1 - 12, The Glasshouse and Greenhouse, 13-17, Animals at the Nature Centre, 18 & 19. On display at the Environmental Education Center
I spent the first seventeen years of my life in Queensland's oldest provincial city, Ipswich. Full of historical charm and heritage listed sites that I would not fully appreciate until I was much older. On a recent day trip with my children and Mother, I finally explored the Glasshouse and Greenhouse at Queen's Park, which dates to the early 1900's, before visiting the Nature Centre and Environmental Education Centre - a school holiday tradition in our family.
I have often driven past the formal gardens of the Glasshouse and wondered at them, though had never stopped until recently. A huge Moreton Bay fig tree appears to prop the gardens up from the road below. Manicured hedges neatly lead one to the hundred-year-old glasshouse, which was unfortunately locked. A peek inside revealed lush greenery and cream coloured statues. Stepping down the hill alongside, in three sections, the Greenhouse was home to even more lush foliage, running water and a collection of orchids.
The children know their way around the Nature Center - this way to the wombats, this way to the bilby's, here are the snakes, in here for the birds. They are never disappointed though. The 'free zoo' always rates highly on their list of favourite activities on the holidays. Perhaps lunch and ice-cream with Grandma at the cafe that follows such explorations helps?
Perhaps one day they will take their own children exploring the places of their childhoods?