson Range, where both the Bremer & its major tributary Warrill Creek rise, can cause major flood problems in the Ipswich area.  The city is also in danger of backwater flooding from the Brisbane River, as well as local flooding from the Bundamba and Woogaroo Creeks.

Records of flooding in the Ipswich area date back to the nineteenth century, with the first major incident being recorded in 1893. In February of that year, the Brisbane River broke its banks on three separate occasions, leading to the month becoming known as “Black February”.  In Ipswich, seven people were killed in John Wrights Eclipse Colliery in North Ipswich, when the Bremer River burst its banks on 4th February & the mine flooded. This was caused by the first of three tropical cyclones to hit the area; the others occurring on 11th & 19th.

As a result of the flooding, Somerset Dam was built on the Stanley River (a tributary of the Brisbane), which created the artificial Lake Somerset, around 70 km (43 miles) north of Ipswich. Named after local landowner Henry Plantagenet Somerset (1852–1936), who first suggested the need for the dam, construction was not started until 1933, & was completed in 1953. Lake Somerset’s function is not limited to flood defence, but also provides water for the Ipswich & Brisbane areas, as well as hydro electric power. It is also popular for boating & fishing, with two camp sites situated on its banks.  

The worst flood of the twentieth century occurred in January 1974. This was a result of the Brisbane River flooding after heavy rainfall caused by “Cyclone Wanda”, which combined with a trough during the peak of the La Niña event of 1973; an ocean-atmospheric phenomenon during which the sea surface temperature across the equatorial Eastern Central Pacific Ocean falls to a lower level than normal by 3-5 °C. This causes wetter conditions across eastern Australia. The cyclone crossed the Queensland coast around 150 km (93 miles) north of Brisbane, & triggered intensive rain, with more than 600 mm (24 inches) being recorded in the Brisbane & Ipswich areas over a three day period commencing 25th January.  On Sunday 27th, the Brisbane River broke its banks. It is estimated that around 8,500 homes were inundated, 1,800 of these being in Ipswich. The Ipswich suburbs worst affected were those along the Bremer River, such as Amberley, Basin Pocket, Bundamba, Churchill, East Ipswich, One Mile, Raceview, Ripley, Sadliers Crossing, Swanbank & Tivoli. 

During late December 2010 & January 2011, Queensland experienced severe flooding, with three quarters of the state being declared a disaster zone. At least 70 towns were affected, including Ipswich & Brisbane. The floods were caused by similar weather patterns to those witnessed in 1973/4, with “Cyclone Tasha” combining with the strongest La Niña since that time. Areas affected included the basins of the Fitzroy, Burnett, Mary & Condamine/Balonne rivers, as well as the Lockyer Valley & the Brisbane & Bremer catchment areas.  In Ipswich, the water levels steadily rose over several days of heavy rain, until on 12th January the Bremer reached a height of 19.4 metres (64 ft) & the Central Business District was flooded, with more than 3,000 homes having to be abandoned & thousands of people taking refuge in evacuation shelters.  At one point, a third of the city was reported as being underwater, with the worst affected areas being the suburbs of Goodna and Gailes.

Around 30 km (19 miles) to the northwest of Ipswich, the Wivenhoe Dam on the Brisbane River recorded water levels equivalent to 191% of its supply capacity. The dam, built between 1977 & 1985, created the artificial Lake Wivenhoe. Without the dam, the devastation in early 2011 would have been much greater.

Like Lake Somerset, Lake Wivenhoe is also a water & hydro electric supplier for the region, as well as a popular fishing, boating & camping destination.

Appeals for relief aid went out across Australia & around the world, with the Flood Relief Appeal: Australia Unites telethon, broadcast by the Nine Network, raising A$10 million.  In Ipswich, England the “Ipswich United” appeal was launched jointly by the local Evening Star newspaper & the Ipswich Building Society.

              Brisbane Street, Ipswich - 12th January 2011

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Recognition by the Intelligent Community Forum

Ipswich, Queensland has been recognised as one of the top 7 Intelligent Communities of 2015 worldwide, by the New York based think-tank The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF), It is the first Australian city to have achieved this, having previously been listed in the top 21 in 2011 and 2012.

According to the ICF:

Intelligent Communities are those which have – whether through crisis or foresight – come to understand the enormous challenges of the Broadband Economy, and have taken conscious steps to create an economy capable of prospering in it.  They are not necessarily big cities or famous technology hubs.  They are located in developing nations as well as industrialized ones, suburbs as well as cities, the hinterland as well as the coast.

The evaluation for nominations is based on five Intelligent Community Indicators; broadband connectivity; knowledge workforce; innovation; digital inclusion; marketing and advocacy.

In 2011, Ipswich published a 20-year economic development plan, responding to the challenges of the 21st century. This has resulted in the city being recognised for the way it has planned for the future in the areas of the economy and technology, providing solutions to the challenges faced by the worlds cities, ranging from economic growth to the environment, and for embracing the opportunities brought about by high speed internet.

Having been named as one of the Smart21 Intelligent Communities for the third time in 2015, Ipswich has now made the top 7 for the first time.

The seven nominations for 2015 are:

Arlington County, Virginia,
Columbus, Ohio    
Ipswich, Queensland    
Mitchell, South Dakota    
New Taipei City
Rio de Janeiro
Surrey, British Columbia

Each year the ICF names the Intelligent Community of the Year at its annual Building the Broadband Economy summit in New York City. The winner of the 2015 Intelligent Community of the Year was revealed on 11th June 2015, with Columbus, Ohio, USA coming out on top.    

The Intelligent Community of the Year award was first awarded in 1999, with Singapore being named as the first winner. Other previous winners of this prestigious award include: Toronto (2014), Stockholm (2009), Glasgow (2004) and New York (2001).

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Top of Town

The Top of Town is the name given to an area of Brisbane Street between Ellenborough Street & Waghorn Street in the Central Business District of Ipswich. It roughly follows the route of the original bullock team trail that ran between Ipswich & the Darling Downs.

The area experienced a boom period in the early 1900s, with many shops & businesses springing up to reflect the prosperity that accompanied Ipswich’s elevation to city status in 1904. Although the area eventually became run down, a programme of revitalisation was set in motion during the early 1990s; with new pavements, traffic calming measures & roadside tree planting. Many of the shops in the area took this as their cue to renovate & restore the historic shop fronts. For this reason, the district retains an historic feel to it.

Some of the historic buildings in the Top of Town include:-

Bostock Chambers: Designed by local architect George Brockwell Gill & built in 1914-15, the chambers were built for E Bostock & Sons; a firm of surveyors & estate agents.

The Flour Mill: This was built in 1902 for the Ipswich Milling Company, which was owned by local politician Francis Kates. The mill was also designed by George Brockwell Gill.  The building came into the hands of the Johnson family in 1935, firstly as a garage & motor showroom, but later as the home of radio station 4IP, established by William Johnson. This began broadcasting in September 1935.

Goleby’s Building: This building was completed in 1906, the same year its owner, Frederick Goleby (born in Suffolk, England), was elected mayor of Ipswich. The building was originally occupied by F Goleby & Sons for their saddle & harness making business.

The Lyric Theatre: Opened in 1913, the Lyric Theatre showed silent movies until 1925, when it became a car showroom.

State Government Offices:  Built around 1915, these buildings once housed the Ipswich branch of the State Butchers Shops & the State Government Insurance Office; both of which were established by the Labour government of Thomas Joseph Ryan, who was Premier of Queensland from 1915 to 1919.

Big Whites:  Established by John Charles White in 1919 as a furniture & carpet shop, the business moved premises from one side of the street to the other in 1922. It is still owned by the White family today.

Queensland Times Buildings: The former offices of the Queensland Times were designed by architects Samuel Shenton & George Brockwell Gill. The Queensland Times was first printed in 1861; its forerunner The Ipswich Herald having appeared two years earlier, in the same year that Queensland was created. The paper moved its operations to the corner of Brisbane & Ellenborough streets in 1874 & the new offices were built in 1888.

Central Baptist Church: Built in a simple Gothic style in 1876, with a 1938 facade designed by George Brockwell Gill, this is the oldest Baptist church in Queensland. An elaborate pavilion with ornate columns was added in 1954. The Baptists relocated & sold the church off in 2005.

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Old Town Hall

Situated on Brisbane Street, the two storey Town Hall was built in 1861 on the site of an old court house. Originally known as the Mechanics School of Arts, the building included a library & meeting rooms & was used for community events. In 1864 the elaborately decorated front section was added & two years later Ipswich Municipal Council obtained the building, as the School of Arts was experiencing financial difficulties. In 1878 the clock tower was added, which originally housed a clock that had been presented as a memorial to Governor Blackall, who died in 1871. The clock was initially intended to be lit at night, however heat from the gas flame affected the workings of the clock & this idea was soon abandoned. The building was used as Ipswich Town Hall for more than one hundred years until the new Civic Centre & Council Administration Buildings were constructed in the 1970’s & 80’s.
Although there had been a post office next to the Town Hall since 1862, the current Post Office building was opened in 1901; complete with its own cupola surmounted clock tower. This eventually made the Town Hall clock redundant & it was moved to the Council Chambers at Sandgate in 1912.

In 1879 the Bank of Australasia built its banking chambers & manager’s residence next to the Town Hall on the site of an old church. The building was used as a bank until 1970 & has since been renovated for offices. The Town Hall, Post Office & Bank of Australasia are collectively known as the Civic Buildings or Civic Group.

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RSL Memorial Hall & Ipswich Technical College

Standing on Nicholas Street, the Returned Soldiers League Memorial Hall was opened in 1921 as a memorial to the men of Ipswich who fought in the First World War. It was designed by local architect George Brockwell Gill, who also designed the nearby Ipswich Technical College in a similar style.  Although Ipswich Technical College was founded in 1891, the present building opened in 1901 to commemorate the diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. It is situated on the corner of Ellenborough Street & Limestone Street.


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Incinerator Theatre (Walter Burley Griffin Incinerator)

Situated in Queens Park, the incinerator was built in 1936, with a second chimney added in 1940. It was designed by Walter Burley Griffin, the architect responsible for designing Australia’s capital city, Canberra. With Eric Nichols, he formed the Reverbatory Incinerator & Engineering Company, which specialised in building municipal incinerators. Ipswich Incinerator is the only surviving building in Queensland designed by Burley Griffin.

The incinerator’s original purpose was to dispose of the city’s rubbish.  However, with an ever growing population, eventually the incinerator was unable to cope with the workload & alternative methods of disposal had to be found.  

Although due for demolition in 1965, a campaign to preserve the building was successful & in 1969 it was turned into a theatre. It is now leased by Ipswich City Council & run by Ipswich Little Theatre; an organisation founded in 1946.

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Built around 1856-8 by John Panton, using sandstone blocks probably taken from the Woogaroo quarries at Goodna, Claremont is a single storey u-shaped house built to Panton’s own design but supervised by architect William Wakeling.

Born in Scotland, Panton was a merchant and member of the New South Wales Legislative Council, who moved to Ipswich in 1851. During the American Civil War, with the cessation of cotton growing in the southern states of America, he formed a cotton company in Ipswich to supply the mills in England. However, with the end of the war, Panton’s company failed & he was forced to sell Claremont in 1863 to George Thorn (see separate section, below) who is known as the Father of Ipswich.

In 1975, Claremont was bought by the National Trust of Queensland, who renovated & restored the house, before opening it to the public. It has now, however, been sold & is once more used as a private home. It is situated on Milford Street & is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Ipswich.

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Located on Burnett Street opposite the Grammar School, Belmont was built around 1865 by William Welsby. It was bought in 1885 by former mayor of Ipswich Josiah Francis, who was also a member of the first Queensland Parliament.  The house became known as Belmont sometime after 1901; named after the battle of Belmont in the Boer War by the owner at that time, Frederick William Johnson. Belmont was also owned for some time by the poet Tom Shapcott (see separate section, below) who purchased it in 1969. It has appeared in his writing on several occasions.

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Built in 1864, Gooloowan stands on Quarry Street, Denmark Hill. The name Gooloowan is aboriginal & means ‘House on the Hill’. It was built for English born business man Benjamin Cribb, who also represented Moreton Bay in the New South Wales Parliament &, after separation, was elected to the Queensland Legislative Assembly. The house contains 23 rooms & retains many of its original features. It is privately owned but can be viewed by appointment.

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Built in 1855, Rockton is a contender for the oldest surviving building in Ipswich. Situated on Rockton Street, the oldest section of the house was built by William Craies, who had acquired the land in 1854. Initially a three room cottage with separate kitchen, an extension was built in 1856 & the grounds formally laid out with lawns, vineyards & a vegetable garden. The Craies family sold Rockton in 1862 & the house changed hands several times before being bought by the Bullmore family in 1882.  They added a second storey & a ballroom. In the 1890s the tower was built. By 1918 the house had become run down & was acquired by architect Martin William Haenke.  He renovated the property & due to his work the house now has a 1920s feel to it.  Haenke would soon become a leading figure in the coal mining industry around Ipswich.

The house today is still a private residence.

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Booval House

Located in the suburb of Booval, on Cothill Road, Booval House is a colonial Georgian mansion built by William Hancock in the late 1850s for Ipswich’s Bank of Australasia manager George Faircloth as a farmhouse on a 125-hectare estate.  It is the oldest two-storey house in Ipswich. Queensland’s first Governor, Sir George Ferguson Bowen is known to have stopped here in 1859, on his first visit to Ipswich. In 1921 the house was purchased by the Catholic Church, & in 1931 it became St Gabriel’s Convent, at which time it was fully renovated. A chapel was built in 1969. The house was fully restored in 1998 & is now a private residence, but can be hired for weddings & other functions.  

In 2000, Booval House received the Ipswich City Council Awards for Excellence, Ron Brown Memorial for Heritage Conservation, & in 2002 was awarded the National Trust of Queensland John Herbert Gold Award for Excellence in Heritage Conservation.

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The Old Court House

Situated on East Street, the Old Court House was designed by Charles Tiffin, who later became the first Queensland Colonial Architect. Built by William Trotter from sandstone believed to have come from the Woogaroo quarries at Goodna, it was completed in 1859. The building remained the main courthouse building for the Ipswich region until 1982 & is now run as a cultural community centre owned by Old Court House Ipswich Cultural Association.   


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Ginn Cottage

This former residence located on the corner of Ginn Street and Meredith Lane in Central Ipswich near The Old Courthouse, and now known to us as Ginn Cottage, is the earliest surviving brick cottage, dating from around 1859/60, although the precise date of its construction is not known.  William Ginn (d. 1897), a tutor by profession, arrived in the area from Ireland in 1858 and bought the land from the government in November 1858.  It is known that the cottage was in existence by 1860 as local rates were being paid.  Ginn became a produce merchant and was conspicuous in the early days of Ipswich. It is a simple brick building which closely followed the style of other Victorian era residences.  The original shingle roof has been replaced by a corrugated iron pyramid roof.  It has a separate bull-nosed roofing over its front verandah.  The dormer windows, fitted to two attic rooms which are accessed by a central staircase, and the placement of the chimneys are typical of the late Georgian symmetrical design of this period.  Ginn Cottage, in acknowledgement of its historic importance, is listed on the Queensland Heritage Register.  The photograph on the right shows Ginn Cottage around the late 1870s, when the house was still largely in its original state. (Courtesy of Brian Randall – Queensland Places Coordinator,  State Library of Queensland)


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St Paul's Church - Link with Ipswich, England

St Paul’s Church on Brisbane Street was opened in 1859 & is the oldest Anglican church in Queensland.  The church contains two windows featuring leaded stained glass medallions dating from the 17th century & presented to St Paul’s by St Margaret’s Church of England, Ipswich, England. The medallions represent St Mark & St Luke.  Originally part of a set of four depicting Matthew, Mark, Luke & John, two were destroyed by bomb damage during World War II. The surviving pair were gifted to St Paul’s as a token of the link between the two churches.

St Paul’s is also home to the first pipe organ in Queensland, installed in 1860 & still in use today. A New Guinea Chapel in the northern corner of the church & a stone cross outside are both dedicated to a church missionary named Mavis Parkinson who was killed by the Japanese during the War.

(Thanks to Andrew Vinyard for the information regarding the link between the two churches & for the photograph; a larger version of which can be found in the Ipswich, Queensland album in the Photo Gallery, as well as a photograph of the plaque between the two windows. See also Historic Churches feature on the Ipswich, England page)

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Ipswich Grammar School

Founded in 1863, Ipswich Grammar School was the first secondary school established in Queensland, & was the first of ten grammar schools established under the Grammar Schools Act, passed by Queensland's first parliament in 1860.  It is an independent, non-denominational, day and boarding school for boys.

Situated on Grammar School Hill, the school was officially opened in September 1863 by Governor of Queensland Sir George Ferguson Bowen. The original gothic building, now known as the 'Great Hall', is listed by the National Trust of Australia, & today nestles amongst a complex of modern buildings & facilities.

Notable old boys include Sydney Harbour Bridge designer John Bradfield (see below); Australian test cricketers Craig McDermott & Shane Watson; Hollywood film director, screenwriter & producer George Miller; & Sir Harry Gibbs (1917 – 2005), Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia.

Located in central Ipswich, & closely linked with Ipswich Grammar School, is Ipswich Girls’ Grammar School; one of the eight original Queensland Grammar Schools, which opened in March 1892. Notable Alumnae include poet, novelist & journalist Zora Cross (1890 – 1964).

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University of Queensland - Ipswich Campus

The Ipswich Campus of the University of Queensland was established in 1999, after the need for a new campus for the university had first been mooted in 1994.

