"COWRA an ‘International’ Aussie town" Cowra by tiabunna

Cowra Travel Guide: 47 reviews and 151 photos

And also nearby Canowindra

Cowra was just another typical comfortable small Australian country town. Then came the Second World War and a night that forever changed it and led the town in far from typical directions.

Cowra is situated on the inland slopes of central New South Wales, approximately 300 km west of Sydney. Canowindra (pronounced Ca-noun-dra) is a little over 30 km to the north of Cowra. Both have a similar climate, with chilly winter nights and frequently hot summer days - and usually fine weather (too much so at present, as the area was deep in drought when we visited). The area is agricultural with sheep and cattle grazing, and cropping of various kinds: wheat is the most extensively and traditionally grown, but other crops and activities such as oilseeds, vineyards and olive groves have developed in recent years. All of which sounds fairly typical for many places.

Cowra’s defining moment came in the dark early hours of 5 August 1944, when Japanese Prisoners-of-War broke from the local POW camp and attacked their guards in what was the only land battle fought in Australia during WW2. This was the largest POW escape anywhere in modern history. Hundreds died, atoning for what they considered the disgrace of being captives, as did four Australian servicemen. The subsequent reconciliation with Japan has profoundly influenced the town and it now is an international peace centre.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A very pleasant and inspiring place
  • Cons:None, really
  • In a nutshell:Well worth a visit of several days
  • Last visit to Cowra: Apr 2007
  • Intro Updated Apr 15, 2007
  • Add to Trip Planner (?)
  • Report Abuse

Reviews (19)

Comments (21)

  • glabah's Profile Photo
    Jun 29, 2010 at 10:21 PM

    Quite an interesting series of events in this place, and not a war event I had ever heard of before. I'll have to see what others have written about it too.

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Dec 20, 2009 at 11:23 AM

    You did a great job of presenting this town and its sites. That prisoner breakout was fascinating and scary. The comments were in detail and like I got a real virtual tour.

  • Aug 17, 2009 at 4:33 AM

    Full informative website! Lovely picture and architecture of Cobley’s Building, Canowindra

  • junecorlett's Profile Photo
    Jun 3, 2009 at 6:22 AM

    A great page again George.

  • ViajesdelMundo's Profile Photo
    Jun 2, 2009 at 1:06 PM

    I remember whenI first lived in Sydney (late 60s) reading a book of that account in WWII, but have no idea of the title or author.

  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo
    Mar 16, 2009 at 6:19 PM

    George-what a truly amazing and well written page on Cowra. I had NO idea of the important history connected with the town.Your pages and photos have brought the history alive. We will HAVE to see it -and soon too. Thanks

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Jul 8, 2008 at 11:28 AM

    Hi xlnt page-Im actually getting flashbacks of my drives around Australia&can just visualise going off&enjoying one now!The diverse&lovely landscapes of Oz! but oh so far away!Gd ideas4 when Im back home tho!Thx4 another visit to 1 of my Morocco pages!

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Sep 5, 2007 at 1:21 PM

    This is indeed an amazing and fascinating page ! The place itself is fascinating and you gave a superb account of it ! The Renault 4 brings me sweet memories! That was my first car, when my parents changed it for a Dauphine!

  • kokoryko's Profile Photo
    May 9, 2007 at 3:00 PM

    I enjoy reading about "exotic" places where i probably never will go, specially when well written and illustrated! I did not know about POW's in Australia.The pic of the 4CV and their colours is just wonderful George!

  • Ekaterinburg's Profile Photo
    May 9, 2007 at 6:33 AM

    If only all history lessons were as interestingly presented as this one !! But actually, I enjoyed the portrait of NSW country town life even more. 'Fun' I suppose is open to interpretation but I definitely loved this page :))


“Do it while you can”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 1 6 0
Forum Rank:
0 1 0 0 3

Badges & Stats in Cowra

  • 19 Reviews
  • 75 Photos
  • 0 Forum posts
  • 3,492PageViews

Have you been to Cowra?

  Share Your Travels  

Latest Activity in Cowra

Travel Interests

See All Travel Interests (15)