If you’re looking for that ‘perfect’ country escape filled with fields of gold, fresh produce, friendly faces and a slow-paced style, then look no further than Cowra. We offer the best of both worlds, the country life while only being a stone’s throw away from larger towns and cities.
If you’re in town for the weekend, I’ve put together a few of the spectacular places our town has to offer;
The jewel in our crown, the gold at the end of our rainbow. With the perfect mix of Japanese and Australian culture the whole family will enjoy feeding the fish and ducks and taking in the breathtaking sights. As well as gardens, in the Cultural Centre there are many Japanese artworks and sculptures to enjoy and you will often find visiting art exhibitions on display too. Relax at the beautiful café and enjoy your surroundings. The Gardens are part of Cowra’s Peace Precinct which I will touch more on later.
Address: Ken Nakajima Place, Cowra NSW
The history of Cowra is part of what makes us so special. Here at the Visitor’s Centre you can listen to our friend, ‘Clare’, describe to you the events that took place in 1944. You will feel like you’re right there when it happened. The friendly staff here will tell you everything you need to know about Cowra and direct you to all the special spots. You can book tours here and buy some beautiful local produce.
Address: Corner of Boorowa and Grenfell Road, Cowra NSW 2794 (at the base of the Cowra Golf Club, next to McDonalds)
The beautifully manicured corridors of roses provide a gorgeous backdrop while you enjoy your lunch at the café here, next to the Visitor’s Centre. Suitable for all ages, enjoy dining in or take your lunch to the playground at the end of the gardens and enjoy under the beautiful trees. Make sure you give the, ‘Big Bird’ a try.
Address: Corner of Boorowa and Grenfell Road, Cowra NSW 2794
Located in Cowra’s main cultural precinct along with the Cowra Library, World Peace Bell and the Cowra Civic Centre (where shows, concerts and special community events are held). The Art Gallery is ever-changing and showcasing world-class exhibitions. Offering children’s workshops in the holidays and taking pride in supporting many local artists. Some notable exhibitions include; The Archibald Exhibition, Operation Art and the Calleen Collection. There is plenty of parking here which includes a TESLA charging station.
Address: 77 Darling Street, Cowra NSW
Found under the Lachlan Bridge, the murals covering the bridge pylons were painted by local Aboriginal artist, Kym Freeman. The paintings show the history of the Wiradjuri people, the original custodians of the Cowra area. This spot is the starting point for the Lachlan River Walk, the perfect place for a stroll, a picnic, or even a swim. There is plenty of space on the sporting fields for children to run and enjoy the sunshine. The leash-free dog park and tennis courts are also situated here.
Address: Beneath Lachlan River Bridge, Cowra NSW
This area of town includes many different significant historical features. As well as the Japanese Gardens, you will also find the Statue Park, Cowra Nature Based Adventure Playground, Cowra Lookout, Avenue of Trees, the POW Camp site and Garrison Walk in this area. The walking and bike tracks link most of these places, but you can also easily drive between them all if you prefer.
Address: Corner of Evans Street and Sakura Avenue, Cowra NSW (to begin at the POW Camp Site)
Holding twice the volume of the Sydney Harbour, the Dam is the perfect spot for boating, camping and fishing. It is also a fantastic place for hiking, swimming, and animal spotting. There are many beautiful ‘off-the-beaten-track’ places to set up camp here, but if a bit of comfort is more your style, you can head to Reflections Holiday Park. A place I love to visit for a picnic and a family game of cricket is down at the Dissipater. If you head into the little village and head down to the base of the wall, you will find a special little open space. I often spot platypus here and there is something quite spectacular about being at the base of the wall looking up at it towering above. However, if dam swimming is not your cup of tea, be sure to check out the Cowra Aquatic Centre.
Address: 2891 Reg Hailstone Way, Wyangala 2808
Found just after the COWRA sign as you come into town from the Sydney highway. This park commemorates the 17000 migrants from 27 European Nations who passed through the Cowra Migrant Centre between 1948-1955. You will find a walking track, outdoor gym equipment and BBQ area here. Soon to feature a children’s bicycle and scooter park (due before Christmas 2020).
Address: Mid-Western Highway, Cowra NSW 2794
This carefully maintained cemetery has 523 graves, and is the only Japanese War Cemetery to still remain in Australia. Although a solemn place to visit, it is well worth the trip and is a beautiful place to pay respects to those fallen.
Address: Doncaster Drive, Cowra NSW 2794
Train enthusiasts will enjoy these spots filled to the brim with Australia’s railway history. The Railway Station has an open day on the last Sunday of each month from 9am to 3pm. Lachlan Valley Railway is open each day, manned by volunteers, and the home of some beautiful old engines, some of which will be on the tracks again soon for joy rides. The LVR is a work in progress which is all undertaken by volunteers.
Addresses: Lynch Street, Cowra NSW 2794 & 3 Campbell Street, Cowra NSW