Once a commercial and political rival to Brisbane, Ipswich remains a vigorously independent provincial city, 40km south of the Queensland capital.
The city developed from a convict settlement established on the Bremer River in 1827 to work the rich deposits of limestone in the surrounding hills. The early settlement, coupled with the economic and strategic importance of the town, has left Ipswich with a stock of magnificent examples of colonial government buildings, churches, manor houses and Queenslander homes.
A standout is the Court House. Built in neo-classical, faintly Mediterranean style in 1859, it remains one of the few surviving buildings constructed by the NSW Government before the creation of a separate Queensland colony.
The city and surrounds are netowrked with a chain of parks and bushland reserves well endowed with recreational and leisure faclities which offer tranquil bushwalks and picnicking sanctuaries.