At the centre of the Margaret River Wine Region lies a charming town called Cowaramup, named by the Wardandi people and meaning ‘Place of the Cowara’, a purple crowned lorikeet that once inhabited the area.
Originally a timber town in the 1930s, Cowaramup is now predominantly a farming town and beef, sheep, dairy and viticulture industries all thrive in the area. Tasting of the local wines, cheeses and fudge is highly recommended, and you can also taste organically grown olive oil. There are many well-known boutique wineries surrounding Cowaramup, and the Margaret River region’s oldest vines are planted in Wilyabrup, which is situated between the town and the coast.
Affectionately dubbed ‘Cowtown’ by locals, Cowarmup has played on their name and farming connection to an entertaining degree. As you drive into town you’ll spot a series of life-size fibreglass cows lining the streets and cow-themed shops and wares. In 2010, the south west won the rights to host Cow Parade, an international art event which has been staged in 75 cities around the world since 1999. While many of the cows were auctioned off to raise money for charity, you’ll be able to spot several painted cows still lingering around Margaret River region.
Also in the spirit of cows is the annual Deja Moo Country Fair and Cow Rally, which sees hundreds of attendees dressed in cow onesies descend on the town’s park in July, trying to beat their own world record of the most people in one place in a cow onesie!
Top things to do around Cowaramup
- Sample tasty treats at the Candy Cow, an institution for visitors with a sweet tooth. You can often see candies and sweets being made in the store, or sample freshly made fudge.
- Visit the ‘Rump on a Stump’ or ‘Roast on a Post’; one of the remaining cows from Cow Parade which was made to cheekily replicate the infamous ‘Chick on a stick’ piece of artwork at a nearby winery.
- Have your photo taken with one of the 42 life-size Friesian fibreglass cows that dot the town.
- Ride from Cowaramup to Margaret River on the Wadandi Track, a pretty, dedicated cycle/walk trail which follows the old railway line.
- Take a dip at Cowaramup Bay, located in the little coastal hamlet of Gracetown. The water in the bay is calm, while to the north and south you’ll see surfers taking on the powerful point breaks.