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Punchbowl, New South Wales facts for kids

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New South Wales
Punchbowl Clock Tower.JPG
The Boulevarde, Punchbowl
Population 20,236 (2016 census)
Established 1869
Postcode(s) 2196
Location 17 km (11 mi) south of Sydney CBD
LGA(s) City of Canterbury-Bankstown
State electorate(s) Lakemba
Federal Division(s)
Suburbs around Punchbowl:
Mount Lewis Greenacre Lakemba
Bankstown Punchbowl Wiley Park
Padstow Riverwood Roselands

Punchbowl is a suburb south west of Sydney, 17 kilometres (11 mi) west of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the City of Canterbury-Bankstown, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. At the 2016 census, Punchbowl had a population of 20,236.


Punchbowl is named for a circular valley, called "the punch bowl", which is actually located in the nearby suburb of Belfield at the intersection of Coronation Parade, Georges River and Punchbowl Roads. This feature gave its name to "Punch Bowl Road" (now Punchbowl Road). In the 1830s, an inn built by George Faulkener, close to the corner of Liverpool Road, was called the Punch and Bowl. John Stephens had a property there in the 1830s and his son is mentioned in the Wells Gazetteer in 1848, "Clairville or Punchbowl, in the Parishes of St George and Bankstown, is the property of Sir Alfred Stephens". When a railway station opened on this road in 1909, three kilometres away from the 'punch bowl' itself, the surrounding suburb came to be known as Punchbowl.

In the 1920s and 1930s, Punchbowl was a higher-class suburb, with a number of popular theatres that were closed down or demolished thirty years later. The Punchbowl Astoria opened on 17 July 1935 with seating for 915 persons. The final programme was shown on Wednesday 4 February 1959. The Astoria was eventually gutted and refitted as a three-storey office building. The Punchbowl Regent was situated on the corner of The Boulevarde and Matthews Street. Operated by Enterprise Theatres Ltd, the Regent opened on Saturday 24 May 1923, showing The White Rose. It was a large cinema with seating for 1,287 patrons. The last programme was shown on Wednesday 4 February 1959. The Regent was demolished in August 1964 and replaced by a block of shops.


Canterbury Road and Punchbowl Road provide the major road links into the suburb. The Boulevarde and South Terrace are also main roads. Punchbowl railway station is located on the Bankstown line of the Sydney Trains network. The line was opened in 1895 and electrified in 1926. Trains take around 25 minutes to Sydenham and 40 minutes to Central station.

The Punchbowl Road railway bridge replaced an old two-lane bridge in 1981. The foundations of the old bridge can still be seen west of the current one. The new bridge greatly aided traffic flow through the area but at the cost of effectively cutting the shopping centre in half.



The first inhabitants of Punchbowl were Aboriginal tribes. The first Europeans in the area were British and Irish settlers in the 19th century. By the mid-20th century, the suburb had absorbed many migrants of Italian and Greek origin. From the mid-1970s, Punchbowl became a very popular location with migrants from Lebanon.

At the 2011 census, 46.0% of Punchbowl residents were born in Australia. The next most common countries of birth were Lebanon 14.4%, Vietnam 5.6%, China 2.5%, Greece 2.1% and Indonesia 1.7%. The most common responses for religion in Punchbowl were Islam 30.3%, Catholic 27.8%, Eastern Orthodox 9.8%, Buddhism 6.6% and No Religion 5.2%

In popular culture

  • Punchbowl has featured in several Australian books including the satirical They're a Weird Mob by "Nino Culotta" (a nom de plume of John O'Grady), which was made into a feature film of the same name. The Mirage Hotel was referred to in the film as "the bloodhouse".
  • The film The FJ Holden (1977) featured several locations in Punchbowl including the Sundowner Hotel on the corner of Punchbowl and Canterbury Roads, a popular pub and band venue until the licence was sold. The buildings served as a Croatian Club until a new club was built.
  • The television drama series Dangerous was set in and around Punchbowl.
  • YouTube celebrity Trent from Punchy is a fictional character portrayed by Nicholas Boshier. The characters name is derived from his claim to be from Punchbowl.

Notable residents

  • Danny Adcock, actor
  • Lex Banning (1921–1965), poet
  • Mark Bouris, businessman
  • John Burgess, television host
  • Wes Davoren (1928–2010), politician
  • Yahya El Hindi, association football player
  • Paul Keating, former Prime Minister of Australia
  • Akmal Saleh, comedian
  • Mark Saliba, comedian and amateur prizefighter
  • Vince Sorrenti, comedian
  • The Hard-Ons, a punk rock band

Fictional characters

  • Trent from Punchy

Images for kids

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