Friday, December 4, 2015

Visitor Information Centre inducted into Queensland Tourism Hall of Fame

The official photo
 CR DAVID PAHLKE with his Tourism Staff

IPSWICH’S Visitor Information Centre was inducted into the Queensland Tourism Industry Council Hall of Fame after winning gold at Friday night’s annual Queensland Tourism Awards. The center extended its golden run in the Visitor Information Services category, having previously taken top honours in 2011, 2013 and 2014 and reaching the finals in 2010 and 2012. The awards at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre recognised industry leading attractions, events, accommodation, services and operators across 30 categories. Queensland Rail won gold in the Cultural Tourism category for the 150 years of rail program, which included events at Grandchester and The Workshops Rail Museum. The Pumpyard Bar & Brewery in the Ipswich CBD was a finalist in the Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries category. Tourism and Libraries Committee Chairperson Councillor David Pahlke said the Hall of Fame induction was a fitting tribute to information centre staff and volunteers. “We have some great people on the ground, dedicated staff and working volunteers who are passionate about their city and go above and beyond in welcoming visitors,” he said.

“Ipswich has attractions for all ages, budgets and interests. We’ve got genuine options for 

weekends, short breaks and longer stays. “It’s a unique experience and now Ipswich is in the Hall of Fame, which will only generate more interest and bring along more visitors.” Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said tourism contributed about $136 million to the Ipswich economy in 2013, with 1.1 million visitors coming to the region. “The recently adopted City of Ipswich Destination Management Plan will deliver economic, social and profile growth via increased visitor numbers and expenditure,” he said. “The plan positions Ipswich as a destination with something for everyone – tangible history, challenge-based adventure, nature-based recreation and unique spectator and participation events. “Ipswich tourism is among the best of the best in Queensland, the Hall of Fame induction once again brings state-wide recognition to the region.”

Prelimin entertainment

The big announcement
On Stage Accepting



The Ipswich VIC provides “boutique experience.”The Ipswich Visitor Information Centre has been inducted into the Hall of Fame after winning its third gold medal at the Queensland Tourism Awards last night. Hosted but the Queensland Tourism Industry Council, Ipswich City Council’s Ipswich Visitor Information Centre won the gold medal for Visitor Information Services. Queensland Rail’s 150 years of rail program, which featured events at the birth of Queensland rail at Grandchester and the Workshops Rail Museum also won the Gold medal in Cultural Tourism. Council’s Tourism Committee chairman David Pahlke said the wins shone a light on the city’s “undiscovered attractions” that had great appeal for the daytrips market.

  “This is unheard of for Ipswich to be in the tourism spotlight”, Cr Pahlke said. “Usually you find it’s places like Cains, Noosa, the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, that are often seen in the tourism awards. “I think it says a lot for our staff and our volunteers that works rostered shifts at the Visitor Information Centre. “This shows we have a lot of undiscovered things to see in Ipswich. When you start adding up, we’ve got a lot here. The Workshops, the Cobb & Co trail, we’ve got the Willowbank racing precinct, Robelle Domain with the brand new Orion Lagoon. “We are only one or two hours drive from Brisbane and the Gold Coast. People head out this way looking for something different. It is that boutique experience. It’s not just the tried and true what you find on the tourism brochures. Cr Pahlke said it was the passion of the VIC staff and volunteers that set it apart from other centres throughout the state. “I am really proud of our staff and our volunteers, because they have just highlighted this fact. People will stop and say, ‘hey look at Ipswich – tourism’,” he said.

“They believe in the product and the area and the city that they serve.” A total of 81 awards including 27 Gold, 25 Silver, 22 Bronze and two individual awards across 30 categories were presented at Brisbane’s Convention and Exhibition Centre last night where 900 guests gathered to celebrate Queensland’s tourism achievements. QTIC chief executive Daniel Gschwind said the awards provided the opportunity to pay homage to hard working people and organisations who helped shape the industry. “Tourism is in a growth phase great opportunities to invest in Queensland’s destinations and services,” Mr Gschwind said.



MINISTER FOR TOURISM Kate Jones with Mayor Paul Pisasale
And Chair of Tourism  Cr David Pahlke

Tuesday, March 3, 2015



I am so glad I inspected.  What an absolute delight.
A credit to the  passion and efforts of Matt and Nicole Kanofski -  check it out 



Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Council car becomes latest tool in the promotion of Ipswich

