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Ipswich, Queensland facts for kids

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Bremer river and parklands
Technical College dining precinct
Queenslander architecture
Cross of Sacrifice
Ipswich Mall
Old Ipswich Town Hall
Ipswich Court House
(From left to right)
Bremer river and parklands
Technical college dining precinct, Queenslander architecture
Cross of Sacrifice in the war cemetery, Ipswich city mall
Old Ipswich Town Hall, Ipswich Courthouse
Flag of Ipswich.svg
Flag of Ipswich (general use)
Population 232,000 (2021; Local Government Area)
Established 1827
Postcode(s) 4305
Elevation 50 m (164 ft)
Time zone AEST (UTC+10)
Location 40 km (25 mi) from Brisbane CBD
LGA(s) City of Ipswich
Region South East Queensland
State electorate(s) Ipswich, Ipswich West, Bundamba, Part of Lockyer
Federal Division(s) Blair, Oxley, Wright
Suburbs around Ipswich:
Woodend North Ipswich Tivoli
West Ipswich Ipswich East Ipswich
One Mile Churchill Raceview

Ipswich is an urban region in South East Queensland, Australia. Situated on the Bremer River, it is approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) west of the Brisbane central business district. A local government area, the City of Ipswich has a population of 232,000 (projected to grow to 435,000 residents by 2031). The city is renowned for its architectural, natural and cultural heritage. Ipswich preserves and operates from many of its historical buildings, with more than 6000 heritage-listed sites and over 500 parks. Ipswich began in 1827 as a mining settlement.


Ipswich Railway Station 1865
Ipswich Railway Station in 1865

Early history

Prior to the arrival of European settlers, what is now called Ipswich was home to many indigenous language groups, including the Warpai tribe, Yuggera and Ugarapul Indigenous Australian groups. The area was first explored by European colonists in 1826, when Captain Patrick Logan, Commandant of the Moreton Bay penal colony, sailed up the Brisbane River and discovered large deposits of limestone and other minerals.


The town began as a limestone mining settlement and grew rapidly as a major inland port. Ipswich was initially named "The Limestone Hills" and later shortened to "Limestone", however in 1843 it was renamed after the town of Ipswich in England. The population was 932 in 1851 and had risen to 2459 by 1856. It became a municipality in 1858. Ipswich was a prime candidate for becoming the capital of Queensland, but Brisbane was instead chosen in 1859. It was proclaimed a city in 1904.

The city became a major coal-mining area in the early 19th Century, contributing to the development of railways in the region as a means of transport. The first recorded coal mines in the central Ipswich area started at Woodend in 1848.

From the 1840s onward, Ipswich was becoming an important river port for growing local industries such as coal and wool from the Darling Downs and a regular paddlesteamer service from Brisbane Town, The Experiment, was established in 1846. This, and other steamer services, remained the primary form of mass/bulk transport between the two cities until 1876, when the construction of the original Albert Bridge, spanning the Brisbane River at Indooroopilly, completed the railway line begun between Ipswich and Brisbane in 1873.

Ipswich was proclaimed a municipality on 2 March 1860 and became a city in 1904.

Brisbane Street around the start of the 20th century
St Marys Cathedral Historical Site
St Mary's Cathedral, Ipswich

Royal visits

Several members of the British Royal Family have visited Ipswich.

1868 - Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh

1920 - Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII)

1927 - Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth)

1958 - Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother

1962 - Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone

2011 - Prince William (later Duke of Cambridge)

2014 - Duke and Duchess of Cambridge


Damaging flooding has occurred on numerous occasions in Ipswich, the largest being the 1893 Brisbane flood peaking at 24.5 m, and more recently during the 1974 Brisbane Flood, (peaking at 20.7 m) and 2010–11 Queensland floods (peaking at 19.4 m) on 12 January 2011.


Around 35 people died in the floods in the 1893 Brisbane flood. The Brisbane River burst its banks on three occasions in February of that year and a fourth event several months later. 7 workers were killed at a colliery in north Ipswich as the Bremer River broke its banks.


