Jul 10, 2016

Lovin' Life 10/7/2016: Camperdown Commons.

I've just sat down and done the maths.  This is my tenth year as a Sydneysider.  Long time readers of the blog will know that I'm a blow in from Perth.  A major reason I first came across was for work and it is because of work rosters and allocations that I've gotten to know quite a few different regions of Sydney pretty well.  The subject of today's Lovin' Life post is Camperdown a suburb of the Inner West which will always have a very special place in my heart.  It's where I trained and now work, it's where Preschooler SSG was born and it's home to a very eclectic and inclusive community which I've loved seeing change and grow over the years I've been here.

Let's begin with a potted history of the place.

Camperdown was initially established as a residential and farming community back in the early 19th century.  Victorian terrace houses remain a feature of its streets - some have been restored in a manner faithful to their original architecture and some have been renovated into more modern, inner city dwellings.

Royal Prince Alfred Hospital was built on what was initially a race course.

The Inner West has also had a strong connection to dog racing and but the local tracks were closed down a few years ago.  The land was sold and, you guessed it, is now home to blocks of glistening apartment blocks which have been built to accomodate the demand for (relatively) reasonably priced places to live that are close to both the city and an array of family and life in general friendly amenities.

A recent exciting addition to the Camperdown landscape is the transformation of what was previously the local bowls club.

Camperdown Commons is in the process of being transformed as part of the Camperdown Project.

Part of the project is a sustainable vegetable garden whose produce is used at Acre, the cafe and restauarant located on the commons.

There are also facilities for yoga classes and community activities next to the restaurant.

One of the really beautiful things about Camperdown Commons is the ability for anyone in the community to just pop in and have a look around at what's happening in the vegetable patches.  It's a little bit of the country slap bang in the middle of the inner west and it's such a restful place to be in.  The park next door is often full of runners, dog walkers and sporting teams but here on the commons?  You can just sit back and be at one with agriculture.

And coffee, of course.  Because we are in the inner west, after all.  Acre has converted a storage crate into a kind of coffee cart where you can get takeaways to either enjoy on the property or else take back home to your groovy terrace or apartment.

There was a whole fridge of fancy juices under this display of sweets (quite a few of which were delicious looking raw food cakes and slices).

I rate the coffee 11/10 and not because I could nestle my cup in this back to nature arrangement in the play area.

A coop for rescued chickens has been built in one corner of the garden.

And this is the childrens' play area next to the chicken coop.

The activity walls were both created especially for Camperdown Commons and feature lots of repurposed building materials.  The tree stump steps/seats next to the walls also feature little doors to open and hidey holes to fill.

We were lucky enough to score an orchard muffin straight out of the oven.

I also need to specially mention the staff at Acre.  They're all incredibly friendly and thoughtful.  Someone was out first thing wiping down all the wet outdoor furniture from last night's rain.  She also took the time to find me a blanket in case it was too cold where we were sitting.  

Camperdown Commons and Acre are a wonderful addition to the landscape of the Inner West and I hope there will be more sustainable produce and community orientated initiatives like this to follow all around the city.

Have you been to Camperdown Commons yet?  Is there something similar where you live?


  1. There is CERES in Brunswick. They did inner city gardens and greenie patches before it was even cool.

  2. Oh wow, some stunning pics there and I love the terrace houses. They're not something we have a lot of in Qld - some in the inner city in part of Brisbane (George St near the Botanic Gardens if you know it!) but not more prevalent. I wonder if they weren't built or if they were all torn down?!

  3. This seems like a great use for an old bowls club! There's one near the city here that's looking a bit worse for wear and I don't know what will happen to it in the end - something like this would be great, I don't know of any locally.

  4. I love wandering around Sydney and seeing all the terrace houses. So unique to Sydney. I've never heard of Camperdown Commons. Now I have! What a great spot.
    Thanks for joining the Lovin' Life Linky!
    PS Do you have new bloggy clothes or am I imagining things? Loving your Sydney Shop Girl swirly signature ...

  5. I love the look of that area. I can't think of anything much like this in my area.

  6. What a great use of the space in and around Camperdown. Looking forward to getting my drivers licence back (medical grounds) and exploring Camperdown Commons and the Grounds of Alexandria.
    So glad I linked up with Leanne today so I discovered your blog!

  7. Congrats on ten years - and a lovely part of the world too. Love that veg garden! #lovinlife


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