Cowra Area


Explore the largest prisoner of war breakout in modern military history, follow colonial bushranger Ben Hall’s trail, discover the gold rush era, board a steam train and amble past heritage buildings in the Cowra region. You can also enjoy wine tasting and good food.

  • Japanese Gardens, Cowra
  • Country scenic, Cowra

About the Cowra region

From colonial bushrangers to World War II prisoner of war camps to acclaimed wines, the Cowra region in the beautiful Lachlan Valley offers marvellous experiences. The river valley with its tranquil waterways is about four hours’ drive west of Sydney, via the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains.

With rich alluvial soils, the region produces abundant fresh produce. The Cowra wine region is celebrated for its premium grapes for award-winning wines. You’ll be delighted with the food and wine experiences, including tours, cellar doors, wine bars and the Cowra Wine Show Public Tasting.

Wine Show, Cowra

The main town is Cowra, a delightful base for exploring this fascinating region of Country NSW. Cowra was the site of the largest prisoner of war breakout in modern military history, when more than a thousand Japanese soldiers attempted to escape en masse on August 5, 1944.

Cowra has since forged a special relationship with Japan. You can explore the breakout history and the Japanese relationship at various sites in Cowra, including the Prisoner of War Camp Site, the Japanese and Australian War Cemeteries, and the Cowra Japanese Garden and Cultural Centre.

Fish feeding at Japanese Garden, Cowra

For insights into Aboriginal cultural heritage, visit the Cowra Bridge Pylons for murals by local indigenous artist Kym Freedman of the history of the local Wiradjuri people. You’ll find many more things to do in nearby villages and in enchanting national parks. At Darbys Falls, southeast of Cowra, is one of the biggest telescopes available to the public at the Darbys Halls Observatory.

Explore bushranger Ben Hall’s life and the gold rush at the Grenfell Historical Museum in Grenfell, a historic goldmining town west of Cowra and the birthplace of great writer and bush poet Henry Lawson. Check out the events calendar for the Grenfell Henry Lawson Festival and other festivals, markets and shows in the region. There are farm tours to take and steam trains to board, as well.

Cowra Area, NSW

You’ll find plenty of accommodation options in the region, including classic pubs brimming with country charm. Natural attractions are drawcards to the region, too, with the meandering Lachlan River and Lake Wyangala great for fishing, kayaking and other water sports. Bushwalking and birdwatching are popular in Conimbla National Park and Weddin Mountains National Park.

Cowra #NewSouthWales

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  1. Australian Hotel Cowra

    The Aussie Hotel is conveniently located on Redfern Street (Canowindra Road) close to the centre of Cowra. It was established in 1846 but unfortunately had to be rebuilt in 1909. With live bands on the...

  2. Hong Kong Chinese Restaurant

    Hong Kong Chinese Restaurant is a fully licences, dine in restaurant, specialising in Australian Chinese cuisine while having authentic Malaysian Chinese dishes available.Their extensive three course menu...

  3. Ilfracombe and Co Cafe

    Enjoy the charm of one of Cowra's oldest buildings renovated into a modern cafe, with delicious breakfasts, lunches and coffee. The cafe prides itself in great coffee, a selection of homebaked goodies and friendly...

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Local areas

  • Cowra Cowra is gaining a reputation as a wine-producing region and source of specialty products.
  • Grenfell The historic goldmining town of Grenfell is the birthplace of famous Australian bush poet Henry Lawson.