The site chosen for the campus was on a hill originally known as Sandy Gallop, as during the nineteenth century a sandy track had been developed around the hill to train race horses. In 1878, the Ipswich branch of the Woogaroo (Goodna) Lunatic Asylum was established on the 139 acre site, which became known as Sandy Gallop, or simply “The Gallop” throughout its existence. After expansion, in 1910 the asylum became an institution in its own right, and was renamed the Ipswich Hospital for the Insane. During the next three decades, further buildings were added until the hospital became almost a small, self contained village with its own farm, dairy & bakery. In 1938 the institution was renamed the Ipswich Mental Hospital, with further name changes taking place in 1964, when it became the Ipswich Special Hospital, before in 1968 it was renamed the Challinor Centre, in honour of Dr Henry Challinor; an Ipswich doctor who had given up his private practice to become the second superintendent of Woogaroo Lunatic Asylum in 1869. After 1968, the complex was modernised, with many of the old buildings being demolished. As the emphasis switched to rehabilitating patients back into the community, the centre gradually wound down, until the last residents moved out in 1998.

Initially, three sites were considered for the new University of Queensland campus; Springfield, Gatton College & the Ipswich Railway Workshops. All three were eventually deemed unsuitable, however, & the Challinor Centre, which in 1996 had been entered in the heritage register, was offered to the university. The campus opened in the following year.  

Today Ipswich Campus of the University of Queensland occupies an area of 62 acres, with the new buildings blending in with the many that remain from the days as a hospital. The campus is positioned on top of a ridge in a large curve to maximise the surrounding views. The campus offers teaching & research programs in arts, education, health science, medicine, nursing & midwifery. The campus library & fitness facilities are available for use to the local community, whilst the site also offers the hire of its facilities for conferences & events. The campus has approximately 5,000 students at any one time.

The campus gardens are home to wild koalas, as well as being one of the few places where the rare Cooneana Olive Notelaea ipsviciensis (see Ipswich as a Scientific Name page) can be found. To the south & west, the campus borders the Sandy Gallop Golf Course.

The University of Queensland was founded in 1909. It is the oldest and largest university in Queensland & the fifth oldest in Australia. The main campus is situated in the Brisbane suburb of St Lucia. Other campuses include Gatton, Herston, & Turbot Street in the Central Business District of Brisbane.

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Denmark Hill Conservation Park

Located within walking distance from the centre of Ipswich, Denmark Hill Conservation Park was first established as a reserve in the 1880s & covers 11.5 hectares.  The water tower within the park offers 360o panoramic views of the city &, on a clear day, Brisbane can be seen.

In the 1890s many well preserved insect fossils were discovered here, including those of dragonflies, locusts & mantids from the Triassic period, 250-210 million years ago (see Ipswich as a Scientific Name page).  In 1964, several three toed dinosaur tracks were discovered at a colliery in nearby Dinmore. These & other fossil exhibits are now on show in the area known as Triassic Park (see also Ipswich Basin, Australia page).

Beneath the park lies a maze of tunnels from the days of coal mining in the early 20th century. Some of the trails within the park follow the old tramways that once served the mines.
Several species of gum tree are found growing naturally in the park & these are home to a small population of koalas.

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Ipswich Pteropus Conservation Park & Woodend Nature Centre

Located immediately south of the Bremer River in the suburb of Woodend, is the Ipswich Pteropus Conservation Park, within which is the Woodend Nature Centre.

Bats of the genus Pteropus are the largest bats in the world.  Adults can have a wingspan up to 1 m (3.3 ft) and can weigh up to 1 kg (2.2 lb).  They are commonly known as fruit bats or flying foxes.  All species of flying fox only feed on nectar, blossom, pollen and fruit, which is why they are only found in the tropics and subtropics.  They do not possess echolocation, using smell and eyesight instead.  Australia is home to eight species of flying-fox which are found in the northern and eastern coastal regions of Australia.  The flying fox mainly roosts in eucalypt forests, mangroves, and swamps.  They form permanent camps and feed on nectar, flowers and fruits of native trees and on cultivated fruit (bananas, paw paws, mangoes, lychees) when native food is sparse.

Early in the last century, the flying fox was considered abundant, with numbers estimated in the many millions.  In recent years, evidence has been accumulating that the animal is in serious decline in Australia.  Flying foxes are exposed to several threats, including loss of foraging and roosting habitat with the depletion of the forest cover in Queensland, and mass die-offs caused by extreme high temperature events. The latter are of increasing concern as present climate models predict significant increases in the intensity, duration, and frequency of such temperature extremes.  When present in urban environments, flying foxes are often perceived as a nuisance because cultivated orchard fruits are taken.  Because their roosting and foraging habits bring the species into conflict with humans, they suffer from direct killing and harassment and destruction of their roosts.  A very high proportion of adult flying fox deaths are caused by entanglement in barbed wire fences or loose, improperly erected fruit tree netting.  As a result, the current conservation status of the Pteropus species is not secure and in 1999 the native species of fruit bats were listed as ‘vulnerable to extinction’.

In 1994 the Queensland government passed legislation protecting the roosting sites.  That year the Ipswich City Council and the Queensland Government funded the purchase of a private property and established the Woodend Nature Centre in an attempt to attract the animals away from residential areas.  Ipswich City Council and the Department of Environment and Resource Management have joint responsibility for managing the flying fox habitat, with the aim of keeping the bats out of residential areas.

Three of the eight species of flying fox can be found in the Centre.  They are the Black Flying Fox (Pteropus alecto), Grey-headed Flying Fox (Pteropus poliocephalus), and the Little Red Flying Fox (Pteropus scapulatus).  The Nature Centre has a series of information boards on the viewing deck so viewers can learn a little about flying foxes.

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Queens Park

Named after Queen Victoria, Queens Park was the first park to be developed in Queensland.  It was first surveyed in 1842 with a view to setting aside 80 acres (32 hectares) as a recreational area.  In 1862 it was designed as a pleasure garden and was officially opened in 1864 as the present parkland. It lies just to the south west of central Ipswich. There are many attractions within the park’s 22 hectares including the Nerima Gardens, Ipswich Nature Centre, Lions Lookout & the Cunningham Monument.

The Nerima Gardens (see picture, right) were designed in consultation with the city of Nerima, Japan & were officially opened in 2001 (see Nerima, Japan - Sister City of Ipswich section, below). The gardens aim to be a fusion of Japanese style together with local Queensland flora, including some species that are now endangered. The gardens were expanded in 2004, with an authentic Japanese teahouse being added in 2009.

The Ipswich Nature Centre was founded in 1936 & is home to a wide variety of species of fauna & flora, some it them rare. Amongst others, kangaroos, wombats & emus can be found here.

Lions Lookout was constructed in the 1990s & gives superb views of Ipswich, the mountains beyond & Cunningham’s Gap.

The Cunningham Monument is named after the explorer & biologist Allan Cunningham who visited the area in the 1820s & discovered the Cunningham Gap.

Also within Queens Park is a stand of tall grass trees thought to be several hundred years old & first mentioned by Capt. Patrick Logan in 1827. 

In May 2011, a memorial to the second HMAS Ipswich was unveiled in Queens Park. This consists of the ship’s Bofors gun which now stands alongside the existing Royal Australian Navy (RAN) memorial. (see also HMAS Ipswich (FCPB209) section on the Ships Named Ipswich page) 

To the south of Queens Park is Limestone Park, which is orientated towards sporting activities, with facilities for football, cricket, cycling, netball & running.

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College’s Crossing Recreational Reserve

In Chuwar suburb is the popular park, picnic spot and river crossing on the Brisbane River known as College’s Crossing, with walking trails, lookouts, swimming and fishing.

College’s Crossing is named after George Colledge, one of the first settlers who bought land on the north side of the Brisbane River in 1854.  The first river crossing in this district was a wooden bridge a few hundred metres downstream of the current bridge.  In 1894 this was replaced by a low-level concrete bridge, as seen in the photo to the left, that was known as Colledge’s Crossing until the 1940s, when the current spelling of College’s Crossing came into use (he spelt his surname both ways).

Early in the 1920s College’s Crossing became a popular picnic and tourist spot for the residents of Brisbane and Ipswich alike.  In 1927 Moreton Shire Council declared 67 acres as a recreation reserve.  Over time the park was equipped with barbecues, playground facilities, a cafe, lookouts, boat ramp, bird hide and clean water for drinking.

However, during major floods the road and bridge becomes impassable (see photo, right) .  The low-level crossing is considered such an historic feature that when previous structures have been washed away during floods, the new bridge is always restored in the same manner.  It was completely destroyed during the 2010-11 floods.  The recreation area was inundated and obliterated, and the total bill came to $10.067m.  College’s Crossing was re-opened in December 2012 only to be hit again by the January 2013 floods.  Tonnes of stinking sludge and other river debris have piled themselves onto new playground equipment and seating, while freshly planted gardens have been washed away.  Nevertheless, the intention is to restore this popular venue exactly as it has always been.

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Kholo Botanic Gardens

Located to the north of the city on the banks of the Brisbane River, Kholo Botanic Gardens were established in 1988 & offer trails through bushland & sub-tropical rainforest. Two pump wells dating from 1878 can still be seen here, which were the original water source for Ipswich.

Kholo Botanic Gardens contains waterfalls, ponds & trails, & boasts a number of Queensland kari pines at 50m (164 ft) tall & hoop pines at over 60m (197 ft), that were planted by the early settlers to the Ipswich area. The scientific name of the latter is Araucaria Cunninghamii, after the biologist Allen Cunningham (see Queens Park, above). The gardens combine areas of remnant vegetation together with more ornamental native plants, plus a few exotic species.

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Flinders-Goolman Conservation Estate

To the south of Ipswich, the 1,900 hectare Flinders-Goolman Conservation Estate is an area of extensive pristine forest & volcanic peaks with views of Mounts Flinders, Goolman & Blain among others.  Part of the Greenbank-Karawatha wildlife corridor, the area is an important habitat for over 500 species of plants & many mammals, birds, reptiles & amphibians. As a result, it has been listed on the Register of the National Estate. The estate includes a number of hiking, biking & horse riding trails, together with two picnic areas.

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Purga Nature Reserve

Located to the south of Ipswich, the trails are a favourite location with hikers. The reserve boasts the largest area of swamp tea tree forest in the Ipswich area & offers the chance to see koalas in their natural habitat. The name Purga derives from the indigenous word Purpur, meaning a meeting place.

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Haig Street Quarry Bushland Reserve

Just to the north west of the centre of Ipswich, this wildlife reserve was created in 1989 from a former quarry where important fossil flora has been discovered (see Ipswich Basin, Australia  page).  It now consists of open eucalypt forest, & is a significant element of the wildlife corridor that links the Bremer River to Pine Mountain.

Haig Street Quarry offers spectacular views of the mountains of the Scenic Rim & is a haven for bird life, as well as being noted for its abundance of colourful wildflowers in the springtime. Two species of possum, the squirrel glider & sugar glider, can be found here, as well as koalas & the glossy black cockatoo.

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White Rock – Spring Mountain Conservation Estate

To the south east of central Ipswich, the 2,500 hectare White Rock - Spring Mountain Conservation Estate comprises several rocky outcrops within bushland habitat that contains several threatened species of flora & fauna. The estate features several hiking, biking & horse riding trails with varying degrees of difficulty. Some of the higher trails offer spectacular views of the Ipswich & Brisbane regions. The estate also includes the Paperbark Flats Picnic Area.

White rock itself is of high cultural importance to the indigenous Yuggerapul people. 

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Camira Bora Ring

Bora rings are Aboriginal formations found in south-east Australia.  A Bora is the name both to an initiation ceremony of the indigenous people, and to the site on which the initiation is performed.  At such a site, boys achieve the status of men.  The appearance of the site varies from one culture to another, but it is often associated with stone arrangements, rock engravings, or other art works.  Women are generally prohibited from entering a Bora.  The name is said to come from the belt worn by initiated men.

Bora rings comprise circles of foot-hardened earth surrounded by raised embankments or stones.  They were generally constructed in pairs, although some sites have three, with a bigger circle about 22 metres in diameter and a smaller one of about 14 metres.  The rings are joined by sacred walkways.  The boys would start the ceremony in the larger circle and end it in the smaller one, to which only initiated men were admitted.

Three bora rings, sacred to the Ugarapul tribe of the Ipswich region, are found on council-owned bushland near Sandy Creek at Camira on the south side of Kertes Road, at its eastern end.  The Federal Government’s Indigenous Heritage programme has helped to restore this Aboriginal site and allows viewing access to the public.  There is an explanatory sign covering the significance of the site, a protective fence and gated access for the three local tribal people, the Jagera, Yuggera and Ugarapul so that they can commemorate and continue their heritage.

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The first railway in Queensland was the Bigges Camp (now Grandchester) to Ipswich line, which opened in July 1865. It was the first narrow gauge mainline railway in the world.  In 1875, the line from Ipswich was extended northwards to Brisbane. This line still forms the basis of rail travel through Ipswich to this day.

Today the southern section from Ipswich Central Station is known as the Rosewood Line, where the line now terminates. The northern section is the Ipswich Line, which leaves the city of Ipswich near Gailes & enters Brisbane before terminating at Bowen Hills Station. The two lines, which have now been electrified, are often collectively referred to as the Ipswich & Rosewood Line; the total length of which is around 35 ½ miles (57 km).  A short branch line specifically for coal freight was opened from Thagoona near Rosewood to Ebenezer in 1990.

Although the Queensland Rail’s Citytrain services no longer run to Grandchester (the terminus now being at Rosewood), the line westward still serves Traveltrain’s ‘Westlander’ service, which runs twice weekly from Brisbane through Ipswich to the the outback town of Charleville. Grandchester Station (see photo, right), built in 1865, is the oldest surviving station in Queensland & is now listed by the National Trust.

1882 saw the commencement of the construction of a branch line from a point to the west of Ipswich Station, that would eventually run approximately 31 miles (50km) southwards to Dugandan, which is now part of the town of Boonah in the Fassifern Valley. Completed in 1887, this became known as the Dugandan Railway Line (sometimes known as the Fassifern Railway), which is generally considered to be the first branch railway line in Queeensland. The line closed in June 1964.

Started in 1884, the Brisbane Valley Railway was opened in stages & finally completed in 1913. Starting at Ipswich, the line reached Lowood in 1884, Esk in 1886, Toogoolawah & Yimbun in 1904, Linville in 1910 & finally Yarraman in 1913. Passenger services operated until 1967, with the line closing in stages for freight transport between 1988 & 1993.

A branch line from Rosewood to Marburg was in operation from 1912; closing in stages between 1964 & 1995.

A more recent addition to the railway network in Ipswich is the Springfield Line. Work on the line, which connects to the Ipswich Line at the Brisbane suburb of Darra, commenced in July 2010, & the first stage to Richlands was opened in January 2011. The second stage to Springfield Central Station in Ipswich was started in October 2011 & is scheduled for completion in 2013. When fully opened, the line will be 8 ½ miles (13 ½ km) in length. 

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The Workshops Rail Museum

Situated on North Street in North Ipswich, the Workshops Rail Museum is part of the Queensland Museum. 

The very first train in to run in Queensland departed from here to Grandchester (then known as Bigges Camp) in 1865. The Workshops are the  oldest continually operating railway workshops in Australia, where visitors can get a behind the scenes glimpse of the day to day maintaining & restoring of Queensland Rail’s Heritage Fleet in the Steam Shop & Blacksmiths Shop . The museum offers many interactive & hands-on displays, plus exhibits of restored locomotives, carriages & rolling stock  from 140 years of rail travel in Queensland; from the days of steam through to the present day. The museum also houses the largest model railway in Queensland. 

The Workshops Rail Museum is open daily throughout the year.

In 1958, a new rail workshop was opened in the Ipswich suburb of Redbank, to take pressure off the existing Ipswich Workshops. The Redbank Rail Workshops today houses Queensland's major railway workshops & is known as the Redbank Centre of Excellence. It too operated a museum from 1969 until 1992. 

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Rosewood Railway Museum

Located around 11 miles (18km) west of central Ipswich, Rosewood Railway Museum is operated by the Australian Railway Historical Society. The museum’s exhibits include an extensive collection of trains, wagons & carriages from both the steam & diesel eras, as well as three rail motors.  The museum is open every Sunday, with steam train rides running from Cabanda Station on the last Sunday of each month.

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RAAF Amberley Aviation Heritage Centre

Opened in 2011, the RAAF Amberley Aviation Heritage Centre is run by Air Force reservists & volunteers. Housed in two hangars, exhibits include a World War II Boston bomber, Sabre & Mirage fighter jets, Sioux & Iroquois helicopters & a Canberra bomber from the Vietnam era. Also on display are a variety of fully restored aircraft engines, weapons, World War II vehicles & medals, plus modules of Caribou & F1-11 cockpits. The centre also features a display celebrating No. 23 (City of Brisbane) Squadron, which has been based at RAAF Amberley since the 1940s. The complex also includes a workshop where aircraft & other heritage listed artefacts are restored.

RAAF Amberley Aviation Heritage Centre is open to the public on the third Sunday of each month, with group tours available by prior arrangement on Tuesdays & Thursdays. Admission is free.

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Australian Motorcycle Museum - Haigslea

Situated on a 35 acre site in Haigslea to the west of Central Ipswich, the Australian Motorcycle Museum boasts a collection of more than 200 bikes dating from the early twentieth century up to the present day. Exhibits include a wide range of road, off road & racing bikes, covering models & brands from around the world, some of which are extremely rare.   

As well as continually adding to their collection of bikes, the museum also collects & displays memorabilia such as helmets, leathers, engines, signs & posters. The museum also boasts a library containing more than 4,000 books including specific model reference books, parts books & workshop manuals. The museum is open seven days a week.

