16 December 2010

Cowra is a pretty and tranquil town that is full of plenty of things to do
Travel time from Canberra: About 2 1/2 hours
Directions: Take the Barton Hwy north towards Yass, merge onto the Hume Hwy towards Gundagai, then take the Lachlan Valley Way to Cowra.

Cowra is a pretty and tranquil town that is full of plenty of things to do. From wine tasting, to gardens, fishing and exploring Cowra’s rich history. Cowra is mostly famous for its military history, as well as the Cowra Japanese Gardens which is a symbol of reconciliation between Australia and Japan as well as a place of peace.


The Cowra Japanese Garden and Cultural Centre is definitely a must see, with the traditional elements you would expect such as an Edo cottage, tea house, Bonsai House and more. The Garden is connected via Sakura Avenue to the site of the former Prisoner of War Camp and the famous breakout where over 1000 Japanese prisoners, armed with crude weapons, escaped. You can learn more about the Cowra Breakout at the P.O.W Theatre at the Visitors Information Centre, or by visiting the Cowra War Museum.


A visit to the Australian World Peace Bell is another must. Learn about Cowra’s passion for peace and international understanding and how this became officially recognised with they were awarded a replica of the World Peace Bell from the UN forecourt, an award usually given to capital cities.


You can see more of Cowra’s unique history on the heritage walk, a self-guided tour past some of Cowra’s great buildings. Visit the Information Centre to grab a brochure. You can also visit some great wineries, see some art galleries or visit the Railway Museum, or the Age of Fishes museum, which gives us a glimpse back over 350 million years ago to a time where strange fish lived in the rivers of the area.


And if you still have to find something to do after learning about the interesting history of the area, tasting local wine and viewing local art, there are plenty of gardens and national parks to explore, and you could always drop a line into the water to see what bites!

By Sarah Tierney