The weather forecast for this morning was for minus 2 degrees and it was probably quite accurate. According to the temperature gauge it was 3 degrees outside and 10 degrees inside when the heater went on! Eventually Bertha warmed up and we set about preparing for our second day in Cowra. Outside it was crisp but with a beautiful clear blue sky.
There is really only one reason we keep coming back to Cowra and that is to visit the Cowra Japanese Gardens. The last few times we have visited in August/September, so we were looking forward to seeing quite a different perspective of this lovely place at this time of year. So we packed up Bertha and trundled off.
Upon arrival we headed straight for the Japanese Gardens Café, intending on having a hot coffee, but a quick look at the menu and we decided to have an early lunch. It was delicious, and included a coffee.
From the café we started at the Japanese Cultural Centre, which contains a wide variety of Japanese art pieces, sculptures, items of traditional clothing, models of traditional style houses, and a display of toys.
Then it was outside into the sunshine and the glorious Japanese Gardens. I really got a bit carried away with my camera as a place like this is such a change from my more usual classic car and motorsport photography.
One of the really great things about these gardens compared to other Japanese gardens we have visited is the combination yet contrast of the Japanese topiary, gnarly trees, ponds, waterfalls, miniatures and closely clipped lawns with the majesty of Australian eucalypts and other natives. It is altogether just superb!
The gardens feature a number of buildings including a replica Edo House which really puts McMansions into perspective. Clearly bathing is an important aspect of traditional Japanese life and the deep tiled bath looks quite inviting. The living space is quite small in comparison.
Our favourite place at the gardens is the tea house. It is just so peaceful and serene just sitting and looking out over beautiful views over many aspects of the gardens, including the pond and a waterfall. This is not just a place you walk through without stopping.
Another favourite place is the bonsai house which features some amazing examples of the intricate art of bonsai.
Japanese gardens always feature still water in the form of ponds and lakes, as well as moving water in waterfalls and streams.
Ducks, cranes and other water birds are naturally attracted to the water, especially as bags of bird food are available in the gift shop.
The Cowra Japanese Gardens also feature contrasts between expanses of closely cut lawns, rugged looking stone outcrops, smoothly trimmed bushes of many descriptions, pathways wandering around vegetation, and more. As commented previously, all these traditional Japanese Garden features flow seamlessly around some huge and striking eucalypts.
Finally it was time to leave the gardens and we couldn’t help but notice how steep the road was from the gardens and nearby hospital to the main street of Cowra. We stopped briefly at the supermarket for some supplies before heading back to the Van Park and setting-up Bertha.
Later in the afternoon we had a visit from Mick’s parents Jeff and Wendy who had been visiting Katie and Mick in Canberra and were on their way back home to Bathurst. It was great to see them and catch up with their news, as we haven’t seen them for quite a while.
After farewells it was time to close up Bertha, turn the heater on and prepare a light meal.
It is forecast to be zero degrees here overnight so tomorrow we will definitely be heading somewhere a bit (hopefully a lot) warmer.