Camden Park House, Camden Shire Council

Population 3179

Camden, in a picturesque setting on the Nepean River just south-west of Sydney, was once a hunting ground of the Gundungurra people, who called it 'Benkennie', meaning 'dry land'. Governor Macquarie sent men to kill or imprison the Aboriginal people in 1816 and, although records are poor, the brutal mission had some success. European settlement began after eight cattle wandered off four months after the First Fleet landed. They were not seen again until 1795 when it was discovered their number had grown to more than 40. The site on which they were found was named Cowpasture Plains, but was later changed to Camden. Camden was home to John and Elizabeth Macarthur, pioneers of the Australian wool industry, and the first in Australia to grow tobacco, use mechanical irrigation, produce wine of respectable quality and quantity and make brandy. The Macarthurs sent thousands of vines to the Barossa Valley and are thereby credited with helping to start South Australia's wine industry.

Visitor Information

John Oxley Cottage, 46 Camden Valley Way, Elderslie; (02) 4658 1370

Nearby national parks

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  • Royal National Park

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  • Georges River National Park

    On the south-west outskirts of Sydney this national park, a picturesque retreat on the lower reaches of the Georges River, is popular with...more

Nearby towns

  • Campbelltown

    Campbelltown was founded in 1820 by Governor Macquarie and named after his wife, Elizabeth Campbell. While the town is being engulfed by the...more

  • Picton

    Located in the foothills of the Southern Highlands, Picton was once a thriving town, but since the re-routing of the Hume Highway it has...more

  • Glenbrook

    Glenbrook is a picturesque village on the edge of the Blue Mountains. It was originally known as Watertank because it was used for the...more

In Town

Self-guide walk and scenic drive: includes historic buildings such as the Macarthur Camden Estate, St John the Evangelist Church and Kirkham Stables; brochure from visitor centre.


Camden Museum of Aviation This privately owned museum has the largest specialist aircraft collection in Australia. Where possible, the aircraft have been painstakingly restored (to a standard allowing them to taxi along a runway but not necessarily fly), with accurate wartime markings and camouflage colours carefully researched through service records and photographs. Open Sun and public holidays; (02) 4648 2419; 3 km NE.

Struggletown Fine Arts Complex: gallery featuring stained glass, pottery, traditional art and a restaurant; 3 km N.

Belgenny Farm: includes Belgenny Cottage (1820) and the oldest surviving collection of farm buildings in Australia; (02) 4655 9651; 6 km SE.

Camden Aerodrome: ballooning, gliding and scenic flights with vintage aircraft on display; (02) 4655 8064; 3 km NW.

Cobbitty: historic rural village with market 1st Sat each month; 11 km NW.

The Oaks: small town in open countryside featuring the slab-built St Matthew's Church and Wollondilly Heritage Centre, a social history museum; 16 km W.

Burragorang Lookout: views over Lake Burragorang; 24 km W.

Yerranderie: this fascinating old silver-mining town can be reached by normal vehicle in dry conditions, otherwise only by 4WD or plane; 40 km W.

Wineries: several in the area; contact visitor centre for map; Gledswood (10 km N) features a working colonial farm.

Fishing spots near town

Port Hacking 38 km

In my youth, bream was a species anglers sought to put food on the table. It was a ‘kill it and fillet’ favourite. Both yellowfin and black bream fought well, but the sedentary nature of bait fishing –... Find out more

Botany Bay 47 km

Recently I fished a hot-water outlet alongside the Kurnell refinery pier in Botany Bay, a few hundred metres from a monument dedicated to Captain James Cook’s landing in Australia in April 1770. A year before,... Find out more

Eco-friendly activities around town

Birdwatching trip by boat 43 km

Being out on a heaving sea all day with a flock of keen birdwatchers could be some people’s worst nightmare, but any nature lover should enjoy the experience – at least once anyway. There is the chance to... Find out more

Ice-climbing 54 km

In winter, the frozen cliffs around Blue Lake provide one of the only places in Australia to learn and perfect the art of ice-climbing. Multi-day courses involve a hike in with heavy packs, and camping out in the... Find out more

Golf courses around town

Macquarie Links International Golf Club 19 km

Shanghai, Guam, Bali, Sabah, Bangkok, Singapore, Alaska, Hawaii; American course designer Robin Nelson has spent much of the past 30 years travelling from one exotic destination to another, putting his next project in... Find out more

Twin Creeks Golf & Country Club 27 km

As a globetrotting professional golfer of the 1970s and ’80s, Graham Marsh won more than 60 titles across five continents. The key to his success was his approach to the game. Every shot was thoughtfully... Find out more

Concord Golf Club 45 km

From the very first days that golf was played in New South Wales, the name Concord has been part of the landscape. Established in 1899, golf began on the current site – on a layout designed by Dan Soutar, who... Find out more

