Punchbowl, New South Wales

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SydneyNew South Wales
Punchbowl Clock Tower.JPG
The Boulevarde, Punchbowl
Coordinates 33°56′S 151°03′E / 33.933°S 151.050°E / -33.933; 151.050Coordinates: 33°56′S 151°03′E / 33.933°S 151.050°E / -33.933; 151.050
Population 18,429 (2011 census)[1]
Established 1869
Postcode(s) 2196
Location 17 km (11 mi) south of Sydney CBD
LGA(s) City of Canterbury, City of Bankstown
State electorate(s) Lakemba, Bankstown
Federal Division(s) Watson, Banks
Suburbs around Punchbowl:
Mount Lewis Greenacre Lakemba
Bankstown Punchbowl Wiley Park
Padstow Riverwood Roselands
The Astoria Theatre opened in 1935

Punchbowl, a suburb of local government areas City of Bankstown and the City of Canterbury, is located 17 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district, in the state of New South Wales, Australia, and is a part of the South-western Sydney region. At the 2011 census, Punchbowl had a population of 18,429.[1]


Punchbowl is named for a circular valley, called "the punch bowl", which is actually located in the nearby suburb of Belfield at the intersection of Coronation Parade, Georges River and Punchbowl Roads. This feature gave its name to "Punch Bowl Road" (now Punchbowl Road). In the 1830s, an inn built by George Faulkener, close to the corner of Liverpool Road, was called the Punch and Bowl. John Stephens had a property there in the 1830s and his son is mentioned in the Wells Gazetteer in 1848, "Clairville or Punchbowl, in the Parishes of St George and Bankstown, is the property of Sir Alfred Stephens". When a railway station opened on this road in 1909, three kilometres away from the 'punch bowl' itself, the surrounding suburb came to be known as Punchbowl.[2]

In the 1920s and 1930s, Punchbowl was a higher-class suburb, with a number of popular theatres that were closed down or demolished thirty years later. The Punchbowl Astoria opened on 17 July 1935 with seating for 915 persons. The final programme was shown on Wednesday 4 February 1959. The Astoria was eventually gutted and refitted as a three-storey office building. The Punchbowl Regent was situated on the corner of The Boulevarde and Matthews Street. Operated by Enterprise Theatres Ltd, the Regent opened on Saturday 24 May 1923, showing The White Rose. It was a large cinema with seating for 1,287 patrons. The last programme was shown on Wednesday 4 February 1959. The Regent was demolished in August 1964 and replaced by a block of shops.

Commercial area[edit]

Punchbowl has a relatively small shopping centre, although the selection is diverse. It thrived until the advent of Roselands and Bankstown Square in the late 1960s and its bisection by the upgrading of Punchbowl Road in the 1970s. It is centred on Punchbowl railway station, along The Boulevarde and Punchbowl Road. Local businesses and clubs reflect the diversity of the population. The largest shop is an IGA Supermarket. Punchbowl RSL was located on The Boulevarde until it closed in 2010 and The Mirage Hotel is on Punchbowl Road. Lebanese cuisine is well regarded in the suburb, to the extent that culinary walking tours of Punchbowl sell out months ahead.[3] There are a number of Lebanese sweet shops in the suburb. In 2009, a gym opened at the Astoria theatre site.

For many years, Jack Walsh International Cycles, on Punchbowl Road, was one of the longest serving shops in Punchbowl. It had been selling and repairing bicycles for over 60 years,[4] until December 2007 when Walsh was unable to continue the business.

As of November 2013 a new shopping plaza is being constructed in Punchbowls "Broadway" opposite its train station.[5] It will compromise of two levels of retail stores including chains like Woolworths and Priceline. Surrounding and on top of the Broadway Plaza will be 7 apartments that consist of 1,2 and 3 level bedrooms. This new development may cause a slow down of visits to nearby shopping centres Centro Bankstown and Centro Roselands due to its easy access and central position. The "Broadway" plaza is set to open within the first weeks of 2014 whilst the apartment complex's should be finished by mid 2014 at latest.


Canterbury Road and Punchbowl Road provide the major road links into the suburb. The Boulevarde and South Terrace are also main roads. Punchbowl railway station is located on the Bankstown line of the Sydney Trains network. The line was opened in 1895 and electrified in 1926. Trains take around 25 minutes to Sydenham and 40 minutes to Central station.

The Punchbowl Road railway bridge replaced an old two lane bridge in 1981. The foundations of the old bridge can still be seen west of the current one. The new bridge greatly aided traffic flow through the area but at the cost of effectively cutting the shopping centre in half.


Newly built houses in a new street in Punchbowl

Punchbowl is a mainly residential suburb. Much of the suburb was developed in the late 19th century and early 20th century, especially after the railway line to Bankstown was built. The suburb features a mixture of Federation, Art Deco and contemporary homes. Parts of Punchbowl have been redeveloped since the turn of the 21st century, with flats, townhouses and modern detached houses built.


Punchbowl Public School is located on Canterbury Road.[6] St Charbel's College is located in Highclere Avenue.[7] Saint Jeromes Primary School.

Punchbowl Boys High School in Kelly Street,[8] was established in 1955. The school produced two Australian cricket fast bowlers, Len Pascoe and Jeff Thomson. In the 1980s it was described as "the toughest school in Australia".

St Jerome Catholic Church



The first inhabitants of Punchbowl were Aboriginal tribes. The first Europeans in the area were British and Irish settlers in the 19th century. By the mid-20th century, the suburb had absorbed many migrants of Italian and Greek origin. From the mid-1970s, Punchbowl became a very popular location with migrants from Lebanon.

Notable residents[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

  • Punchbowl has featured in several Australian books including the satirical They're a Weird Mob by "Nino Culotta" (a nom de plume of John O'Grady), which was made into a feature film of the same name. The Mirage Hotel was referred to in the film as "the bloodhouse".
  • The film The FJ Holden (1977) featured several locations in Punchbowl including the Sundowner Hotel on the corner of Punchbowl and Canterbury Roads, a popular pub and band venue until the licence was sold. The buildings served as a Croatian Club until a new club was built.
  • The television drama series Dangerous was set in and around Punchbowl.
  • YouTube celebrity Trent from Punchy is a fictional character portrayed by Nicholas Boshier.[9] The characters name is derived from his claim to be from Punchbowl.[10][11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Punchbowl (Canterbury - NSW State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  2. ^ The Book of Sydney Suburbs, Compiled by Frances Pollon, Angus & Robertson Publishers, 1990, Published in Australia ISBN 0-207-14495-8, page 210
  3. ^ Gourmet Safaris
  4. ^ Tribute to Mr Jack Walsh NSW Parliament
  5. ^ The Broadway- Punchbowl
  6. ^ Welcome to Punchbowl Primary School
  7. ^ St Charbel's College
  8. ^ Punchbowl Boys High School
  9. ^ Evans, Mel (2 November 2014). "The Hip List: Bondi Hipsters Christiaan Van Vuuren and Nick Boshier, aka Dom and Adrian, are Soul Mates". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  10. ^ Barrett, David (2 September 2008). "'Trent from Punchy' divides online bloggers". The Australian. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  11. ^ Watson, Callie; Zwaans, Lauren (26 May 2009). "Enjoying 15 minutes of fame". The Advertiser. Retrieved 9 November 2014. 

External links[edit]