Ipswich tourism volunteers (from left) Sandra Harle, Brenda Dayes and Rhonda Pocock will be helping Ipswich City Council Tourism and Libraries Committee Chairperson Councillor David Pahlke seated in the new Discover Ipswich van to market the city next week as part of Discover Ipswich Week.
IPSWICH’s newest billboard will be taking to the streets from next week to promote the city.  Ipswich City Council Tourism and Libraries Committee Chairperson Councillor David Pahlke said council had taken one of its existing vehicles and had it specially sign written to turn it into a mobile tourism billboard.  “The wrapping of this vehicle in the Discover Ipswich branding and imagery will provide an ongoing promotional activity to raise awareness of tourism experiences with both local residents and visitors,” Cr Pahlke said.
“It will give us an ongoing and mobile platform for promoting council’s Discover Ipswich message which is central to our tourism promotion activities.”  Cr Pahlke said the first job for the new look vehicle would be to transport the Discover Ipswich Street Team to a range of locations around the city while promoting Discover Ipswich Week.  “This week is running from tomorrow (April 4) until April 12 to showcase Ipswich and encourage residents to discover their city.”  Cr Pahlke said the street team would be popping up between April 7 and April 11 at a variety of Ipswich locations such as Queens Park, Robelle Domain, River Heart Parklands, The Workshops Rail Museum and the Ipswich Art Gallery. Exact locations are yet to be determined.
“We will be hitting the streets to encourage Ipswich residents to discover all the great things to see and do in their own backyard and to become ambassadors for Ipswich. “There will be two daily visits to hot spots throughout the city with members of the street team only spending up to an hour onsite in these locations distributing special Discover Ipswich packs. “If you spot the Discover Ipswich car or you hear where they’ll be on River949, stop in to grab a Discover Ipswich pack containing the 2014 Discover Ipswich Guide, discounts and special offer coupons from local tourism and hospitality businesses and some other goodies.”  “Details of the visits will be posted beforehand to the Discover Ipswich Facebook page so make sure you like the page to receive updates as well as listen to River 949 for updates.”
For further information about Discover Ipswich Week and tourism in Ipswich visit the Discover Ipswich website at

Friday, December 13, 2013


A HOST of discount coupons and a directory of local Rosewood retailers will be on offer through a special advertising brochure released this month.

Division 10 Councillor David Pahlke said the brochure entitled Rosewood Village Charm would help create interest in and recognition of the Rosewood region. “Produced by council in conjunction with the area’s retailers, this brochure is designed to generate increased business for Rosewood retailers and service providers by attracting new customers to the area and encouraging residents to shop locally,” Cr Pahlke said.

Cr Pahlke said the brochure would also showcase Rosewood’s historical village charm through the promotion of regional tourism aspects to attract day and overnight visitors to the region. “This area is home to some wonderful attractions from the Cobb and Co coach housed in John St to St Brigid’s Catholic Church which is the largest wooden church in the Southern hemisphere. “There has never been a better time to visit Rosewood and see just what makes the town the unique place it is. “Rosewood is a progressive region that infuses country hospitality and heritage beauty with hidden retail treasures.
“With three op shops in town Rosewood is often known as “op shop heaven” with many people even coming from Ipswich to explore the wonderful bargains on offer. “Rosewood is also home to two well-known dress and accessory shops which often attract shoppers from Ipswich and even as far away as Brisbane. “These shops offer a boutique shopping experience and are a favourite location of many fashion conscious women. “I invite people to come and see for themselves all of the wonderful retail experiences on offer in Rosewood.”

Mayor Paul Pisasale and Cr David Pahlke

With Shirley Doyle and Jody Ruhland from Almos Shoes

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasalesaid he urged the community to pick-up one of the Rosewood Village Charmbrochures. “This brochure is now available through Rosewood businesses and offers some wonderful discounts on a whole range of things,” Cr Pisasale said. “Council’s Office of Economic Development has put together this brochure designed to highlight all the retail experiences which are on offer in Rosewood. “The Rosewood Village Charm brochures provide an easy reference guide for both residents and people visiting Rosewood.” Cr Pisasale said it had been wonderful to witness the community’s support for this initiative.
“I hope that local residents will take advantage of the special offers which are being made by the Rosewood retailers who are involved with this brochure.” Cr Pisasale said country towns had a special place in the Australian psyche and a visit to Rosewood as one of Ipswich’s charming regions will not disappoint. “Only 20km west of Ipswich CBD, Rosewood offers a unique and vibrant township bustling with village charm. “Rosewood’s city centre is growing as more residents and tourists discover this special place. “The town is building a strong reputation for tourism as well as unique retail opportunities and is busily proving that it is a great place to live, work and invest. “Established businesses have reaped the support of the local community and council looks forward to welcoming new businesses to Rosewood as it continues to take advantage of the opportunities being experienced in our region.”

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


IPSWICH scored double gold at the 2013 Queensland Tourism Awards held last Friday night in Brisbane.

The annual awards recognise outstanding achievements in tourism including operators, attractions, events, accommodation, marketing and tourism and visitor information services.  Mayor Paul Pisasale said the gold award was won in the categories of Visitor Information and Services and Outstanding Contribution by a Volunteer or Volunteer Group confirmed Ipswich as the best in the state in both categories.  “This is a tremendous result for our city. Congratulations to the team at the Visitor Information Centre which includes all our wonderful volunteers.

“The centre continues to raise the bar in terms of customer service and knowledge of local attractions. “I’m confident this double gold win would not be possible without the dedicated team of 30 passionate volunteers who put their heart and soul into promoting Ipswich,” Cr Pisasale said.