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The Ipswich Motorway

Part of the AusLink Network, the Ipswich Motorway begins at the junction of the Ipswich Road (A7) & Granard Road in the Brisbane suburb of Rocklea.  The Ipswich Motorway then runs as the M7, connecting with the Centenary Motorway (M5) in the Brisbane Suburb of Darra, before entering Ipswich & merging with the Logan Motorway (M2) in the suburb of Gailes. From here the Ipswich Motorway continues westwards as the M2, passing through the suburbs of Goodna, Redbank &  Riverview, before becoming  the Warrego Highway at the junction with the Cunningham Highway (A15) in Dinmore, to the east of central Ipswich. In total, the stretch of road known as the Ipswich Motorway (M7 & M2) is around 12 miles (19km) in length. Over the past few years, much of the motorway has been upgraded from four lanes to six, & it is now estimated that, on average, the road carries around 100,000 vehicles per day.

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Ipswich Jets RLFC

The Ipswich Jets Rugby League Football Club was founded in 1982 & takes it’s name from RAAF Base Amberley in Ipswich; one of the largest airforce bases in Australia.  Their stadium is the North Ipswich Reserve & the team’s  colours are green, gold & white.
Initially, the Jets competed in the Brisbane Rugby League Premiership, in which they finished runners-up in both 1988 & 1989. Since 1997 they have been competing in the Queensland Cup, where their best finishes have been as runners-up in 2002
& again in 2008; also winning the Minor Premiership in the latter year for the first time in their history.

Ipswich Jets most famous player  is Allan ‘Alfie’ Langer, who started his career here & who later went on to play for the Brisbane Broncos, as well as representing Queensland in the State of Origin series & playing, & eventually captaining, Australia. Langer also came to Great Britain during 2000/2001 & played for Warrington Wolves. 

Other Ipswich Jets players who have gone on to play for both Queensland & Australia include the Walters Brothers; Kerrod & Kevin, Brad Meyers, Jason Hetherington & Graham Mackay.

The picture above left shows the former Hotel Cecil on Downs Street in North Ipswich, which was acquired as the Ipswich Jets new clubhouse in 1998.

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Ipswich Motorsport Precinct

Located to the south of central Ipswich, Ipswich Motorsport Precinct is a 128 hectare site that caters for a wide variety of motor sports. Included within the precinct are a number of different tracks & circuits including:

Willowbank Raceway, which hosts drag racing events throughout the year, including Australia’s premier event, the Winternationals, held each June & thought to be the biggest drag racing event in the world outside of the USA.

Queensland Raceways, nicknamed the Paperclip’ due to the shape of the circuit, this 3.12 km track hosts, amongst other things, V8 supercars, the Australian Superbike Championships & drifting.

Ipswich Motorsport Precinct also has a kart racing track, home to the Ipswich Kart Club & a short circuit dirt racetrack run by Ipswich West Moreton Auto Club, which hosts autocross, rallying & short circuit touring car races.

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Ipswich Turf Club

Horse racing first took place in the area around present day Ipswich in 1848, with the first official race meeting in Queensland taking place in 1859. Ipswich Amateur Turf Club was formed in 1890, based at the Bundamba Racecourse, just to the east of central Ipswich.

In 1988, the club was renamed the Ipswich Turf Club & three years later the course was also renamed; becoming the Ipswich Racecourse.

Ipswich Turf Club hosts around 46 race meetings per year, with the highlight event being the Ipswich Cup, held each June. First run in 1935, this is a listed race run over 2,150 metres.

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Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club

Situated within the showgrounds on Warwick Road, Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club hold race meetings on Tuesdays & Wednesdays. Races are run over 431, 520 & 630 metres. Notable events in the calendar include the City of Ipswich Gold Cup, the Young Guns Series, the Ipswich Auction Series & the Vince Curry Memorial Maiden Series.

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George Thorn - The 'Father of Ipswich'

George Thorn, who is known as the ‘Father of Ipswich’ was born in 1806 in Stockbridge, Hampshire, England. He joined the army &, as a colour-sergeant with the 4th (King's Own) Regiment, arrived in Australia in 1832. In 1838 he was sent to Moreton Bay & put in charge of the Limestone Hill penal colony, where he was overseer of the government herds in the region. After resigning from the army, he began purchasing land in the Ipswich area that would eventually total more than 58,000 acres.
In 1860, he became a member of the Legislative Assembly for West Moreton; a post he held until 1863. He was also an alderman of Ipswich between 1862 to 1865; helping to establish, amongst other things,  the  Anglican Church, School of Arts, Grammar School, Botanic Gardens, North Australian Club & the Queensland Pastoral and Agricultural Society. He died in Ipswich in April 1876.

Four of his sons also served in the Legislative Assembly. Henry, John and William, represented Dalby, Fassifern and Aubigny respectively. His eldest son George won the seat for West Moreton for the first time in 1867, before being nominated to the Legislative Council as government representative & postmaster-general in 1874. He also briefly held the position of Premier of State between June 1876 & March 1877.

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John Bradfield

Engineer John Job Crew Bradfield (1867 - 1943), best known as the designer of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, was born in Sandgate, Queensland & received his early education at Ipswich Grammar School.

In 1889 he completed his Bachelor of Engineering degree, & in 1896 received his Master of Engineering degree; both from the University of Sydney. In 1924 he received the first Doctorate of Science awarded by that university for his thesis “The city and suburban electric railways and the Sydney Harbour Bridge”. He also designed the Story Bridge in Brisbane, the Cataract Dam and the Burrinjuck Dam, as well as developing plans for Sydney’s railway system that were never fully implemented. Another of his ideas that was never brought to fruition was the development of a system known as the Bradfield Scheme for diverting some of Queensland’s coastal rivers onto the western side of the Great Dividing Range.

Both the Electorate of Bradfield & the Bradfield Highway are named after him.

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Edward & Daniel Carroll

Edward John Carroll (1868-1931) was born in Gatton, to the west of Ipswich, whilst his younger brother Daniel Joseph Carroll (1886-1959) was born in the Ipswich suburb of Redbank Plains. Both attended Redbank Plains State School, with Daniel later going on to St Edmunds Christian Brothers College in Ipswich.

After a spell working for the Queensland Department of Railways, Edward, or ‘E.J’ as he was known, acquired the Queensland rights for the first Australian feature film, The Story of the Kelly Gang in 1906, which he screened in open-air settings around the suburbs of Brisbane & Ipswich. This proved such a success that he began building up a chain of theatres & skating rinks, including the first cinema built in Ipswich. At this time he was also organising vaudeville tours & side shows. In 1908, he was joined by his brother Daniel, & the pair began to bring British and American plays to Australia, which included a tour by the famous Scottish entertainer Harry Lauder in 1914.

In 1918 the Carrolls invested in their first film production, The Lure of the Bush, starring R. L. Snowy Baker, & with the latter they formed the film production company Carroll-Baker Australian Productions in 1919; producing such films as The Man from Kangaroo & On Our Selection (both 1920).

Withdrawing from film production in 1921, & having formed Carroll Musgrove Theatres Ltd in the previous year, the brothers went on to build the Prince Edward Theatre in Sydney which opened in 1924, & which became one of Australia's leading cinemas. In 1923 they formed Birch, Carroll and Coyle Ltd, in order to modernise & manage their extensive theatre circuit in Queensland. They also remained active in live-theatre management & promotion during the 1920s, which included bringing the Sistine Choir to Australia in 1922.

Edward Carroll died in Sydney in July 1931. Daniel remained managing director of their companies until his own death in Sydney in August 1959.

Situated at 16 Queen Street in the Ipswich suburb of Goodna is the ‘The Queenslander’; the house built around 1906 for the Carrolls’ parents. The house, which was visited by Harry Lauder during his 1914 tour of Australia, has been identified as a place of historical significance to Ipswich, & has been marked with an Ipswich City Council historical plaque.

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Neville Bonner

Neville Thomas Bonner (1922-99) of the Jagera people was the first indigenous Australian to become a Senator for Queensland in the Australian Federal Parliament.

Born in the small settlement of Ukerebagh Island on the Tweed River in northern New South Wales, he moved to Ipswich in 1960 & became a director of the One People of Australia League (OPAL), an organisation helping indigenous people with rights & welfare; rising to become its president by 1970.  Before that, in 1967, he joined the Liberal Party; holding local office until the resignation of the Liberal Senator Dame Annabelle Rankin in 1971, at which point he was chosen to fill this role.  Thereafter he was elected in his own right in 1972, 1974, 1975 & 1980; serving for twelve years & giving indigenous Australians a voice in parliament for the first time, as well as speaking out on ethnic issues & championing the coming together of all Australians. In 1983, having been dropped by the party, he stood as an independent candidate, & though unsuccessful, he was appointed by the government to the board of directors of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation soon afterwards.
Named joint Australian of the Year in 1979, he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1984. In 1993 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Griffith University.

Twice married with five sons, Neville Bonner died in Ipswich in February 1999 at the age of 76.
Since then a rugby league ground in Ipswich has been renamed the Neville Bonner Sporting Complex in his honour.  His name has also been given to a suburb of Canberra, & the Queensland federal electorate of Bonner was created in 2004.

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d'Arcy Doyle

Painter of landscapes & historical scenes, d’Arcy Doyle was born in Ipswich in 1932. Having served in the Royal Australian Navy during the Korean War, he later found employment as a sign writer, before becoming a full time artist in 1961. After working for several years in Sydney, he returned to Queensland in 1973; settling on the Gold Coast.

Much of Doyle’s work evokes a nostalgic bygone era & is influenced by the Australian bush in the area around Ipswich & Brisbane, especially the area around Darling Street, Ipswich where he had grown up. Many of his paintings also have a sporting theme, particularly cricket; one of his most famous paintings being of Sir Donald Bradman, which he donated to Queensland Cricketers’ Club.

In 1993 d’Arcy Doyle Place was named in his honour in Ipswich. Situated near the Old Town Hall, just off Brisbane Street, it features a bronze statue of children playing in a fountain sculpted by Rhyl & Rob Hinwood.

In 1990 Doyle was diagnosed with bone cancer, which finally took his life in August 2001.       

The d’Arcy Doyle Art Awards were established in 2004 in his honour, as a competition for Australian artists.                                                                                                                                       



Top of Page                                                                                                                                    Ipswich Cricket by d'Arcy Doyle

Thomas Shapcott

Poet & novelist Thomas Shapcott was born in Ipswich in 1935. In 1968, he completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Queensland, whilst working full time as an accountant.  His first published work was ‘Time  on Fire’ in 1961, for which he received the Grace Leven Poetry Prize. In 1967 his ‘A Taste of Salt Water’ was awarded the Sir Thomas White Memorial Prize and the Myer Charity Trust Award.  He became a full time writer in1978 & has since published several collections of poetry, such as ‘Chekhov’s Mongoose’ (2000) & ‘Spirit Wrestlers’ (2004), as well as many novels, plays & short stories. From 1983 to1990 he was Director of the Literature Board of the Australia Council, & from 1991 to 1997 he was Executive Director of the National Book Council. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for services to literature and arts administration in 1989. In 1997 he became Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Adelaide. His work has been published in many countries around the world & translated into several languages.

The Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize was established in his honour in 2003, as a literary award for unpublished poetry by Queensland authors.

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Ipswich Show

Held annually over 3 days each May, the Ipswich Show was first held in 1873 at a site in Lobb Street, Churchill. In 1877, however, the show moved to its present location at the Ipswich Showgrounds on Warwick Road. 

The event is run by the Ipswich Show Society; a non profit organisation, whose aims are to promote the development of pastoral, agricultural, horticultural and industrial interests in the region.  Originally held as just an agricultural event, the show has diversified over the years & the exhibits & attractions now encompass a wide array of other products, activities & entertainments. The primary events, however, still revolve around livestock, as well as equestrian events such as show jumping. 

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Nerima, Japan - Sister City of Ipswich

Nerima, on Honshu Island in Japan, is one of the 23 Special Wards of Tokyo.

The area had been mainly farmland until the  Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, after which many people from central Tokyo began moving to the area. In 1932, Nerima town, together with Kami-nerima, Naka-arai, Shakujii & Oizumi villages were incorporated into Old Tokyo city.
The 23 Special Wards, or self governing municipalities, were originally established after the Tokyo Metropolis was created in 1943 from the merger of the former Tokyo Prefecture & the City of Tokyo. Nerima, however, didn’t become a ward until 1947; having been part of Itabashi ward in the interim period.  

Nerima is the most northwesterly of the wards and is usually known in English as Nerima City. It covers a land area of 48.2 sq km (18.6 sq miles), and in May 2016 had a population of 721,858.  

Ipswich and Nerima became sister cities in October 1994. This has resulted in the creation of the Nerima Gardens within Queens Park, close to central Ipswich (see Queens Park section, above).

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Hyderabad, India – Sister City of Ipswich & Brisbane

In 2010, a tripartite sister city agreement was signed between Ipswich, Brisbane & the Indian city of Hyderabad. It is thought to be the first such three city partnership in the world. The aim of the agreement is to increase two-way investment and encourage trade between the three cities.

Situated on the banks of the Musi River in the state of Andhra Pradesh in central southern India, Hyderabad covers an area of 650 sq km (250 sq mi) & has a population of more than 6.8 million. Established in 1591 by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, it is now the sixth most populous city in India.

Hyderabad’s nickname is the “City of Pearls”, due to its historic links to the pearls trading industry, & until the eighteenth century it was the only global trade centre for large diamonds. Nowadays, the city is known as Indias pharmaceutical capital and “Genome Valley of India”. The city is also home to the Telugu film industry, popularly known as “Tollywood”, the second largest film industry in India after Bollywood.

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Bremer River & Brisbane River

The Bremer River rises below Mount Fraser & flows in a northerly direction for 59 miles; dropping 420 feet and flowing through Ipswich before merging with the Brisbane River at Barellan Point in the north east of the Ipswich region.  The Bremer’s major tributaries are Bundamba Creek, Purga Creek, Reynolds Creek, Warrill Creek & Western Creek.  On the upper reaches of Reynolds Creek, around 37 miles from Ipswich, Lake Moogerah has been created as a source of drinking water & irrigation by the Moogerah Dam, which was completed in 1961.

The Bremer was discovered in 1824 by John Oxley, Allan Cunningham & Lieutenant Butler of the 4oth Regiment, whilst exploring the Brisbane River.  Oxley named the tributary Bremer’s Creek, after Captain James Bremer of HMS Tamar, which at the time was in New South Wales.  The Bremer wasn’t explored at this time however; the first exploration taking place in 1827 when Captain Patrick Logan of the Brisbane Penal Colony spent several days in the vicinity. A year later, botanist Allan Cunningham returned to the region & wrote ‘It is, therefore, highly probable that upon the site of these limestone hills, a town will one day be raised.’

Ipswich was one of the first river ports to be established in Queensland & was to become an important centre for trade between the Darling Downs & the coast. This trade was critical in the rapid growth & development of Ipswich. The first steamer service was started in 1846 by James Pearce with his vessel Experiment; which prompted the improvement of the landing facilities. These improvements continued until, by the 1860s, a wharf precinct had been established downstream from the town centre, where it was wide enough to allow the steamers to turn.  In October 1860, the port of Moreton Bay had been extended up the Brisbane River as far as Ipswich, which allowed dutiable goods to be warehoused there. In May 1865 work commenced on deepening the basin. With the coming of the railway in 1875, the steamer services gradually declined.

The Brisbane River, which in places forms the northern boundary of the Ipswich region, is joined by the Bremer at Barellan Point, before winding through the city of Brisbane & emptying into the sea at Moreton Bay. The river’s source is to the east of Kingaroy, close to Mount Stanley in the Great Dividing Range.  From there it flows in a southerly, then easterly direction for approximately 213 miles, making it the longest river in south eastern Queensland. It was first explored in 1823 by John Oxley who was Surveyor General of New South Wales. He named the river after the Governor of New South Wales at the time; Sir Thomas Brisbane. In December 1823 John Oxley travelled as far as Termination Hill, east of Woogaroo Creek near Goodna, 42 miles from the mouth.  Next year he reached a point 56 miles from the mouth to just beyond Kholo.  It was Major Edmund Lockyer in 1825 who explored the upper reaches of the Brisbane River as far as its source.  To the north of Ipswich, Wivenhoe Dam, built across the Brisbane River, forms the artificial Lake Wivenhoe; completed in 1985 & now the main water supply for the Brisbane area.

Today, both the Brisbane & Bremer Rivers offer excellent facilities for canoe & kayak enthusiasts in & around the Ipswich area.

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The Expansion of Ipswich

The Ipswich that attained city status in 1904 covered only 3.8 sq miles, a small fraction of the 420.9 sq miles that make up the Ipswich of today.  At that time Blackstone, Booval, Churchill, Newtown, Silkstone & Tivoli, although suburbs of Ipswich, were not actually part of the city.  The boundary with the Shire of Brassall was altered in December 1909, although only a small area was lost in North Ipswich around the Tivoli Bridge on Tantivy Road.

Agitation to include the above suburbs began in 1904, as Ipswich was now a city and should be larger.  Although the idea of a ‘Greater Ipswich’ was first mooted in 1910, it wasn’t until October 1916 that this came to fruition, when these suburbs were finally made part of Ipswich.  At the same time, parts of the shires of Brassall, Bundanba (now Bundamba), Purga & Walloon were incorporated into what was known as the Shire of Ipswich (see also separate entry on The Ones That Got Away page). The name lasted only until July of the following year, however, when it was changed to the Shire of Moreton (or Moreton Shire). The Shire of Moreton included all the land surrounding Ipswich, but not the city itself.

The Shire of Moreton’s boundaries were extended in January 1926, when it gained part of the City of Ipswich, & further expansion was forthcoming in August 1930, with the annexation of part of the Shire of Waterford.

