Posted by: Debra Kolkka | January 14, 2018


We stayed in Cowaramup while we were in Western Australia. The town was established in 1922 as part of a scheme to develop a dairy industry in the area.



The town relied primarily on the diary industry and timber industries in the early days and it is still home to numerous dairy farms with approximately 10% of the state’s milk production in this area.

The name Cowaramup comes from the Cowara parrot, a small green lorikeet with a purple crown. ‘Up’ in the Aboriginal language means ‘place of’.  The name is a bit difficult to pronounce and many people call it Cow Town so it seems quite appropriate that the town has its own collection of cows.

The cow story began when Margaret River held a Cow Parade in 2010. Cow Parade is an international public art event which has been held in more than 50 cities around the world including Paris, Tokyo, London and New York. Cow Parade in Margaret River was the first time it had been held outside a major metropolitan area.

The event involves life size fibreglass cows being painted by local artists and exhibited in various locations. At the conclusion of the event each cow is auctioned to raise funds for charity.

A couple of local Cowaramup residents came up with the great idea of continuing the cow theme to give the town a focus. A herd of fibreglass cows were brought in and a team of volunteers painted the 42 cows and calves. Since the local milking cows are mostly Friesians it was decided that the cows should be painted to resemble this breed.

It has been a huge success and now people stop just to admire the bovine residents and stay a while.

Take a look at Cowaramup’s cows.






The beautiful Pioneer Park is home to the chief cow. She stands high and proud above the town. Ron Roozen’s installation for the Margaret River Cow Parade was called “Free as  Cow”.


Free as a Bird


“Free as a Cow” is a tongue in cheek acknowledgement of the local icon “Free as a bird” affectionately known as “chick on a stick”, the once controversial sculpture in the lake at Bob Oatley’s winery on nearby Caves Rd.

“Free as a Cow” stands 20 feet in the air as a cow for the rest of the herd to look up to.

Free as a Cow

Free as a Cow

It really is a case of build it and they will come. Cowaramup is a favourite place for people to stop while touring the Margaret River area.

This is the last of my posts on Margaret River. We loved our stay in Western Australia. It is a stunning area, but best of all we stayed with our lovely friends Jim and Kerry, who were perfect hosts. They showed us much more of the area than we could have done by ourselves and were delightful company along the way. The Margaret River Tourism Board should hire them…thank you Jim and Kerry.



  1. I absolutely love the ‘Free as a Cow’! I’d go there just for her:)

    • She’s great, in all her gold glory.

  2. OH NO!!! I want that cow on the diving board? pedestal? Whatever – she would look wonderful on top of my barn!! Made me laugh out loud when i saw her! c

    • We had the same reaction. Perhaps you could organise a copy.

  3. Up at the end of a place name in Aboriginal languages in Western Australia means place of water-don’t know if this applies here

    • That is the case here. Cowaramup took a while to get into my head. I’m not surprised people call it cow town.

  4. Love the cow statue! 🙂

    • She is very special.

  5. Great presentation of WA Debra. On the travel list for us now. Christine and Doug

    • The south west corner of WA is full of delights.

  6. Ha I love the cows, especially the tin one outside the bakery. The gold one in the park is a bit strange, funny though.

    • There are cows of all shapes and sizes in Cowaramup. It is an interesting little town.

  7. So glad you finally made it over to WA….and so pleased that you enjoyed your stay. Hope to see you back over here soon.

    • We will definitely return, thank you again.

  8. What a fun way to theme a town. And everyone loves cows! Looks like you really enjoyed your time there 🙂

    • That corner of Western Australia is gorgeous. We will be back.

  9. LOL … these images make me smile.

  10. We had the Cow Parade in Harrisburg PA. My daughter and I went cow-spotting and it was great fun. How smart of someone to keep the theme going.

    • It is a great idea. Lots of people stop to see the cows.

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