At short notice we decided to take a three day/two night trip to
Cowra, three hours drive from Lawson. We had camped there several
years ago, on the Lochlan River, where we had a seriously disturbed
night because thousands of corellas roosted in the trees along the
river, including several young ones immediately above our tent. They
squawked all night. Cockatoos at least shut up once it gets dark. We
packed up early and moved on. qBut we did plan to revisit and explore
the town and local national park.
We managed to get accommodation in "The Shearing Shed" on a farmlet
about 5 km outside Cowra. It was rustic and private, but very
comfortable and we were easily able to self-cater. Tim played guitar
on both nights that we were there.
Although obtaining good information about the Kanimbla National Park
was difficult, we drove the 20 km and managed to complete the Wallaby
and Iron Bark tracks that included a few interesting points. Overall
the park was disappointing - very dry and not particularly attractive
bush, with few birds or critters.
We visited the i-Centre and watched the hologram documenting the
history of the Japanese breakout from the Prisoner of War Camp on
Saturday 5th August, 1944. The Cowra POW camp included Italians,
Indonesians and Japanese. The Italians were not real POWs and were
largely released to work on farms. Similarly the Indonesians were
more like refugees having fled from the Dutch who they did not like.
The Japanese of course, have a culture that places shame on anyone
taken as a POW, so the breakout and subsequent death of many was
perhaps inevitable. It followed a threatened move of some of the
prisoners to Hay to reduce overcrowding. But the Cowra RSL was very
respectful of the graves of the 338 prisoners who died in the
breakout, and others who died before and after. This impressed the
Japanese who requested that a war cemetery be established, which
opened on November 22 1964.
Financed by the Japanese and the Federal Government, the Cowra
Japanese Garden and Cultural Centre was opened in October 1979, and a
second stage opened in November 1986. It was designed by Mr Ken
Najima, covers 5 hectares, is the largest Japanese Garden in the
Southern hemisphere, with Nishikigoi (Koi Carp) living in the lake. We
enjoyed a couple of hours there, with lots of photos.
There were quite a few birds around our "Shearing Shed", as well as
horses and sheep.
On our way back to Lawson we revisited Evan's Crown, a short hike up a
mound to very interesting rock formations and huge boulders. Evan's
Crown is very significant to Indigenous People, and includes a bora
We plan to quite often take short trips away, as we can easily pack
things in our Jeep, self-cater and explore new areas.
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