In 1949, the Shire of Moreton once again increased in size, after the abolition of the shires of Rosewood & Normanby; with the whole of the former & part of the latter being taken over.  However, the shire also lost some land to the City of Ipswich at this time when the area between the Bundamba Creek and Woogaroo Creek, including Goodna, was absorbed by the city.  Gailes, on the other side of Woogaroo Creek, was partly in Goodna and partly in Brisbane; in 1959 the boundary with Brisbane was confirmed whereby part of Gailes finally went to that city.

In March 1995, the Shire of Moreton ceased to exist when it was merged with the City of Ipswich. Most of the former shire was incorporated into Ipswich, although part of Carole Park went to the City of Brisbane.  At the same time a small part of Gailes around the intersection of the Logan and Ipswich Motorways went from the City of Ipswich to the City of Brisbane.

In 2000, more boundary changes resulted in Ipswich losing Mount Walker, Warrill View, Rosevale & parts of Harrisville & Mutdapilly to Boonah Shire (now Scenic Rim Region), whilst  Kholo, Karana Downs, Mount Crosby & the northern part of Chuwar were at this time incorporated into the City of Brisbane. 

In 2008 the City of Ipswich lost the rest of Harrisville & Peak Crossing to the Scenic Rim Region (For further details of these land losses see City of Ipswich, Queensland - Land Lost to Other Jurisdictions on The Ones That Got Away page).

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Ipswich Suburbs & Localities

We have brought together in one place information on all the suburbs and localities of the City of Ipswich.  We found that much of this information was dispersed over various sources, but we would acknowledge the extent to which we have used the material found on the Ipswich City Council website & the University of Queensland directory of Queensland Places.   Our research also revealed incorrect information on the naming and early settlement of some places in these official sources, and we have accordingly brought attention to these (see Goodna, Gailes, Amberley and Calvert).  We appreciate that some of our facts may also be incorrect since we do not have access to primary sources.  We would be grateful for any corrections and further input from our fellow Ipswichians in Australia who are able to research these sources.  

In 1996 the Queensland government decided that all localities and suburbs should be officially bounded and named.  “Suburb” is the term reserved for urban communities.  “Locality” is the term used in the rural context.  The City of Ipswich covers an area of 1090 sq km (420.9 sq mls).  Within this area there are a large number of suburbs, townships and localities, as listed below.

Suburbs & Localities of the City of Ipswich (in alphabetical order)

Urban Ipswich   Total: 48

Amberley; Augustine Heights; Barellan Point; Basin Pocket; Bellbird Park; Blackstone; Booval; Brassall; Brookwater; Bundamba; Camira; Carole Park; Churchill; Chuwar; Coalfalls; Collingwood Park; Dinmore; Eastern Heights; East Ipswich; Ebbw Vale; Flinders View; Gailes; Goodna; Ipswich Central; Karalee; Leichhardt; Moores Pocket; New Chum; Newtown; North Booval; North Ipswich; North Tivoli; One Mile; Raceview; Redbank; Redbank Plains; Ripley; Riverview; Sadliers Crossing; Silkstone; Springfield; Springfield Central; Springfield Lakes; Tivoli; West Ipswich; Woodend; Wulkuraka; Yamanto

Rural Townships   Total: 4

Grandchester; Marburg; Rosewood; Walloon

Rural Localities   Total: 28

Ashwell; Blacksoil; Calvert; Deebing Heights; Ebenezer; Goolman; Haigslea; Ironbark: Jeebropilly; Karrabin; Lanefield; Lower Mount Walker; Mount Forbes; Mount Marrow; Mount Mort; Muirlea; Mutdapilly; Pine Mountain; Purga; South Ripley; Spring Mountain; Swanbank; Tallegalla; Thagoona; The Bluff; White Rock; Willowbank; Woolshed

We cover all the above with brief details of their history and points of interest, going outwards from the centre of Ipswich in the order of their chronological absorption by the city.

The original municipality and City of Ipswich t0 1916

The original municipality incorporated on 3 March 1860 was smaller than the Parish of Ipswich.  The latter extended along the Bremer River to Bunbamba Creek and much further to the south between the Deebing Creek and Bundamba Creek.  In 1879 the colonial government created local government divisions for the rural areas, but existing municipal towns and boundaries were left alone.  These municipal boundaries remained the same when Ipswich became a city in 1904, despite the fact that it had expanded beyond those limits by this year.

Central Business District (Ipswich Central): The innermost suburb is the Ipswich Central Business District; a 4.1 sq km (1.6 sq mile) area centred around Brisbane Street and Limestone Street, which includes the Ipswich Mall shopping centre.  Henry Wade surveyed the site of the “Township of Limestone” in 1842 and his first map included the names of East, Bell, Nicholas, Bremer and Brisbane streets.  The boundaries of the township were the Bremer River to the north, Milford Street to the east, Grey Street to the south and Waghorn Street to the west.  The original quarry site of Limestone Hills is in Queens Park and the locality just south of East Ipswich along the Brisbane Road is still known as Limestone Hill.  A number of substantial residences surrounded by large trees were built in this part of Ipswich.  Another locality within Ipswich Central is Denmark Hill, believed to have been named by Benjamin Cribb who emigrated from England in 1849.  He used to live in London, England, near to the Denmark Hill located there.  Cribb established a prominent retail business, which was destined to grow into the Cribb and Foote emporium in Brisbane Street, and represented Ipswich in the Queensland parliament.  Benjamin Cribb built the house of Gooloowan (see separate section above) on Quarry Street in Denmark Hill.  Denmark Hill Conservation Park was the site of the City Colliery that was worked from 1912 to 1952.

Woodend: This inner-city suburb is immediately northwest of the main settlement, on the southern bank of a bend in the Bremer River.  In 1848 this area was the first coal-bearing crown land near Ipswich to be subdivided into small ‘coal allotments’, and Radstock Pit, opened in 1854, had the distinction of being the first successful Ipswich coal mine.  However, the anticipated expansion of coal mining never materialised because the finds were too small to be commercially viable.  During the later 1850s the bushland was cleared, and this area became a residential suburb frequented by middle class families.   

The suburb takes its name from a house built by Arthur Macalister which he named Woodend.  Macalister was born in Glasgow and emigrated to Australia in 1839.  He became a solicitor, and set up a practice at Ipswich in 1850.  Macalister became a leading advocate for the separation of Queensland from New South Wales, and was three times prime minister of Queensland.  By 1860 he had built his house in the suburb.  “Woodend” is a common place-name in Scotland and it seems reasonable to assume that he named his house accordingly.  The house has since been demolished and Woodend Park is now on that site.

The first Ipswich cotton was grown at Woodend by John Panton in 1862.  There are several heritage sites in the suburb with Ipswich Grammar School and St Mary’s Convent School, both established in 1863, being the foremost.

Coalfalls: A residential suburb with Woodend to its east, bound on its north and west by the Bremer River, and two km (1¼ miles) north-west of central Ipswich.  Unlicensed mining operations were being carried out on what were known as “coal falls”, coal seams that were visible on the river bank, hence this became the name of the later suburb. This area was subdivided for ‘coal allotments’ at the same time as Woodend in 1848, and the era of suburban settlement began in the late 1850s.  Sir James William Blair, a prominent Australian politician, lawyer and judge, elected to the Queensland Parliament on several occasions, and a judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland, was born at Coalfalls in 1871, and later lived there in a house called Coalfalls (still standing, now renamed Dumfries).

Sadliers Crossing: Situated south of Coalfalls between Woodend and the Bremer River; it was where there was a shallow ford crossing the river before the 1860s on property owned by Thomas Sadlier.  It is still the main railway crossing over a steel-girder structure completed in 1902 (see Wulkuraka below).  It became a residential suburb in the 1860s.  The heritage listed house of Belmont (see  separate section above), built about 1865, is in Burnett Street, Sadliers Crossing.

West Ipswich: The next suburb south, immediately west of Denmark Hill and central Ipswich, with the Bremer River and the Deebing Creek as its western boundary.  It was first settled in 1842 and remained a separate early urban settlement known as Little Ipswich
(see separate entry on The Ones That Got Away page), situated between Ipswich and One Mile Bridge, until included into the municipality of Ipswich in 1860.  It was renamed West Ipswich in 1877 and was then much larger than today, spreading across what is today the southern part of Ipswich Central, including the localities of Denmark Hill and Sandy Gallop.  In 1991 the suburb boundaries were redrawn and West Ipswich lost over half its area to Ipswich Central.   

Basin Pocket: This suburb is in the loop of the Bremer River to the northeast of central Ipswich, and the river borders it on the north, west and part of the east; the suburb of East Ipswich is to the south and east of Basin Pocket.  Today’s Chermside Road was the original boundary of the municipality of Ipswich, and still remains the boundary of Basin Pocket.  The origin of the suburb name is derived from “The Basin”, an artificially enlarged natural widening of the Bremer River used by paddle steamers to turn round to go to and from the wharves at Ipswich.  The explorer Allan Cunningham noted it in 1828, and Capt. Logan named it as the limit of navigation on the Bremer River.  The actual settlement of Ipswich began a little further upstream, and it was not until 1860 that Basin Pocket was permanently occupied when William Henry Lawrence from Cambridge, England, settled there.  His son William Isaac Lawrence was born here in 1861.  The area became a working class residential suburb, and it was William Isaac Lawrence who later established the ferry here, enabling workers to cross the river to the North Ipswich railway workshops.  The ferry continued until just after World War II, when travel to work by bus became a more viable option.

North Ipswich: North Ipswich lies in a U-shaped bend of the Bremer River, immediately north of central Ipswich.  The story of North Ipswich is that of the Railway Workshops; in fact The Workshops Estate was an early name for the suburb (see Railways and The Workshops Rail Museum sections, above).  As soon as Queensland gained separation from New South Wales there was a move to construct a railway in order to bring the vast territory closer.  Transporting wool over the distance from the interior was costly and slow because of the absence of properly maintained dirt tracks.  It was quickly discovered that the construction costs for a rail system as used in Britain were beyond the budget of the fledgling Queensland colonial government. Costs were reduced by using a narrow gauge (3 feet 6 inches) that could be laid more quickly and cheaply over vast distances, and bridging the Bremer River was to be avoided if possible.  Ipswich was chosen as the first terminus because it was at the head of navigation on the Bremer River, and there was no need for a connection to Brisbane because river transport was then more efficient and effective than rail.  Since Ipswich had already been settled south of the Bremer River, North Ipswich was the only place where land was available to construct the workshops to build the rolling stock, and was also near to the river where the wool could be transferred to the waiting steamers.  

Before the coming of the railway in 1864 the area had not been settled and remained scrubland, but by 1865 roads were in place at North Ipswich.  Connected to central Ipswich at first only by ferry, a bridge was built at the present site in 1865 for both rail and road traffic until 1897 when a separate railway bridge was built a little further upstream.  Cotton and wool production in the Brisbane Valley and the Darling Downs, and the accessibility provided by the railway, stimulated further economic activity in North Ipswich, and it became a premier industrial location.  The Shillito engineering works were established there in 1867; Hancock’s timber mill in 1872 and the Queensland Woollen Mill in 1877.  The North Ipswich rail yards, vacated in 1993, endure as one of Australia’s best-preserved industrial heritage sites.

North Ipswich today extends north to beyond the Warrego Highway, but when Ipswich was incorporated in 1860 this suburb was quite small, the boundary running in a straight line southeast from the highest tidal point of the Bremer River in the west where the river curves to the south, to the same river in the east opposite today’s Bremer Parade in Basin Pocket.  Beyond this boundary from 1879 was the Shire of Brassall.  Arguments over which administration should bear the cost of repairs to the bridge over Tivoli Creek on today’s Tantivy Road, which was actually within the municipality boundaries of the City of Ipswich, but of little benefit to the city, led to the boundary being altered to run along the creek in 1909 to bring the Tivoli Bridge into the Shire of Brassall.  

The City of Ipswich from 1916 to 1949

Most of the suburbs of Ipswich were outside the municipality boundaries in 1904.  When Ipswich became a city on 1 December 1904, agitation began for an extension of its boundaries.  In 1916 a number of surrounding shires were abolished and parts of Brassall, Bundanba and Purga shires were added to create a “Greater Ipswich” of 32 sq km (12.4 sq mls).


With the exception of North Ipswich, the other suburbs north of the Bremer River, although in the Shire of Brassall, were effectively part of Ipswich, and in 1916 this was recognised when the city expanded in this direction.  Raymond’s Hill, once a separate suburb in the Shire of Brassall, was merged with North Ipswich, and is now an official locality.  The suburb was named after John Raymond who came from Ireland in 1865.  This acquisition extended North Ipswich to the Warrego Highway.

Tivoli & Tivoli Hill: These were once separate suburbs, but have since been merged with Tivoli Hill now an official locality within the wider Tivoli suburb.  It is situated north of the Bremer River, east of North Ipswich between Tivoli Creek and Sandy Creek. Until 1916 this area was in the Shire of Brassall.

The bushland area north of the Bremer River and east of North Ipswich was subdivided into farm allotments in 1861, and would have remained an agricultural area if it were not for the discovery of coal resources here.  The first coal was mined from exposed seams on the north side of the Bremer River east of Tivoli Creek in 1854, but it was not until the Old Tivoli Mine was opened in 1866 near Francis Street, that development really began.  This mine was financed and developed by two Ipswich businessmen, John Robinson and Harry Hooper, with coal and coke being supplied, first to the paddle steamers, then to the rapidly developing railways.  Tivoli was a middle name used by the Hooper family, and the name soon became applied to the whole area.  

Numerous other coal pits were opened, along with coke ovens.  As the Redbank deposits petered out, the Tivoli seam was more intensively exploited.  Consequently Tivoli was riddled with pits, and being close to the wharves on the Bremer River at North Ipswich, coal was transported to the riverside by a tramway.  The suburb became Queensland’s largest coal producing area by 1870.  

Moores Pocket: This suburb is in the bend of the Bremer River which is found on all sides, except the northwest.  It was named after Thomas Moore, a blacksmith and wheelwright, who lived in this area around 1846. 


One Mile: This suburb was originally known as Toongarra, an Aboriginal name meaning “home of the cabbage palm”; now remembered only by the name of the main road through Leichhardt.  It only officially became One Mile in 1871, although known by this name unofficially since the 1840s.  West of the Bremer River the suburb of One Mile was attached to the City of Ipswich in 1916.  It had long been an extension of West Ipswich and it derived its name because the river crossing there was one mile from the centre of the city.  Aborigines used to camp here, and so did the drovers who used to gather west of the crossing before driving their stock across.  As such it was an ideal place for Donald Campbell, recognised as the second free settler in Ipswich, to move from Little Ipswich (now West Ipswich) and set up as a blacksmith and wheelwright in 1842 on the Old Toowoomba Road.  About the same time Captain “Black” Jack Neale, a sailing captain, built a simple wooden hotel next door on the same road to cater for the thirst of the drovers.  Captain Neale later moved back to Little Ipswich to establish the One Mile Hotel.  Nevertheless, the families of these two constituted the first permanent residents at One Mile (see also Little Ipswich on The Ones That Got Away page).  The area was divided early into small market garden plots to serve the growing Ipswich market.

In the 1870s the Toongarra winery was built on the corner of Old Toowoomba Road and Chubb Street.  Its vineyard occupied about 6 hectares (14 acres), and it employed about 40 men.  Awards were won but the wines could not compete after Federation in 1901 against the cheaper wine that was now allowed in from southern Australia.

In 1953 the suburb was divided, but the name One Mile was retained by the southern portion.

Leichhardt: By 1871 this land had been subdivided and placed under cultivation.  Further subdivision and settlement took place in the 20th century, particularly in the 1940s with the expansion of the nearby RAAF base at Amberley, making this a residential suburb.  The origin of the suburb name is from Ludwig Leichhardt, an explorer and naturalist from Prussia who led major expeditions in Australia during the 1840s.  He is reputed to have camped in the area and used the facilities offered on the Old Toowoomba Road in One Mile.  In 1925 a riverside reserve on the west side of the Bremer River was designated One Mile Park; in 1930 the name was changed to Leichhardt Park since this is where he is supposed to have camped.  Following representations by local residents, the area north of the Old Toowoomba Road became a separate suburb named Leichhardt in July 1953.


Churchill: A residential suburb 3 km (2 miles) south-west of central Ipswich.  Its western and eastern boundaries are the Bremer River and Deebing Creek respectively.  The proximity to the major crossing point of the Bremer River at One Mile made the land just south of Little Ipswich in the Parish of Purga, between that river and the Deebing Creek, suitable to use as stock saleyards.  During the 1860s a small community developed around these, and in 1866 the Isambert Brothers established a soap and candle works there.  The land was in the County of Churchill, and in 1870 a separate “Town of Churchill” was laid out, taking its name from the county.  In 1873 the first Ipswich Agricultural Show was held at the saleyards.  The show moved to the Sandy Gallop training track in 1877, and the yards were sold four years later.  The community of Churchill was that part of the Shire of Purga transferred to the City of Ipswich in 1916.


East Ipswich: This suburb surrounds Basin Pocket and touches the Bremer River in two separate places in the north and west; to the south is Brisbane Road, the city’s main arterial link to the Ipswich Motorway.  Until 1916 the boundary of Ipswich was along today’s Chernside Road (then named Boundary Road).  A small part of the present suburb of East Ipswich to the west of Chernside Road down to the Bremer River was then within the municipality, but the larger part was outside the boundary in the Shire of Bundanba.  There were a number of substantial residences with large grounds built on the outskirts of Ipswich in the 1860s.  In the late 1870s as the larger properties were broken up and sold off in smaller lots, this became a predominantly residential suburb known as Limestone.  However, it was increasingly referred to as East Ipswich and in 1891 it finally took this name.  In the same year the Ipswich Cotton Company established the first cotton mill to be built in Queensland in the suburb, near to the cotton plantations in Booval.  This did not prove profitable and in 1913 it was bought by the Ipswich Woollen Company in Tivoli Hill; in 1917 that company moved its operations from Tivoli to East Ipswich.  The woollen mill remained the major employer until it closed in the 1980s; the houses around Woollen Mill Way are a reminder of its past.          

