Cowra, quiet and peaceful, is located in the Central West region of New South Wales, encompassing a population of just a tick over 9,000. Situated right beside the tranquil Lachlan River in the Lachlan Valley, the town has a range of notable historic sites to visit while you’re there.
Australia’s World Peace Bell
The iconic landmark was erected in Cowra for the town’s commitment to the World Peace Bell’s objectives – quite a coup as this is an honour that is usually reserved for capital cities.
The giant bell sits at the end of a short walkway in the centre of town and is made up of coins provided by 103 member countries of the United Nations, which were melted down and cast into the Bell.
If you’re making your way through Cowra on the 3rd Tuesday in September, you’ll witness an annual ceremony celebrating World Peace Day – and yes, you are free to ring the bell as many times as you want (three rings for luck we hear!).
A five minute drive from the World Peace Bell will see you arrive at the beautiful Japanese Garden and Cultural Centre of Cowra, open every day from 8:30am until 5pm (excluding Christmas).
If you’ve ever wanted to visit Japan, this is the closest you’ll get to it in Australia. Incorporating luscious gardens filled with blooming flowers, the Japanese Garden will take you through breathtaking trials as you gaze at the epitome of beauty.
The Garden is the perfect place to soak up some afternoon sun and has a range of great events taking place throughout the whole year including Sakura Matsuri Family Day, Easter Egg Hunt and Carols in the Garden.
TIP: Get in just as the dew drops are slowly melting away as they are kissed by the morning sun.
Home to one of the largest prison escapes of World War II, Cowra’s POW camps were once a bloodstained battlefield where over 1,000 Japanese prisoners attempted mass escape.
These days, the area is quiet and still, but the eerie atmosphere will no doubt remain for eternity.
As you stand under the watch tower, you will be able to listen to the thrilling history of the Cowra breakout – allowing you to see the harsh contrast of the brutal battlefield, compared to the tranquil gardens just across the way.
A cosy regional retreat, Econo Lodge Alabaster is filled with an authentic charm and true country hospitality, ensuring you can make the most of your time in town.