Unearth Cowra NSW
Cowra was established in 1849 and began to flourish once gold fever swept through the region. The gold rush contributed to the establishment of many heritage buildings that still stand in Cowra today.
Cowra was the location of the largest Prisoner of War Breakout in modern military history and as a result, many attractions stand as a testimony to the war, including the Japanese and Australian War Cemeteries and the Cowra Japanese Garden & Cultural Centre.
The Cowra Prisoner of War Campsite is one of the top heritage sites in NSW. Today, visitors can walk through the camp ruins and view a short free holographic presentation about the breakout at the POW theatre based at the Cowra Visitor Information Centre.
Cowra Civic Square houses the Australian World Peace Bell, which was erected as a symbol of the town’s commitment to international understanding. The Bell is made from melted down coins from the 103 member countries of the United Nations.
Cowra is peaceful by choice and beautiful by nature.
Ask a Local
We enjoyed a fantastic time in the Cowra region. We had originally planned on staying for one night but once we discovered the rich history, heritage and beautiful landscapes of the region, decided to stay a further two nights. Three days in Cowra was just not enough time to explore all there is to see and do in the region – we’ll be back!
48 Hours in Cowra
DAY 1 – IMMERSE YOURSELF IN COWRA’S HISTORY
Start at the Cowra Visitor Information Centre and watch the powerful hologram presentation about the 1944 Prisoner of War Breakout. Travel onto the Prisoner of War Campsite and replica guard tower before enjoying a stroll or cycle along the Garrison Walk. Information signs bring the history of the site to life and the scenic views will bring out the photographer in you.
Pay your respects at the Australian and Japanese War Cemeteries then travel onto the stunning Japanese Garden and Cultural Centre and enjoy a coffee or lunch at the Japanese Garden Cafe. Continue to Australia’s World PeaceBell, ring the bell and listen to an audio presentation which explains the significance of the bell and its association with Cowra.
Visit the Lachlan Valley Railway Heritage Centre and explore our railway history. Enjoy a stroll back in time on a self-guided Cowra Heritage Walk to see Cowra’s most beautiful heritage buildings and sites. Pick up a brochure at the Cowra Visitor Information Centre.
Head to Wyangala Dam for the afternoon and enjoy a spot of fishing, have a swim, go boating or skiing, visit Darby’s Falls Observatory and take in our bright nights and big skies.
DAY 2 – EXPLORE CANOWINDRA
Take a 20 minute drive to Canowindra and visit historic Gaskill Street.
Get up close and touch the amazing displays of local 360 million year old fossils at the Age of Fishes Museum. Treat yourself to a bite to eat, shop and relax at the great range of boutique shops and cafes.
Why not make your Canowindra experience totally memorable and book a balloon flight. Meet the makers and enjoy a wine tasting at a cellar door or two before travelling back via Rivers Road through beautiful vineyards and farming land.
The hologram presentation of the Cowra Breakout story at the Visitor Information Centre’s POW Theatre.
Did you know?
At 1.50am on 5 August 1944, over 1000 Japanese prisoners launched a mass escape from the Prisoner of War Campsite in Cowra. It was the largest prisoner of war breakout in modern military history.
- Cowra Wine Show Public Tasting – August
- Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival – September
- Cowra Christmas Street Festival – December
SEE & DO AROUND COWRA NSW
- Unearth Cowra War History at the POW site, Japanese War Cemetery, POW Hologram at VIC, and Australia’s World Peace Bell
- Japanese Garden & Cultural Centre
- Fishing, Watersports, Camping at Wyangala Waters
- Lachlan Valley Railway
- Explore Cowra’s Wine Region with a range of family owned and operated vineyards and wineries
- Take a drive to Canowindra and enjoy heritage, boutique shopping, fine wine and food.
COWRA FOOD GUIDE
- The Quarry Cellar Door & Restaurant, Cowra (02 6342 3650)
- Lot 31 Restaurant at the Imperial Hotel, Cowra (02 6341 2588)
- Breakout Brassiere, Cowra (02 6342 4555)
- Lachlan Valley Hotel, Cowra (02 6342 2900)
- The Oxley Wine Bar, Cowra (02 6341 4100)
- Japanese Garden Cafe, Cowra (02 6342 5222)
- Cafe Ruze, Cowra (02 6341 2334)
- Delice, Canowindra (0437 479 184)
- Trading Post Cafe, Canowindra (02 6344 1529)
- Finns Store, Canowindra (02 6344 1638)
- Stoke House Tea Pots Cafe, Carcoar (02 6367 3235)
SIP & SWIRL IN COWRA
- Rosnay Organic Wines, Canowindra (1300 ROSNAY)
- Wallington Winery, Canowindra (02 6344 7153)
- The Quarry Cellar Door, Cowra (02 6342 3650)
- Cowra Visitor Information Centre, Cowra (02 6342 4333)
COWRA’S BEST BITE
The Cowra rack of lamb with minted pea pistou at The Quarry Restaurant as featured in Central West Lifestyle Magazine.