Newtown: This is a small residential suburb south of East Ipswich, bordered by Queens Park to the west, to the north by Brisbane Road, with Booval and Silkstone to the east.  Its name comes from John Rankin’s “Newtown Estate” which was subdivided and sold in about 1865.  This was an area occupied by three or four families of the early settlers of Ipswich, in substantial properties surrounded by large canopied trees, situated on a ridge overlooking the town.  It is, therefore, notable for its heritage sites, particularly Rockton (see separate section above), one of Ipswich’s oldest surviving buildings, and Gwennap built c.1874 (now a nursing home).

Eastern Heights: Originally this suburb was the southern part of Newtown adjacent to Queens Park.  By the end of the 19th century, it was also occupied by grand houses in large grounds.  The name “Eastern Heights” was first officially used in 1930 as the suburb is on a high ridge to the east of Ipswich.  

Booval: This suburb is 3 km (2 miles) from the centre of Ipswich and straddles the Brisbane Road, stretching from the suburbs of East Ipswich and Newtown in the west to Ipswich Race Course in the east.  Situated between the town of Ipswich and the eastern collieries, Booval was originally a farming district serving these communities.  The suburb took its name from Booval House (see separate section above), built c.1859 in today’s Cothill Road and believed to be the first residence in the area, built for the manager of the Bank of Australasia in Ipswich.  It is now a convent.  The house was soon surrounded by a 20 ha (49 acres) cotton plantation established by the Ipswich Cotton Company in 1861.  The origin of the house name is unknown although in the Kabi Aboriginal dialect it means “frilled lizard”; it may also refer to an initiation ceremony; or some believe it is a corruption of the French “Beau Val” for ‘beautiful valley’.
In 1882 there were only four dwellings along Brisbane Road in Booval.  However, in 1884 this area became a dormitory suburb for coal miners working in Blackstone. Another important business was the Jacaranda Butter Factory that operated from 1901 to 2010.  Booval remained partly residential and partly commercial until the 1960s, when the railway sidings closed and businesses went into decline.  It was then that urbanisation finally reached Booval with housing estates and drive-in shopping malls, such as Booval Fair.

North Booval: The land immediately north of the Ipswich-Brisbane railway line is bounded on its east by Bundamba Creek, and on its north and west by the Bremer River, with a thin neck of land less than a mile wide separating these two stretches of water.  As such, much of the land beside the creek and Bremer River still remains undeveloped because it is subject to regular flooding.  North Booval was sparsely settled, although the original butter factory was located there.  Nevertheless, residential growth finally moved northwards creating the suburb of North Booval in the mid-1970s.

Silkstone: This suburb is 3 km (2 miles) east of central Ipswich and immediately east of Newtown, and stretches to Bundamba Creek in the west.  It was named in 1889 after the coal mining village of Silkstone in the West Riding district of Yorkshire, England.  The development of Silkstone followed on from the settlement of Newtown to the west and Booval to the north.  Most houses are from the early 1900s and the interwar years.
The City of Ipswich from 1949 to 1995

In 1949 the suburbs immediately south of the Bremer River from Bundamba Creek to Woogaroo Creek were acquired from the Shire of Moreton.

Bundamba: Eight km (5 miles) east of central Ipswich, and initially spelt Bundanba; the spelling was changed officially in 1932 to Bundamba, although the latter spelling was in common use long before that, as indicated by references in newspapers from 1888.  The name means ‘place of the stone axe’ since this was where the Aboriginal tribes dug for stone to make their axes.  In 1851 Joseph Fleming purchased land at Bundamba and this became the site of his boiling down works.  The Bremer Mills Estate of 259 ha (640 acres) had a 6 km (4 mile) frontage to the Bremer River.  The Estate included a flour mill, a sawmill, a melting down works, a seven room house, cottages for 300 workers and their families, a church and school house.  The mills were demolished at the turn of the century by which time an industrial community had developed around the coalfields found in this area.  Early settlement away from the Bremer Hills Estate began about 1855, and later in the 1870s coal mining and several brickworks were established in the region.
The Racecourse relocated to Bundamba in 1876 just west of Bundamba Creek, and it became home to the Ipswich Amateur Turf Club in 1890 (see Ipswich Turf Club section, above).  Although the western boundary of present-day Bundamba runs along the Bundamba Creek, it deviates to the west across land to encompass the racecourse, ensuring that this historic location remains a part of its original community.
In the County of Stanley the settlement of Bundamba was originally part of the Parish of Goodna, whereas a Parish of Bundanba existed further south between the Bundamba Creek and Woogaroo Creek covering Redbank Plains, Swanbank and the area south to the present city boundary.  From 1879 to 1916 there was a separate Shire of Bundanba that covered only the part of today’s suburb north of the Brisbane Road (a Boundary Street still exists where it was once located), and those suburbs west of the Bundamba Creek that were not included in Ipswich until 1916.  The council seat of this Shire was Ipswich itself, whereas Bundamba was the council seat of the Shire of Purga.  In 1916 the Shire of Bundanba was divided between the Shire of Ipswich (Moreton) and the City of Ipswich.  The area east of Bundamba Creek went to the Shire of Ipswich (Moreton), and included the communities of Bundamba and Blackstone.  

Blackstone: Immediately south of present day Bundamba, this suburb was originally part of that community and known as Bundanba Creek.  As the new community could be confused with Bundanba, some time before 1870 the postmistress, Mrs Orr, suggested it change its name to Blackstone after a place in Ireland from where she came.  The mining community considered it demeaning that it was believed the name came from the coal deposits.  However, it was coal and Welsh miners that made Blackstone.  Built in 1886 for Welsh miners and their families, the United Welsh Church on Thomas Street is the only Welsh church in Queensland, and one of only four in Australia.  The church became the centre of social life, and in 1887 it hosted the first Blackstone Eisteddfod, the forerunner of the Queensland Eisteddfod movement.  The timber church was designed by Ipswich architect Samuel Shenton and was constructed on land donated by mine owner Lewis Thomas.

Lewis Thomas was born in Tal-y-bont, Ceredigion, and emigrated in 1859.  He arrived in Queensland in 1866 and started coal mining at Tivoli in partnership with other entrepreneurs.  The same year he was also active in Blackstone and in 1870 he abandoned his Tivoli interests to concentrate on what became known as the ‘Aberdare Seam’ in the Bundamba-Blackstone area.  Lewis Thomas brought in Welsh miners and the community soon became overwhelmingly Welsh in character, becoming a separate suburb in 1882.   After making his fortune, Thomas built his m
ansion Brynhyfryd (pleasant hill) in Blackstone in 1891.  Designed by George Brockwell Gill and known as the ‘Castle’, the three storey house (see photo, right) consisted of 49 rooms, together with a tower, plus stables, a gardener’s cottage, dairy, and gardens with hothouses filled with exotic plants.  After Thomas’s widow died in 1930, the house was sold and demolished in 1937 in order that the coal resources beneath the property could be exploited.  Some materials from the house were incorporated into other buildings in and around Ipswich.  The United Welsh Church benefited from a pair of glass and cedar doors bearing the name ‘Brynhyfryd’, that have been installed as a screen inside the entrance to the church, whilst a cedar fireplace surround from the house was converted into a combined Welsh pioneers/World War II memorial.  In 1973 the area previously occupied by the mansion was cleared for housing development.

The Welsh and coal have now passed into history.  The last underground mine in Ipswich, New Hill at Blackstone, closed down in 1997.

Raceview: This is a residential suburb 4 km (2½ miles) south-east of central Ipswich to the south of Eastern Heights and Silkstone, and west of Bundamba Creek.  Early settlers found the soil around Ipswich to be poor and unsuitable for agriculture, and food supplies had to be brought in from outside the area.  Fertile land was found along Bundamba Creek, and Capt. Logan established the first farm here in 1827 known as “Plough Station” because a bullock and plough could be utilised.  Today the site is bounded by Robertson Road and Cascade Street, from Raceview Street down to Bundamba Creek.  After the penal period ended in 1842, the farm lingered on as a government farm run by convicts and officers.  In 1847 there were complaints from the Ipswich residents since Plough Station had enclosed the only area that could be used for grazing, and free farmers said that this amounted to unfair competition.  In 1848 the sheep and cattle were sold and the farm closed.

Joshua Peter Bell purchased the farm and the first horse race was held on this land in 1848.  He established a stud called The Grange (at the end of today’s Grange Road) and built a race track and grandstand.  Regular horse racing was held at the track from 1850 to 1876, when the local jockey club moved to the present race course in Bundamba, just west of the creek.  In 1901 the Old Grange Racecourse, then considered part of Silkstone, was sold for housing, and the new residential suburb was named “Raceview”.  This went to the Shire of Moreton in 1916 or 1926*.  In 1949 when this part of the Shire of Moreton was transferred to the City of Ipswich, the southern part of Raceview stayed with the Shire of Moreton to become the new suburb of Flinders View, the boundary being along Edwards Street.

* In 1916 the Shire of Bundanda west of Bundamba Creek went to the City of Ipswich and Raceview was then part of that Shire.  However, Raceview was in the Shire of Moreton prior to 1949.  We assume that Raceview was that part of Ipswich transferred to the Shire of Moreton in 1926.  We have not been able to confirm this.      

Ebbw Vale: Six km (3½ miles) north-east of central Ipswich, to the east of Bundamba, is the small suburb of Ebbw Vale between the Brisbane Road and the Cunningham Highway.  The colliery of the same name was opened by the Welshman, John Jones, in 1877 and named after that location in Wales.  This suburb was once an important industrial locality with collieries and potteries, but with the closure of these industries it is now largely residential.

New Chum: A little further east across the Cunningham Highway, another coal mine gave its name to a suburb.  The Red Hill mine was opened in 1866, but was abandoned by 1876.  In 1881 James Gulland of the Old Tivoli Mine resumed work at the Red Hill mine.  He established a hamlet for his workers, giving it the name of New Chum and also renamed the mine with the same name, as an encouragement to recent arrivals in the country to settle there and take up mining.  This part of Bundamba became a separate suburb covering a large area between the latter town and Redbank.

In the southernmost part of New Chum to the east of the Cunningham Highway and adjacent to Redland Plain Road is the locality of Cooneana.  This is based on the historical homestead of the same name, comprising 225 ha (557 acres), and is derived from the Aboriginal word meaning “where the ringtail possum sits up”.  Cooenana House was built by Samuel Pearson Welsby shortly after he purchased the property in April 1868.  He was a notable teacher and lay preacher, and his family became prominent in the affairs of Ipswich.  The family retained the homestead until 1975.  In 1997 the Ipswich City Council purchased the property and established Cooneana Homestead and Gardens as a heritage centre.  It became the headquarters of the Ipswich Historical Society; this organisation was founded in 1966 to collect, preserve, and display the social history of the Ipswich region.  The first two specimens of the the Cooneana Olive (Notelaea ipsviciensis), a critically endangered species of shrub, were discovered in 1976 in the grounds of the Cooneana Homestead (see Ipswich as a Scientific Name page).

Dinmore: This is a small suburb on the Brisbane to Ipswich railway north of New Chum and east of Ebbw Vale.  Like these communities its early development was around coal mining; the Old Aberdare mine was opened in 1870 by Lewis Thomas of Blackstone. The suburb name is derived from the railway station name given in 1884 by the Railways Department after Dinmore Hill in Hertfordshire, England. Although mining was significant in the early development of the Dinmore area, brickworks and potteries became important. Pottery manufacture began in the 1880s by chance. The original intention was to open a mine shaft, but the clay was of such fine quality that pottery was deemed to be more profitable. Reliance Potteries was established in 1887 on 13 ha (32 acres) of freehold land, and produced pipes and fittings. The mines and potteries have closed, and the area is now largely residential.

Riverview: This is a residential suburb north and east of Dinmore between the Warrego Highway and the Bremer River, where it joins the Brisbane River which flows east of the suburb.  Across the Brisbane River is Moggill, reached by ferry.  In 1875 when a station was built on the railway line it was named Moggill Ferry; in 1881 the station was renamed Riverview.  The area was settled for agricultural uses from as early as 1868 (William Ackerley), but in the immediate post World War II years, only a general store and garage are recorded on the Warrego Highway at Riverview.  Urban settlement was first around Moggill Ferry Road, but during the 1970s it spread south of the Highway.
The Moggill Ferry is one of Queensland’s iconic landmarks.  In 1873 a rowing boat ferried people across the river.  A cable ferry service began operations at the site in 1878 when Cobb & Co coaches provided a service between Ipswich and Brisbane by crossing the Brisbane River between the suburbs of Moggill in Brisbane and Riverview in Ipswich.  It was not until the 1940s that a motorised ferry capable of carrying two cars came into service.  This two-car ferry ceased operations in 1978.

In June 1979 a new cable-driven ferry
began, capable of carrying up to 20 vehicles per crossing (see photo, left).  During the 2011 Queensland floods the ferry broke free from its cable guidelines.  The suggestion to sink the ferry to prevent it becoming a ‘missile’ was seriously considered during the flood crisis, until the captain managed to secure the vessel to the banks of the Brisbane River.  Since then the State government has been considering replacing the Moggill Ferry by a high level bridge, but this is meeting with much resistance from the local people.

Redbank, Redbank Plains & Collingwood Park: To the east of Riverview is the suburb of Redbank.  One of the oldest settlements in the region, Redbank was named by Major Edmund Lockyer in 1825 for the red soil present in the banks of the Brisbane River.  The first European settlement in the area was a temporary convict outstation established on Redbank Plains in 1828.  This became a permanent convict sheep farm in 1832.  

Although a road ran from Limestone (Ipswich) through Redbank to Brisbane, the river was the main mode of transport.  It is, therefore, no surprise that, when the area was opened to free settlement in 1842, the river bank became the site of what became known as Redbank Settlement, visited that year by the Governor of New South Wales, Sir George Gipps.  The Petrie family, one of the first free settlers in Brisbane, established a wharf and wool-store there in about 1840.  The family had ambitions to develop a river port to capture the wool trade in competition with Ipswich, but this venture soon failed.  Nevertheless, others followed and the first settlement was on the river flats north of the current railway station in the loop of the Brisbane River.  The settlement was later relocated to its present position south of the railway station because of severe flooding.

The river bank also became the site of the oldest recorded coal mine in Queensland.  Andrew Petrie had first discovered coal at Redbank around 1837, but it was John Williams who opened the first mine in 1843 near the junction of Six Mile Creek with the Brisbane River, to supply coal for the paddle steamers.  It was only worked for a short time, and the main Redbank Colliery was opened in 1857.  By 1870, as the Redbank deposits petered out, the Tivoli deposits nearer to Ipswich were more intensively exploited, and mining at the Redbank Colliery ceased.  The site was reworked in the 1880s, and the Redbank Colliery continued until an explosion in 1928 and concerns about the quality of the coal led to the mine’s closure in 1932.  Further activity followed mining, mainly in the 1850s, and the present settlement of Redbank came into being as an industrial location.  Secondary industries included a boiling-down works, abattoirs, meat chilling, and woollen mills.  In 1958 the railway workshops began re-locating from North Ipswich to Redbank, becoming fully operational there in 1965.

To the south of Redbank is the suburb of Redbank Plains.  When free settlement was allowed from 1842, Redbank Plains continued as a farming and grazing area.  Farming settlers increasingly took up lots from the 1850s on the rich alluvial plains.  Maize and potatoes were early crops, though cotton was grown in significant quantities through the 1850s and 1860s, as local farmers sought to exploit global shortages and rising prices brought about by the American Civil War.  An early settler in the area was James Josey, known as the “Father of the Redbank Plains”.  Born in England in 1821, he arrived in Australia in 1840 as a convict, but became one of the biggest landowners in the area.  On his release in 1847 he became a successful timber man at Pine Mountain, and in 1859 Opossum Creek cattle station was established on Redbank Plains by him on an area of some 2833 ha (7000 acres) stocked with about 400 head of cattle.  By 1874 Redbank Plains was a small country village 5 km (3 miles) south of Redbank.

By the mid-1960s the urban growth of Ipswich reached to Redbank and housing estates began to be developed, contributing to the emergence of the new suburbs of Redbank Plains and Collingwood Park to the south. Collingwood Park, between the Goodna Creek in the east and Six Mile Creek in the west, was largely owned by the Irish Verrall family as farmland from 1854.  It remained devoid of any development apart from a perimeter road until 1980.  Developers then decided to build a “leafy residential area” in this part of Redbank to contrast with the rest of the highly  industrialised community.  It was given its name by one of the developers in 1982, possibly after the inner suburb of Collingwood in Melbourne, adding “Park” for effect, and it became a suburb separate from Redbank.

Goodna: This suburb is right on the eastern edge of the City of Ipswich, bounded on the north by the Brisbane River and by Woogaroo Creek to the east.  The area was the campsite of an aboriginal group, and the location was originally visited in 1823 by an exploration party led by John Oxley who landed to the east of Woogaroo Creek at “Termination Hill” where the hospital now stands.  Building material for the convict settlement at Limestone was quarried at the site in 1826.  

