Venture down the M5 and beyond and you might just find yourself discovering a host of experiences out in South West Sydney. Campbelltown sits in the Macarthur region, not far from the divine Mount Annan Australian Botanic Gardens. Sydney Scoop spent some time in the area and here are 5 of our picks for things to do in town.
1. Dumaresq Street Cinema
Local independent movie house Dumaresq Street cinema delivers unbeatable value on hot new release films. Tickets are just $7.50, all day everyday, for everyone. Brilliant. Of note, there's also plenty of parking and some good dinner options nearby. The cinemas are a little smaller than larger cinema chains but they are comfortable and the candy bar is well stocked with movie favourites. Grab a choc top, some popcorn and your favourite seat and settle in.
More info and session times can be found on the cinema's website.
2. Seta's cafe
Just up the road from the cinemas you'll find cozy little Seta's Cafe, an unassuming shopfront that is home to some of the better coffee in the area. The team at Seta's open every day, offering visitors a classic brekkie menu with options such as poached eggs with smoked salmon or cinnamon French toast, all at good prices, There is then a focus on burgers and salads for lunch, although in a classic Sydney move the smashed avo is available all day. Don't miss the daily assortment of baked sweet treats sitting temptingly by the counter.
Campbelltown Arts Centre (C-A-C), a project of Campbelltown City Council and located on Tharawal land, is a fascinating local gallery with strong ties to the Indigenous heritage of the area. The gallery aims to provide a range of community engaged contemporary art programs throughout the year, maintaining a proud focus on ideas relevant to the local area. Each season sees a rotating collection of exhibitions, public events, performances and workshops.
There's also the Arts Centre cafe out the back, set inside the peaceful Japanese Garden and well worth a wander. Check out their website for current exhibitions and a public program of events such as ceramics workshops and life drawing.
4. Thai Chilli
After a movie and a gallery outing, it must be time for a meal. Tear yourself away from El Jannah and check one of the excellent Thai options to be found in the area. Thai Chilli is one such venue, dishing up all your favourite Thai classics with a bit of a Lao spin too - don't miss the Lao specials on the last page. With a name like Thai Chilli it should be unsurprising that they don't hold back on the spice; when they ask you if you'd like your dish spicy, be warned, they mean it. Yum. We loved the chili basil beef. It's also BYO, wine only.
Also worth a mention is Saam Thai, only a couple of blocks away and right by the Dumaresq St Cinema. It's another Thai-run Thai joint with properly tasty meals.
Finally, to end a day out in Campbelltown, kick back with a cool drink in the recently renovated Macarthur Tavern (or "Mac Tav, as we like to call it). The outdoor verandah bar encapsulates casual summery chic and is perfect for a catch up with friends. The food is classic pub grub, the drinks sit happily at local pub prices. Tuesday nights see the outdoor area transformed into a Musical Bingo competition that really needs to be experienced to be understood. Say cheers to a successful day in South Western Sydney!
Image credit: Document Photography, Campbelltown Arts Centre