 Tourism and Libraries chairperson Cr David Pahlke was equally thrilled with the result and accepted the awards on behalf of Ipswich City Council.  “The 2013 Queensland Tourism Awards are open to all operators across the state. These two gold awards recognise the collective efforts of volunteers who contributed 7,630 hours towards the success of the Ipswich Visitor Information Centre.  “We have continued to work at being the best and to reinforce the value of tourism to Ipswich and the region.

“The centre is more than just a building. I want to thank our small but passionate tourism team and our volunteers who are always looking at new ways to provide information and excellent service to the growing number of visitors to Ipswich and the region.”  The Ipswich Visitor Information Centre is open seven days and located at the entrance to Ipswich Central on Queen Victoria Parade.  Cr Pahlke also congratulated The Workshops Rail Museum which picked up two silver awards, one each in the Heritage and Cultural Tourism and Tourist Attraction categories.

 OUR  THANKS  TO ICC Staff  Janet  Hewitt  Tourism Manager and  Michael Williams  and  Victoria  Nugent  and  Wade Curtis

 The full list of 2013 winners is available at

Volunteers: THE VOLLIES - Couldn’t do it without the Vollies

· This award acknowledges the passion and pride of our 30 volunteers at the Ipswich Visitor Information Centre.

· Collectively, they contributed 7,630 hours in 2012-13 and we couldn’t run our Visitor Information Centre and our other visitor programs without their enthusiasm dedication and passion.

· They are waiting by their mobile phones for a text message about tonight’s results and I know they are all going to be thrilled with the recognition of this well-deserved Award.

Visitor Information and Services:

· Receiving this award is a great honour.

· I know how much effort goes into preparing a submission for the Tourism Awards and want to congratulate all the other finalists in this category.
  • Visitor Information and Services are more than just the physical facility of a Visitor Information Centre - even though ours is really great - and I want to acknowledge the small but passionate tourism team (who are with me on the stage) and our volunteers who are always looking at new ways to provide information and excellent servicesto our growing number of visitors to the City of Ipswich.



Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Ipswich t-shirts capture essence of city - Planes Trains and Automobiles

JUST in time for Christmas Ipswich City Council is selling some uniquely Ipswich merchandise to promote the city.

Ipswich Tourism and Libraries Committee Chairperson Councillor David Pahlke said council had been working with local graphic design and textile design company Tandem E. Tandem to come up with some t-shirts which captured the essence of the city. “Tandem E. Tandem approached council with some great designs that really capture three things that Ipswich is famous for - planes, trains and automobiles,” Cr Pahlke said.

“There are two designs of shirts and I’m sure both are going to become popular. “One design features planes, trains and automobiles while the other is an old-fashioned train ticket and features the history of the railway in Ipswich. “The shirts will be on sale in a range of sizes for $24.95 each at the Ipswich Visitor Information Centre (VIC) in Queens Park and would make a great Christmas present. “If this is well received and sales are good, this will just be the start of a range of unique to Ipswich range of shirts.”

Division 4 Councillor Bruce Casos said he was thrilled to see the inclusion of these t-shirts at the VIC. “Tens of thousands of visitors are attracted to our city each year lured by an interest in our rail history, a love of motorsport or a passion for our RAAF Base, in particular the RAAF Amberley Aviation Heritage Centre,” Cr Casos said. It is only natural that our city provides those visitors with an opportunity to take home a souvenir of these treasures of which we are so justifiably proud.” Tandem E. Tandem designer Kristy Elliottsaid the company was thrilled to be part of this initiative. “I was born in Ipswich and have lived here all my life, so I am an Ipswich girl born and bred.

“The main office for Tandem E. Tandem is also in Ipswich. “Anita Chew is the other half of the team and is currently based in Howard but also spent nearly seven years working in Ipswich.“We love being a part of the Ipswich community which is why we decided to take on this project.”
Cr David Pahlke - Chair of Tourism with Cr. Bruce Casos.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Video display provides history information at push of a button at Cobb and Co coach

VISITORS to Ipswich’s Cobb and Co coach will now be able to learn first-hand all about local history and the background of the coach.  Ipswich City Council Division 10 Councillor David Pahlke said as part of a recent upgrade carried out to the replica Cobb and Co coach shelter in Rosewood a video unit was added to the display.   “Visitors to Rosewood Community Park can now push a button to view a pictorial display featuring the history of the Rosewood area as well as that of the Cobb and Co coach.  “This wonderful video gives people visiting our local coach the chance to learn all about it.”

 Cr Pahlke said since late August 2011, the full-size replica coach had been housed when not in use in a purpose-built glass display case in the John St park.  He said the recent upgrade project had also included improving the shade and shelter available to the coach to combat the extreme heat and cold it was experiencing sealed in its glass enclosure.  “The verandah surrounding the display case to provide additional shade in the area and this had allowed the coach's harness and bridle to be placed on display once again.  "We had to remove these items earlier this year as they were drying out because of the heat within the display case."

