For its third year, the adrenaline-pumping action of Planes, Trains and Autos returns to Ipswich this long weekend, wowing audiences with astounding horsepower, heritage locomotive treasures, and warbird flyovers.
The festival weekend began today, Friday, April 28, with the first of three days of the Australian Superbike Championship at Queensland Raceway in Willowbank, running until Sunday, April 30.
The event really kicks into overdrive tomorrow, Saturday, April 29 — for one day only — with three car and train exhibitions: The Workshops Rail Museum, the Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway Train Ride, and Park and Pose at the Nicholas Street Precinct, Ipswich, from 9am to 4pm.
Tickets are cheaper if booked online by April 28. They can be purchased on the day at an additional cost.
Then, on Monday, May 1 – making the most of the Labor Day public holiday – all are welcome to head to the Queensland Retro Picnic at Evan Marginson Park, in Goodna.
A recap of the 2022 festival can be found here.
Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said the 2023 festival will be the event’s biggest to date, with a full long weekend of fun and unique horsepower experiences for the Ipswich community and visitors.
“Planes, Trains and Autos is one of Ipswich’s favourite festivals with a huge range of exhibits and activities, so come revel in the beauty and power of hundreds of incredible Queensland machines.”
The festival in particular celebrates the region’s deep connection to the Australian Defence Forces and the sacrifices made by Ipswich’s service persons, Ms Harding added.
“Ipswich is home to Australia’s largest operational RAAF base at Amberley, and we are a proud defence city that appreciates [their] service and sacrifices.”
Division 2 Councillor Nicole Jonic, who also serves as Economic and Industry Development Committee Chairperson, said the festival’s centrepiece will be The Workshops Rail Museum on Saturday, with an exciting line-up of military displays, interactive family-friendly activities, and a huge variety of awe-inspiring machinery.
“The museum grounds will be packed to the brim with roving entertainment, passionate exhibitors sharing their love of all things aviation, rail, cars and bikes, and aircraft will perform thrilling aerials displays over North Ipswich,” Ms Jonic said.
“Visitors and families can look forward to seeing Australia’s oldest working steam locomotive as well as lovingly-restored and maintained muscle cars and pre-1919 motorcycles.
“To complete your experience, you can even enjoy a 30-minute vintage diesel hauled train ride with Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway.”
Ms Jonic also said the Retro Picnic will be a great social outing for people who celebrate ‘Kustom Kulture’, hot rods, muscle cars, and bikes, but with the food stalls and live music performances, there’s something for everyone.
“We encourage you to bring a picnic blanket or camping chair and relax on the green.”
A guide for the weekend’s activities can be found here.
Important note: the Queensland Auto Spectacular scheduled to take place at Willowbank Raceway on Sunday, April 30 has been cancelled.
Friday, April 28 – Monday, May 1
Australian Superbike Championship – Queensland Raceway
ASBK returns to Queensland Raceway for another weekend of two-wheeled action. See close racing and incredible battles when Australia’s premier motorcycle championship and it’s best riders fight for supremacy in Ipswich.
Saturday, April 29
Planes, Trains and Autos – The Workshops Rail Museum
A celebration of all-things aviation, rail and autos including thrilling aerials displays complemented by on ground rail, aviation and vehicle displays, interactive exhibits, roving entertainment and more.
Queensland Pioneer Steam Railway Train Ride
Complete your Planes, Trains and Autos experience with a 30-minute vintage diesel hauled train ride from Ipswich Turf Club.
Park and Pose – Nicholas Street Precinct
Here’s your chance to get up close to some of Ipswich’s spectacular cars as they come through Nicholas Street. Enjoy live music, dinner at one of the nearby restaurants or food trucks, and a display of vehicles from the Classic and Muscle Car Club of Ipswich.
Monday, May 1
Retro Picnic – Goodna
The Queensland Retro Picnic is a social outing combining hot rods, classic and muscle cars and bikes, and people who celebrate ‘Kustom Kulture’, paired with amazing street food and fantastic live music.