If you are planning a trip to Australia, you might be wondering what there is to do in Cowra. The city is situated in New South Wales and is one of the largest centres of population in the Cowra Shire. It is also the seat of the council for the region. The population of Cowra is approximately 9,863.
History of Cowra
The Town of Cowra is located in eastern central New South Wales, Australia. It was the site of a prisoner of war camp during World War II. The POW camp had four compounds, each roughly circular, divided by internal causeways and a Broadway road. The first three compounds held Italian and Japanese prisoners captured during the North African campaigns. Compound D housed Japanese officers and Korean labourers forced to work for the Japanese.
Early maps of the town show the area was named Cowra-Rocks. Early settlers devoted large tracts of land to cattle, sheep, and horses, as the climate was unsuitable for growing wheat and timber. However, the population of the town remained low and supplies were scarce. In 1851, a ford needed to be crossed. Geo. Tindal hired a ferryman, who would cross the creek for 2/6 per head.
Cowra Japanese Garden
If you are looking for a unique place to spend some time, consider visiting the Cowra Japanese Garden and Cultural Centre in Cowra, New South Wales. This cultural centre is located on five acres of land and was built to celebrate the connection of the Cowra Shire with Japan. The Japanese culture and garden has been an important part of Cowra for many years, and the garden offers many different opportunities for visitors to learn more about the Japanese culture.
The location of the Cowra Japanese Garden is quite unique, as it is located near the only Japanese War cemetery outside of Japan. The Japanese believed that the dead must return to their place of birth, and the garden was built as a fitting tribute. The garden was originally planned as an old park, but Don Kibbler, the community leader who proposed the project, was moved by the story and a member of the Order of Australia in 2009.
Cowra Prisoner of War Camp
If you have never been to the Cowra Prisoner of War Camp, you may wonder what it’s all about. The camp was established by the British Military Board in 1941 to house Italian soldiers captured in Egypt during World War II. The camp housed over 2000 prisoners, most of them Italian, and Japanese prisoners were also held in the camp between 1944 and 1945. The Italian prisoners were forced to work on farms during the day, and their contributions to the local food culture are reflected in the town’s modern cooking.
The original gates of the POW camp can be viewed by visitors. This historic site is listed on the New South Wales State Heritage Register, entry number 00619, published by the Office of Environment and Heritage. During your visit, you can learn about the history of the camp and the infamous Cowra breakout. While visiting the camp, be sure to listen to the reenactments of the breakout, which were carried out by the prisoners themselves.
Australia’s World Peace Bell
The Australian World Peace Bell is a replica of the Japanese Peace Bell located in the inner court of the United Nations headquarters in New York. Cast from melted coins and medals, the bell weighs 477 kilograms and has a diameter of 60 cm. The Bell is dedicated to world peace on 15 September 1992. To visit the World Peace Bell, visitors are welcome to ring the bell and learn about the history and significance of world peace.
The peace bell will be rung on September 3 every year on Civic Square in Cowra. The event is held to commemorate World Peace Day, which was established in 1945 after the opening of the United Nations’ Disarmament Commission. The peace bell will now be called the Rotary Peace Bell Albury-Wodonga. A letter to the local Rotary Club of Wodonga West member Ian Brown pointed out that only one World Peace Bell is rung per country, and that Australia’s designated ringer lives in Cowra.
Japanese War Cemetery
In the Central West region of New South Wales, Cowra has a small town and a large Japanese War Cemetery. The cemetery is located near the Canowindra road, north of the town. It was consecrated in 1964, and contains 523 graves of Japanese POWs, internees, and civilians. Despite its name, the cemetery is the only one of its kind in Australia.
The database contains information about individual burial plots in the Japanese War Cemetery in Cowra. The information provided includes details about the Japanese prisoners of war, civilian internees, and a small number of Taiwanese. Among the information included are the causes of death, military rank, and movement histories. The database is free to search and download, and is an excellent resource for historians and researchers. There are also numerous links to other Japanese war cemeteries in Australia.
The Cowra Japanese War Cemetery contains the graves of a large number of Japanese POWs. Prior to the Breakout, these men were buried in separate graves. After the war, the local RSL tended to the Japanese graves. In 1956, the Japanese government proposed the establishment of a Japanese War Cemetery in Australia and the Australian Government agreed. Those graves include those of Japanese Airmen who were shot down or crashed over northern Australia.
Cowra Regional Art Gallery
Opened in 2000, the Cowra Regional Art Gallery aims to foster the appreciation of visual arts throughout the community. The gallery has a varied program of exhibitions, educational activities, and public events. The current exhibition program includes touring significant historical exhibitions, curated projects, and permanent collection exhibitions. Education activities include guest speakers, educational activities for local school groups, and innovative workshops for children. Check out the website for the latest information.
The Cowra Regional Art Gallery is a wonderful cultural destination in the area. Featuring local artists, contemporary Australian artists, and contemporary works of art, this gallery is a great place to spend a day. It is also home to a popular museum store where visitors can purchase greeting cards and local art publications. The gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday, and closed Mondays. CRAG is free to enter and admission is free.
Bellevue Hill Reserve and Lookout
If you’re looking for some breathtaking scenery, you should make your way up to Bellevue Hill Reserve and Lookout. You’ll be rewarded with sweeping views of the city and the surrounding area. This 5.5km walk takes 90 minutes and has spectacular views. While you’re up there, take the time to check out the Japanese Garden and the Cowra Prisoner of War Camp. You can also check out the Lachlan Valley Railway Museum and the Cowra Regional Art Gallery.
The views from this vantage point are breathtaking, especially during sunrise or sunset. There’s plenty of space to park a caravan or a trailer, and picnic tables are available for free. There are also public toilets and barbecue facilities available for use. And if you bring your family, you can also enjoy the view from the lookout. You’ll be glad you took the time to go there!
Cowra Railway Station
Located in the town of Cowra, Australia, the former railway station of the same name is a must-visit destination for rail-lovers. Situated on the Blayney-Demondrille railway line, the station is one of the most historic locations in the area. Despite its recent redevelopment, the station still retains much of its former charm. Listed below are a few things you can do at Cowra Railway Station, including a guided tour and a look at the heritage site.
Located on a hillside, the Ironbark Walking Track is a pleasant 90-minute walk. Featuring great views of the town and the Lachlan River, the track offers breathtaking panoramas of the Cowra Valley and the nearby Cherry Creek Gully. Red lines etched into the cliff faces are a reminder of the Conimbla Range. The town was home to the Wiradjuri Aboriginal language group long before European settlement began. On 27 May 1815, George Wilson Evans passed by the townsite. James Sloan brought cattle across from Bathurst to the area and Arthur Rankin became the first white settlers on the Lachlan River.