10 FREE places of interest for kids in Campbelltown these holidays
Holidays are a great time to spend some time together with family and friends. To prevent hearing those dreaded words “I’m bored”, I have compiled a list of things to do that are local to Campbelltown and are mostly free.
Visit Australian Botanical Gardens
A great place to spend some time relaxing, having a picnic or going for a walk. The Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan showcases Australian flora amongst rolling hills and lakes. It is the largest botanic garden in Australia. Situated on former farmland, it contains remnant Cumberland Plain Woodland, a critically endangered ecological community of the region.
Visit the Garden to enjoy abundant native animal and birdlife, picnic areas, barbecues, lakeside lawns, walking and cycling tracks and large contemporary sculptures.
2. Visit Dharawal National Park
This recently declared National Park has some lovely bush walks and great swimming holes. A lot of the walks are now sign posted. You can go on a guided walk or walk by yourself. Don’t forget to take some water with you. Discover the Dharawal National Park and learn about Indigenous heritage on this guided walking tour. Enjoy a wander with an Aboriginal Discovery Ranger, as you take a fresh look at the landscape from a Koori perspective.
09 April 2016
9.00am - 10.30am
Dharawal National Park
Bookings are essential and places are strictly limitedPayment is required upon bookingAll bookings can be made online at www.macarthur.com.au
$6 per person
Participants are advised to wear comfortable walking shoes and a hat, and to bring a bottle of water with them on the day.
Wheelchair access is available for this tour.
The tour will still proceed in the event of wet weather.
Tickets are non-refundable.
3. Visit Camden Bike Track
Load your car up with the kids bikes, scooters or just walk. A nice path along the river with a playground half way. Take a picnic or afternoon tea and spend a morning letting the kids spend their energy.
4. Visit Campbelltown Bike Centre
Normally only open on Sundays but open everyday during the school holidays. Load your car up with the kids bikes for hours of fun. Take a picnic lunch.
Campbelltown's Bicycle Education and Road Safety Centre provides education for cycling and pedestrian safety in a fun and safe environment.
5. Watch a movie - Visit Dumaresqu St Cinemas
6. Visit Campbelltown Library
Campbelltown City Libraries offer a variety of services and programs for children. These programs range from babies to school aged children. Children are encouraged to join the library and you are never too young to become a member!
We have a large selection of children’s books, magazines, graphic novels, movies and music to borrow. We also have a year-long program of events to suit all ages, including Baby Read ‘n’ Rhyme and Storytime for Preschoolers sessions, School Holiday Activities,Bookalicious our junior book club and the Summer Reading Club. For more information on what is happening for children at the library, including upcoming activities, new books, Bookalicious and much more, please take a look at our children’s blog, Just 4 Kids or contact the Children’s Librarian on 4645 4554.
HJ Daley Library
1 Hurley St Campbelltown
Phone: 4645 4444
Monday to Friday 9.30am - 8.30pm Saturday 9am - 4pm Sunday
10.30am - 4pm
7. Visit the Japanese Gardens
When my children were little we would go for a walk (or bike ride) here to look at the Koi Carp. We would have a play in Koshigaya Park and get some water at McDonalds and walk home. It would fill in the afternoon and spend some of the kids energy and cost me nothing. Recently we have been for a lovely breakfast at the Arts Centre café.
The Japanese Gardens, located at the Campbelltown Arts Centre, were presented to Campbelltown by the people of Koshigaya on 10 April 1988. A Japanese garden is a journey, a place for contemplation, with layers of symbols and meanings that represent the seasons of life. The gardens symbolise the beliefs and religion of both Shinto, the indigenous religion of Japan, and Zen Buddhism. Shinto beliefs are concerned with aspects of the universe and believe that natural objects are the home of spirits. Hence, there is a resulting reverence in Japanese culture for nature. The Japanese Gardens feature a traditional waterfall, koi pond, timber bridge, contrived stonework, pathway and verdant planting and a tea house. The aim of the garden is to obtain quiet solitude. The design represents an antique look of elegant simplicity, leading to contemplation and heightened awareness.
The Japanese Tea House
As a symbol of friendship between the two cities, 150 Koshigaya residents visited Campbelltown as part of the Australian Bicentennial celebrations in April 1988, and presented a gift of a traditional 16th century style Japanese tea house to Campbelltown. A qualified Japanese builder lived in Campbelltown for three months as the tea house was constructed. It is located in the Japanese Garden of the Campbelltown Arts Centre. When entering a Japanese tea house, you would traditionally remove your shoes, as the dirt from the outside was not allowed to penetrate the clean inside. As you entered the tea house, a bow would represent your humility and ability to leave your worldy troubles behind. The development of the Japanese tea ceremony was primarily influenced by Zen Buddhism. The ceremony is the preparation and presentation of matcha (pronounced MA-cha), a powdered green tea. The principles central to a traditional tea ceremony are harmony, respect, purity and tranquillity.
8. Visit a park – Koshigaya Park
Have a picnic and play in the park. Koshigaya Park, Campbelltown and Campbelltown Park, Koshigaya
Opposite the Campbelltown Arts Centre is Koshigaya Park, the most used and popular family park in the City of Campbelltown. Within the park are many trees planted by visiting dignitaries, as well as cherry blossom trees. The park is beautifully maintained by Council. In Koshigaya, Campbelltown Park is also a very popular family location, where there are typical Australian style trees, planted by citizens of Campbelltown. The Campbelltown Forest of Wild Birds is the largest aviary in Japan, which houses Australian birds, wallabies and emus. The head keeper has undergone training in the care of these animals at Taronga Zoo and Australian flora has been established. Regular reports keep Taronga Zoo updated on the condition and successful breeding of the birds and animals.
9. Campbelltown City Council School Holiday Program
Healthy, educational and fun activities for primary school children aged five to 12 years, plus workshops for adults, children and young people.
09 April 2016 - 24 April 2016
Council’s libraries, child care centres, leisure centres, Bicycle Education Centre and Campbelltown Arts Centre.
moviescraftfitnessgamesactingswimmingart and more!
Varies - please refer to the full program for details.
10. Visit Freres Crossing
We have been on many walks at Frere’s crossing. The kids love getting out in the bush. A nice walk down to the river, where you feel miles away from civilisation. Frere's Crossing was named after George Pierre Frere, who owned a property at Eckersley (Holsworthy), but by 1913 all residents had been moved out of the area to make way for the military reserve. The area is surrounded by healthy woodland vegetation including the vegetative communities; Sydney Hinterland Transition Woodland, Coastal Sandstone Ridgetop Woodland and Hinterland Sandstone Gully Forest. The area is characterised by glorious gymea lilies and xanthorrhoea (grass trees). Native fauna that have been found in the area include:
Eastern Water Dragon
and the cuddly Koala … so remember to look up!
How do I get there?
Head to the bottom of the 2km-long fire trail from Kentlyn to view the remnants of an old wooden bridge that until 1917 formed part of the road connecting Campbelltown to Newcastle. It’s one of the most scenic sites along the Georges River in the Campbelltown area.
Now a significant heritage site, this former “crossing” now connects Kentlyn to the Holsworthy Military Reserve (to which entry is strictly prohibited!).
Activities: bushwalking, mountain biking
Things to remember
Trail biking is banned within the Reserve.
People swimming do so at their own risk. Entry into the water carries the risk of illness or infection, particularly after heavy rain.
Please assess your level of fitness before undertaking strenuous walks and activities.Dress suitably for the weather and the environment. Take water with you.
Lock your car and do not leave valuables behind. Please dispose of rubbish properly.
For other ideas on what to do in the holidays, have a look at the following: