An attempt to visit every suburb in Sydney.

Strap yourselves in ladies and gentlemen, today's suburb is a big-un. Campbelltown After doing  a few obscure neighbouring sub...

Why's It So Big: Campbelltown


Strap yourselves in ladies and gentlemen, today's suburb is a big-un.

Campbelltown

After doing a few obscure neighbouring suburbs, it's time for one people have actually heard of. Campbelltown is one of Sydney's "final frontiers", being one of the furthest southwest suburbs before you can safely say you've left Sydney. 

Because this is car country, and because it's 35 degrees, today I had the pleasure of driving into Campbelltown rather than enjoying the services of CityRail.

While I do like Western Sydney, I also know a stereotype when I see one, and the road into Campbelltown is definitely a stereotype.

This is Cholestrol Corner, aka Campbelltown's very own Little America.


In just a couple hundred metres you've got the fast food quinfecta - McDonalds, KFC, Oporto, Hungry Jacks and even a Red Rooster for good measure.

Also blessing us with their presence are American heavyweights Sizzler and Hooters. It's enough to bring a tear to your (doctor's) eye.

Rather than a photo, this stretch of road is best experienced by taking a leisurely drive in Google Street view:


As a precautionary measure, I decided to exit the area and head to Campbelltown Hospital.

That's actually a lie.

I came here because I spotted the very large Marsden Park on the map, and wanted to go take a look. Marsden Park sits just across the road from the Hospital. (Respect goes out to the council for not having extortionate parking, I was able to park for free in front of the hospital with no dramas).

Marsden Park is actually a beautiful spot, with a creek running through it, a duck pond with tadpoles and even public exercise equipment.

The mist from this fountain was highly appreciated on a scorcher like today.

This little area has actually been set up quite nicely, with a number of modern (but not massive) apartments standing around the park and by the hospital.

Also in Campbelltown is a campus of Western Sydney University.

Whenever I travel internationally, I always enjoy exploring local university campuses, so I thought why not drive the few minutes to check out WSU Campbelltown.

Unlike the sandstone of USyd and the Jenga tower of UTS, the Campbelltown unigoers get to enjoy modern buildings and a lot of open space.

Bonus points go to the university for having ducks and this melted Greek pillar thing.

One cool thing to see at WSU Campbelltown is the observatory, which are just a couple of space-age pods jammed up top of a hill.

You do get a little bit of a view of the surrounding suburbia from up top, but nothing to write home about.

One particular thing I did notice on this campus is a hell of a lot of car parking.

This makes sense, considering how bloody big the campus is, but it is worth calling out that the uni does also connect to Macarthur Station through a very long path.

On a side note, it was only when I planned this visit that I found out that Macarthur is not its own suburb, but is just another section of Campbelltown.

That's right humble readers, that means that Campbelltown has the honour of being the first suburb I've done with not one but two train stations. How exciting.

The other end of Macarthur station backs out onto Macarthur Square, one of the two major shopping centres in the suburb and also the host to a handful of outdoor sit-down dining options.

While that seems nice enough, today Campbelltown would feed me something much more important.

Before I could get there though, my travel companion insisted we check out Campbelltown Arts Centre, so we departed the uni and drove over.

Just outside of the arts centre is the 1800s-chic Emily Cottage, in stark contrast with the wide and fast food heavy roads of Campbelltown.

Anyway, onto the centre, which is a reasonably interesting looking building in its own right.

I'm not a big art guy, so all I'll say is that inside you can take a look at a free gallery and, most importantly, enjoy glorious air conditioning.

Checking that off the list, it was now time to head for a very Western Sydney lunch.

Lunch was located on Queen Street, Campbelltown's main walkable commercial area, but I thought the easiest way to get there would be to park in the nearby Campbelltown Mall (the other of the two major shopping centres in this suburb).

I don't usually take photos inside of shopping centres because really they're all kind of the same, except it's worth calling out that Campbelltown Mall still has a Sanity.

To put things in perspective, I think the last thing I ever bought at a Sanity was Guy Sebastian's Australian Idol album.

Interestingly, the southern end of Queen Street has plenty of historic looking buildings too. (Pardon the wonky picture).


Walking northbound up Queen Street, things start to get a little more "standard Aussie commercial district", with your vintage post office building,

and even your milk-bar style takeaway, serving things like pluto pups, chiko rolls and dim sims.

Special call out goes to this worse-for-wear chemist which seems to sell anything but drugs.

Finally, we arrived to our destination.

This is King Kebab House.

King Kebab House has the honour of producing one of Sydney's finest snack packs.

I've mentioned snack packs once or twice on this blog, but for those who aren't in the know, a snack pack (also called a Halal Snack Pack, or HSP) is a very beautiful Aussie creation.

You start off with deliciously crispy hot chips (chicken salt is highly encouraged), you add kebab meat (either doner meat, chicken, or both), cheese (again, optional but highly encouraged) and sauces of your choosing (garlic, chilli and BBQ is gold standard but feel free to experiment).

I present to you the delicious monstrosity. And yes, snack pack is a complete misnomer because there's nothing "snack" about this baby. Between the two of us, we couldn't finish it.
My mind's telling me no, but my body... my body's telling me yes

Now weighing significantly more than when we started, and smelling like garlic, we had just one final destination in Campbelltown.

Thankfully, it was just a short walk from the kebabbery.

Mawson Park.

This is the strangest collection of stuff I've seen in a park so far. So, what's on offer?

We have a war monument and a kids playground, nothing too outlandish so far.

We have a cannon, and blades of an aircraft.

We have a few jumping castles.

And we have a few food trucks (including one that really loves to say pimp. Pimps pimping pimped pimps).

Sadly, it was now time to leave Campbelltown, after being treated to an eventful afternoon of exploration.

Campbelltown: So bloody big that you can get a train from one end to the other.

3 comments:

  1. Awesome read! Big ups from a Campbelltown resident!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Surprisingly quite a few times I specially had to go to Ralphs chemist to pick up a prescription because they were the only ones that actually had it in stock.

    ReplyDelete