The Great Escape

Discover a wealth of experiences

Cowra has a number of true country experiences from relaxing along the extensive waterways to exploring the tranquil Japanese Garden. Take a trip down memory lane and experience Cowra’s fascinating history, from the days of steam trains to the largest Prisoner Of War Breakout in Australian and modern military history.

Food and wine buffs can tour Cowra’s boutique vineyards to sample the superb local food and wine available. Where better to enjoy fine wine and delicious food than right in the heart of where it’s actually produced?

Visit Cowra and discover what it means to escape…

Prisoner of War Breakout

Cowra is home of the largest Prisoner of War Breakout in Australian and modern military history. At 1.50am on 5 August 1944, over 1000 Japanese prisoners launched a mass escape from the Prisoner of War Campsite. 234 Japanese prisoners and 5 Australian soldiers’ lives were lost. From this violent beginning, a journey of reconciliation and friendship between the people of Cowra and the nation of Japan has developed and continues to grow. Discover our historical sites and enjoy the tranquil beauty of the Cowra Japanese Garden & Cultural Centre during your stay.

Cowra Japanese Garden & Cultural Centre

The ultimate tranquil experience, the Cowra Japanese Garden & Cultural Centre is a peaceful space to indulge your senses, unwind and enjoy natural beauty all year round. Take the time to explore the 5 hectares of manicured garden, serene lakes and cascading streams with sweeping views of Cowra’s countryside and beyond.

Cowra Wine Region

The Cowra Wine Region is home to some of the most exceptional wine tasting experiences and wineries in NSW. Our boutique wine region is renowned for producing award-winning wines with a strong leaning towards organic practices. With warm days, cool nights, and dry, late summers, our vignerons are able to grow superior grape varieties. Combine this with our producers passion for perfection and you have the recipe for some of the most outstanding wines in Australia.

Wyangala Dam

Wyangala Dam is the perfect location to relax and unwind with family and friends. Spend a week, weekend or simply a day and enjoy all that this stunning park has on offer. When at capacity, the Dam is 2.5 times the size of Sydney Harbour and offers the ideal space for water sports of all types, boating, fishing, canoeing or simply unwinding with a picnic on the sandy banks with family and friends.

Stay a while

Cowra offers a great range of quality accommodation to suit your individual needs. Whether you’re after traditional hotel/motel accommodation, a self-contained apartment, a unique and interesting farm stay, a friendly bed and breakfast or even just campsite to park your caravan, Cowra has you covered.


Our featured experience for this month is the POW Hologram Theatre. The famous Cowra POW Hologram is a 9-minute presentation that tells the story of the Cowra Breakout and its aftermath through the eyes of 'Claire', a young Cowra girl. The hologram aims to raise awareness of the historical significance of Cowra in modern military history.

Visitor Guide

Discover everything you need to know about the Cowra & Canowindra Region in our handy Visitor Guide!

Welcome To Wiradjuri Country

Ngiyanhi guwaymbanha ngindhugir Cowra-gu Wiradyuri-gu Ngurambang-gu.
Ngurambang Wiradyuri-gu Mayiny-gu
Nginhadhuray guwaymbanha, ngiyanhi ngayarra nganha nginyalgir yindyamalgirri Wiradyuri
Mayiny-bu Wiradyuri Ngurambang-bu.

Mandaang guwu
We welcome you to Cowra, Wiradjuri Country.
Home of the Wiradjuri People.
With this welcome, we ask that you all will respect Wiradjuri People and Wiradjuri Country.
Thank you.
– Erin Lambshead


Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossom) Festival

Sakura Matsuri is the highlight of the year at the Cowra Japanese Garden, a huge festival celebrating the coming of spring, the beauty of the seasonal cherry blossoms, and Japanese culture itself. The festival shows off the best of Japanese culture with displays and demonstrations including music, dance, martial arts and sumo, arts and crafts, tea ceremonies and more. Sakura Matsuri is celebrated annually in September when the cherry blossoms are at their peak. The blossoms are usually in flower from late mid September until mid October, depending on weather each year.

Cowra Festival of International Understanding

Each year Cowra welcomes and celebrates a guest nation for the Festival of International Understanding! Annual events for the Festival include a Tree Planting Ceremony, Ringing of the Cowra Peace Bell, Street Parade and Carnival and of course, the famous Cowra Duck Race!

Cowra Winter Wanderlust

Join us for a weekend of wine! Centered around the Cowra Wine Show Public Tasting, Cowra Tourism Corporation have partnered with the Cowra Show Society Inc. along with a number of local businesses and groups to bring a full program of wonderful events to make your weekend memorable!

Woodstock Memorial Show

The Woodstock Memorial Show is held annually on the first Sunday in September, the first day of spring, Fathers Day. The show encourages the development of pastoral, agricultural, horticultural, viticulture, industrial and cultural pursuits of Woodstock and the surrounding district. The Show provides prizes including cash and trophies. The show is run by the community for the community. It is a great day out for the family. Affordable and Fun!

Cowra Christmas Festival

Held annually on the Main Street of Cowra, the Cowra Christmas Festival is an opportunity to celebrate community spirit leading into the festive season and share a great night out with friends and family. The main street of Cowra is closed to traffic and will be transformed into a market city with stalls selling everything from local products, handicrafts, clothing and much more. Browse the variety of stalls to the tunes of Christmas Carols before grabbing yourself a bite to eat from a dedicated ‘Eat Street’.

Canowindra International Balloon Challenge

Every year tens of thousands of visitors flock to the town to witness the visual spectacle that is the Canowindra International Balloon Challenge. Enjoy a week long celebration with a street parade, daily balloon flights and more! The signature event is the Cabonne Community Glow and night markets where you will enjoy local produce, wine, crafts and entertainment culminating in a night display as the balloons light up synchronised to music.

Wyangala Bonfire and Fireworks Specaular

The Wyangala Fireworks & Bonfire Spectacular is back again this year as the highly anticipated June Long Weekend event! The event brings together an estimated 4,000 visitors made up by Wyangala Dam locals, neighboring townsfolk, and visitors that have travelled the distance.

Koyo Matsuri

A sister festival to Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossom Festival), Kōyō Matsuri celebrates and welcomes in the autumn season. Kōyō Matsuri takes place over two days and incorporates a dedicated Children's Day.

Cowra Canola Season

Explore our Fields of Gold and marvel at the stunning, rolling fields of Canola.


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    Visit Cowra acknowledges the Wiradjuri People as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work and reside, and pay our respects to Elders past and present.