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.
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.
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 Falls 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 and other festivals, markets and shows in the region. There are farm tours to take and steam trains to board, as well.
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.