 The project also included applying new solar film to the glass, new concrete works, adjusting the clock tower and replacing the temperature gauge.  Cr Pahlke said the coach was part of council's plan to revitalise the Cobb and Co tourist drive between Ipswich and Toowoomba.

He said the coach was not just on permanent static display, it was also able to be removed and used for events such as parades.”  Cr Pahlke said he wanted to encourage the community to come to Rosewood and see the coach for themselves. "This coach is an exact replica of the Cobb and Co coaches which travelled around Australia and were a vital part of Australia's early history."

 Cobb and Co had a long history in Australia as the company's coaches carried passengers, mail and parcels for 70 years in every mainland colony of Australia as well as New Zealand, South Africa and Japan. At the turn of the nineteenth century, the company operated 39 routes in Queensland, covering 7750 kilometres.   Averaging two services per week on each route, Cobb and Co would harness 9000 horses and travel more than 31,000 kilometres every week. Locally, The Cobb and Co drive starts at the award winning The Workshops Rail Museum in Ipswich and finishes at the Cobb and Co Museum in Toowoomba.

 Passengers and mail were transported from Ipswich by railway to Grandchester which was the end of the rail line at that time. Passengers were then picked up by a Cobb and Co coach to continue their journey from Grandchester to Toowoomba by road. The last Cobb and Co coach ran on the Yuleba-Surat route on August 14, 1924.   Ipswich City Council received $83,500 from the Federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government through the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure program to buy Ipswich's Cobb and Co Coach.

Monday, May 27, 2013


Ipswich tourism operators (from left) Captain Mike (Jarvis) from Pterodactyl Helicopters, Bronwyn Hoffensetz from Ironbark Ridge Vineyard and Fran Edney from Metro Hotel Ipswich International celebrate the launch of the new Ipswich Visitor Guide for 2013 with Ipswich City Council Tourism and Libraries Committee Chairperson Councillor David Pahlke (centre back).

A HANDY full-colour guide to Ipswich will be unveiled tonight with the launch of this year’s Ipswich Visitors’ Guide at the Metro Ipswich International Hotel.

Ipswich City Council Tourism and Libraries Committee Chairperson Councillor David Pahlke said the brochure provided a hard-copy version of information on the many and varied attractions available in Ipswich.  “The guide highlights the various experiences, attractions, tours and accommodation on offer in Ipswich,” Cr Pahlke said.  A total of 40,000 copies have been produced for distribution through visitor information centres in Queensland and northern New South Wales as well as at various tourism events.  Cr Pahlke said the Ipswich Visitor Guide helped to sell Ipswich to the world and focus attention on all the great things the city had to offer. 

“This is the council’s main brochure for promoting Ipswich as a tourism destination.  “This year we have had the best support from operators and business with 49 advertisers showcasing the variety of experiences and products on offer to visitors to Ipswich and the region.”  Locally the guides will be available from the Ipswich Visitor Information Centre in Queens Park and 34 distribution points including accommodation houses, libraries, attractions, rental car companies and the satellite information centres at Bremer Realty at Rosewood and Flowers with Expression at Marburg.   Cr Pahlke said he encouraged local residents to pick up a copy of the 2013 guide for themselves or the guide is available as an e-brochure on the Discover Ipswich website.  “This is a great way to familiarise yourself with all the many different things which can be found in your own backyard.”

Monday, April 22, 2013

DISCOVER  IPSWICH WEEK 5th to 13th April 2013 

Cr David Pahlke about to enjoy a 5 minute flight from
Grandchester to Rosewood

Captain Mike and Cr Pahlke with Colette Albert and Rob Donelly
from Ivory's Rock Conference Centre

Captain Mike and Cr Pahlke Chair of Toursim

THE spotlight will be turned on Ipswich next week for a special celebration week in the city.

Ipswich City Council Tourism and Libraries Committee Chairperson Councillor David Pahlke said council was hosting Discover Ipswich Week – discover your own backyard from this Friday (April 5) until April 13.  Cr Pahlke said the week was designed to raise awareness of the range of visitor experiences available in the city and would feature a program of locally focussed promotional tourism activities.  He said the week would tie in with the 10th anniversary celebrations for the Ipswich Visitor Information Centre in Queens Park.   “This purpose built centre is the central point for information about the city’s tourism activities.”

Cr Pahlke said it was important for Ipswich residents to become advocates for the city as Ipswich’s biggest tourism market came from their friends and family members visiting from outside the region.  “This is backed up by previous visitor statistics from Tourism Research Australia.  “This research showed that, of a total of 1,104,000 (domestic and international) visitors to the City of Ipswich during the 2011 calendar year, 472,000 (43%) were visiting friends and relatives.   “This means it is up to each and every resident to be familiar with Ipswich and what it has to offer so they share that information with their visiting friends and family members.”  The Discover Ipswich Week program includes:
- Tourism Displays, Riverlink Shopping Centre - April 6 - 12;
- Tourism Displays, Springfield Markets at Robelle Domain - April 6;
- Discover Ipswich pop-up displays - happening throughout the week at different locations
- Reunion of former Ipswich Visitor Information Centre staff and volunteers - April 9;
- Tourism displays, Twilight Markets at Robelle Domain - April 12;
- 10th birthday Open Day Celebrations and Tourism Expo, Ipswich Visitor Information Centre - April 13
Cr Pahlke said a number of promotions and competitions would run in conjunction with the week.  “One of the promotions will be run via the Discover Ipswich Facebook page so make sure you visit the page and like it.

