Cowra Travel Guide

  • JAPANESE GARDENS...SO PEACEFUL..
    JAPANESE GARDENS...SO PEACEFUL..
    by DennyP
  • COWRA...WATER TANK AND WINDMILL..
    COWRA...WATER TANK AND WINDMILL..
    by DennyP
  • COWRA...JAPANESE GARDENS...SO QUIET...
    COWRA...JAPANESE GARDENS...SO QUIET...
    by DennyP

Cowra Things to Do

  • COWRA MILITARY AND RAIL MUSEUM..

    This museum is a large museum with many military vehicles...and railway memororabilia...one of Australias largest model railway...great for kids and grown ups..they say it has over 8000 items exhibited in the museum....there is an admission charge but its not much...I can remember there is a lot to see and worthwhile the time to visit....

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  • What’s in a name? Cowra ‘Fun Museums’

    Most Australian country towns have a local community museum. These museums usually: are run by local volunteer enthusiast groups; are under-funded; are under-resourced; lack the climate-controlled air conditioning and fancy presentation of ‘official’ museums; tend to have mixtures of material provided by the local community. On the other hand, they...

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  • The Lachlan Valley Railway

    In my “Transport” tips, I have mentioned that Cowra no longer has passenger train services. It still has trains though, courtesy of an enthusiastic volunteer crew who run the Lachlan Valley Railway – so rail enthusiasts can still go for a ride, if not very far. The website below has details of trips.The old Locomotive Depot is situated just at the...

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  • The Australian World Peace Bell

    The World Peace Bell Association is a non-political non-sectarian organisation formed to promote peace around the world. The original of the Peace Bell is in the forecourt of the United Nations and other countries in Europe, South America and Asia have copies – usually in their national capitals. This bell resulted from the formation in Cowra of...

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  • Former POW camp and the ‘Cowra Breakout’

    As you stand at the lookout, rolling countryside typical of western New South Wales before you, it is chilling to recall the bizarre and tragic events here on 5 August 1944. At 0200, to the sound of a bugle, over 1100 Japanese war prisoners made the largest mass breakout from a prisoner of war camp in modern history. Not with any intent of...

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  • Cowra War Cemeteries

    The Cowra general cemetery lies to the north of the town: adjacent to it are two war cemeteries, one Japanese, one Australian. Italian war dead in Australia are buried elsewhere.The Australian War Cemetery has the remains of 26 Australian soldiers, including those killed by the Japanese during the breakout. It also has a member of the Royal Air...

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  • The Italian POW memorial

    Several thousand Italians, repatriated to Australia from north Africa, were housed in a different section of the same POW camp as the Japanese. One must wonder what they made of the ‘Breakout’. Unlike the Japanese, they had accepted that the war was finished for them and settled into a quiet life with minimal restrictions. During the day, they went...

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  • The Japanese Garden

    Arising from the links forged between Japan and Cowra, the Cowra Japanese Garden was developed with funding assistance from both the Japanese and Australian Governments. It was designed by a prominent Japanese garden designer and in layout is representative of the landscape of Japan, with different areas standing for (eg) Mt Fuji and the Inland...

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  • The Rose Gardens

    While you are at the Information Centre, you cannot fail to see the superb and quite extensive rose gardens outside. I found that spending a little time there proved ideal for contemplation after watching the theatre presentation. Whether that was why the gardens were created, or whether they were intended purely for ornamentation I do not know....

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  • Whatever else, visit the Information...

    Just to the west of the town centre, the Lachlan River flows to join distant rivers heading for the far ocean, near Adelaide. On the bank opposite the town, the Information Centre awaits you and should be any visitor’s first stop, as it is far more than somewhere to collect travel leaflets or to buy the locally produced jams and pickles.Here you...

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  • Japanese Gardens

    Beautiful gardens. It's 5 hectacres of traditional Japanese Gardens. There's also an adjoining cultural center and tea house. Open 8:30-5. Admission $7.70

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  • Japanese Garden

    This is a spectacular Japanese Garden built with finance from Japan, Cowra Shire Council, some local donors and some government assistance.