14 people died in flooding in January 1974, during the Australia Day weekend. Two people were killed in Ipswich. At least 6,700 homes flooded across the region. Thousands of homes in Ipswich and Brisbane could not be recovered.


The Bremer River at Ipswich reached a height of 19.5 metres (64 ft) on 12 January, inundating the central business district and thousands of houses. 38 people died as a result of the floods. At Minden, on the border of Ipswich City, a four-year-old boy was swept away by floodwaters when he fell from a rescue boat. A man in his fifties died when he accidentally drove into floodwaters in the Ipswich suburb of Wulkuraka.

The worst affected areas of Ipswich were the suburbs of Goodna and Gailes. The flooding allowed bull sharks to reach the centre of Goodna; one was spotted swimming in Williams Street, and a second in Queen Street.

A multibillion-dollar class action lawsuit is underway against dam operators Seqwater, SunWater and the State of Queensland. Law firm Maurice Blackburn have lodged the suit on behalf of 5,500 Ipswich and Brisbane residents who lost their homes or businesses during the floods. Modelling released in 2013 claimed flooding of Ipswich CBD would not have been as extreme if Wivenhoe Dam operators had operated the dam correctly.


Ipswich experiences a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) with hot and humid summers and mild to warm winters with cool overnight temperatures.

Climate data for Ipswich-Amberley Air Base
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 44.3
Average high °C (°F) 31.1
Average low °C (°F) 19.6
Record low °C (°F) 11.6
Average precipitation mm (inches) 116.5
Average precipitation days 10.9 11.9 11.3 8.0 7.7 6.3 6.5 5.7 5.9 8.8 9.3 10.6 102.9
Average relative humidity (%) 51 54 52 48 48 46 42 38 38 43 46 49 46
Source: Bureau of Meteorology


Ipswich Show

The first Ipswich Annual Show was held on 2 April 1873 by the Queensland Pastoral and Agricultural Society. There had been shows staged by the Ipswich and West Moreton Horticultural and Agricultural Society as early as 1868. Originally held at the sale yards situated at Lobb St, Churchill, the show moved to its present home at the Ipswich Showgrounds in 1877.

Jacaranda trees in bloom, Ipswich
Ipswich Jacaranda Trees at Goodna

Goodna Jacaranda Festival

This festival has been held annually at Goodna (Evan Marginson Sportsground) since 1968.

Ipswich Festival

The Ipswich Festival is an annual multi-disciplinary festival. The event showcases a broad program of entertainment and arts that continues to entertain, inspire and celebrate the essence of the culture, spirit and community in Ipswich.

First staged in 1998, the Ipswich Festival is regarded as the city's premier event. The variety, size and scope of the program has grown exponentially through increasing interest group participation, corporate partnerships and community enthusiasm.

The festival presents Ipswich's cultural heritage and highlights the city's emerging talents through a deliberate program of live bands, concerts, art exhibits, fireworks, theatre, jazz, multicultural celebrations, interactive displays and a range of family-based events to encourage participation by all age groups whilst attracting day tourism to the region.

The Ipswich Festival runs for two weeks at the end of April and beginning of May with the majority of events free.


The Fuchs Winternationals is an annual event, typically held around June at Willowbank Raceway, part of the Ipswich Motorsport Precinct. The four-day event is one of the largest drag racing festivals in the southern hemisphere and has drawn crowds of more than 40, 000 people in previous years.


Ipswich was a major mining centre, particularly coal mining. The city is the 'cradle of coal mining in Queensland'. Other secondary manufacturing industries included earthenware works, sawmills, abattoirs and foundries, while the region is also rich agriculturally.

Ipswich remains a strong manufacturing region, with more than 14% of workers employed in the manufacturing industry, compared to just 7.6% for regional Queensland.

Extensive growth is predicted in Ipswich and the Western Corridor region in years to come, the economy is projected to be worth $12.7 billion by 2026. Global giant General Electric moved its Queensland headquarters into a $72 million building in Springfield in 2015.