However, it was not until 1841 that European settlement began, when a sheep run called Woogaroo Station was established at the mouth of the creek by H.S.Russell and Dr Stephen Simpson.  The latter was the land commissioner and magistrate for the Moreton Bay district, and he chose the site near the mouth of Woogaroo Creek as a strategic location at the meeting-point of various routes and the river.  From 1842 to 1846, Dr Simpson had under his control a body of men known as “The Border Police” and they were housed in barracks on the rise near Termination Hill, and were thus the first European occupants in the district.  In 1851/1852 Dr Simpson purchased 809 ha (2000 acres) of land, and built a new residence which is known today as “Wolston House” and is now a heritage listed building.   Dr Stephen Simpson retired from government office in 1855 and returned to England in 1860.  

Simpson’s landholding is now Wolston Park, east of Woogaroo Creek.  The former commissioner’s camp on Termination Hill is now better known as the site of the first publicly-funded, mental health institution in the colony, Woogaroo Lunatic Asylum, established in 1865 on a 48.6 ha (120 acre) horse stud farm owned by Dr Simpson.  In 1880 the hospital was renamed the Goodna Asylum and it is still operational today, known as the The Park Centre for Mental Health, a heritage-listed psychiatric hospital.

Despite its significance to the history of Goodna and the surrounding area, Wolston Park and Termination Hill are not part of the City of Ipswich.  They are now located in Wacol and part of Greater Brisbane.  When the administrative structure was established in Queensland in 1859, the Woogaroo Creek became a boundary and this area was lost.  Goodna and Gailes eventually became part of the Shire of Moreton and ended up as part of Ipswich, while the land east of Woogaroo Creek and northwest of the Ipswich Road became part of the Shire of Sherwood that was merged with Greater Brisbane in 1925.

Other settlers followed Dr Simpson.  Many sources indicate that Thomas Grenier and family were the first to operate the sheep run at Woogaroo Station in 1841.  This is incorrect as that family was living at Kororareka (now Russell) in New Zealand in 1841, and only came to Australia (South Brisbane) in 1845 when they fled the Maori uprising of that year.  James Holmes was the next notable settler in 1851, and in 1856 a village was laid out by the Brisbane River, west of Woogaroo Creek, and was named Woogaroo, a native word meaning either “a waterhole” or “shady and cool”.  Soon after, another aboriginal word came into use, and from 1865 Goodna superseded the original name.  It was unfortunate that the early settlers had little knowledge of the words that the natives were using, since this means “human excreta” in the Yuggera language.  The Parish of Goodna was a subdivision of the County of Stanley in 1865 and extended to Ipswich, embracing Goodna, Redbank and Bundanba.  In 1879 Goodna became part of the Shire of Purga that was absorbed as part of the Shire of Moreton in 1916. 

At this early period, residential living at Goodna was by the Brisbane River along tod
ay’s Brisbane Terrace, since transportation was then easier by water.  Later, the settlement moved away from the original river site because of frequent flooding and re-located to its present position further south.  Originally a small farming community producing sugar, cotton, livestock and timber, Goodna is now very much a suburb of Ipswich.  Today, Goodna is famous for its yearly Jacaranda Festival, held in Evan Marginson Park at the end of October when the Jacaranda trees are in flower.  The festival was established in 1968 and attracts more than 10,000 people annually.  The Jacaranda is a genus of flowering plants native to Central and South America that has been introduced into Australia and the Pacific region.

Gailes: This typical residential suburb was long an outlying area of Goodna, known as Pullen-Pullen Flats; the latter Aboriginal name apparently means “tournament”.  The area was really an extension of the scrubland east of Woogaroo Creek, and was notable for the location of Goodna racecourse, built on Dingo Hill, just east of the present Gailes railway station.  This station is relevant to the naming of the suburb, and the myth surrounding its name.  

The railway opened in 1874 and Goodna and Wolston (renamed Wacol in 1927) were the original stations serving this area. However, the racecourse officials persuaded the Railway Department to build an unmanned siding in 1919 to enable the horses to be brought nearer to the race track.  This stop was known as Dingo Hill.  In 1924 a golf course was built and Goodna Golf Club was formed nearby to the station.  It was agreed with the railway that trains could stop at Dingo Hill to allow golfers to disembark.  However, that name and Pullen-Pullen were considered inappropriate for a passenger stop, and the name Goodna had already been taken.  So the station was renamed Gailes in September 1925.

This is where the myth starts. It is known that the railway station was named after the Western Gailes Golf Course in Ayrshire, Scotland.  The myth is that the name was given by, or suggested by the wife of the founder of Goodna Golf Club, Dr Henry Byam Ellerton, Medical Superintendent of the Goodna Asylum, after the golf course in Scotland near her birthplace.  This myth is even perpetrated by the official Queensland Government website on place-names.  The facts are correctly stated in the golf club and railway literature.  Dr Ellerton was born in London in 1871.  He had no connection with Scotland nor ever worked in Ayrshire.  Likewise his wife was born in 1880 at Portrush, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, and also had no connection with Scotland.  The name was suggested by a wife, that of James Walker Davidson who was then Queensland’s Commissioner for Railways.  He was born in Glasgow and came to Australia as a young man.  On consulting his wife, she suggested Gailes because Davidson’s brother played at the Western Gailes golf course in Scotland.     

With the advent of the new railway station, the Goodna golf course was not at Goodna. It was at Gailes.  So in 1935 the golf club and course also became Gailes. The long-forgotten Goodna Racecourse closed in 1929. And, of course, the new name came to be applied to the whole area in preference to Pullen-Pullen. In fact, Gailes was one of those places in two separate administrations since the golf course and railway station were actually in Greater Brisbane, being northwest of the Ipswich Road, and the rest of the area southeast of that road was part of Goodna, and eventually merged with the City of Ipswich (see Goodna, above).  However, when Gailes became a suburb of Ipswich in 1959, the official municipal boundaries had then to be recognised and the golf club and station were no longer officially part of Gailes, but now part of Wacol in Brisbane, despite continuing to be named Gailes right up until today.

The City of Ipswich from 1995

The merger with the Shire of Moreton in 1995 brought in a number of urban and rural communities.


North Tivoli: Although considered an extension of Tivoli, the area east of Sandy Creek was in the Shire of Moreton, and thus became a separate suburb.  In 1864 coal seams exposed on the eastern banks of the creek led to the opening of the Davie’s mine, and coal mines were soon operating in this general area.  A couple of heritage features off the Crosby Road are a part of this industrial legacy: the former Abermain Power Station and the Haighmoor Coke Ovens.  

The Abermain Power Station was a 10 MW coal fired ‘package power station’, which meant a complete power station supplied by one supplier.  It came into service early in 1953.  It stood adjacent to the Haighmoor Colliery and was the first power station in Queensland to be located on a coalfield, and one of the first in Australia to use a cooling tower system.  It was decommissioned in 1967.

The Haighmoor Colliery opened in the 1870s.  The coal from this mine was suitable for coking and the Haighmoor Coke Ovens are 18 beehive coke ovens built in a double row battery in 1897 and appear to have been used until the 1970s.  There were over 300 coke ovens built in the North Ipswich coalfield, and the Haighmoor ones are rare surviving examples and the best preserved.  Coke was used for combustion with little or no smoke, making it a desirable fuel for stoves as a substitute for coal.

Chuwar: A large semi-residential suburb, 8 km (5 miles) north-east of central Ipswich, lying between a horseshoe bend of the Brisbane River to the north and the suburb of Tivoli in the south.  The suburb of Karalee is to the east.  This Aboriginal name was chosen by the colonial surveyor James Warner in 1848 as a subdivision (parish) name.  Unfortunately, no record of its meaning is recorded.  The area was occupied by farmers, and it was not until 1886 that a settlement was planned with this name around the intersection of Mt Crosby and Junction Roads.  This never really developed, and there is not a central focus for this locality.  The popular College’s Crossing Recreational Reserve is in this suburb (see separate section above).

The Westbank water treatment plant and the Blackwall electricity substation were built in the northern part of the suburb in the 1980s.  Since these major installations were constructed to meet the increasing demands of Brisbane, in 2000 Chuwar was divided along the Blackwall Road and the northern part in the horseshoe bend of the Brisbane River was transferred to the City of Brisbane (see The Ones That Got Away page).

Karalee & Barellan Point: Two residential and semi-rural suburbs, 10 km (6 miles) north-east of central Ipswich, lying between the Brisbane and Bremer Rivers.  The names are aboriginal: Karalee means “pretty hill beside the water or grass near a waterhole”; Barellan means “meeting of the waters”.

Karalee is a large suburb stretching between the two rivers.  In 1848 Richard Joseph Smith from Leicester, England, opened a boiling-down plant at the subdivision of Chuwar on the north bank of the Bremer River.  This was known as Town Marie, named after his wife, and it was a self contained industrial village with a boiling-down works, a sawmill, owner’s house and homes for workmen.  Its location was near the present-day Karalee Shopping Village on Junction Road and it stretched down to the river.  Boiling-down was a process that converted carcasses into a fat (tallow) used to make candles.  Not only was it smelly, but the works used to discharge their waste into the river.  This caused obvious pollution, and also constituted a serious obstruction to navigation - it was not unknown for steamers to run aground on huge piles of bones that had been thrown into the river.  As a result of the economic depression of the 1860s, the boiling-down works had to be sold in 1866.

The name Town Marie stayed on but the area became one of dairy and farm holdings.  In 1969 these began to be bought up and the land divided into small acreage building blocks.  House building started in the early 1970s but was severely affected by the flooding of the Brisbane River and the Bremer River in 1974.   After these floods, development slowed as the authorities decided that many of the blocks were unsuitable for houses.  Nevertheless, in 1973 a new suburb was created from Chuwar, and Town Marie was renamed Karalee.

The south-west sector of the Karalee area is Barellan Point, a tongue of land where the Bremer River joins the Brisbane River, officially recognised as a suburb in 1981.  It is a residential and recreational area, previously used mainly for dairying.  The extreme point is an official “locality” since 1978, long known unofficially as Bremer Junction or The Junction.  This is the area where the rivers meet adjacent to the Joseph Brady Park.  In the early 20th century it was a popular day trip site for picnics, paddle steamer rides and large family gatherings.  The park is named after the Engineer of Harbours and Ports in 1865, who began to build a stone wall into the river at this point.  The stone wall can clearly be seen at low tide.  It is the remains of a scheme to raise the water level of the Bremer River to assist navigation, particularly across the bar of the Bremer River at its junction with the Brisbane River.  Joseph Brady started work on the wall, but it was abandoned, particularly when it became clear that the railway would soon supersede river transport.


Brassall: A suburb 5 km (3 miles) northwest of the city centre, located west of North Ipswich, centred around the Mihi Creek, a northern tributary of the Bremer River.  Drovers used the creek to water their herds.  As this was the main stock route, the continual animal traffic meant that there was not enough time for the grass to recover, and there was therefore insufficient vegetation available for the animals.  For this reason it was known as ‘Hungry Flat’.  In October 1851 surveyor James Warner reviewed the land and he introduced the names Mihi Creek and Brassall.  The reasons for these names are not known.  

In 1860 Brassall constituted a Parish in the County of Churchill.  From 1879 it was a separate administrative Division of Brassall, and from 1903 the Shire of Brassall.  The council met at North Ipswich.  The Shire of Brassall was quite extensive since it included the former Ipswich suburbs immediately to the north of the Brisbane River (Kholo and Mount Crosby), those areas of Chuwar between the Bremer and Brisbane Rivers, and reached down to present-day Leichhardt and One Mile west of the Bremer River.  However, in 1916 the Shire of Brassall was divided between the City of Ipswich and the new Shire of Ipswich (Moreton).

The division of 1916 resulted in the loss of its industrial estates at Tivoli and the areas adjacent to North Ipswich, and thereafter Brassall reverted to an area of small farms, as it had been in 1860, now within the Shire of Moreton.  Eventually, Ipswich’s metropolitan growth crossed into Brassall in the 1970s and there was considerable residential growth around the Warrego Highway in the 1990s.  Finally, in 1995 the merger of Moreton and Ipswich made Brassall a suburb of the latter city.  The suburb is the site of the Haig Street Quarry Bushland Reserve (see separate section above).

Wulkuraka: The next suburb between Brassall and Leichhardt, west of the Bremer River is 3 km (2 miles) from the city centre, and south of the Ironpot Creek, which became the boundary when Wulkuraka was designated a separate suburb from Brassall in 1991.  As at 2013 it is still relatively undeveloped with much bushland scenery.  

The suburb is better known for its role in the railway development in Queensland.  The original line to Bigges Camp ran via North Ipswich before crossing the Mihi Creek and then turning southwest towards today’s Wulkuraka.  In 1875 the first six kilometres were replaced by a new line that ran directly west from central Ipswich and crossed the Bremer River at Sadliers Crossing.  It became necessary to raise the level of the Sadliers Crossing Rail Bridge so flood waters could not inundate it, as happened in 1893, so a new bridge was built in 1902.  It is a rare example of a large metal truss rail bridge that has not been substantially changed since its completion and, hence, it has been given heritage status.

Between 1884 and 1913 a branch line was constructed from today’s Wulkuraka to Yarraman in the Upper Brisbane Valley.  A station was built known as the Brisbane Valley Junction.  In June 1905 the Railways Department renamed it Wulkuraka.   It is thought that the name is derived from an Aboriginal expression describing ‘a red flowering gum tree’ or even ‘a group of kookaburras’.  The Brisbane Valley Railway ceased operations in 1993.  It is now the 161 km (100 mile) Brisbane Valley Rail Trail for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.  

Amberley: The small community of Amberley is situated to the south west of Ipswich.  It was originally called Three Mile Creek, but it was more commonly known as ‘The Sand Ridge’ because of a difficult terrain for horse drawn vehicles and bullock drays.  The area was originally part of Jeebropilly (see further below), but was officially named Amberley in 1903 from the name of the farm of early settlers, James Edwin and Martha Collett.*

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Amberley is situated approximately 8 km (5 miles) to the south west of Ipswich.  The land on which the base stands was purchased in 1938 and became Queensland’s first air force base when it opened in June 1940.  During the years 1942 -1943, Amberley became a major base for the American Air Force.

Today 3,500 people are employed at the base.  Up until 2010, RAAF Amberley was probably best known as the home of the F-111 strike aircraft.  The F-111 has now been retired and the base is home to the F/A 18 Super Hornet Fighters. (See also City of Ipswich aircraft sections on the Ips Misc. page)
*Most sources state that this was after “their home village in Sussex, England”.  However, we beg to differ.  It is true that the Amberley in Sussex is better known because of its medieval castle, but the author of this piece actually lives in another Amberley, in Gloucestershire.  The online Collett Family website indicates that (James) Edwin and Martha Collett came from the Gloucestershire Amberley.  Our research supports this.  In 1849 Edwin Collett married Martha Ann Baston in Stroud, Gloucestershire.  The 1851 Census for England shows Edwin Collett, aged 31, and his wife Martha, aged 22, living at Woodchester.  This village is adjacent to and part of the larger parish of Amberley, Gloucestershire.  There are no Colletts living at the Sussex Amberley in 1851.  The family emigrated to Australia in 1857, and do not appear in the 1861 Census in England.  The headstones in the Stone Quarry Cemetery at Jeebropilly clearly show their names and ages matching this record: Edwin Collett d. 1896, aged 77, and his wife Martha Ann d.1897, aged 68.  Conclusion: their home village was Amberley in Gloucestershire, England.


Yamanto: A residential suburb, 5 km (3 miles) south of central Ipswich.  It lies along the south bank of the Bremer River, south of the suburb of Churchill, extending between Amberley and the Warrill Creek in the west, to the Deebing Creek and  Flinders View in the east.  It is bounded on the south by the Cunningham Highway.

The area seems to have been virgin soil until October 1863 when George Challinor, who had emigrated from England in 1849 and arrived at Ipswich in 1857, started a cotton plantation which he named Yamahanto.  No reason has been given for this name.  He worked the plantation until 1870, when the revival of the American cotton industry after the Civil War rendered the cultivation of this crop unprofitable.  By this time other farmers had arrived in the area, and the property was sold.  

In 1881 a branch railway line was constructed from Ipswich to Harrisville (the Fassifern or Dungandan Line), and a station was built that was named Yamahato or alternatively Yahmahato or Yahmahnto.  However, ostensibly to avoid confusion with the nearby property of Yamahanto (but probably because nobody could spell the name properly), in 1903 the station was renamed Mine Accident.  Obviously such an inappropriate name never caught on, and in 1907 the name Loamside was given to the railway station.  This is said to be a corruption of Leamside, the name suggested by Thomas West, who owned the land, after the place in Co. Durham, England, where he was married in 1878.  The locality in the southwest of the suburb is still called Loamside.  The railway and Loamside station were closed in 1964.  Attempts to change the old name had not succeeded and eventually the spelling settled on Yamanto.  In July 1978 this was officially recognised as the locality and later suburb name.

In 1959 the Shire of Moreton purchased 11 ha (27½ acres) to build a new Council Office which was opened on 4th March 1961.  This was on a site in Yamanto.  Some sources state that the Council Office was in Churchill; in fact it was in Warwick Road, between the municipal boundary of Ipswich and Winston Street in Yamanto, and therefore just over the boundary in the Shire of Moreton.  The confusion arises from the continued usage of the old administrative areas for land purposes whereby the site was in the “Parish of Purga, County of Churchill”.    
There was nothing much except a couple of local abattoirs, a brickworks and the Ipswich sanitary depot at Yamanto until the early 1980s when housing estates began in this suburb.  With the construction of the Cunningham Highway and the expansion of the nearby RAAF Base at Amberley, by 2010 Yamanto was inevitably part of the urban growth development associated with the adjacent Ripley Valley project.