Castle Hill Country Club 46 km

Back in 1821, Irishman George Acres received a land grant and is understood to have planted Australia’s first citrus trees. He planted them on the land where the fairways of Castle Hill Country Club now weave... Find out more

The Lakes Golf Club 50 km

The Lakes is one of Sydney’s iconic golf courses, a regular venue for big championships – including the Australian Open – during its 82-year history. Yet since the late 1960s, when the course was... Find out more

The Australian Golf Club 51 km

With a rich history dating back to the first days of organised golf in Australia, The Australian is the country’s oldest formal golf club. It was established in 1882 but didn’t find a permanent home at... Find out more

New South Wales Golf Club 51 km

Few courses anywhere can rival New South Wales for its array of fascinating and spectacularly natural seaside holes. Laid out across sometimes dramatic, undulating topography on the La Perouse peninsula – with... Find out more

St Michael’s Golf Club 52 km

St Michael’s has for a long time been one of Sydney’s most underrated courses. Perhaps sharing a boundary with the world-famous New South Wales Golf Club hasn’t helped. Yet St Michael’s covers... Find out more

The Coast Golf Club 52 km

The Coast certainly has the right address to be considered a golfing gem. Its closest neighbours on this stunning stretch of Sydney coastline are St Michael’s Golf Club to the south and, beyond that, the... Find out more

Avondale GOLF CLUB 54 km

When 19th-hole conversation turns to discussing the best places to play golf in Sydney, one course often slips under the radar. Avondale Golf Club quite rightly ranks among the harbour city’s finest courses. Yet... Find out more

Cafes & restaurants around town

Enzo Italian Restaurant

For just over 20 years Enzo has been welcoming guests to its cosy dining room and treating diners to authentic Italian food and friendly, attentive service. Guests are spoilt, with two dining rooms to choose from: the... Find out more

Nearby eco-friendly places to eat

Green Gourmet 49 km

These totally vegan restaurants have fascinating dishes including mock fish, made from taro, mushroom steaks and desserts such as green tea moon cake.... Find out more

Billy Kwong 52 km

This up-market restaurant in Surry Hills claims to have been the first restaurant in New South Wales that chose to become carbon neutral. Owned and run by passionate advocate of sustainability and ethical eating Kylie... Find out more

Nearby breweries

Tooheys Brewery 41 km

Tooheys remains the last of Sydney’s long-running mainstream breweries still currently operating. Founders James and John Toohey were cattle farmers before they entered the beer game, buying the Darling Brewery (it... Find out more

Five Islands Brewing Company 41 km

Started by local Illawarra rugby league legend Michael Bolt in 2001, the Five Islands Brewing Company has travelled a markedly different course to most other craft-beer enterprises. FIBC began life as a beachside bar and... Find out more

Paddy's Brewery 42 km

There may be more unlikely venues for a craft brewery but, offhand, I can’t think of one. The Markets Hotel is a 24-hour pub opposite Sydney’s Flemington fresh produce market, where you’re more likely... Find out more

St Peters Brewery 48 km

Matt Donelan is someone who marches to a different drum from most other craftbrewers. He doesn’t have a website or own a mobile phone and doesn’t believe in cardboard packaging. He matches his keg prices... Find out more

Malt Shovel Brewery 49 km

US-born Dr Charles ‘Chuck’ Hahn has enjoyed two separate craft-beer careers over two decades, operating out of the same Camperdown brewery. In the late ’80s he opened it as the independent Hahn Brewery,... Find out more

Redoak Brewery 52 km

Redoak burst onto the craft-beer scene by winning a swag of medals at the 2004 Australian International Beer Awards before they had sold even a single drop. And they have continued to collect an impressive array of... Find out more

Schwartz Brewery 52 km

Tucked away in the basement of the heritage-listed Macquarie Hotel in Surry Hills, this 8-hectolitre microbrewery is the hub of a burgeoning craft-beer empire run by owner Dr Jerry Schwartz. Apart from supplying the pub,... Find out more

Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel 53 km

Sydney’s longest-running brew-pub is many things rolled into one fine watering hole – an institution for ale lovers, a tourist magnet and a haven for homesick Poms. The historic sandstone pub is as comfy as a... Find out more

Campsites around town

Bents Basin camping area 17 km

You can get to the camping area by following Wolstenholme Ave off Greendale Rd from Wallacia. There are short walks from here to a lookout and the basin. It’s well equipped and includes an amenities block with hot... Find out more

Lake Eckersley camping area (walk-in camping) 26 km

There are 2 camping sites here, near Lake Eckersley in the middle of the park, with enough room for up to 6 campers. You’ll need to be self-sufficient in food and drinking water. Take a good map with you. Note:... Find out more

