On the traditional land of the Dharawal people, Mawson Park is a large green park in the heart of Campbelltown’s CBD making it a perfect meeting place, recreational spot, and picnic area. Here in 1820, Governor Lachlan Macquarie named the area Campbelltown after his wife Elizabeth’s maiden name. The surrounding streets are also filled with interesting places to visit – in fact, a stroll in any direction of Mawson Park is filled with surprising travel, food, and cultural finds.
A very easy 350-metre walk from Campbelltown Station, the area around Mawson Park is super accessible via public transport. If you’re travelling by car, you’ll also find free parking near the train line on Short Street.
As you walk up towards Mawson Park, take in the public artwork ‘Breathing Life / Bula ni Cegu / Paghinga ng Buhay’ by local artists Victoria Garcia and Bayvick Lawrance on Patrick Street. This stunning and colourful work brightens up this area with floral patterns inspired by Filipino and Fijian culture.
Soon you’ll come to Queen Street where there are several cafes and other small businesses. Now is a great time to find a coffee and we recommend Alkalizer which is located at the Campbelltown Civic Hall.
Alkalizer is a very charming and unique venue doing their own coffee, teas, and meals all made using alkalized water for added health benefits. They’re the only business of the kind in Southwest Sydney, and you’ll find their teas for sale around the country.
From the onset, the café is beautifully and seasonally decorated and we love to see their unique house-made products proudly on display. Grab a coffee, chai, or tea, and even sit down for a super fresh and healthy meal. We loved their scrumptious roast veggie stack, and the turmeric chai tea which were each exploding with flavour and freshness.
Next up, it’s time to explore some of Campbelltown’s history by heading to Mawson Park. This parkland is filled with native and exotic, colourful plants and trees, whatever time of the year you visit, there’s bound to be something pretty in bloom.
Until 1938, the park was known as “The Green” and was at various times throughout history used for cricket matches, carnivals, gatherings, and even during the early 1800s, hangings. Eventually, the park was named Mawson Park in honour of Dr William Mawson, a well-regarded local doctor who was also the brother of the famous explorer Sir Douglas Mawson.
Today, the park is well-manicured and contains winding paths, a playground, and many beautiful gardens. It’s a tranquil place to sit, enjoy a picnic, or take children for a play. Visitors will also notice and enjoy the various memorials and historical monuments scattered neatly around the area.
Surrounding Mawson Park are a number of beautiful examples of early architecture. You won’t miss the beautiful St Peter’s Anglican Church towering over the park on the East side. Another site of cultural significance, this church was built by Francis Lawless in 1823 and is believed to be Campbelltown’s oldest building. Adjacent to the church is the cemetery where many historical figures including Dr William Mawson and the locally famous Frederick Fisher were laid to rest.
At the other end of the park, you’ll notice the beautiful old Campbelltown Court House building towering on Queen Street. This courthouse was opened in 1889 and was built on the site of the previous courthouse built in 1827. It’s still part of the justice precinct and remains in use today.
Of course, if it’s a sunny day, you might be partial to some baked goods to enjoy in the park. Head to Browne Street on the north side of the park and visit the popular and locally iconic Waminda Bakery to pick up some pies, custard tarts, doughnuts, and any other local bakery favourites. Or head next door to Sweets Tree for some delicious and fresh baklava!
On the same street is where locals have been bowling for over 100 years - Campbelltown Bowling Club. Newly and beautifully renovated, perhaps it’s time to get social and enjoy a fix of barefoot bowls on a sunny afternoon. You can also enjoy their beer garden and bar, as well as the ever-popular Chill Joe Thai Cuisine restaurant.
And for dinner, it’s hard to go past a classic pub feed. Head on to The Campbell on Railway Street, opposite the courthouse for a classic yet sophisticated dinner. We love their spacious and bright fit-out, making it an excellent spot for celebrations and get togethers.
In less than one square kilometre, we’ve found simply so much to see and do. Campbelltown continues to surprise and delight us with history, stories, and great foodie finds!