Ipswich Nature Centre opened in 1936 and is set in the lovely gardens of Queen’s Park (Queensland’s oldest park), in the city of Ipswich. In general, Ipswich Nature Centre is a very sleek and well-maintained facility with a particular focus on local species, with a few exceptions. Despite its humble size, the centre has a good range of mammals, birds and reptiles. Ipswich Nature Centre is owned by the council, and has no admission fee. This place was also my first zoo, and has changed very little since I first began visiting the centre. Most of the paths are fenced boardwalks and the entire centre is very well-planted and landscaped with a scope of native floral species found in the the Ipswich region. The centre also has a diverse range of wild species, the highlight being two large (and very noisy) colonies of Little Red Flying Fox and Grey-headed Flying Fox, seen in broad daylight. The entrance features a very nice rotunda, and this area also has signage explaining the centre’s message and history. The first open-topped enclosure encountered has a lone Lace Monitor, which had several good vantage points due to many large logs, rocks and branches positioned in its enclosure. The goanna was very active on my visit, monitoring the perimeter of its enclosure. Goanna Enclosure by WhistlingKite24 posted 26 Nov 2018 at 6:59 PM Adjacent to the goanna, was a well-planted yard for two Swamp Wallaby. This was quite lush, and possessed many thickly planted trees and scrubs (I remember this yard originally had Pademelon). The wallabies also had a wooden shed and large hollow logs for shade and privacy, which they utilised during my visit. Moving on, there is an adequate aviary for a pair of Red-tailed Black Cockatoos and Rainbow Lorikeets. Since my last visit, they had opened the aviary up, which used to be divided for the two species. There were no signs of aggression between the two species (Rainbow Lorikeets are pretty boisterous birds anyways). This is a good time to mention, that there is a manmade, yet attractive stream which is seen from around this point, and continues on to create a large pond for the Black Swan. They recently bred cygnets which have gone to other institutions, and the swans seem to comfortable around people. Near the bird aviary, there was another Swamp Wallaby yard, which contained a pair. This was again very nicely done, and well-planted. Continuing on the boardwalk, through the swan area, is probably the best exhibit at the centre. A large enclosure, with great width and length, featured towering mature fig trees with yet more Swamp Wallaby and a lone Red-legged Pademelon. The macropods also had a running stream through their enclosure and could access both sides of the stream, via a wooden platform. Definitely, one of the best I have seen for macropods IMO. Wallaby Enclosure by WhistlingKite24 posted 26 Nov 2018 at 6:54 PM The first pair of mock rock, glass-fronted enclosures was next. These held Tiger Quoll and Eastern Quoll. Neither were out on my first lap of the centre. Both enclosures were very similar and had many hiding opportunities (trust me I searched high and low). They also had another section on the side of the enclosure with a heat lamp, and additional bedding. There were also a few enrichment items for the quolls. From this point, you can see the back of the Rock Wallaby enclosure, which seemed to offer some very good hiding spaces for their Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby. Quoll Enclosure by WhistlingKite24 posted 26 Nov 2018 at 6:51 PM The boardwalk path lead to the reptile area, with an open-topped turtle enclosure, with a nicely-sized pond, for Short-necked Turtle. This area also had three glass-fronted enclosures, with Spotted Python, Eastern Carpet Python, and Frilled Lizard/ Eastern Bluetongue/ Central Breaded Dragon. These enclosures had good height, but had terrible reflection. The carpet python tank was probably just adequate for its largish individual. Continuing on was the Common Wombat area, which has a glass-fronted burrow with straw bedding, and a shaded outside area. The outdoor area seemed quite nice for a wombat enclosure, and was even grassed and had trees. Of course, the wombat was sound asleep. The nocturnal area or the “Bilby Cave” was an unusual rock structure which housed Bilby and Spinifex Hopping Mice. This pair of Bilby enclosures were a bit small for my liking and they housed a pair. The centre bred triplets last year, and is one of many successful offspring the centre has produced. This area was not lighted and was pitch black. The hopping mice exhibit was quite nice, however its residents were not very active. The next area was the Eastern Grey Kangaroo/ Red Kangaroo/ Emu yard and the front of the rock wallaby enclosure. The kangaroo yard was quite spacious and had many opportunities for shade. It was quite unusual not to have the staple walk-through enclosure for kangaroos. The walkthrough aviary was quite impressive and well-stocked, and was roughly divided into grassland and rainforest areas. A small stream ran through the aviary for the waterfowl, and there were several feeding platforms across the aviary at different height levels. There was quite a lot of nest building activity, especially amongst the pigeons and princess parrots, and a few fledglings. This aviary also used to have Rufous Bettong, but there was no sign of them anywhere. Walk-through Aviary Interior by WhistlingKite24 posted 26 Nov 2018 at 6:40 PM Species Seen: Satin Bowerbird White-faced Heron, Chestnut Teal, Glossy Ibis, Buff-banded Rail, Yellow Figbird, Blue-faced Honeyeater, Bush Stone Curlew, Pale-headed Rosella, King Parrot, Princess Parrot, Cockatiel, Emerald Dove, Common Bronzewing, Wonga Pigeon, White-headed Pigeon, Bar-shouldered Dove Past the aviary were the Dingoes in a standard chain-link enclosure, and finally the barnyard area with an assortment of domestics, peafowl and Mandarin ducks. Overall, Ipswich Nature Centre is a very nice facility with a solid range of species (some quite desirable). Despite some unexpected weather events, I thoroughly enjoyed my trip (and its free admission). If you’re in the area, I highly recommend a visit to Ipswich Nature Centre.