Ipswich is the site of RAAF Base Amberley, the Royal Australian Air Force's largest operational base. It is currently home to No. 1 Squadron and No. 6 Squadron (operating the F/A-18F Super Hornet), No. 33 Squadron (operating the Airbus KC-30A) and No. 36 Squadron (operating the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III jet transport). In addition, a number of ground support units are located at Amberley.

Film production

North Ipswich Rail Yard
The Workshops Rail Museum, North Ipswich

In recent years, Ipswich has become a sought-after filming location. The 2013 movie The Railway Man was filmed around the city's railyards. Other major films, including San Andreas starring Dwayne Johnson, and Inspector Gadget 2 were filmed around the city. Several Australian films have also used Ipswich for shooting locations, including the 2016 movie Don't Tell and Savages Crossing, The Settlement, The Tree, Mystery Road, 500 Miles and telemovies, Parer's War and Mabo. Australian TV legal drama Rise was also filmed at Borallon Correctional Centre.


According to the 2016 census, the population of Ipswich was 323,069. The median age was 34 years old, 4 years younger than the nationwide median. The male-to-female ratio was 49.8-to-50.2.

The most commonly nominated ancestries were English (25.8%), Australian (24.9%), Irish (7.2%), Scottish (6.7%), and German (5.8%). 69.9% of people were born in Australia, while the other most common countries of birth were New Zealand (4.9%), England (3.1%), Vietnam (2.4%), India (1.1%), and the Philippines (0.9%). Indigenous Australians accounted for 4.0% of the population.

The most commonly spoken languages other than English were Vietnamese (3.7%), Samoan (1.7%), Mandarin and Spanish (0.6% each), and Hindi (0.5%). The most common religious affiliations reported were none (27.8%), Catholic (19.5%), Anglican (13.5%), and Uniting Church (5.0%).


Ipswich is noted for its strong contribution to sport at a state and national level. Local rugby league club Ipswich Jets had a stellar 2015 season, seeing the team win their maiden Intrust Super Cup title and take the NRL State Championship. The win again fuelled interest in a successful Western Corridor NRL bid.

  • Association football: Western Pride play in the statewide National Premier League (NPL), while historic club Ipswich Knights play in the Brisbane Premier League. Other teams playing in Ipswich include the Ipswich City Bulls, Springfield United, Western Spirit, Whitehill, Westminster, Raceview, Silkstone and Rosewood.
  • Australian rules football: The Ipswich Eagles play in the second tier division of AFL Queensland, and Collingwood Park Power play in Division 3. The Ipswich Miners play in the under 18 competition of AFL Queensland. Collingwood Park (Power), Ipswich Central (Cats), Limestone Eagles (part of the Ipswich Eagles) and Springfield Lakes play in the junior competition of AFL Brisbane Juniors.
  • Basketball: The Ipswich Force play in the Queensland Basketball League, fielding teams in the men's competition and women's competition. They play their home games at Cotton On Foundation Stadium in Bundamba.
  • Cricket: The Ipswich Logan Hornets play in the Brisbane Grade Cricket competition, fielding teams in 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades. They have their home ground at the Ivor Marsden Complex in Amberley.
  • Greyhound racing: The Showgrounds host greyhound racing, organised by the Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club the track opened in 1973.
  • Gridiron: The Ipswich Cougars play in the Gridiron Queensland league and have been one of the most dominant teams since the launch of Gridiron in Queensland.
  • Hockey: is a major sport in the city and is played at Briggs Rd Sporting Complex facility where there are 2 world-class, artificial surfaces.
  • Motorsport: Drag racing is conducted at Willowbank Raceway year round with events open to both professional and amateur racers, including a series conducted to facilitate newcomers to the sport.
  • Motorsport: V8 Supercars race each year in the SuperSprint at Queensland Raceway at Willowbank in mid July.
  • Rugby league: The Ipswich Jets play in the Queensland Cup competition, FOGS and FOGS Colts. Ipswich Diggers are the junior representative teams playing all other QLD regions in the Mal Meninga (under 18s) and the Cyril Connell (under 16s) statewide Cups. Ipswich also has a thriving local league competition Ipswich Rugby League including 4 grades of Seniors and every age group of juniors (multiple divisions). Clubs include West End Bulldogs, Brothers, Swifts, Goodna Eagles, Springfield, Norths Tigers, Laidley Lions, Fassifern Bombers, Redbank Bears, Lowood Stags, Twin Rivers, Rosewood Roosters and Brisbane Valley.
  • Rugby union: The Ipswich Rangers play in the Queensland Suburban Rugby Union competition usually competing with 3–4 grades including Colts. The Rangers juniors compete in the Brisbane Junior Rugby competition.



