Set on the banks of the Lachlan River, Cowra is a charming town surrounded by vineyards, waterways and pretty countryside in the beautiful Lachlan Valley. It’s home to a fascinating piece of wartime history, as well as tranquil gardens and fine wines. 

Cowra highlights


Fascinating history

Visit the site of the former Prisoner of War Camp Site where, in 1944, over a thousand Japanese prisoners staged a mass breakout. Learn more about this incredible story at the POW Hologram Theatre and reflect upon the lives lost at the Japanese and Australian war cemeteries. Cowra now has a special relationship with Japan, reflected in the Cowra Japanese Garden, a symbol of peace and goodwill. 

Cowra also celebrates Japanese culture with Sakura Matsuri, the annual cherry blossom festival in September, which heralds the arrival of spring with a spectacular display of pink and white flowers, as well as traditional Japanese cultural performances.  

Experience gold rush history and take a stroll through Cowra’s historic past on the Cowra Heritage Walk. Many buildings are open to the public. For family fun, explore the railway heritage museum and historic steam locomotives at the Lachlan Valley Railway Heritage Centre, and check out the vistas from Bellevue Hill Reserve

Eat & drink 

You’ll find a number of delicious boutique wineries in the Cowra wine region. Start your exploration by tasting one of the many local wines at the Cowra Visitor Information Centre. You can also pick up some regional produce to create the perfect picnic hamper. A short drive from Cowra, close to the village of Canowindra, you can visit the cellar doors of Rosnay Organic Vineyard and Wallington Wines

There are many more great food and wine experiences in the region. Check out the annual Cowra Wine Show Public Tasting, one of Australia’s largest wine shows and a premier industry event where you can sample some of the country’s best wines and test your skills against expert judges. Sample local produce the monthly Cowra Community Markets or join a winery tour with Ideal Tours. For a special meal, visit The Quarry, a fine-dining restaurant set among the vines. 

Food served at a dining experience at Wallington Wines, Nyrang Creek

Wallington Wines, Nyrang Creek

Art & culture

Home to a diverse creative community, you can take a deep dive into the art of the region at the Cowra Regional Art Gallery and discover a dynamic program of exhibitions and touring collections. You can also see beautiful still life and landscape artworks at the Morton Gallery by appointment. 

Cowra is also home to Australia’s World Peace Bell, awarded by the United Nations in 1992 for the town’s contribution to world peace. It’s the only World Peace Bell not located in a major city. Look out for the murals on the Cowra Bridge Pylons by Indigenous artist Kym Freedman on the history of the Wiradjuri people. 

Where to stay 

You’ll find plenty of great accommodation options in town, including motels, apartments, farmstays, B&Bs and riverside holiday parks. For a unique stay, book into The Shearing Shed, a renovated boutique shearing shed in the heart of Lachlan Valley, or go glamping at Pepper Tree Dome or La Paloma Farm

Pepper Tree Dome at La Paloma Farm, Darby Falls

Pepper Tree Dome, Darby Falls - Credit: Unwind Escapes

Getting there

Cowra is just over four hours’ drive west of Sydney, via the Blue Mountains. You can fly into Orange Regional Airport, a 1hr 15min drive away. 


Plan your trip