Camden in NSW is located on the Nepean section of the Hawkesbury River in the Macarther region of the Southern Highlands. It is 67km from Sydney via the Hume Highway and has a population of 78,218 as reported in the 2016 census. Camden is known for its beautiful parks and gardens, as well as its many historical buildings and sites. The charming country town holds historic importance with dairying reaching its prime in the districts economy, other industries include cultivation of fruit and vegetables, live stock raising and coal mining. Today, it is considered part of Greater Sydney with the surrounding grazing land developed into residential suburbs, however many of the towns historic buildings still remain on display to represent a town known for one of the earliest inland settlements in New South Wales.
There are many activities to explore in Camden and a wealth of history to learn about in the region. Here are the top 8 things to do when visiting Camden:
1. Visit the Camden Heritage Centre, located in the heart of the town and provides an insight into the districts history with exhibitions, displays and a research library. The centre also offers a range of tours which are guided by local volunteers who share their knowledge and passion for the area. Opening hours are 10am.
2. Visit the Camden Museum which is located on John Street, same as the library and fire station houses an extensive collection of items relating to the history of Camden represented in exhibits and displays of Aboriginal and 20th century material donated by the residents of the town. The Camden Museum is open Thursday to Sunday 11.00 am – 4.00 pm and has over 100 visitors per week.
3. Take a walk through Macarthur Park. The park is a beautiful spot for a picnic lunch or a game of cricket and is located on the banks of the Nepean River. The park also features a playground, an exercise circuit, BBQ facilities and a rotunda which was built in 1882 and is heritage listed.
4. Visit to Camden Park House is one of the most important in reference to the history of Australian agriculture where John Macarthur had the idea to breed merino sheep and started the Australian sheep industry. The mansion was built in 1835 palladium style two storey with sandstock brick and consists of a grand veranda. Inside you’ll be taken back in time with cedar floor to ceiling book shelves, immensely high ceilings, cedar wine cellar, abundance of Victorian furniture, portraits of the families members hung on the walls and many of histories antiques on display. It still remains a residence for the descendants of Macarthur and is only open for the public one weekend per year during September Camden Festival with proceeds raised put towards conservation of the property.
5. Take a stroll through the Camden markets which are open every Saturday from 8am-3pm and offer a range of fresh produce, flowers, plants, homewares, clothing, gourmet food and more. The markets are located on Argyle Street in the town centre.
6. Visit the Mount Annan Australian Botanical Gardens, the largest in the nation and home to more than 5,500 species of plants. The gardens are open every day from 8:30am-5pm and offer free guided tours, as well as a cafe and gift shop.
7. Visit the Camden Haven Inlet which is located just 10 minutes from the town centre and is perfect for swimming, fishing, surfing, kayaking, bushwalking and also hosts tours for whale watching and paragliding.
8. Walk through Camden’s charming town centre which features a mix of historic buildings and a range of unique shops, cafes and restaurants. Be sure to explore the local boutiques, art galleries and gift stores which will keep you intrigued all day long.
When visiting Camden you will be spoilt for choice with the wealth of activities on offer. The town is rich in history and there is something to suit everyone. Be sure to add these must visits to your list and explore how a wonderful town has shaped the New South Wale’s landscape into today.