In March 2016, Ipswich's digital innovation and startup hub, Fire Station 101, was officially launched. Owned by Ipswich City Developments and operated by Ipswich City Enterprises, Fire Station 101 will position the region as a leader of the digital economy. More than fifteen members had signed up prior to the opening. In 2015, Ipswich was named in the world's Top 7 most Intelligent Communities by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) in New York.


Ipswich is home to dozens of primary and secondary schools, including Ipswich Grammar School, which was the first high school in Queensland (established in 1863). Ipswich Girls' Grammar School was established 1892. Tertiary education facilities include University of Southern Queensland, which has campuses at Springfield and Ipswich. TAFE Queensland South West has a campus at Bundamba and another in Springfield.


Ipswich is home to the Safe City camera network, which commenced in 1994. More than 200 cameras are monitored 24/7 from a facility situated within the CBD.

The Ipswich City Council Safe City Monitoring Facility has hosted representatives of law enforcement agencies from the Netherlands, Taiwan, Great Britain and approximately twenty-five local authorities from across Australia to inspect the closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera monitoring system.


Ipswich has direct access to the Ipswich Motorway (linking to Brisbane); the Cunningham Highway (linking to Warwick); the Warrego Highway (linking to Toowoomba); the Logan Motorway and its connection to the Pacific Motorway (linking to Logan and the Gold Coast); and the Centenary Highway (linking Springfield and the Ripley Valley to Brisbane).

Ipswich Railway Station is a major hub for rail transport. The electrified rail line that extends east from Ipswich through Brisbane's western suburbs to the Brisbane CBD is known as the Ipswich Line. The Rosewood railway line, part of the first railway in Queensland, is also electrified and extends west through Ipswich's western suburbs to the town of Rosewood. Both lines are operated by Queensland Rail.


Nerima Gardens Boardwalk
The boardwalk at Nerima Gardens in Queens Park, Ipswich

Ipswich has more than 500 parks and conservation estates, including Nerima Gardens, which was designed in consultation with Ipswich's Japanese sister city, Nerima. In 2015, Orion Lagoon opened in Springfield Central.

Brookwater hosts the Brookwater Golf and Country Club, designed by Greg Norman. The par 72 golf course measures 6,505 metres and has been voted as Queensland's number one golf course in Golf Australia magazine's best 50 courses.

The Ipswich Council operates a public library in Ipswich at 40 South Street.

