Early Cowra History
Prior to European settlement, the area around Cowra was inhabited by the Wiradjuri People. The first European exploration of the area occured in 1815, with the first settlers arriving on the Lachlan from 1831. In the local Wiradjuri language, the word "Coura" is believed to mean rocks, appropriate for a town with rocky granite surrounds.
Cowra Heritage Walk
Available at the Cowra Visitor Information Centre is a Cowra Heritage Walk brochure that takes visitors on a journey through the town's central business district. From historic residential and commercial buildings to old churches and the courthouse, we are lucky that many of these buildings have been preserved and renovated to their former glory. Many of these buildings are open to the public including the Old Stone Flour Mill (1860), Ilfracombe residence (1879) and the Australian Hotel (1846).
Download a copy of the Cowra Heritage Walk Brochure.
Military & Migrant Camps
Situated east of Cowra on Darbys Falls Road is the site of the Cowra Military Training Camp. Between 1940 and 1945 some 80,000 Australian troops received basic training at the Cowra facility.
After the war the camp became home to between 17,000 to 19,000 immigrants who left war ravaged Europe to make their home in Australia.
While the campsite itself is now private land, a memorial has been erected in close proximity to the original entrance, to honour the migrant families of Cowra in Europa.
A collection of family stories from former residents of the Cowra Migrant Camp is recorded in "Australia, A New Country - A New Life". Compiled by the Cowra & District Historical Society, the book is available at the Cowra Visitor Information Centre. If you would like further information, please contact the Cowra Visitor Information Centre.
The day Kingsford Smith flew under the Cowra Bridge
Back in 1922 Sir Charles Kingsford Smith flew under Cowra Bridge with local man Ken Richards. Read more about this astonishing event.
Iandra Castle, Greenethorpe
Just south of Cowra in the small village of Greenethorpe stands Iandra Castle. Iandra Castle was built in stages by George Henry Greene, from 1878-1911. His property represented a rare example of a feudal-like estate, modelled on the English manor system. It has no equal in Australia. The Castle opens to the public on certain public holidays throughout the year. More