“Entrants will be able to nominate their favourite spot in Ipswich to visit and/or take visiting friends and relatives to win prizes donated by local tourism businesses.   “Another project will be the Great to Have You Here campaign with coupons featuring discount or special offers from tourism operators in Ipswich region.”  Cr Pahlke said Ipswich had much of offer visitors and, being just 40 minutes west of Brisbane, was a great destination for a day trip or short break. “As Queensland's oldest provincial city, Ipswich is a blend of heritage charm, metropolitan sophistication and expansive green spaces.

"The city combines rich heritage with the energy of being the hub of today's growth region in South East Queensland.  "Whether you're looking for family friendly fun, outdoor adventure, adrenalin action, pure indulgence or a glimpse back to bygone days we encourage everyone to take the time to Discover Ipswich. "The city is home to a vast array of attractions providing the platform for many fun-filled days. "The experiences on offer in Ipswich including the V8 race experience, hot air balloon flights, award winning museums, helicopter wine tours, steam train rides, paintball, bushwalking, weekly markets, canoeing and much, much more."

For more information on Discover Ipswich Week call 3281 0555, drop into the Ipswich Visitor Information Centre, Queens Park at 14 Queen Victoria Parade, Ipswich or visit the Discover Ipswich website at

Friday, December 21, 2012


Mayor Paul Pisasale and Cr David Pahlke Chair of Tourism and Libraries
with Debbie Morrison from Yellow Cabs

IPSWICH Yellow Cabs are helping to drive home the Discover Ipswich message with two Ipswich based taxis now carrying the colourful advertising message.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale and Tourism and Libraries Committee Chairperson Cr David Pahlke inspected the new sign written vehicles and thanked Yellow Cabs for their support of local businesses which served the visitor market.  The new signs came at no cost to council or tourism operators.  Yellow Cabs came forward with this generous offer to provide the two taxi sides for six months.  This is a tremendous example of how we can support each other in getting the message to residents and visitors about the many attractions on offer.  These two taxis will be on the road seven days a week not only in Ipswich, but surrounding areas as well.

Cr David Pahlke said he was thrilled when the offer came through from local manager of Yellow Cabs Debbie Morrison.  I know all cabbies are proud to provide a first class taxi service in our city and this gesture will be appreciated by all tourism operators in the region.  Council worked in partnership with the Ipswich Tourism Operators Network (ITON) to finalise the artwork and Yellow Cabs did the rest.  Many people may not realise that even taxi drivers are in the tourism business, and these new signs will help reminded everyone that there are many unique experiences to offer friends and visitors to the Ipswich region, Cr Pahlke said. - Check it out

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Volunteer Jeannette Sharpe with visitors from New Zealand

IPSWICH has weathered not only Mother Nature, but also global financial instability and low consumer confidence to record solid tourism figures in 2011.

Ipswich City Council Tourism and Libraries Committee Chairperson Councillor David Pahlke said the overall tourism spend in Ipswich increased just 1% to $136 million in 2011.

Tourism Spend is the total spend in the local economy including tourism businesses and the broader business community such as supermarkets, retail, newsagents, service stations and medical services.

Cr Pahlke said council was extremely pleased with the Ipswich figure for 2011 given the year’s trying conditions. “Tourism throughout Queensland, not just in Ipswich, was negatively impacted last year by major weather events such as flooding and cyclones and the strong Australian Dollar helped to make overseas travel more attractive. “All in all council is pleased to have maintained a small growth in tourism spend in Ipswich during the year despite these factors.” Cr Pahlke said the data was revealed in visitor statistics produced by Tourism Research Australia for the City of Ipswich during the 2011 calendar year. Tourism Research Australia is commissioned by council each year to provide visitor statistics for the Ipswich Local Government Area. Cr Pahlke said the Ipswich data has revealed that the visiting friends and relatives remains the main purpose for people visiting Ipswich, attracting 36% of the total number of visitors.

“There has been a significant increase (144%) in the other category as the primary purpose for domestic day visitors to Ipswich during 2011. “Council believes leisure and business events (day meetings) could be contributing factors to this increase.” Cr Pahlke said international visitor numbers have remained the same as 2010.

Cr Pahlke said Ipswich had also witnessed a 24% increase in domestic overnight visitors compared with 1% for Brisbane and no growth for Queensland. “Ipswich did record a decrease of 18% in the average length of stay for the domestic market from 3.8 to 3.1 nights. “However, this was offset by a 48% increase in the number of visitors staying in commercial accommodation.” Cr Pahlke said there had been a decrease of 1% in the domestic day visitor segment, falling from 855,000 visitors per annum in 2010 to 847,000 day visitors in 2011. He said this annual research, which has produced by Tourism Research Australia since 2007, would provide consistent information as a basis for future tourism strategies.

