On the banks of the beautiful Lachlan River, Cowra will intrigue and excite with its historical buildings, military history, tranquil gardens, fine wines and cultural heritage. The town is a little over four hours’ drive west of Sydney in the verdant Lachlan Valley, a fertile farming area.

Cowra was the site of the largest prisoner of war breakout in modern military history, when more than a thousand Japanese prisoners staged a mass breakout in August 1944. You can visit the Prisoner of War Camp Site and walk among the ruins. A free holographic presentation of the breakout is at the small POW Theatre in the Cowra Visitor Information Centre, which has a scale model of the camp.

Japanese Gardens - Cowra

Cowra has since forged a remarkable friendship with Japan, and you can see many tributes to this special relationship around town, including the Japanese and Australian War Cemeteries and Cowra Japanese Garden and Cultural Centre. Sakura Matsuri, the annual cherry blossom festival in Cowra, celebrates the arrival of spring with traditional Japanese cultural performances.

A great way to experience the heritage buildings in the town’s centre is on the self-guided Cowra Heritage Walk. Many of the buildings were constructed after gold fever swept the Cowra region in the 19th century. As you explore the heritage, visit the Cowra Regional Art Gallery and Australia’s World Peace Bell. The Lachlan Valley Railway features steam trains and a roundhouse.

Young family picnicking by Lachlan River

You’ll find plenty of accommodation options, and check out the events calendar for festivals, shows and markets. Food and wine are drawcards of the Cowra wine region. The annual Cowra Wine Show Public Tasting and the monthly Cowra Community Markets are both popular events. You can savour local wines at the Oxley Wine Bar and take a wine tour with Ideal Tours.

Things to do and places to stay

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  1. Grenfell Art Gallery Exhibit - Woodland Plains

    Tuesday 27 February 2018 to Sunday 15 April 2018 ,

    Nicole Berlach is a Natural History illustration Artist based on the Central Coast of NSW. Nicole's approach sees traditional techniques and medium applied in a fresh way that resonates with the art enthusiast and scientist alike. With t…

    27 Feb - 15 Apr
  2. Grenfell Picnic Races

    Saturday 07 April 2018 , Grenfell

    *** Latest details yet to be confirmed*** The Grenfell Picnic Race Club holds an annual meeting in April. Enjoy the friendly, country atmosphere of picnic racing. There will be six races, TAB facilities and marquee space available (no BYO…

    07 Apr
  3. Henry Lawson Festival of Arts

    Thursday 07 June 2018 to Monday 11 June 2018 , Grenfell

    The Henry Lawson Festival of Arts is held on the June long weekend and celebrates Grenfell's famous son, Henry Lawson, who was born in 1867 on the Grenfell goldfield. 2018 will be the sixty first year the festival has been held. The fest…

    07 Jun - 11 Jun