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Cowra Local History

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The Local History of Cowra, New South Wales, Australia

Cowra is a town in the Central West region of New South Wales, Australia. It is located around 310km west of Sydney and has a population of approximately 10,000 people. The area was originally home to the Wiradjuri Aboriginal people, who lived in the region for tens of thousands of years before the arrival of European settlers.

Early History

The first European to visit the Cowra region was the explorer George William Evans, who passed through the area in 1815. He was followed by numerous other settlers, who established farms and grazed their livestock in the area. The town of Cowra itself was founded in 1844, near the junction of the Lachlan River and the Belubula River.

The Cowra War

During World War II, Cowra was the site of one of the largest prisoner of war camps in Australia. At its peak, the camp held around 4,000 Japanese prisoners, many of whom were captured during the war in the Pacific. On August 5, 1944, the prisoners staged a mass breakout, resulting in the deaths of four Australian soldiers and 231 Japanese prisoners. This event became known as the Cowra Breakout or the Cowra War and is a significant event in Australian history.

Post-War Development

Following the end of World War II, Cowra experienced significant growth, with many new industries and businesses establishing themselves in the area. In particular, the town became known for its agricultural production, with a strong focus on wheat, sheep, and wool. In the 1960s, the construction of the Wyangala Dam on the Lachlan River brought an additional source of water for irrigation, further boosting the local economy.

Heritage and Culture

Cowra is home to a number of significant heritage sites and cultural attractions. The Cowra Japanese Garden and Cultural Centre is one of the town's most popular tourist destinations, offering visitors the chance to experience traditional Japanese landscaping and architecture. The Cowra War Cemetery and Japanese War Cemetery are also important cultural sites, serving as reminders of the events of the Cowra War. Other local attractions include the Cowra Regional Art Gallery and the Cowra Observatory.

History of in Cowra

Cowra is a town with a rich and diverse history, from its early beginnings as a grazing and farming region to its role in World War II and its subsequent growth and development. Today, the town continues to thrive, with a strong local economy and a vibrant cultural scene. Whether you are interested in history, culture, or the natural beauty of the surrounding area, Cowra has something to offer everyone.

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