POW Campsite

POW Campsite

Cowra is steeped in rich history and heritage, with much of the town’s legacy starting at the Cowra Prisoner of War (POW) Camp site.

At 1:50am on the 5th of August 1944, over 1000 Japanese prisoners launched a mass escape from the Cowra Prisoner of War Camp. It was the largest prisoner of war breakout in modern military history. 231 Japanese prisoners and 5 Australian soldiers lost their lives.

The ruins of the Prisoner of War Campsite are still visible to this day with well-placed interpretive signage will help you visualize what once stood in this picturesque part of Cowra. Stand under the replica Guard Tower where a detailed audio presentation will bring the scenery around you to life.

Designed by artist Wayne Miles for the 75th Anniversary of the Cowra Breakout, a five panel sculpture is situated at the POW Camp. The five steel sheets depict silhouettes of those directly affected by the Breakout – An Australia guard, A Japanese POW, An Italian POW and An Indonesian mother and child.

Stroll or cycle along the Cowra Peace Precinct via the Garrison Walk that finishes at the stunning Japanese Garden and Cultural Centre.

Take the time to reflect upon the horrific tragedy that occur on this site and the beautiful story of reconciliation that followed.

pow campsite
pow campsite sign


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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.