During World War Two Cowra was the site of an internment camp for Japanese prisoners of war. On 5 August 1944 the POWs staged a mass breakout; nearly half were killed. After the war however, the Australian Returned Servicemen’s League assumed responsibility not only for the graves of the four Australians killed in the breakout, but for the Japanese section of the cemetery. In 1960 the Japanese government had their war dead from around Australia re-interned at Cowra. As a consequence, many Japanese people visit Cowra, in addition to local tourists.
Cowra Visitor Information Centre PO Box 34 Cowra, NSW 2794
Located at Olympic Park, Mid-Western Highway, Cowra NSW 2794
P. 61 2 6342 4333 E. firstname.lastname@example.org
NSW Trainlink Regional (phone 132 232) has two bus services to Cowra every day. The first meets the early morning XPT train from Sydney at Bathurst at 10:55AM, arriving Cowra at 12:40PM, the second meets the early afternoon NSW Trainlink Intercity trains from Sydney at Lithgow at 7:20PM, and arrives Cowra at 9:55PM. Both require seats be reserved before travel.
Getting to Cowra by air
Cowra's nearest airports offering commercial flights are Orange, Parkes and Bathurst which offer daily services to Sydney. Canberra is approximately two hours south of Cowra and has some interstate services.
- Cowra Japanese Garden, Binni Creek Road, ☎ +61 2 6341-2233, fax: +61 2 6341-1875, e-mail: email@example.com. 8:30AM to 5PM every day. The Japanese Gardens were created by Japanese garden architect Ken Nakajima as a kaiyū-shiki, a strolling garden. The garden symbolises reconciliation and peace after World War Two, and after the local conflict. $9.50 adults, $5 children, $7.50 concession.
- POW Camp Site, Sakura Avenue, ☎ +61 2 6340-2000. All hours. Free.
- Japanese and Australian War Cemeteries, Doncaster Drive, ☎ +61 2 6342-4333, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. All hours. The Japanese War Cemetery, ceded to the Japan in 1963, is the only Japanese war cemetery in Australia. It contains the graves of POWs who died in the breakout, as well as other Japanese POWs and soldiers who died in the battle of Darwin. The Australian cemetery contains the graves of the four Australians who died in the breakout, together with Australian soldiers who died training in the area. Free.
- POW Hologram (Cowra Visitor Information Centre), Olympic Park, Mid-Western Highway, Cowra (Junction of the Young, Boorowa and Grenfell Roads), ☎ +61 2 6342 4333. 9AM-5PM. Come and see Clare, the amazing hologram in the POW Theatre. Clare tells the story of the Cowra Breakout from a local girls perspective using the amazing technology of the hologram, or "Peppers Ghost". The POW Theatre is located within the Cowra Visitor Information Centre. Donation.
- Neila All Day Dining, 5 Kendal Street, ☎ +61 2 6341-2188, e-mail: email@example.com. Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 6PM. Neila is one of the best known fine dining restaurants in the west of New South Wales. Reservations are essential, if reserving by email please allow at least a week's notice. Entrees $18, mains $32.
Cowra is home to some of the most exceptional wine tasting experiences in NSW. From garage cellar doors to distinct historical buildings and vineyard art galleries. The original variety to be grown in Cowra in the 1970s was the Chardonnay grape. This classic and flavoursome Chardonnay established Cowra as a quality grape growing region. Soon after, Shiraz, Semillon and Cabernet Sauvignon varieties were planted. In recent years, the region’s enterprising vignerons have produced some excellent wines from different varieties such as Sangiovese, Mourvedre and Tempranillo.
Today, there are over 40 vineyards dotted around the Cowra, Billimari and Canowindra area which make up the Cowra Wine Region. Many of them offer boutique cellar door tastings, the chance to chat to local vignerons, see winemakers at work and sample some of Australia’s most promising wines.
- Country Comfort Cowra Countryman Motor Inn, 164 Kendal St, ☎ +61 2 6342-3177, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 131 Kendal Street, 131 Kendal St, ☎ +61 428 697884. A centrally located, renovated 1930′s Art Deco building containing 6 two bedroom apartments. $99-160.
Continue along the mid-western highway to Grenfell