Just as you are about to cross the picturesque Camden Haven River at the entrance to the town there is a welcome sign, “Kendall. The Poets Village” a sure clue that something creative is going on. Indeed it has been for over 100 years. In 1891 the village of Camden Haven was renamed Kendall in honour of Australia’s first major native born poet, Henry Kendall, who lived in the area in the 1870’s and wrote some of his best poetry here. His works and life are today commemorated in a number of ways in the town. There is a Poets Walk around the town, an annual lecture or talk on his birthday and public art celebrating his life. There are also a number of other major pieces of public art around the village and the Town Green, reflecting a strong interest in all things creative.
A community always known for its enterprise and initiative has gained a reputation for the arts, community events and a lifestyle the envy of many. The focus for much is the delightfully restored Kendall Hall. It hosts the internationally known Kendall National Violin Competition and many other concerts and until recently has been the home of the Watermark Literary Muster and the Camden Haven Music Festival. Other annual Kendall events include a Kendall Photography competition and exhibition and another for Recycled Art. The latter reflecting the importance of the local Op Shop, a real treasure trove. The community has converted its train station into an Aladdin’s Cave of arts and crafts representing over 50 local artists. Many have been inspired like Henry Kendal by the tranquillity and beauty of the landscapes of the area which you can enjoy exploring the local area or relaxing at its cafes. All this is only two minutes from the Pacific Highway taking the turnoff at Kew which has its own attractions worth calling in on. The community run Kew Visitor Centre not only has a small gallery but will provide you with copies of both the Poets Walk and a heritage trail.
For more information on visiting Kendall go to http://www.kendall.org.au/