Notable people


  • Greg Ball, Paralympic cyclist
  • Berrick Barnes, dual code rugby footballer and Wallabies player (attended Ipswich Grammar School)
  • Ashleigh Barty, professional tennis player and cricketer, as of 9 January 2022 WTA world no. 1
  • Dud Beattie, Australian rugby league representative, Queensland and national selector
  • John Buchanan, former Australian cricket team coach
  • Allan Davis, professional road racing cyclist for UCI ProTour team Orica-GreenEDGE, winner of the 2009 Tour Down Under
  • Bryony Duus, Australia women's national soccer team midfielder at the 2000 Summer Olympics and 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup
  • Israel Folau, professional dual code footballer Australian rugby league representative and Australian rules footballer with the Greater Western Sydney Giants. Played for Ipswich junior rugby league team Goodna Eagles.
  • Alex Gibb, first captain of the Australia national soccer team.
  • Rhan Hooper, professional Australian rules footballer in the Australian Football League (AFL) (attended Bundamba State Secondary College)
  • Luke Keary, NRL player for The South Sydney Rabbitohs, grew up in the suburb of Raceview, attended St Mary's Primary School, played for Brothers Ipswich JRLFC
  • Noel (Ned) Kelly, rugby league, played for Goodna, Railways, Brothers Ipswich, Western Suburbs Magpies, Queensland and Australian Kangaroos (1959–60; 1963–64 & 1967–68). Hooker in Queensland Rugby League's Team of the Century, attended St Edmund's Christian Brothers College
  • Belinda Kitching, Australia women's national soccer team goalkeeper at the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup.
  • Allan Langer, rugby league player, attended Ipswich State High School and Blair State Primary School
  • Craig McDermott, represented Queensland and Australia in cricket, attended Ipswich Grammar School
  • McLean Family, national rugby league and rugby union representatives
  • Rosemary Milgate, represented Australia swimming at the 1976 Olympics whilst still attending Bremer State High School
  • Des Morris, rugby league, Queensland rep and current Australian selector (attended Bremer High School)
  • Rod Morris, rugby league, former Balmain, Queensland, NSW and Australian front row forward
  • Joe Quinn, professional baseball player and manager.
  • Michelle Sawyers, Queensland and Australian soccer player, named in the International Team of the Decade 1979-1989
  • Deborah Acason, represented Australia in weightlifting, Commonwealth Games (2006 Gold Medal, 2002 Silver Medal) and Olympics (2008 eighth place, 2004 twelfth place)
  • Lagi Setu, NRL player for the Brisbane Broncos, (attended Ipswich Grammar School)
  • Dale Shearer, rugby league, represented Queensland and Australia
  • Lama Tasi, NRL Player for the Sydney Roosters, (attended Ipswich Grammar School)
  • Mark Tonelli, Olympic gold medallist in swimming, member of the Quietly Confident Quartet
  • Ashley Walsh, national karting champion, V8 Supercars driver
  • The "Walters Brothers", rugby league players: Kevin Walters, Kerrod Walters and Steve Walters
  • Shane Watson, represented Queensland and Australia in cricket, (attended Ipswich Grammar School)


  • Tony Barry, actor
  • John Birmingham, (Liverpool-born) Author
  • Harold Blair, Aboriginal Tenor and music teacher
  • Neville Bonner AO - the first Indigenous Australian to sit in the Australian Parliament. He was elected in his own right in 1972, 1974, 1975 and 1980.
  • John Bradfield, Engineer and designer of the Sydney Harbour Bridge; Story Bridge; and the Sydney Railway System
  • Joy Chambers, Author, Actor
  • Sidney Cotton, Australian inventor and rumoured inspiration for character of James Bond (literary character)
  • D'Arcy Doyle, Painter
  • Jozef Erece, Youngest ever law graduate in Australian history and youngest practising solicitor in the southern hemisphere
  • Clare Foley, lawyer
  • Bessie Gibson, artist
  • Sir Harry Gibbs, Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia
  • Sir Samuel Griffith, Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia
  • Pauline Hanson, politician
  • Hazza, Television presenter and singer
  • Matthew Hickey, barrister and founder of The Ten Tenors
  • Luke Kennedy, singer, finalist The Voice Australia
  • David McCormack, former lead member of Custard and The Titanics.
  • George Miller Hollywood director, screenwriter and producer
  • Pacharo Mzembe, Actor
  • Patricia Petersen, Politician, Director, Producer, Author, Playwright, Media Personality
  • Nick Politis, Businessman, Chairman of the Sydney Roosters
  • George Roberts, Aviation Pioneer
  • Thomas Shapcott, Author and poet
  • Charles Trussell, brass band composer

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