Immerse yourself in local history and great food and wine for a relaxing country break in Cowra. Take a trip down memory lane and get to know Cowra's fascinating history, from the days of steam engines, to the largest Prisoner Of War breakout in modern military history. Explore the area’s gorgeous national parks, numerous waterways, and pay a visit to Cowra’s tranquil Japanese Garden.
About Cowra Area
Whether you're a history buff, food enthusiast or nature lover, Cowra has something to offer any traveller; temperate weather, delicious cool-climate wines and a storied past ripe for discovery.
Cowra is the area’s main regional centre, and the ideal spot from which to base yourself to explore the area. The historic mining town of Grenfell is where the great Australian poet, Henry Lawson, was born, and it's only a short drive to the Weddin Mountains National Park, where you can enjoy bushwalking along well-marked trails.
If there’s time, pay a visit to some of the area’s many villages, including Billimari, Darbys Falls, Gooloogong, Morongla, Noonbinna, Wattamondara, Woodstock and Wyangala.
The nearby area around Wyangala Dam offers excellent accommodation and camping facilities. You will find cottages and cabins near the water, alongside many activities including boating, canoeing, sailing, water slides and walking trails.
The traditional owners of the land are the Wiradjuri Aboriginal people, who named their home Cowra, meaning 'rocks'. Despite white explorers initially deeming the land uninhabitable, graziers and squatters successfully grew grain crops, with Europeans first settling the Lachlan Valley in 1831. Cattle farms and vineyards followed, and before long, the town was booming.
Wineries and fine-dining establishments continue to flourish in this Country NSW area, and there are a number of food-focused events taking place throughout the year. The fertile Lachlan Valley makes Cowra an ideal wine-producing region, with Chardonnay as the area’s star grape.
Every July the Cowra Wine Show Weekend takes place, showcasing local vignerons and their wines. Don’t miss Harvest in the Park, an artisan food and wine market held four times a year. Year-round, visit the area’s many cellar doors for a free tasting.
Cowra is also famous as the site of a mass breakout of Japanese prisoners of war during World War II in 1944, one of the most dramatic episodes in Australia's wartime history.
Today the town's beautiful Japanese Garden, feauturing a full bloom of cherry blossoms every spring, stands as a testament to the remarkable bond forged between Cowra and Japan. You can also visit the area’s historic POW camps and war cemeteries.