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The diverse, sprawling Campbelltown is an area of multitudes. Located 53 kilometres from the Sydney CBD, Campbelltown sits on the land of the Dharawal nation. Overlooked for far too long in favour of its shinier and fractionally-closer-to-Sydney cousin Liverpool, or dismissed as merely a gateway to the Southern Highlands, Campbelltown is a city that’s coming into its own.
The competing influences and rich history of the town are on full display. From the town’s preserved colonial architecture marking the start of Campbelltown as it is known today, to the waves of migration and intercity movement that shaped the area through the 20th century, Campbelltown today is a melting pot in the truest sense.
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What’s Campbelltown known for?
Campbelltown isn’t known for just one feature. Campbelltown today is home to one of Sydney’s largest urban populations of First Nations people, migrant communities, a vibrant arts and culture scene, and an absolutely unparalleled assortment of natural landscapes. It’s also an educational hub of South West Sydney, with a major TAFE campus and a key Western Sydney University campus.
Why do the locals love it?
Shefali Pall has lived and worked in Campbelltown for 17 years and is the head of marketing at local cafe Alkalizer. Pall shouts out the “beautiful food joints” and “obviously, our nature reserves”, which she considers as the area's “untapped gems”.
“But the most special thing about Campbelltown is its people and the community spirit,” says Pall. It’s something she identifies as being a fundamental part of the “DNA” of Campbelltown, and that which she is yet to experience anywhere else. “Because of that strength, people are ready to embrace new things, people are ready to welcome new ideas and experiment."
How do I get to Campbelltown?
Getting to Campbelltown is easier – and faster – than you might think. Take the T8 line train from Central. It’s a direct service that comes every 15 minutes and will drop you off at Campbelltown in just shy of an hour. If you’d rather take the car, the roughly 50 kilometres out to Campbelltown is only a 45-minute drive via the M5 and 31, although depending on when you go, traffic might slow you down.
Nearby suburbs Leumeah, Minto and Ingleburn have sizeable Bengali, Indian, Filipino and Polynesian communities. It might surprise you, but dotted in all directions surrounding Campbelltown are local wineries and orchards. Head west and you’ll find yourself in the other hub of the South West, Camden-Narellan, while directly south is Wedderburn, the gateway suburb to the Georges River.
Map of Campbelltown
If you only do one thing…
Have an arts and culture day out at the Campbelltown Arts Centre. Prepare yourself for the day ahead with a sit down coffee at the Centre’s cafe, then mosey on in to the gallery to enjoy the meticulously curated exhibition(s). Once you’re done inside, luxuriate in the oasis of the grounds of the Centre. And then finally, if you have time to spare, why not book a half day in the on-site ceramics studio and fire your Campbelltown-inspired creation in the Centre’s kiln.