Flinders View: This is a residential suburb 4 km (2½ miles) south-east of central Ipswich immediately south of Raceview, of which it was part until 1949.  It was officially named in 1976, although the area was known by this name long before, and it originates from being able to see Flinders Peak from the suburb.  This is the summit of the Teviot Range reaching 679 m (2,228 ft) above sea level.  The Shire of Moreton encouraged urban development in the suburbs along the edge of Ipswich in the 1980s.

Ripley: Travelling west from the suburbs of Redbank Plains and Springfield there are several rural localities south of the Cunningham Highway: Ripley, South Ripley, Deebing Heights and Swanbank.   These are located in the area designated as Ripley Valley.  The origin of its name is unrecorded and its original location was much further south (see South Ripley, below). In 2000 Ripley was gazetted as a suburb with South Ripley as a rural locality.  

In 2012 Ripley in its current form existed as a small housing estate of under 1,000 residents between the Centenary Highway and the Cunningham Highway, south of Flinders View and west of Bundamba Creek and Swanbank.  However, the area is part of the Queensland metropolitan western growth corridor project to alleviate expected and forecast population growth of the existing communities along the coast.  The Ripley Valley Urban Development Area (UDA) was declared on 8 October 2010 and covers a total area of 4,680 ha (11,564 acres).  Once the area is fully developed, Ripley is expected to have a population of 120,000 people with an estimated 50,000 residential dwellings, with suitable land for new business and industrial developments.  Work began in October 2012, the first residents are expected to occupy homes in 2014 with full development of the project by 2057.


The following urban suburbs are located east of the Woogaroo Creek and were originally part of the Parish of Woogaroo that was eventually absorbed into the Shire of Waterford.  On 16 August 1930 this area was transferred to the Shire of Moreton.

Carole Park is a suburb southeast of Gailes and the easternmost part of the City of Ipswich.  It is only 19 km (12 miles) south west of the Brisbane central business district.  Carole Park was originally a very rural part of Gailes with a few farms, and stayed with the Shire of Moreton when Ipswich expanded in this direction in 1949.  Electricity did not reach the area until 1965 and this finally brought urban expansion.  An industrial estate and housing development, with residents finding employment on the industrial estate, were built.  The name Carole Park Estate was applied in the 1949-51 period when the area was first subdivided on paper by the developer, and it is said to have been named after his grandmother.  In 1972 the area was designated a suburb.  The construction of the Logan Motorway in 1988 separated the residential section of Carole Park from the industrial.  When the Shire of Moreton was merged with the City of Ipswich in 1995, the motorway provided the alignment for a new boundary between Ipswich and Brisbane; the industrial side became part of Ipswich and the residential area went to Brisbane, thus dividing Carole Park between two different administrations.  In May 2010, in order to avoid confusion, the residential part of Carole Park in Brisbane changed its name to, and merged with, the adjacent suburb of Ellen Grove in Brisbane.

Camira: A suburb south of Carole Park built in the 1970s between Woogaree Creek and Sandy Creek.  It was formally named in 1972 and the Aboriginal word from an unknown source is said to mean “windy”.  The suburb originally covered a much larger area to the south and west, but those areas were detached to become Bellbird Park and part of the Greater Springfield Development (see below).  Camira adjoins the 4,500 ha (11,119 acres) Greenbank Military Camp, established in 1941 for the use of American troops during World War II, and still used today as a live training facility for the Australian Defence Force.  The suburb also contains the Camira Bora Ring (see separate section above).

Bellbird Park: Immediately south of Goodna and east of Redbank Plains, this area was a rural, undeveloped area in the western part of Camira.  It had first been farmed by Lewis Jones and family in 1864 and had remained an agricultural area.

After the 1974 floods, developers saw its residential potential and began building housing estates.  The area was named after bellbirds that had once been heard along Woogaroo Creek, but had now retreated southwards into undeveloped scrubland.  In 1984 it became a separate suburb.  

Greater Springfield Development: On the south-western outskirts of the City of Ipswich, east of the suburb of Redbank Plains, is Australia’s first privately built city.  It is situated on what was a hilly, forested landscape between the headwaters of Woogaroo Creek, Opossum Creek and Sandy Creek that drain the northern slope of Spring Mountain (355m; 1,164 ft), from which the development takes its name.

The Greater Springfield project is the vision of Maha Sinnathamby, a Malaysian Australian businessman and property developer of Tamil ancestry, and chairman of the Springfield Land Corporation.  In 1992 he acquired a 28.5 sq km (11 sq mls) parcel of land for the new suburb of Springfield, planned to have 15,000 home sites, a 200 ha (494 acres) town centre, a research and development centre, 1,000 ha (2,471 acres) of open space and a golf course.  One third of the development area has been designated as open space and conservation areas with numerous lakeside facilities.  The population of the Greater Springfield area in 2016 was 24,835, with a projected 105,000 people by 2030.  It is Australia’s largest master planned city and community development project, and is currently the country’s fastest growing city.  Springfield was specifically designed and located near enough to Brisbane to attract commuters and reduce population growth along the coastal strip of Queensland.  Maha Sinnathamby’s project has received global acknowledgement and Springfield has been named the world’s best master-planned community.

The development has six projected suburbs, five of which have already been officially recognised as urban suburbs.  Running south from Camira is Springfield, north of the Centenary Highway, and immediately south of the Highway is Springfield Lakes, built around lakes constructed on Opossum Creek, both gazetted as suburbs in 2000.  Springfield Central (gazetted 2007), adjacent to the Highway, contains the main shopping centre and university campus.  Brookwater (2003) is described as a ‘residential golf community’.  It is separated from its larger neighbour, Springfield, by the Opossum Creek.  Between Brookwater and Redbank Plains is Augustine Heights (2003), built around Woogaroo Creek.  This suburb and St Augustine’s College are named after St Augustine.  Although non-denominational, there is a strong emphasis on the Catholic Christian faith within this community.  The sixth suburb, Spring Mountain, is south of the Centenary Highway and is at present an undeveloped rural locality between the White Rock Conservation Park and Spring Mountain Forest Park.


Walloon: About 13 km (8 miles) from central Ipswich, this town is so near that since the 1980s it has been considered an outer suburb of the city. It had a population of 1,588 in 2016. The location was called Ten Mile Peg because of its approximate distance from Ipswich along the old cart track.  It was one of the original stations on the Ipswich to Grandchester railway (1865), and the station was given the name Walloon by the Railways Department.  This is believed to be because a number of early settlers in the immediate neighbourhood came from southern Belgium.  It was not until 1877, when coal was found just north of the station and the Walloon Saloon was built, that a proper settlement developed.  It became an urban area with an economy based on dairying and coal mining.  Mining continued until 1960 but, a short while after this date, Walloon began to develop as a residential, commuter suburb within easy reach of Ipswich.

From 1879 to 1916 there was a Division  of Walloon (from 1903 Shire of Walloon) as the local government authority to the west of Ipswich, stretching from Ipswich to Rosewood, with Marburg serving as the administrative seat of the Shire.  In 1890 the southern portion was detached to become the Shire of Rosewood (see below).  The Shire of Walloon extended beyond the present boundaries of the city further north into the Brisbane Valley around Lowood.  In 1912 this northern part became the separate Shire of Lowood and in 1916 this became part of the Shire of Esk. In 1916 the Shire of Walloon was divided between the Shire of Rosewood and the new Shire of Ipswich (Moreton), with the present-day urban area of Walloon becoming part of the Shire of Ipswich (Moreton).    

Rosewood: This urban centre is around 17 km (10 miles) west of Ipswich, and has a population of  2,834 (2016).  Its name derives from the Rosewood Scrub.  This was a huge tract of dense forest stretching 20 km (13 miles) northwards from present-day Rosewood to Fernvale, first sighted by John Oxley and Allan Cunningham when they were exploring southern Queensland in 1824.  The explorer Ludwig Leichhardt gave it this name in 1844 after the rosewood tree or dry vine shrub (Acacia harpophylla).  Because of its density, the Rosewood Scrub was considered impenetrable, so the early explorers and settlers avoided this area.

The present site was first settled in 1864 when the railway was being built between Ipswich and Grandchester; the first resident is believed to have been John Farrel who operated the railway gates, but further settlement did not really begin until the 1870s when the Rosewood Scrub was exploited for its valuable timber, followed by dairying.  The first coal mine in the area was opened in 1877.  The nearby New Oakleigh mine was the second last coal mine still operating in the City of Ipswich region. The mine was closed in January 2013.  Rosewood developed into a small urban centre because of its location on the railway.  This was further emphasised in the late 20th century when it became a residential area for commuters to Ipswich and Brisbane.  

Situated on the corner of Langfield Road and John Street is Glendalough; an early 20th century timber house built by Thomas Bulcock.  It is listed on the Australian heritage register.  Also in Rosewood is St Brigid’s Catholic Church.  It was built in 1910 and is the largest wooden church in Queensland.

In 1890 the Division of Rosewood
(from 1903 Shire of Rosewood) was established as the local government area for the large expanse of territory west of Ipswich.  It then extended beyond the present western boundaries of the city.  In 1905 the Shire of Rosewood and Shire of Mutdapilly merged to become the new Shire of Rosewood.  A further re-division of territories in 1916 saw the loss of the westernmost portion to the Shire of Laidley, while most of the Shire of Walloon came to Rosewood.  In 1949 the Shire of Rosewood lost its separate identity when it was absorbed into the Shire of Moreton.
In the Rosewood suburb is Perry’s Knob, an isolated ridge that is a remnant basalt left by volcanic activity, as seen on the adjacent postcard.   It was named after the Perry family who owned the ridge.  It used to be a haunt of bushrangers, and a former stop on the now disused Rosewood-Marburg railway.  There was some mining in the vicinity from 1927 to 1969.  However, it is probably better known for the way the second part of the name has exercised the minds of officialdom and the local populace.  The locals insist that the name has always been spelt without the letter ‘k’, i.e. Perry’s Nob.  However, the authorities insist on officially spelling it with a ‘k’, so Knob it is.

Marburg: A rural town on the Warrego Highway, 34 km (21 miles) from Ipswich with a population of 595 (2016).  Marburg was once covered by the Rosewood Scrub.  Sam and Sally Owens were the first graziers to establish themselves here in 1842.  However the family is said to have become more famous in the area because of their illegal alcoholic drinks rather than their sheep.  Nevertheless, the first name for the area became Sally Owen’s Plains, although the name Rosewood Scrub was also commonly used.  

In the 1860s the surrounding Rosewood Scrub was utilised for its vast timber reserves, but in 1868 the area was described as “still a wilderness”.  That year Charles Smith carved out the Woodlands Estate, and he was followed in the early 1870s by German farmers.  One of these, J L Friedrich, arrived in 1866 from Prussia, opened a store and Anglicised his name to Frederick.  In 1876 J L Frederick made an application for Sally Owen’s Plains to have a school.  When this was opened in 1879 the Postmaster General named the settlement that had arisen around the school and store Frederick after the applicant.  Around the same time the German settlers were carting their produce to Walloon Railway Station, and they had to provide a home town address.  They decided on Marburg in the Prussian province of Hesse-Nassau, and the railway authorities took this up.  In 1881 the “Marburg Hotel” opened, thus the name had come into use unofficially.  In 1888 Frederick officially became Marburg; it served as the administrative seat of the Shire of Walloon until 1917.  Because of anti-German feelings during the First World War, the name of the town was changed to Townsend in June 1917 in honour of the British general Sir Charles Townshend, who fought the Turks in Mesopotamia (now Iraq) in 1916.  The locals never supported the change and on 1st January 1920 it reverted to Marburg.

The timber, sugar cane and dairy industries put Marburg on its feet.  This was largely down to the Woodlands Estate established by Charles Smith who, by the early 1880s, had installed a sawmill, a sugar mill and a rum distillery.  Many of the German farmers supplied the mill with cane, but within a few seasons it was found that rainfall was too low for good production.  Farmers turned to maize and dairying, although the mill continued to operate until 1918.  The son of Charles Smith, Thomas Lorimer Smith, built the heritage-listed Woodlands Mansion in Marburg.  One of the most distinctive buildings in Queensland, it was built between 1888 and 1891 by the architect George Brockwell Gill.  It is a plantation-style mansion featuring a square tower and elaborate lacework verandahs.  Today it is a restaurant and is available as a venue for weddings, conferences and functions.

In 1912 a railway line from Rosewood to Marburg was opened but only a few years later the railway began to suffer from the competition of highway traffic.  The railway line passed nine working coal mines in the 1940s, as well as dairy farms and timber cutting on the distant ranges.  It survived until 1965 when the line was closed.

As dairying declined after World War II, so too did Marburg’s population; from a population of over 600 in 1954 to fewer than 400 by the late 1960s.  When the Warrego Highway was upgraded in the 1960s, most of the traffic from Brisbane to Toowoomba passed Marburg without stopping, and subsequently the level of business activity in the town declined.  Since the 1980s the population has recovered somewhat, as Marburg has much to offer people seeking a rural residential lifestyle within commuting distance of Ipswich.

Grandchester: The urban area of Grandchester, located in the Lockyer Valley between Ipswich and Toowoomba, is quite small, with a population of 444 in 2016.  It is 34 km (21 miles) west of Ipswich.  

The Ugarapul Aboriginals called the area ‘Googabilla’ which means “honey”, and until the 1850s held corroborees on what is now the Recreation Grounds.  The area was first explored by Allan Cunningham in 1829.  Cunningham’s party camped beside what is now known as the Railway Lagoon while searching for the source of the Brisbane River.  From about 1842 this campsite became known as Bigge’s Camp after two brothers, Frederick and Francis Bigge, who established it as a stopover on the way north to their Mount Brisbane Sheep Station.  The first settlers in the area were Thomas and Maria Mort who took up the Franklyn Vale run in 1849 to the south of Grandchester along the Western Creek tributary of the Bremer River.  Descendants of the Morts still live at Franklin Vale today (see below).  Various inns were later established at Bigge’s Camp to cater for the needs of travellers, the first of these being opened by a Frenchman, Wellmand Prosper Douyere, in 1854.

However, it was the railway that really established the settlement.  Since there was already an efficient river communication between Ipswich and Brisbane, there was an urgent need for a connection to the Darling Downs in the west.  For this reason the first railway line to be built in Queensland ran west from Ipswich to Bigge’s Camp.  This was the first narrow gauge mainline railway in the world.  When it was opened on 31st July 1865, Governor Bowen thought that the terminus of such an historic railway should have a more dignified name so he suggested Grandchester, a name which means great or large camp (from Latin castra).  Grandchester has the oldest surviving railway station in Queensland built in 1866 and it is heritage listed.  

Just to the south of Grandchester is Spicers Hidden Vale.  Set on a 12,000 acre working cattle station, Spicers Hidden Vale (formerly Peppers Hidden Vale Retreat) is now a hotel, restaurant and conference centre of the Spicer Group of luxury retreats, which also offers bushwalking, horse riding, clay pigeon shooting and orienteering.  It was once owned by Alfred Cotton, whose son, Sidney, is said to have been the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s James Bond character.  The estate was once part of the historic Franklyn Vale (see Mount Mort below) and was taken up in 1871 by John Jost who used it for breeding cattle, sheep and racehorses.  It then became known as Jost Vale.  In 1900 it was sold to Alfred Cotton and the surrounding locality became the present Cottonvale.  He was the first to take up residency in the valley and it is said that his wife suggested the name Hidden Vale.    



Spring Mountain: South of the Centenary Highway between the White Rock Conservation Park and Spring Mountain Forest Park.  This is at present an undeveloped rural locality destined to be the sixth suburb of the Greater Springfield Development (see above).

White Rock: This locality was established immediately west of Springfield and Woogaroo Creek in 2007. It includes a large conservation area (see White Rock - Spring Mountain Conservation Estate section, above).  The name refers to a prominent pale-coloured sandstone outcrop, the major feature of the Conservation Park, which is of high cultural significance to the indigenous Yuggerapul people.

Swanbank: This is a predominantly industrial locality 5.5 km (3½ miles) southwest of Ipswich centre, south of the Cunningham Highway.  The Bundamba Creek bisects the area and the dominant natural feature is the Swanbank Lagoon, which had previous names of Logan Lagoon and Josey’s Lagoon.  The origin of the present name is from Lanark, Scotland.  James Foote (d. 1895) arrived at Ipswich in 1850 from England and became a partner of the general store and emporium, Cribb and Foote.  He was an alderman and mayor of Ipswich.  In about 1870 he purchased a large piece of land including the lagoon and named the property Swanbank after the birthplace of his wife, Catherine.  Her maternal family name was Swan and ‘Swanbank’ was probably a house-name, since no location exists of that name, and official records indicate that the Swan family was resident in the town of Lanark. Swanbank was part of the suburb of Blackstone at the time and adjoined its coalfields.  At present Swanbank has the remains of several collieries, a heritage railway line and a power station.  The original Swanbank Colliery opened in 1892, and a spur railway line was built over the Box Flat to carry the coal from these rich fields.  In July 1972, the Box Flat Mine experienced an explosion which took the lives of 18 men.  The incident was the worst mining disaster in Ipswich’s history.  After the explosion the mine closed and the entrances were sealed.  A bridge on the Centenary Highway is named in honour of the lives lost in the disaster.

The Swanbank power stations have been operational since 1966. At first these were coal-fired and the Box Flat Mine was then the main supplier. However, with the move towards cleaner fuels, the two coal-fired power stations had been decommissioned by the end of 2012, and Swanbank E is fuelled by natural gas and methane gas, some of the gas being drawn from a landfill site. Swanbank has been a major local employer and has played a significant role in supporting the growth of the region as well as providing a reliable electricity supply for Queensland.

