Cowra sees record surge in visitors

Theo Nightingale explores the Cowra Japanese Garden after a visit earlier this month. Photo: Jessica Nightingale

Theo Nightingale explores the Cowra Japanese Garden after a visit earlier this month. Photo: Jessica Nightingale

Cowra Tourism is celebrating success with a surge in visitors, media interest and travel enquiries to the region over the past couple of weeks.

The big talking point was the October long weekend, with thousands booking out accommodation, pubs, cafes and restaurants.

Cowra Tourism Manager, Belinda Virgo said the busy long weekend can be attributed to a range of different factors, including the canola season as well as the introduction of international and interstate travel restrictions encouraging travellers to shift their focus to exploring their own backyard.

"The canola season has certainly been a major drawcard, with a huge number of enquiries from visitors wanting to see our incredible fields of gold," she said.

Although Cowra Tourism were unable to host their annual Cowra 'Fields of Gold' Canola Tours this year due to COVID-19, they instead decided to develop a self-drive Cowra Canola Touring Guide which gained major traction online with the Visit Cowra website's canola page having been viewed a staggering 25,000 times and the touring guide being downloaded over 8,700 times.

"Cowra Tourism have been promoting safe and responsible canola tourism throughout the season, ensuring that the message is communicated to all visitors seeking canola, whether it be at the Visitor Information Centre, in the Cowra Canola Touring Guide, on social media or over the phone," Ms Virgo said.

Ms Virgo said businesses have also welcomed droves of new customers.

"The Cowra Japanese Garden is one such business, seeing over 4,500 visitors pass through the gates in just three days," she said.

"We're happy to see so many visitors come to the region, the Cowra Visitor Information Centre alone had over 1,700 visitors over the weekend, up approximately 65 per cent from last year."

Cowra Tourism Assistant Manager Kurt Overzet said Cowra has also attracted a lot of media attention in recent weeks.

"Our wonderful region has been featured in articles from The Canberra Times, Dailymail UK, news.com.au, Outback Travel Magazine, and more, we've even made an appearance on Channel Nine's Today show," he said.

"Spring is certainly one of the best times to visit Cowra, it's such a great opportunity for visitors to enjoy the region's wide variety of offerings, including delicious food, organic wines, historical sites, amazing views, beautiful gardens and waterways when the region is in full bloom."