A weekend in… Camperdown
Venture beyond roaring Parramatta Road to discover a neighbourhood of sprawling parks, character-filled streets and majestic sandstone architecture. A 1.5 km-square patch, Camperdown was once the estate of Governor William Bligh, who named it after a battle he had fought in the French revolutionary war.
Initially carved into rural and residential plots, it later became the site of Australia’s first university, the University of Sydney, and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, one of the oldest in NSW.
Today, Camperdown is a neighbourhood of thinkers, movers and shakers. From academics to medics, its population of just over 10,000 is dominated by young tertiary-educated professionals, with an average age of 29.
4km south-west of the city, Camperdown doesn’t have an obvious village centre like neighbouring Newtown or Glebe, making its tucked-away gems all the more exciting to discover.
If a weekend escape to the country isn’t on the cards, a visit to Camperdown Commons is the next best thing. The former bowling green has been converted into a working urban farm that provides organic produce to local restaurants, including the on-site Acre Eatery. Stop in for breakfast, let the kids go free-range in the outdoor play area, or start your morning with a yoga class overlooking the farm. The farm also hosts weekend tours and nature-inspired workshops.
Auctions and open-houses provide a constant source of Saturday morning buzz, as home hunters circle for their piece of real estate on the CBD fringe. Camperdown has gone from strength-to-strength over the past five years, with house and apartment prices rising by 65 and 35 per cent, respectively. Apartments account for 70 per cent of the housing stock, with an average price of $860,000. Warehouse conversions are a popular pick, merging an industrial aesthetic with modern comforts. The remaining portion is largely made up of semi-detached terraces and cottages, averaging $1.4 million.
Camperdown’s central location makes it a go-to choice for investors. More than half the area’s properties are tenanted, fetching an average weekly rent of $795 for houses and $625 for apartments.
For a densely populated pocket on the CBD fringe, Camperdown is surprisingly green. Ponder your property choices over a stroll through one of its landmark parks, which include O’Dea Reserve and Victoria Park, the latter offering a pool, ponds and 19th century gardens. At Camperdown Park you can work up an appetite with a game of basketball, tennis or cricket, before heading to Store Espresso across the road. In a charming shopfront once occupied by the ‘Handy Store’, Store serves freshly roasted coffee and healthy all-day breakfasts.
A few blocks away, Camperdown Memorial Rest Park is officially within Newtown’s border and provides a green gateway to the eclectic delights of King Street.
You don’t have to be a student to wander the hallowed halls of Sydney University. Visit on the first Saturday of the month to explore the Nicholson Museum, home to Australia’s largest collection of antiquities.
If all that history makes you thirsty, refreshment doesn’t get much more local than sipping a Camperdown 1 Pale Ale from the suburb’s own Wayward Brewing Co. For an insight into what goes into making their liquid gold, brewery tours at 2pm and 4pm will take you through the process, from grain to glass. The cellar bar is child and dog-friendly, and if you stop by for a brew on a Sunday afternoon, you’ll be serenaded with live chill-out tunes.
Longstanding locals are likely to have fond memories of childhood dinners Frank’s Pizza – a Parramatta Road institution for decades. The family-run pizza joint upped its hipster cred when it moved from a derelict terrace to a funky industrial space a few years ago, but has retained its friendly atmosphere and time-warp prices. If you can overlook the slightly anglicised menu, it’s the place to go for a casual, feel-good meal.
If you’re after something a little fancier, the revamped Deus Bar & Kitchen has elevated the food offering attached to the iconic Deus Ex Machina motorcycle store. Find a spot between the custom motorcycles, kick-start the night with a Camperdown cocktail and take your pick from the short but sharp menu of hearty burgers and middle-eastern flavours.
Searching for your slice of Camperdown? Check out our latest listings here
March 19, 2020
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December 2, 2019
A Weekend in Newtown
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September 11, 2019
A Weekend in… Stanmore
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