“Analysis of these statistics, within the context of local, national and global events, can help to shape future strategies for the growth of visitor numbers to Ipswich and benefit the local community - economically, socially and culturally.”

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Mayor Paul Pisasale and Chair of Tourism Cr David Pahlke launch the new 2012 Ipswich Visitors Guide

Ipswich  Tourist  Information Centre  Volunteers at the launch


Key Statistics from Tourism Research Australia for 2010
- Over 1 million visitors to Ipswich in 2010
- Tourism spent in Ipswich: $134million
- Proportion of holiday and leisure visitors is increasing (29% in 2008 to 41% in 2010)

• Ipswich’s major annual tourism brochure
• 45,000 copies produced
• 28-page full-colour guide
• Strong focus on the tourism experiences available through Ipswich

• Promotes under our key destination themes of
- Family Fun
- Great Outdoors
- Connect & Collect
- Adrenaline Rush
- Romance & Indulgence
- Eventful Ipswich
• Distributed through most Queensland and Northern New South Wales visitor information centres, including the Ipswich, Brisbane and Brisbane Airport VICS, ammocodation houses, key tourism hot spots, as well as being sent around Australia and internationally upon request.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


FROM LEFT: Michael Williams Manager ICCs V.I.C. , Janet Hewitt ICC Tourism Manager & Cr David Pahlke Chair Tourism and Libraries 
IPSWICH’s Visitor Information Centre can now claim to be in the top three such centres in Australian after being awarded a bronze certificate at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards presented in Cairns last Friday night.

Ipswich City Council Tourism and Libraries Committee Chairperson Councillor David Pahlke said the Ipswich Visitor Information Centre was vying for the top award in its category at the presentation dinner for the national awards. “As the winner of the Queensland Tourism Award in the category of Visitor Information Services we automatically qualified as a finalist for the Australian Tourism Award in this category,” he said.

“The national award for this category has ended up going to the Bendigo Visitor Centre.” Cr Pahlke said council was proud that it had been among the state winners at this year’s national awards.

“Being in the top three is a great achievement and to have made it to the national stage in the tourism industry awards reinforces the good work being done at our purpose-built visitor information centre in Queens Park. There are over 500 Tourism Information Centres in Australia. “The Ipswich Visitor Information Centre relies heavily on the support of an enthusiastic band of volunteers, so this award also recognises their contribution to the overall success of the centre.

“While at the national awards it was also fantastic to see Ipswich represented in the Heritage and Cultural Tourism category by the Workshops Rail Museum,” Cr Pahlke said.

Friday, December 9, 2011


Accepting the Award
Janet Hewitt (Manager ICC Tourism), Michael Williams (Manager of the VIC) and Victoria Nugent who compiled the submission for ICC.
Held annually, the Queensland Tourism Awards are recognised as the industry's largest and most prestigious event. They acknowledge and celebrate the tourism operators in Queensland that have demonstrated outstanding achievement and that have made a significant contribution to the State's tourism industry.

There are 29 different categories. The Ipswich Visitor Information Centre entered in the category of Visitor Information and Services. In 2010, the Ipswich Visitor Information Centre entered the Queensland Tourism awards for the first time and achieved the status of Finalist - not all entrants are finalists in the Awards.

In 2011, the Ipswich Visitor Information Centre was successful in winning the Queensland Tourism Award in the Visitor Information and Services category.

There were three award submissions from Ipswich in the 2011 Queensland Tourism Awards and all three entrants were winners in their respective category.

- Tourist Attractions                            The Workshops Rail Museum
- Heritage & Cultural                           Tourism The Workshops Rail Museum
- Visitor Information & Services           Ipswich Visitor Information Centre

Winners of all business categories in the 2011 Queensland Tourism Awards will now automatically go through to compete in the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, being held on Friday, 2 March 2012. Winning a Queensland Tourism Award gives Council's Ipswich Visitor Information Centre state wide recognition for the ongoing commitment to excellence in providing information and services to both visitors and the tourism industry.

Ipswich were Triple Crown Winners Well done to everyone - “TOURISM IS EVERYONES BUSINESS”

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Minister for Tourism Jan Jarratt, State Member for Ipswich West Wayne Wendt, Cr David Pahlke and from Grandchester Jake and Cath Gillam and Bruce and Beryl Wallace
Minister for Tourism Jan Jaratt, State Member for Ipswich West Wayne Wendt, Mayor Paul Pisasale, Cr Sheila Ireland , Cr David Pahlke Andrew Mouritz Manager North Ipswich Rail Workshops Musuem

