Campbelltown Travel Guide
Campbelltown should perhaps by rights be named Cattletown, as the story goes that it was first discovered by a small herd of escaped cattle which arrived in Sydney with the First Fleet in the late 1700s. Wandering away in search of lush pasture, the cows seemed to be lost. However, they were spotted by startled Aborigines, who later led the early explorers to the cattle, now considerably increased in number. Recognising the farming potential of this terrain, land grants were quickly arranged to set up sheep stations in the area, which soon became known as Campbell-town.
Campbelltown travel guides are quick to point out charms of the place with its picket fences and mix of quaint and elegant buildings dating back to the early 19th century and showing a variety of architectural styles from Georgian through Gothic to Victorian and the present day. The Central Library can take you on a tour back in time in pictures and print to discover the city’s history and development.
In an area with so much bygone charm, what could fit in more harmoniously than a Japanese Tea Garden? This was a gift from Campbelltown’s sister city, Koshigaya and is located in Art Gallery Road. It is a delightful oasis of tranquillity and an enlightening cultural experience. It is also becoming a popular wedding venue.
For something completely different, the 10 day Festival of Fisher’s Ghost also takes place in Campbelltown in November. Arguably Australia’s most famous ghost, Fred Fisher disappeared mysteriously after having been transported for possessing forged banknotes in 1826. His ghost was first seen, some months after his disappearance, by a respectable Campbelltown farmer. The annual festival is a fun occasion, high on the list of Campbelltown tourism attractions, involving street parades and fairs, fun runs, arts and crafts exhibitions, and a carnival with firework displays.
Mawson Park and Koshigaya Park are two other attractions worth visiting in Campbelltown offering numerous facilities and cultivated areas for family entertainment, while Campbelltown Arts Centre, with its cutting-edge architecture is one of Sydney’s most visited arts venues, hosting every cultural event imaginable. The modern artistry of its sculpture garden and manicured park are not to be missed.
With heritage walks through scenic bushland and pilgrimages to the veterans’ recreation centre known as Dredges Cottage, which documents all the major theatres of conflict between the Boar War and Vietnam the past and the present seem to co-exist in perfect harmony in Campbelltown, this one-time Sidney outpost, now a fascinating and crucial part of Australia’s history.