Kingfisher Pool camping area (walk-in camping) 26 km

On the Bullawaring Track in the middle of the park, this campsite is a fair walk in. It’s only for self-sufficient campers carrying decent maps. Note: fires prohibited; gas/fuel stove only.... Find out more

Mirang Pool camping area (walk-in camping) 26 km

This is slightly larger than the other camping grounds in the park, with 4 campsites accommodating up to 12 people in total. Make sure you’re self-sufficient in food and water, with a good map. Note: fires... Find out more

Euroka Campground 32 km

This camping region, near the lovely Nepean River Gorge, can be reached via Bruce Rd in Glenbrook. It comprises 5 camping areas: Appletree Flat, Redgum, Nioka, Bennets Ridge and Durag. Note that the access gate is locked... Find out more

Uloola Falls camping area (walk-in camping) 32 km

The medium–difficult Uloola Falls Walking Track (11 km, 3 hr) is the only way in to this camping ground. The track can be accessed from Heathcote, Engadine or Waterfall, all of which are reachable by train. Make... Find out more

North Era camping area (walk-in and bush camping) 35 km

On the stunning 26 km Coast Track (2 days, medium difficulty), this is a walk-in bush campsite with 12 sites. You’ll need to be self-sufficient; bring food and drinking water with you. Wood fires are not permitted.... Find out more

Murphys Glen Campground 39 km

Murphys Glen Campground is tucked away among turpentine, angophora and eucalypt, 6 km south of Woodford via Bedford Rd off Railway Pde. Note that this is 4WD access only. It’s a short walk from the carpark to the... Find out more

Corrimal Beach Tourist Park 39 km

Located on gorgeous Corrimal Beach, 5 km north of Wollongong, Corrimal Beach Tourist Park offers everything from tent sites through to standard, beachside and mountain-view spa cabins. Facilities include laundry, camp... Find out more

Ingar Campground 40 km

At Ingar Campground you can swim or paddle in the dam on Ingar Creek, or strike out on a walking or mountain-biking track. From Wentworth Falls, take Tableland Rd and turn onto Queen Elizabeth Dr then Ingar Fire Trail.... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Bulli Beach Tourist Park 36 km

This popular, council-owned holiday park adjoins a patrolled beach with beach pools. In a quiet area, this place will appeal to families or those just spending a few peaceful days out of the holiday season.... Find out more

Corrimal Beach Tourist Park 39 km

A council-owned beachside park on the north side of Wollongong, this place has good amenities and is a popular holiday destination. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

Mittagong Caravan Park 47 km

The caravan park is 1 km north of the town centre. There is a well-stocked shop and easy access to the Hume Freeway. This is one of only two parks in this area of the central highlands. The park can get very busy, so... Find out more

Sydney Hills Holiday Park 52 km

This is a quality park in the north-western suburbs and can be easily accessed from the M7 through Sydney’s west. The well-designed park has a very good shop and is in a nice area. It is ideal for a holiday base in... Find out more

Lane Cove River Tourist Park 52 km

Despite being the closest caravan park to Sydney (just 10 km away), this place has a bush setting. Adjoining the Lane Cove River, the park has lovely treed areas and good facilities. A regular bus service operates to the... Find out more

Katoomba Falls Caravan Park 53 km

Located in a quiet off-highway location, this neat well-appointed park is very close to Katoomba’s cable car and scenic railway. It is an ideal park for a few days stay to explore the area. Bookings are required in... Find out more

Windang Beach Tourist Park 54 km

This is a council-owned, popular beachside holiday park located on the south side of Wollongong, next to Lake Illawarra. Bookings are required in peak periods and a minimum-length stay applies at these times.... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Camden Valley Inn

Set against the Razorback Mountains, Camden Valley Inn has 40 modern guest rooms in a variety of options to suit every style and budget. Most rooms have stunning Camden Valley and mountain views. Dining is available at... Find out more

Eco-friendly places to stay around town

Bunjaree Cottages, Wentworth Falls 49 km

Great for families, Bunjaree Cottages have been designed to make a small environmental footprint, with full solar power and earth-brick insulation. One is built with recycled car tyres and mud, providing even better... Find out more

Old Leura Dairy 53 km

This creative collection of six buildings, which can sleep up to 30 people in various combinations, has been renovated and fitted out with all manner of recycled bits and bobs. There are old oven doors, rusted corrugated... Find out more

What's on around town

Produce Market: Cnr Exeter and Mitchell sts; 2nd and 4th Sat each month.

Craft and Fine Food Market: Camden Showground; 3rd Sat each month (except Jan).

Food, Wine and Music Festival: Sept.

Camden House Open Weekend: Nov.

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