I am really enjoying sharing photos taken on some of our travels around Australia so far. The photos I am sharing are from a trip we did in 2010 was a lot of fun.
Part of the fun of road trips is not having a set plan apart from a couple of things that we would like to see and do. We get in the car and we just ‘go’. One of my main things that I did want to do on this trip was visit Cowra to see the Japanese Gardens. I hoped beyond all hope that the Cherry Blossoms would be in flower and I wasn’t disappointed.
What did disappoint me though was waking on the morning we had planned to visit the gardens to the sound of rain on the motel roof.
Still, we were only here in Cowra for a short time, so my camera was kept as waterproof as possible beneath my coat and the umbrella we hired from the kiosk and visitor centre. A photo taken by the GG shows me with my camera around my neck but tucked under my coat, my hair plastered to my head and patches of wet clearly visible on my shoulders and top of my coat.
The gardens themselves are just divine. The Cherry Blossoms were in flower and the presence of the rain meant that there were no harsh shadows cast by the sun so that was a bonus.
Cowra is a beautiful country town situated 305kms west of Sydney. It takes about four and a half hours to drive from the city centre. It is a two hour drive north from Canberra. The first white people settled Cowra in 1831 but it’s name is derived from the local dialect of the Wiradjuri people who were the original inhabitants of the area. It means ‘rocky’ and there is certainly an abundance of rocks in the surrounding area.
Cowra was also the site of migrant and military camps and the site of a Japanese and Italian POW camp during WWII. You can read the history of the camp and the subsequent breakout by Japanese prisoners HERE if you feel inclined to do so. It is sad. The beautiful Japanese gardens and cemetery pay homage to the men (both Australian and Japanese) who lost their lives that night.
I took hundreds of photos (as did the Garden Gnome) but my experience with my camera still wasn’t fantastic and many were not that good. However, I did manage to capture one perfect shot of the cherry blossoms that I just love.
We spent approximately two hours at the gardens taking photos, strolling and just sitting enjoying the beauty. The main pond in the gardens is filled with Koi and also provides a home to many ducks. Packets of fish food can be purchased from the entrance and we made sure to get some so the Little Miss could feed the fish. There were literally hundreds in the pond and since there were not many visitors that day, the fish were greedy for whatever crumbs they could get.
On our walk we spied a family of ducks on the island in the centre of the pond. I managed to zoom in and capture a fuzzy photo of 10 tiny ducklings huddled together in the rain. I wished that I had a better zoom lens though. There were also many waterfalls. Since I did not have my tripod with me, I used rocks or bridges to balance my camera. Most of my photos are just a little more blurred than I am happy with so I won’t be sharing any of them. I will certainly visit this garden again next time we travel through Cowra though. Maybe next time I can get better waterfall photos.
After leaving the gardens, we travelled to the war cemeteries of both Australian and Japanese soldiers. The gardens in the cemeteries are also kept beautifully.
We also visited the site of the former POW camp but the rain was falling much harder at this point in time and so I didn’t get out of the car to take photos. There isn’t much left to see however.
We did travel further on this day stopping in Forbes and Parkes (where the weather was beautifully sunny) but I will save those photos for next week’s post.
As usual here is a gallery of some of my better images of Cowra.