Swanbank also has a preserved railway line and heritage station.  The Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway conduct steam train trips on the Swanbank Branch Line to the Swanbank power station, and around Swanbank rail balloon loop which used to be used to service the coal needs of Swanbank power station.  A balloon loop allows a train to reverse direction without having to shunt or even stop.

South Ripley: The New District Atlas for Queensland (1878) showed Ripley as a small locality, just west of the Bundamba Lagoon.  By 1972 Ripley had moved north to the locality that is now described as South Ripley, and encloses the headwaters of the Bundamba Creek and extends north to the Centenary Highway.  In 2000 the area north of the Centenary Highway was gazetted as a suburb, leaving South Ripley as a rural locality.

Ripley’s western boundary is Deebing Creek, and beyond it there is Deebing Heights.  Deebing is from the Aboriginal ‘dibing’ meaning a mosquito.  Deebing Heights has a small housing estate near the Cunningham Highway and is part of the above project.  Deebing has been a settlement since Queensland’s early colonial history, but was only gazetted as a locality within Purga in 2000, and a rural suburb in 2004.  

It is the location of the heritage listed Deebing Creek Mission Aboriginal Reserve. This was founded by the Aboriginal Protection Society of Ipswich on 52.6 ha (130 acres) in 1887 to cater for the Aboriginal people from the Ipswich area.  At that time the Aborigines were camped in Queens Park, Ipswich.  They went from door to door as beggars seeking food, and were often under the influence of alcohol.  In order to address these concerns and basically to remove them from the public parks, the society looked around for land suitable to set up accommodation for them, and to allow the Aborigines to become self-sufficient.  In 1892 the reserve was officially proclaimed under the management of the missionary Rev. Edward Fuller.  Although some 300 Aboriginal people went through Deebing Creek during its existence, there was no requirement for them to remain in residence at the mission.  Because residence was purely voluntary, some of the people went into town and obtained alcohol and reverted to camping at Queens Park.  It was felt that the Deebing Creek mission was not far enough out of town, and in November 1914 a grant was made to assist the transfer of the mission from Deebing Creek to reserve land at Purga, where there was an abundance of good agricultural land at a greater distance from the town.  In 1915 the mission was relocated to Purga.

From the closing of the reserve, the suburb remained largely undeveloped until the 1990s when the present housing estate was built.

Purga: This rural suburb 14 km (8 miles) south of Ipswich played a much larger role in the past.  Today the Warrill Creek forms its northern and western boundary and it straddles the Purga Creek north of Peak Crossing, once another rural suburb of Ipswich.  The name ‘Purga’ is an Aboriginal word describing ‘a meeting place’.

The Parish of Purga was an original subdivision of the County of Churchill in 1850 covering the area to the west of the Deebing Creek which included today’s suburbs of Churchill and Yamanto.  The Rev. Dr William Lambie Nelson from Scotland purchased land at Purga in the 1850s, but the first real settler in the rural heartland was James Dick in 1862.  However, those areas nearer to Ipswich saw urban development, particularly at Churchill.  When the colonial government created the local government divisions in 1879, this subdivision was extended to the northeast, and as the Shire of Purga it stretched all the way to Bundamba to include the industrial suburbs of Blackstone, New Chum, Dinmore and much of Bundamba itself, and also the suburbs of Riverview, Redbank, Redbank Plains and Goodna.  Although Purga village was rural, the shire had an area of 300 sq km (116 sq miles) and was substantially urban with numerous coalmines.  Its council offices were in Bundamba.  In 1916 the Shire of Purga was divided between the City of Ipswich and the new Shire of Ipswich (Moreton), and the present-day settlement emerged as a rural suburb on the outskirts of the city.

In 1914 the Aboriginal Reserve mission at Deebing Creek was relocated to Purga, and from 1921 it was run by the Salvation Army.  It had a school, several huts, a church and an aboriginal cemetery.  However, it was never a success and by 1947 its buildings were dilapidated, the agricultural land was no longer utilised and the few inhabitants of the mission showed little real interest in continuing the venture.  The place resembled a ghost town, so in June 1948 the Purga mission was closed and the reserve status of the land was rescinded.  The mission site, cemetery and church are listed on the Queensland heritage register.

Goolman: This locality, gazetted in 2000, is an area of isolated farmsteads southeast of Purga.  The original homestead derived this name from the mountain to the south in the Teviot Range, and is an Aboriginal word in the Yugarabal language meaning ‘a stone axe’.  The rocky outcrop is said to resemble a stone axe, and the name was recorded by the surveyor Granville Stapylton in 1839.


Willowbank: A rural area around the Cunningham Highway 12 km (7½miles) southwest of central Ipswich.  A large sheep and cattle station was established c.1855 by Darby McGrath from Ireland on the northwest side of Warrill Creek.  The homestead was located on what is now Amberley Air Force Base, near the banks of the creek which was prolific with willow trees - hence the name “Willow Bank”.  In February 1890 the property was surveyed into smaller parcels and auctioned off to the public, although the area continued to be known as the “Willow Bank Estate”.  The name Willowbank was used by the telephone office in the district in 1956, and this became the official name of the locality on 15th October 1983.

Willowbank village exists as a residential community on the south-west perimeter of RAAF Base Amberley and is populated extensively by Defence families and those families associated with the air base. The Ipswich Motorsport Precinct is also in this locality (see separate section above).

Jeebropilly & Ebenezer:  These two rural localities are in the area south of the Ipswich-Rosewood Road just west of Amberley that has seen extensive major open-cast coal mining.  The Aboriginal name for the area was Jeebropilly said to mean either “flying squirrel gully” or “swampy place”, and it was an original parish of the County of Churchill extending around present-day Amberley and the territory to the west.  This area was part of the large Rosebrook run taken up by Donald McLaughlin in 1843 and acquired by George Thorn in 1845.  

Aboriginal people used to gather at the Old Man Waterhole.  This became the Seven Mile Creek where bullock wagons crossed the Bremer River on their way to the Darling Downs.  An inn called The Red Lion was established at the crossing by 1850, and early pioneers soon established their homes nearby.  One of the first settlers was John Armstrong from Ireland in 1852.  He took up 33 ha (82 acres) of land at Seven Mile in 1856.  The family built their first hut near the riverbank; it was flooded and they moved to higher land.  In 1868 with the passing of the Homestead Act other settlers built homes and established farms on small portions of land that fronted the Bremer River.  Seven Mile Creek became a preaching place of the Methodist Church in 1863, and in 1868 the government started the Seven Mile Creek State Primary School.  However, frequent flooding by the river caused many of the settlers to move to higher land a little further to the south, and in 1873 the school followed them.  In 1882 a church was constructed opposite the school and it was named the Wesleyan Methodist Ebenezer Church. The name Ebenezer is the Hebrew word meaning “The Rock of Help”.  Although the settlement still retained the name Seven Mile Creek it was no longer by the river, and in 1888 the school and locality took the name Ebenezer from the church.  

The area remained largely agricultural although mining on a relatively small scale started in the 1870s through to the early 1970s to supply the nearby Queensland Rail and some domestic usage.  The advent of diesel locomotives and natural gas saw the demise of these small mines.  However, this changed in the 1980s when large-scale open-cut mining of Walloon coal for both domestic power generation and export markets began at two collieries.  The Jeebropilly coal mine became operational in 1982, and the Ebenezer mine in 1988.  The continued production of coal struggled in the face of high costs and weak commodity prices, and the Ebenezer mine was closed in 2003 and the Jeebropilly colliery ceased operations in 2007.  Because of high export prices, the Jeebropilly coal mine started up again in 2009, but plans to make the Ebenezer coal mine operational in 2014 has met with opposition from neighbouring communities and environmental campaigners.  A legacy of the open-cast mining is found in three lagoons that have filled the voids left by the mining.  These new additions to the landscape have coined another name for the area and together they are known as the Ebenezer Wetlands.  

Mutdapilly, Mount Forbes & Lower Mount Walker: An area of isolated farmsteads lies to the south near the boundary between the City of Ipswich and the Scenic Rim Region, the total population  being 756 in 2016.  In 1824 John Oxley named a peak in this range of hills Mount Forbes, after the Chief Justice of New South Wales.  It was renamed after a shepherd named Walker, who was employed by Henry Mort of Franklyn Vale, in about 1850.  The name first appeared on a railway map in 1865.  The area became settled after 1868 when the Homestead Act opened up these lands.  The reorganisation of the administrative units in this region in 1905 and again in 2000 has resulted in the city boundary dividing these isolated communities between the City of Ipswich and the Scenic Rim Region (for greater detail see The Ones That Got Away page).


Two rural suburbs that were originally part of the Shire of Brassall are Muirlea and Blacksoil.  Muirlea is north of Brassall between the Warrego Highway and the Brisbane River.  A former railway station was given this name in June 1884, derived from local landowners John and Andrew Muir who came from Scotland.  It is mainly forested with little housing at present.  The Kholo Botanic Gardens (see separate section above) are located in the suburb.  Blacksoil straddles the Warrego Highway to the west of Muirlea and Brassall.  It is being developed with new housing estates.  Written record of the “black soil plains west of Ipswich” exists from 1862, and the suburb name reflects this.

Pine Mountain: Situated to the north of the city, Pine Mountain is a rural area in the Lockyer Valley.  The mountain itself rises to 233 metres (764 feet) and is bounded in the north and east by the Brisbane River.  From around 1850, logging became a major industry in the district, due to the abundance of the Hoop Pine, Araucaria cunninghamii, named after botanist Allan Cunningham.  In 1824 Oxley and Cunningham explored the area and were so impressed by this tree species growing on the hills that they gave it the name of Pine Ridge.  Alternative names of Pine Hills and Pine Range were used, but it is Pine Mountain that has stuck.  Once the timber had been cut, the land became available for settlement and by the 1880s Pine Mountain had also become an important farming community.

Ironbark: The next locality going west to Marburg is Ironbark, an area of isolated farmsteads north of the Warrego Highway.  It takes its name from the Grey Ironbark (Eucalyptus paniculata) found in these hills.  The bark is resistant to fire and heat and protects the living tissue within the trunk and branches from bushfires.  The locality is better known for being the former home of the Borallon Correctional Centre opened in 1990 as a privately operated prison, housing 492 high security prisoners.  This was rather a strange name since Borallon is about 6 km (3 miles) north of the correctional centre outside the limits of the City of Ipswich.  The prison was closed in January 2012.
Haigslea: The area east of Marburg, known as the Walloon Scrub, was settled by John Duhs and Christopher Claus from Germany in 1871 and a school was opened in 1875 with this name for the community.  It was renamed Kirchheim (Church Home) by the mainly German settlers in the district to avoid confusion with the settlement of Walloon.  It became Haigslea in 1916, named after General Douglas Haig, commander in chief of the British Army in France, because of anti-German sentiment during the First World War.


Karrabin: A small rural settlement on the Ipswich-Rosewood road between Wulkuraka and Walloon.  It is said that the original Walloon Saloon was located at Karrabin, and like the Walloon settlement it was not until the late 1870s that it was developed.  The name is derived from the Bundjalung language meaning “red gum”, indicating one of the species of the carbeen or karrabin tree (Eucalyptus tessellaris).

Mount Marrow & Thagoona: On the road between Walloon and Rosewood is the small residential settlement of Thagoona, and to its north is the large rural locality of Mount Marrow, an area of isolated farmsteads.  The retired mariner, Captain John Nicol Rea, came in the early 1860s from Sydney and settled this area which he called Mount Rea after himself.  It later became Mount Marrow, probably because of its shape although this is not certain, or it might be a version of an Aboriginal word.  John Rea discovered coal in the 1870s, but the quality was poor until deeper shafts were dug when he opened the Caledonian Mine in 1889 to exploit the rich veins of the Walloon Coal Measures.  In 1888 a railway station was opened on the Ipswich-Toowoomba main line to the south of the coalfield and this was named Reaside.  A change of name to Thagoona occurred soon afterwards; this is an Ugarapul word, but the meaning is unrecorded.  This developed into the present residential commuter settlement 13 km (8 miles) west of Ipswich.

West of the Rosewood-Marburg road and north of the railway line to Grandchester are small rural localities.  These are sparsely populated and comprise mainly isolated homesteads.  After the Homestead Act of 1868 land in the Rosewood Scrub to the west of Ipswich was opened for clearing and settlement.  Small townships developed around a church, school and post office in some places, but with the ease of modern road transport these have mostly declined, leaving little but a solitary building that acts as a meeting place and the local cemetery. Tallegalla on the Rosewood-Marburg road was settled in 1871 by John Dart, and the post office he opened in 1876 was given this name because of the presence of brush-turkeys in the area; talegalla is the genus name for a brush-turkey.  The localities of Woolshed and The Bluff, with obvious descriptive names, lie in the forested area to the west of the Rosewood-Marburg road. 

Agricultural land with isolated farms lies around Ashwell to the northwest of Rosewood.  Walter Loveday established Ashwell Farm in the Rosewood Scrub in 1873, naming it after a village in Hertfordshire, England, and he donated an acre of land for a school which was named after his farm in 1877.

Two localities are located on the Rosewood-Grandchester road, which was originally a track in the early 1840s to the Darling Downs just along the southern edge of the scrubland.  Lanefield was a name given to the railway station here in 1887 after John Lane, a pioneer settler in 1868, whose family owned much of the land.  Further west is Calvert, a place of many overlapping former names which the sources rarely seem to get right.  So here is our attempt to sort them out.  An inn was opened here in 1843 by Samuel Owens who later sold it to a man named McKeown, and it was by this latter name that this stop on the coach route first became known.  In 1854 a village was laid out here and given the name Alfred, said to be from a nearby hill called “Alfred’s Knoll”.  The village was not originally a stop on the railway that was built in 1865, so the residents petitioned for a station.  This was opened in 1866 and named Western Creek after the nearby tributary of the Bremer River, and this name came into use.  However, the village still retained the name Alfred and when a school district was opened in 1872 it was given this name.  In 1884 the railway authorities decided to rename the station from Western Creek to Calvert, but no-one seems to know why.  It is said to have been named after James Calvert, a member of Leichhardt’s expedition in 1844, but it is just as likely to have been named after a local family.  A letter of complaint to The Brisbane Courier in March 1886 indicated that the government maps and documents still called the settlement Alfred, but people had got used to it being called Western Creek, but now it seems to be Calvert, so what was it to be called?  In 1910 the school district was renamed Calvert as well, so by this time that name had become accepted.  However, officialdom insisted that the name was still Alfred until 19 March 1931, when the Executive Council finally approved Calvert as the official name of this settlement.      

Mount Mort: This locality covers the lands either side of the Franklin Vale Creek, one of the headwaters of the Bremer River, and the furthest point southwest of the City of Ipswich.  This was part of the vast Laidley Plains sheep run taken up in 1843 by leasehold from the government.  Franklin Valley was named after Sir John Franklin, then Lieutenant Governor of Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania), 1837-1843.  In 1849 the lease passed to Thomas Mort, a Sydney businessman, who gave the management to his brother, Henry, who converted the estate into a cattle station.  In 1852 the lease was transferred to Henry Mort and his brother-in-law James Laidley, with Henry managing the Franklin Valley section (by now spelt Franklyn Vale).  The partnership was dissolved in 1869, by which time Franklyn Vale had been much reduced by government action in resuming the land leased, but still remained the largest farm holding in the valley with 10,000 acres (4,047 ha).  The present heritage-listed Franklyn Vale Homestead was erected in the early 1870s for the son-in-law and daughter of Henry Mort, the latter who now lived in Sydney.  His sons, however, continued the business and were instrumental in developing the dairy industry in Queensland.

In 1884 this area was opened for settlement and a pioneer farmer was Carl Friedrich August Gehrke.  He was a German who emigrated with his family to Australia in 1871 and arrived next year at the Normanby Station of George Thorn.  In 1904 the Gehrke family donated land for a school, so in their honour the small scattered settlement was named Gehrkevale.  In September 1916 anti-German sentiment during the war caused the name to be changed to Mount Grace, to be followed two months later in November by another name change to Mount Mort, after the more prominent family who had been around since 1849.     

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County of Stanley

Both Ipswich & Brisbane are situated in the County of Stanley.  It was established on 27th February 1843 and until the formation of Queensland in 1859 it was a county of New South Wales.  The Surveyor-General of NSW, Sir Thomas Mitchell, named the early counties after notable “imperial families”, Stanley being the family name of the Earls of Derby.  At the time, Edward Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby, was the Secretary of State for War & the Colonies (1841-45), and was later British Prime Minister.  Today the counties of Queensland are used mainly for the purpose of registering land titles & are otherwise non-functional administrative units. The county includes Stradbroke Island on the Pacific coast & borders four other counties: Canning, Cavendish, Churchill & Ward.

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County of Churchill

In 1845 Thomas Mitchell, Surveyor-General of New South Wales, established a county west of the County of Stanley which he called Churchill.  Mitchell wished to honour the family of the great military commander the first Duke of Marlborough.  Hence the county and the later suburb took their name from the family, not Sir Winston Churchill nor his father, Lord Randolph Churchill, neither of whom had been born in 1845.  

The boundary between the counties of Churchill and Stanley was delineated in 1850.  As far as it affected the present City of Ipswich, it ran down the Brisbane River to where that river turns north by today’s Kholo Botanical Gardens, then in a straight line across country to the Bremer River where it finally turns southward at Brassall.  The boundary then went up the Bremer River and then along the Deebing Creek to its source, and from there in a straight line to Mount Goolman further south.

Thus the greatest extent of the present City of Ipswich is actually in the County of Churchill as all the suburbs, located west of the Bremer River and the urban centre of Ipswich, lie in that county.  The county borders five other counties: Stanley, Cavendish, Aubigny, Merivale & Ward.

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