Story courtesy of MBNEWS.
The glory days of rail travel have been brought to life in a new brochure launched at The Workshops Rail Museum last week.
Cr Dave Pahlke said council worked in partnership with four Ipswich rail attractions - The Workshops Rail Museum , Grandchester Model Steam Railway, Rosewood Rail Museum and Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway, to promote the city's proud rail heritage in The Amazing Time Machines brochure.
"We are also honoured to have the Minister for Tourism, Manufacturing and Small Business, Jan Jarratt, visit Ipswich to launch this exciting new brochure featuring four distinctive tourism experiences, " Cr Pahlke said.
Minister Jarratt commenced her day in the region by attending a breakfast in Rosewood, hosted by WIDEN, before launching the brochure at The Workshops Rail Museum.
"The rail industry was the backbone of our community for more than a century and we are fortunate to have a number of operators and facilities dedicated to preserving this important history," Cr Pahlke said.
Mayor Paul Pisasale said each of the locations featured in the borchure offered a unique and exciting experience for visitors and highlighted the vital role Ipswich has played in the development of rail transport.
"Some of Queensland's earliest trains are on display at the award-winning The Workshops Rail Museum, which has become one of the most important tourism assets in the region," Cr Pisasale said.
"A short drive from Rosewood is the Grandchester Model Steam Railway where visitors can ride miniature steam locomotives and while they may be small, they belch steam and sound just like their larger counterparts."
"The Rosewood Railway Museum is another popular attraction giving visitors the chance to take a trip on a steam, diesel or rail-motor between the historic railway stations at Cabanda and Kunkala."
The final experience featured in the brochure is the Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway giving visitors the chance to take a round trip on the oldest regularly operating steam locomotive in Queensland.
Cr Pahlke said visitors could enjoy regular rides on a range of locomotives at three of the rail attractions featured in the brochure.
"Visitors to any Amazing Time Machines location would be eligible for a discount or special value-added offer at the second, third and fourth locations.
"All you need to do is present a valid ticket or receipt from any location when visiting one of the other sites within the same six month period.
"There's never been a better chance to take a nostalgic journey through Ipswich's unique and exciting railway history."
Copies of The Amazing Time Machines brochure are available at each railway attraction and the Ipswich Visitor Information Centre.

Friday, October 14, 2011


Cr David Pahlke with Electorate Officer Cheryl Bowman and office trainees Jade O'Loughlin and Codee Hilton

Bushranger David Pahlke protecting his three sisters at the Cobb & Co launch, 9th October 2011

Master reinsman Bob Edwards and Rodney Statham taking the coach around Rosewood

Master reinsman Bob Edwards and Rodney Statham taking the coach around Rosewood

Master reinsman Bob Edwards and Rodney Statham taking the coach around Rosewood
All photos courtesy of Lyle Radford.
Taking a step back in time has been the key to the development of Rosewood Community Park. Looking back at a time when people and goods were moved around and through the area by horse and carriage has seen the Cobb and Co links to the region immortalised.

A replica Cobb and Co Coach is the centrepiece of the redevelopment and our mining history will be recognised in a later stage of the park development. Last Sunday was a time to gather and celebrate the first stage and discuss the naming of the park. Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Cr David Pahlke and Federal Member for Blair Shayne Neumann all spoke at the official opening.

The trio recognised the need for towns to have icons that attracted tourists to the area and give businesses something to build on. "We have in Rosewood now an iconic piece of infrastructure that will bring tourists with local businesses now needing to consider how they can best use this to their advantage," he said. The day was also a chance for locals to enjoy a ride in the coach. Drawn by five horses, the coach was an impressive sight moving through the streets of Rosewood under the capable hands of drivers Rod Statham and Bob Edwards. Cr Pahlke also asked those in attendance to suggest a name for the community space, while Cr Pisasale said no matter what it is named, he is sure people will end up calling it Cobb and Co Park.

The coach site is a part of the Cobb and Co Tourist Drive which starts at the Workshops Rail Museum in Ipswich and finishes at the Cobb and Co Museum in Toowoomba. The coach was funded with an $83,500 grant from the Federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government through the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure program. "We are very proud to be part of this project that will attract drive tourism through and into this area," Mr Neumann said.

The coach is housed in a specially constructed glassed display area, aimed to keep vandals out while allowing people to view the coach, which is lit at night, creating a real centrepiece to the township. Cr Pahlke said the coach may be used during special events and festivals across Ipswich, offering people the chance to experience a ride in a horse drawn coach.

Passengers and mail were transported from Ipswich by railway to Grandchester which was the end of the rail line at that time. They were then picked up by a Cobb and Co coach to continue their journey from Grandchester to Toowoomba by road. The park will be formally named in the next few weeks with two more stages to complete. Cr Pahlke said in this stage there is still the formal naming of the space to be decided upon and the name placed on the front concrete entry wall.

In the next stages, over five years, there will be more shade and seating, eight car parks, an enhanced play area and landscaping and a miners 'Walk of Fame'. The complete refurbishment is predicted to cost in the vicinity of $1.2million. "The Walk of Fame will be the finaly stage and I am hopeful that this will include a variety of mining artefacts, placed along a walkway including a statue of a traditional miner. "We have some fantastic public spaces across Ipswich and I am very proud that this particular park is one that will give Rosewood a focal point to build on," he said.

Story courtesy of the Moreton Border News.