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Cowra Hotels

See all 3 Hotels in Cowra
  • Alabaster Motel Cowra

    20-22 Lynch Street, Cowra, 2794, Australia

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Solo

  • Country Comfort Cowra

    164 Kendal Street, Cowra, 2794, Australia

    Satisfaction: Average

    Good for: Families

  • Flag Inn Civic Motor Inn

    Young Road, Cowra, 2794, Australia

    Satisfaction: Very Good

    Good for: Couples

Cowra Restaurants

  • Something different

    I’m happy to say that I was unsure whether this should be a ‘Restaurant’ or a ‘Shopping’ tip. Maybe you’d care to take it as both.We visited as part of our car club event, but the Smokehouse is open to the public daily. What do they do? Well, they produce a particularly tasty range of smoked foods using local produce, ranging from trout and chicken...

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  • The best local food and wines

    The Quarry Restaurant is located 5km from Cowra on the Boorowa Rd. It has been the home of gourmet food and fine wines in Cowra for around 15 years, and is the best place to eat in this small town. The chef uses the best local produce, including trout, lamb and locally grown vegetables.The wine list includes the majority of local vineyards in the...

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  • Cowra Hotels

    3 Hotels in Cowra

Cowra Transportation

  • tiabunna's Profile Photo

    by tiabunna Updated Apr 12, 2007

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    As with many Australian country towns, public transport to Cowra and Canowindra is not particularly good. They are no longer served by passenger trains and there is no airport. The only way to reach these towns is by bus/coach.

    “Countrylink” is the transport service across New South Wales, linking the surviving rail services with coach services to all manner of places, including Cowra and Canowindra. If you visit the website below, you will be able to find the details of travel times and fares and, should you wish, make a reservation. Expect that the trip from Sydney, which involves a change at Lithgow from train to bus, will take about six hours.

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Cowra Shopping

  • tiabunna's Profile Photo

    by tiabunna Updated Apr 13, 2007

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    It was late in the day after a busy car club programme, when someone suggested we head out to the Mulyan Garage Cellars to test their wines. Never one to knock back a good idea such as that, we promptly joined in and I’m very glad we did.

    The tasting room in Mulyan Garage Cellars is in a former garage, erected by a former owner to house his racing motor cars in the 1920s. Outside, it’s guarded by a giant metal crab, fashioned from old farm items. Inside, it’s totally refurbished, only some photos provide testament to its former use. What a marvellous setting too, looking out over the vineyards. I’m glad it’s now open to the public.

    Their advert says that these are award winning wines. I didn’t ask about the awards, but I certainly enjoyed tucking into … oops, try again… sampling the chardonnay, merlot and shiraz wines on offer. There are two ranges of wines, ‘Mulyan’ and ‘Bushrangers Bounty’. Both were enjoyable, but the line of bottles on the counter became steadily longer as we continued our sampling. You may be assured that I was doing all thish only in the intereshts of reporting on the exerchise for my palsh at VT! Hic!

    In all seriousness, the wines were very good quality and value. We all took home several bottles and I’d certainly suggest you pay a visit. The MGC also sells a range of local jams, olive oils and other produce. I should also note that there are quite a few other wineries in this area to help add interest to your visit – the Information Office can provide details.

    Main photo:View across the vineyards from the cellar door
    Second photo:The metal crab guarding the door
    Third photo:The line of bottles on the bar – all needed testing!
    Fourth photo:One that we purchased
    Fifth photo:The former garage in the vineyards.

    What to buy: Wine, local produce

    What to pay: Wines range from about $15A upward. Hours are 1000-1700 weekends and public holidays, please phone ahead to make arrangements to be met on weekdays.

    View across the vineyards from the cellar door The metal crab guarding the door The line of bottles on the bar One that we purchased The former garage in the vineyards
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    • Wine Tasting

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Cowra Local Customs

  • tiabunna's Profile Photo

    by tiabunna Written Apr 15, 2007

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    The joys of having light traffic and wide streets! Cowra has reverse angle parking, something I think is unique to a number of inland towns in New South Wales. Just pull over to the side of the traffic lane, then reverse the vehicle back to the kerb at the appropriate angle (about 45 degrees). If there is any traffic, they will go past as you reverse, wondering where the kerb on the diagonal side of the vehicle may be and how high it is. Usually it’s best to stop just before reaching the kerb, because if the kerbs are high a lowish vehicle sometimes makes unpleasant contact... Still, this arrangement does maximise the number of parking spots in the street and departures are easy!

