Saturday, 31 May 2014

Road Trip Cowra

I took a quick day trip to Cowra this week with visitors. First stop as always is the Cowra Visitor Information Centre. Most visitor centres are fairly basic- brochures and local jams for sale. The one in Cowra is pretty special.

There is a little shed at the back
of the visitors centre

Which plays an astonishing holographic film
about the Cowra Breakout
its 9 minutes, on continuous loop

about when Japanese Prisoners of War
attempted to escape their detention camp
during WWII
I had to read Bill Bryson's book Down Under/In a Sunburned Country to find out about this local treasure. I've seen it quite a few times now with different visitors. Because of the history with the Breakout there are a number of other unique attractions in Cowra.

World Peace Bell
a copy of the bell at the UN in New York
This copy is no lightweight- 477kg!
and made from melted coins

There are also the beautiful Cowra Japanese Gardens. 

I found another stray rhino! Upping my tally to 4.
Taronga Design: For the Wild Rhinos

Even though it's (all but) winter
the gardens are still a beautiful place

I like the mix of clearly Australian elements,
within the obviously Japanese design
What's a day out without a bit of bird spotting? No new species this day, but still fun.

Pacific Black Ducks (Anas superciliosa) are very keen on fish food-
they run over the top of the fish to get  it
Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena)

Male Magpie Lark (Grallina cyanoleuca)

The parrots were loving the persimmon trees
Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus)

Eastern Rosella (Platycercus icterotis)

Chrysanthemum Stone in the Cultural Centre
Natural crystals in a volcanic rock, 70 million years old. 
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Sean @ His And Her Hobbies said...

Its been a long time since I have been to Cowra. We stopped there a few times when we were kids as our Aunt, Uncle and cousins lived in Young. I remember the visitor centre and the tea gardens as well. I am glad to see they are still there. Thanks for bringing back some good childhood memories.

Sean at His and Her Hobbies

Brona said...

Oh Louise, you just made me very nostalgic!
I finished my high school years in Cowra. I studied Japanese and visited the gardens so many times. One of my friends' dad was the head gardener there, another friend used the gardens for her wedding photos (I was her bridesmaid) & Billy Goat Hill (behind the garden) was (& probably still is) the main make-up spot for teens in love :-)

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful and historic site. Love your photos and the birds. And, since you mentioned Bill Bryson... you know A Walk in the Woods is being made into a movie, Robert Redford and Emma Thompson star. :)

Leslie (Under My Apple Tree) said...

Enjoyed the tour. I had never heard of Cowra. I love that you have gardens all year round. And the birds - I never got used to seeing colorful birds in backyards when I visited Australia. Seeing one here would be someone's lost pet. And the rhinos are just too cool.

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

What gorgeous scenes! I especially loved the gardens. Thanks for sharing...and here's MY SATURDAY SNAPSHOT POST

Satia said...

The chrysanthemum stone took my breath away.

Ginx Craft said...

I enjoyed seeing the parrot shots, and espeically like the view of the garden with the mountains in the background.

I'm Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

I must see if my husband is familiar with the chrysanthemum stone. I've never heard him speak of it.

I love that shot of the magpie. Something about the way he is standing is just perfect.

Paulita said...

The gardens are stunning. Interesting story about Japanese prisoners of war. Is it similar to the U.S. in that we realized the mistake of interring Japanese American citizens? Not sure of the history there in Australia.

Peggy Ann said...

Thanks for taking to a place I have never heard of! Great pics

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the history lesson, the rhino statue, the garden, and the birds. Basically, I liked all of the photos! The rhino particularly stood out to me, because here I have seen cows, bikes, ice-cream, and scarecrows similarly fashioned. Thanks for sharing the photos and adding explanations.

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing this. I'd never heard of Cowra before. What a colourful rhino you found there, and some beautiful views.

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing this. I'd never heard of Cowra before. What a colourful rhino you found there, and some beautiful views.