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Campbelltown, New South Wales facts for kids

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New South Wales
Campbelltown centre street.JPG
Queen Street in Campbelltown
Population 12,566 (2016 census)
Established 1820
Postcode(s) 2560
Elevation 76 m (249 ft)
Location 53 km (33 mi) south-west of Sydney CBD
LGA(s) Campbelltown
Region Greater Western Sydney, Macarthur, New South Wales
State electorate(s) Campbelltown
Federal Division(s) Macarthur
Localities around Campbelltown:
Blair Athol Woodbine Leumeah
Mount Annan Campbelltown Ruse
Glen Alpine Ambarvale Bradbury

Campbelltown is a town located on the outskirts of the metropolitan area of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It is located in Greater Western Sydney 53 kilometres (33 mi) south-west of the Sydney central business district by road. Campbelltown is the administrative seat of the local government area of the City of Campbelltown. It is also acknowledged on the register of the Geographical Names Board of New South Wales as one of only four cities within the Sydney metropolitan area.

Campbelltown gets its name from Elizabeth Campbell, the wife of former Governor of New South Wales Lachlan Macquarie. Originally called Campbell-Town, the name was later simplified to the current Campbelltown.


The area that later became Campbelltown was inhabited prior to white settlement by the Tharawal people. Not long after the arrival of the First Fleet in Sydney in 1788, a small herd of six cattle escaped and weren't seen again by the British settlers for seven years. They were spotted, however, by the Tharawal people. In a rock art site called Bull Cave near Campbelltown, they drew a number of cattle with pronounced horns. The Tharawal described the cattle to British explorers and in 1795 the British found a herd of around 60 cattle grazing in the area now known as Camden.

The colonial administration was keen for the herd to establish itself so forbade killing of the cattle or settlement in the area. But John Macarthur, who wanted to establish sheep in the colony, took a liking to the prime grazing land. He convinced the British government to overrule the local administration and grant him 5,000 acres (20 km2) just south of the Nepean River in 1805. Four years later a number of other grants were made to farmers between Camden and Liverpool.

The Tharawal initially worked with the local farmers but a drought in 1814 led to large numbers of neighbouring Gandangara people moving into the area in search of food. Tensions developed between the British and the Gandangara leading to skirmishes and a number of deaths on each side. Governor Macquarie felt a permanent settlement would lead to order in the area and so Campbell-Town was born in 1820.

Town development

Development of the town was slow particularly after the departure of Macquarie, and it wasn't until 1831 that residents took possession of town land. However, it was during this period that Campbelltown's most famous incident occurred. In 1826, local farmer Frederick Fisher disappeared. According to folklore, his ghost appeared sitting on a fence rail over a creek just south of the town and pointed to a site where his body was later found to be buried. In memory of the incident, the Fisher's Ghost festival is held each November in Campbelltown.

Campbelltown's population increased steadily in the decades following. The southern rail line was extended to Campbelltown in 1858, leading to further development, and in 1882, Campbelltown Council was established allowing municipal works to occur in earnest. Campbelltown became the first country town in New South Wales to have piped water in 1888 and in the period between the World Wars, a local power station was built to supply electricity to residents.

Campbelltown was designated in the early 1960s as a satellite city by the New South Wales Planning Authority, and a regional capital for the south west of Sydney. There was extensive building and population growth in the intervening time and the government set aside land surrounding the township for public and private housing and industry.


Campbelltown has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification: Cfa) with mild to cool winters and warm to hot summers.

Climate data for Campbelltown Swimming Centre
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 45.8
Average high °C (°F) 28.2
Average low °C (°F) 16.7
Record low °C (°F) 7.2
Precipitation mm (inches) 90.6
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 10.8 10.4 10.5 7.4 7.9 8.6 6.2 7.8 7.9 10.5 9.6 9.0 106.6


Campbelltown Station 4
Campbelltown Railway Station

Campbelltown lies on the main road and rail links from Sydney to the south-west. The Hume Motorway links Campbelltown north to Liverpool, Sydney Airport and Sydney CBD and south to Goulburn and Canberra.

Campbelltown railway station and Macarthur railway station are on the Airport & South Line of the Sydney Trains network. Campbelltown is also the northern terminus of most Southern Highlands Line intercity services.

Campbelltown is also well serviced by buses. Busabout provides a number of services from Campbelltown Station to virtually all the surrounding suburbs of Campbelltown as well as to Camden. Interline provides a service from Campbelltown to Glenfield and Picton Buslines provides a service from Campbelltown to Picton via Camden.


(1)Glenalvin Lithgow Street Campbell
Glenalvon (1840), Lithgow Street

According to the 2011 census of Population, there were 110,400 people in the suburb of Campbelltown, and 262,615 residents in the Campbelltown Local Government Area. In the suburb of Campbelltown, 67.6% of people were born in Australia. The most common other countries of birth were England 4.1%, New Zealand 2.6%, Philippines 2.2%, India 1.4% and South Africa 0.9%. 75.4% of people only spoke English at home. Other languages spoken at home included Arabic 3.4%, Samoan 1.3%, Spanish 1.3%, Tagalog 1.2% and Hindi 1.0%. The most common responses for religion in Campbelltown were Catholic 29.8%, Anglican 21.8%, No Religion 14.2%, Islam 14.1% and Presbyterian and Reformed 2.9%.