Friday, August 26, 2011


Guest Relations Manager Fran Edney with the Manager of the Ipswich International Hotel Alex Vankersen Seriously tapping into the Asian Visitor Market.

THE tourism potential of Ipswich is highlighted in annual visitor statistics prepared for the city.Ipswich City Council Tourism and Libraries Committee Chairperson Councillor David Pahlke said many people underestimated the tourism market in the region and this annual report highlighted the significance of the industry to the city.Cr Pahlke said the report was prepared for the City of Ipswich by Tourism Research Australia for the 2010 calendar year before January floods occurred. “This report reveals that the number of day visitors to Ipswich increased by 24% from 688,000 visitors per annum to 855,000 visitors per annum. “This represents a 19% increase in the average spend per trip with a total tourism spend for this market segment increasing by 48% from $46 million to $68 million.

Tourism spend is the total spent in the local economy including tourism businesses and the broader business community such as supermarkets, retail outlets, newsagents, service stations and medical services. Cr Pahlke said Tourism Research Australia released visitor/tourism statistics for more than 500 Local Government Areas (LGA) throughout Australia in March 2008. “These statistics were the first ever released that provided statistical information for individual LGAs as opposed to regularly produced regional information.” The LGA statistics were based on a three to four year average to June 2007.

Cr Pahlke said council had last year commissioned Tourism Research Australia to produce updated statistics for Ipswich.He said the statistics revealed that people visiting friends and family in Ipswich continue to make up most of the tourism market. “The Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) category makes up 44% of the total visitors and remains the main purpose for visiting the City of Ipswich. “This group accounts for 75% of the total number of visitor nights recorded by the survey.”

Cr Pahlke said commercial accommodation – hotels, resorts, motel or motor inns – accounted for only 7% of visitor nights but there has been a 63% increase in the use of commercial accommodation since 2008. “A contributing factor could be the opening of two extra properties – Oaks Aspire and Quest Ipswich – since 2008. Cr Pahlke said the number of international visitors to Ipswich had increased by 45% compared with 4% for both Brisbane and Queensland. “International visitors spent 55% more while visiting Ipswich last year than they did in 2008.”

Cr Pahlke said this type of research provided council with consistent information as a basis for future tourism strategies. “By commissioning these statistics annually council can analyse what is happening in different areas of Ipswich’s tourism market. “This allows us to ensure that the programs, activities and initiatives we are working on support the Ipswich tourism market and will continue to help it to grow and further develop for the future.”

Monday, August 15, 2011

NEW website promoting Ipswich as a key destination for business events is now live.

Ipswich City Council Tourism and Libraries Committee Chairperson Councillor David Pahlke (centre)

celebrates the launch of the Destination Ipswich website with Metro Hotel Ipswich International

General Manager Alex Van Kersen (left) and head chef David Manz.

Tourism and Libraries Committee Chairperson Councillor David Pahlke said Destination Ipswich featured information on venues, accommodation, tour operators, entertainment and event organisers to help businesses plan their next event.

“Ipswich offers a wide range of tourism experiences for the corporate traveller, and most importantly, it’s an affordable destination,” Cr Pahlke said. “This website highlights the region’s point of difference and makes arranging corporate functions easy by providing a direct link to an array of event services.” Cr Pahlke said many businesses looking for a location to host their next conference or event made decisions based on information obtained from destination websites.

“We know that visitors travelling to Ipswich for business have very different expectations and needs from those travelling for leisure,” Cr Pahlke said. “Corporate travellers will travel at any time of the year in any weather and they are not necessarily attracted to a destination because of its tourist attractions. “They are more likely to travel for shorter periods of time but they tend to travel more regularly.

“Government statistics also show that the average daily spend of an interstate or overseas delegate for a business event is over twice what leisure visitors spend. “Destination Ipswich was developed with these things in mind. It highlights specific services that cater especially to corporate events and visiting delegates.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Hong Kong models visit Ipswich

PHOTO: Cr David Pahlke, Alex Van Kersen and Fran Edney from the Ipswich Metro International Hotel with the Models from Guangzhou Southern CHINA and HONG KONG
Ni Hao Ma - Xie Xie - Hen Hao - Ni Hao Ma - Zai Jian Cr Pahlke's quick guide to Chinese

An entourage of nearly 50 which included 12 beautiful young ladies visited Ipswich recently. It was all part of a Tourism Qld Marketing campaign in targeting key Asian markets. The entourage also included 3 newspaper reporters, three Tourism Qld members and a Chinese Film Crew.The models were using Queensland as the backdrop for a calendar that will be distributed throughout Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Japan. The photo shoot will show off the best of South East Queensland, including Brisbane by night, Sirromet Winery, Palazzo Versace and the Gold Coast’s beaches and national parks.

The number of Chinese visitors to Brisbane was up 19 percent to 62,000 over the year to March 2010, while Chinese visitors to the Gold Coast were up 15 percent to 106,000 over the same period. Chinese visitors also spent $326 million on trips to Queensland, an increase of $87 million from the previous year