Cowra NSW

Cowra was established in 1849 and began to flourish once gold fever swept through the region. The gold rush contributed to the establishment of many heritage buildings that still stand in Cowra today.

Cowra was the location of the largest Prisoner of War Breakout in modern military history and as a result, many attractions stand as a testimony to the war, including the Japanese and Australian War Cemeteries and the Cowra Japanese Garden & Cultural Centre.

The Cowra Prisoner of War Campsite is one of the top heritage sites in NSW. Today, visitors can walk through the camp ruins and view a short free holographic presentation about the breakout at the POW theatre.

Cowra Civic Square houses the Australian World Peace Bell, which was erected as a symbol of the town’s commitment to international understanding. The Bell is made from melted down coins from the 103 member countries of the United Nations.

Cowra is peaceful by choice and beautiful by nature.


"We relocated to Cowra five years ago now and haven't looked back. We enjoy welcoming our friends and relatives for visits and showing them around the region. The Cowra Japanese Garden is a must visit, we often tour the local cellar doors and take a day trip to Canowindra, a unique little town with so much to offer."


DAY 1 – Immerse Yourself in Cowra’s History

Start at the Cowra Visitor Information Centre and watch the powerful hologram presentation about the 1944 Prisoner of War Breakout. Travel onto the Prisoner of War Campsite and replica guard tower before enjoying a stroll or cycle along the Garrison Walk. Information signs bring the history of the site to life and the scenic views will bring out the photographer in you.

Pay your respects at the Australian and Japanese War Cemeteries then travel onto the stunning Japanese Garden and Cultural Centre and enjoy a coffee or lunch at the Japanese Garden Cafe. Continue to Australia’s World PeaceBell, ring the bell and listen to an audio presentation which explains the significance of the bell and its association with Cowra.

Visit the Lachlan Valley Railway Heritage Centre and explore our railway history. Enjoy a stroll back in time on a self-guided Cowra Heritage Walk to see Cowra’s most beautiful heritage buildings and sites. Pick up a brochure at the Cowra Visitor Information Centre.

Head to Wyangala Dam for the afternoon and enjoy a spot of fishing, have a swim, go boating or skiing, visit Darby’s Falls Observatory and take in our bright nights and big skies.

DAY 2 – Explore Canowindra

Take a 20 minute drive to Canowindra and visit historic Gaskill Street.

Get up close and touch the amazing displays of local 360 million year old fossils at the Age of Fishes Museum. Treat yourself to a bite to eat, shop and relax at the great range of boutique shops and cafes.

Why not make your Canowindra experience totally memorable and book a balloon flight. Meet the makers and enjoy a wine tasting at a cellar door or two before travelling back via Rivers Road through beautiful vineyards and farming land.


The hologram presentation of the Cowra Breakout story at the Visitor Information Centre’s POW Theatre.


Did you know?
At 1.50am on 5 August 1944, over 1000 Japanese prisoners launched a mass escape from the Prisoner of War Campsite in Cowra. It was the largest prisoner of war breakout in modern military history.


Cowra Wine Show Public Tasting – August

Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival – September

Cowra Christmas Street Festival – December


  • Unearth Cowra War History at the POW site, Japanese War Cemetery, POW Hologram at VIC, and Australia’s World Peace Bell
  • Japanese Garden & Cultural Centre
  • Fishing, Watersports, Camping at Wyangala Waters
  • Lachlan Valley Railway
  • Explore Cowra’s Wine Region with a range of family owned and operated vineyards and wineries
  • Take a drive to Canowindra and enjoy heritage, boutique shopping, fine wine and food.

Cowra Food Guide

  • The Quarry Cellar Door & Restaurant, Cowra (02 6342 3650)
  • Lot 31 Restaurant at the Imperial Hotel, Cowra (02 6341 2588)
  • taste Canowindra, Canowindra (02 6344 2332)
  • Breakout Brassiere, Cowra (02 6342 4555)
  • Ilfracombe & Co Cafe, Cowra (02 6342 6779)
  • The Oxley Wine Bar, Cowra (02 6341 4100)
  • Japanese Garden Cafe, Cowra (02 6342 5222)
  • Deli Lama, Canowindra (02 6344 1006)
  • Finns Store, Canowindra (02 6344 1638)
  • Stoke House Tea Pots Cafe, Carcoar (02 6367 3235)

Sip & Swirl in Cowra

  • Rosnay Organic Wines, Canowindra (1300 ROSNAY)
  • Gardners Ground Vineyard, Canowindra (02 6344 3135)
  • Wallington Winery, Canowindra (02 6344 7153)
  • Kalari Cellar Door, Cowra (02 6342 1465)
  • Toms Waterhole Vineyard, Canowindra (02 6344 1819)


The Cowra rack of lamb with minted pea pistou at The Quarry Restaurant as featured in Central West Lifestyle Magazine.

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