Notable residents

(1)Richmond Villa Campbelltown
Richmond Villa (circa 1840), Lithgow Street
  • Yvonne Strahovski – Star of US TV Series Chuck
  • Tim Campbell – Former Home and Away actor, TV Host/presenter
  • Cherylyn Barnes (born 1956) – (born in NSW, resides in Campbelltown) YouTube Sensation, Comedian
  • Nicole Callisto – (born in WA, resides in Campbelltown) BMX cyclist who represented Australia at the 2008 Olympics
  • Bronwyn Eagles – Australian Olympic athlete
  • Nathan Foley – Former High 5 member
  • Brett Hodgson (born 1978) – former Wests Tigers captain currently playing in the European Super League for the Huddersfield Giants.
  • Alexander Cameron MacDonald – former Australian accountant, surveyor and geographer.
  • Joseph Leary (1830-1881) – former Australian solicitor, politician and Member of the Lower House.
  • Peter Fitzallan MacDonald (1830-1919) – Australian pastoralist, entrepreneur and politician.
  • John Marsden (1942–2006) – high profile lawyer
  • Jim Piper (born 1981) – Australian breaststroke swimmer
  • Michael Plicha (born 1961) – Award winning international media executive born in Campbelltown
  • Kate Ritchie (born 1978) – Australian actress and Gold Logie winner
  • James Ruse (1759–1837) – early settler and farmer
  • Christopher Fulham (born 1990) - Lead musician in contemporary musical group 'CKJM' and founder of Interactive productions company 'Interactive Starts'
  • Lisa Wilkinson (born 1959) – Today Show co-host on the Nine Network
  • William Hardy Wilson (1881–1955) – Architect, artist and author, born in Campbelltown
  • Israel Folau – Australian international rugby league player and high profile member of Australian rules football side Greater Western Sydney Giants in their debut season. Currently plays for Australian rugby union side Warratahs in Super Rugby.
  • Ryan Hoffman – Australian international rugby league player for the Melbourne Storm.
  • Jarryd Hayne – Australian international rugby league player for the Parramatta Eels.
  • Krisnan Inu – New Zealand international rugby league player for the Bulldogs.
  • Emcee Kerser – Australian rapper.
  • Curtis Woodward – Rugby league writer and commentator.


St Peter's Church (circa 1823), Cordeaux Street

The Arts

Campbelltown Arts Centre
Campbelltown Arts Centre

The Campbelltown Arts Centre, situated just south of the main town centre features a 180-seat performance space, exhibition galleries and workspaces. Outside is a sculpture garden and a Japanese Gardens and Teahouse that was a gift from Campbelltown's sister city Koshigaya in Japan.

Fisher's Ghost Festival

The Fisher's Ghost Festival is an annual festival held in recognition of Frederick Fisher, an emancipated convict who owned farming land in Campbelltown. Legend has it that Fisher appeared to local man John Farley as a ghost after being murdered by George Worrall, his friend and neighbour, over a land dispute. An annual parade through Campbelltown's main street, Queen Street, is held each November, and a carnival including fairground rides and other entertainment is held at Bradbury oval, a local sports ground. Over a period of two weeks many activities take place, including the Fisher's Ghost Fun Run, the Fisher's Ghost Art Award and the Street Party which was formerly known as the Mardi Gras.


Campbelltown is home to two local radio stations, 2MCR and C91.3FM. The two local newspapers are the Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser and the Macarthur Chronicle.

Campbelltown Sports Stadium
Campbelltown Sports Stadium from above.

Sport and recreation

Campbelltown is very well known for its strong sporting culture. This includes Rugby League, Cricket, Athletics, Soccer and Australian Rules Football. Campbelltown has produced many professional athletes who have represented Australia at Olympic level. Its leading sporting team is the Wests Tigers who play in the National Rugby League competition. The Wests Tigers are a merger of two foundation clubs of the old New South Wales Rugby League premiership, the Western Suburbs Magpies and the Balmain Tigers. As such, they play some of their home games at Campbelltown Stadium in neighbouring Leumeah and others at Leichhardt Oval. The Magpies still exist as a stand-alone team in the lower tier competition, the New South Wales Cup.

Another tenant of Campbelltown Stadium is the Macarthur Rams soccer team which plays in the New South Wales Premier League competition. Campbelltown is represented in the Sydney Grade Cricket competition by the Campbelltown-Camden Ghosts who play their home games in Raby and in the Sydney AFL's Premier Division, by the Campbelltown Blues who play their home games in Macquarie Fields. The Campbelltown District Netball Association, based in Minto, plays in the third division of the Netball NSW State League.


Queen Street, Campbelltown, 1893. Image courtesy Campbelltown City Library.

The Western Sydney University (old name University of Western Sydney) has a Campbelltown Campus, located on Narellan Road. It was established from 1983 as the second campus of the Macarthur Institute of Higher Education, which merged into WSU in 1989.

There are a number of local schools, including:

  • Campbelltown Performing Arts High School
  • Broughton Anglican College
  • Campbelltown Public School
  • Campbelltown East Public School
  • Campbelltown North Public School
  • St Patricks College Campbelltown
  • John Therry Catholic High School
  • St John the Evangelist Catholic Primary
  • St Peter's Anglican Primary
  • Robert Townson High School
  • Mount Carmel Catholic College
  • Robert Townson Public School
  • Kearns Public School
  • Blairmount Public School
  • Claymore Public School
  • Eaglevale High School
  • Leumeah Public School
  • Leumeah High School
  • Rosemeadow Public School
  • Ambarvale High School
  • Sarah Redfern High School
  • Sarah Redfern Public School
  • Minto Public School
  • The Grange Public School
  • Campbellfield Public School
  • Al Faisal College
  • St. Peter's Anglican Primary School (Campbelltown)
  • Airds High School
  • Woodland Road Public School

In the surrounding suburbs are a number of other schools associated with Campbelltown such as Broughton Anglican College, Mount Carmel High School (Varroville), Thomas Reddall High School (Ambarvale), Ambarvale High School (Rosemeadow), Menangle Park, and St Gregory's College, Campbelltown which is located in its own suburb, Gregory Hills.

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See also

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