    Things aren’t usually as ‘busy’ looking as they are in the main photo. Here, the 4WD is waiting to exit when the traffic has passed – meanwhile the red car is waiting for the parking spot to become vacant. Usually the street looks a little more as it is in the second photo, where the car on the left is in the process of parking.

    Parking and traffic in Cowra Cowra's main street
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Cowra Tourist Traps

  • tiabunna's Profile Photo

    by tiabunna Updated Apr 14, 2007

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    Here’s a nice little trap for motoring tourists in Cowra. If you enter the carpark to the Information Office from the Lachlan Valley Way, it is possible to depart to the Olympic Highway: the same road leads from the adjacent MacDonalds. As you leave, you will see the view in the main photo: watch that bend!

    What is somewhat less obvious, until you enter the bend in the road, (second photo) is that despite appearances and what you might expect from the double yellow lines, should you go directly ahead you are entering a one way road. There are no signs to say NO ENTRY as you would normally expect. We watched this car (and two others) fall into this trap within a five minute period – it seems that you are supposed to enter the one-way truck parking area to the left and exit through there (and where that exits to the street there are ‘NO ENTRY’ signs)!

    One of our car club pals found all this out the expensive way, when he received a ‘ticket’ from the local gendarme for ‘disobeying a one-way sign’. Yes, the police are well aware of the trap and lurk in the area (red car photo 3) – a great way to keep up their quota of bookings! Yes, I’ve been reassured the police don’t have ‘bookings quotas’ – somehow I suspect the response to that is ‘pigs might fly’, otherwise if they consider safety a real issue, why do they not simply tell the authorities to change either the road arrangement or make the signage clearer?

    This is certainly the most blatant tourist trap I’ve seen in a very long while and the police behaviour is completely at odds with Cowra’s commitment to friendship and goodwill!

    Main photo:View up the road as you leave the Information Centre
    Second photo:Around the bend – and another one is caught out!
    Third photo:Police waiting for the next?

    Unique Suggestions: Do a zigzag - after the right turn, swing left and exit through the truck parking bay.

    Fun Alternatives: If you came in from the Lachlan Valley Way, exit the way you came in.

    FOOTNOTE FOR OVERSEAS READERS: "Pigs might fly" is an Australian expression of disbelief.

    Watch out around that bend at the end Oops!  Should have turned left! Watching from behind the trees
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Cowra Off The Beaten Path

  • Highlight of the town – Age of Fishes...

    I’d been wanting to visit this museum since it opened several years ago. I’m delighted to say it fully met my expectations - and I find I keep using the word ‘amazing’ when referring to its contents.Why? Well, what makes this very different and very exciting, is that the fish caught in Canowindra a few years ago (and they’re still catching more)...

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  • Walk Canowindra’s main street

    I’d say that Cowra and Canowindra were pretty much twin towns in about 1900. Quite frankly, the streetscape down the main street of Cowra is generally unexciting – but Canowindra retains its Federation period charm. And that, of course, takes us to the nub of what seems to be Canowindra’s problem – it looks very much as if the enhancement of...

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  • Take a drive to Canowindra

    You can go to the top of the class if you read through my 'Introduction' page and remember that Canowindra is pronounced Ca-noun-dra. Well, it’s kinda obvious in any case, isn’t it! No??Canowindra is just over 30 km to the north of Cowra and the drive there and back, particularly on the back roads we travelled, is pleasant and relaxing. It also...

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Cowra Sports & Outdoors

  • tiabunna's Profile Photo

    by tiabunna Written Apr 15, 2007

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    What’s the little fellow in the main photo doing? The hint is given by what is in his hand: a stuffed easter bunny!

    Every year on Easter Sunday, the Cowra Japanese Gardens organise an easter egg search for the local kids. It’s even advertised on television! As we began our walk around the gardens, we were told of the coming event and were asked to leave in place any eggs and stuffed rabbits we encountered. We saw quite a few. Later we saw the crowd assembling for the start (photo 2) before the mad rush of kids in all directions (photo 3)!

    It’s obviously a popular event, going by the number of entrants, and it’s good to see things like this organised for the anklebiters! If you have some with you, maybe Easter is the time to be in Cowra.

    Gotta find the next one! Crowds awaiting the egghunt starting time And they're off and running!
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    • School Holidays
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