Cobb & Co. in Queensland - History in Pictures

In its hey-day, Cobb & Co. coaches provided a vital transportation link between regional towns, carrying passengers and the mail. Cobb & Co. was founded in 1853 and was well established in Victoria and New South Wales before the decision was made to extend to Queensland in 1865.

Advertisement published in the Brisbane Courier newspaper, January 2, 1866

On January 1, 1866, the first Cobb & Co. coach service began between Brisbane and Ipswich. By 1902 Cobb & Co. ran 42 coach routes throughout Queensland, covering a distance of nearly 8,000 kms. These routes included - Alpha to Tambo; Cunnamulla to Thargomindah; Adavale to Thargomindah; Longreach to Muttaburra; Jericho to Blackall; Herberton to Georgetown; Georgetown to Croydon; Winton to Cloncurry and Ilfracombe to Isisford.

The advent of motor cars and trucks saw the decline of the horse-drawn coach services. Cobb & Co. finally called it a day in 1924 with the final service running between Yuleba and Surat.

Cobb's Camp Hotel at Woombye, Queensland ca. 1872. It was built by Cobb and Co for the overnight accommodation of passengers. At first the name Middle Camp was used, but it quickly became known as Cobb's Camp. The builders were Mewett & Son of Caboolture. The first passengers stayed at the hotel on 12 November 1868. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 36278

Cobb and Co. carriage outside the Pimpama Hotel ca. 1875. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 53938

Cobb & Co. Coach outside Fielding's store in Boulia, ca. 1885. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 146138

Cobb & Co's mail coach on the Port Douglas - Herberton Road, Queensland, 1887. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 31245

Cobb & Co. coach at the Railway Station in Charleville, ca.1895. John Oxley Library. State Library of Queensland. Neg 39827

Cobb and Co. coach photographed outside the hotel in Atherton Queensland. coach photographed outside the hotel in Atherton, Queensland, 1895. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 6670-0001-0072

Cobb & Co. Southport coach, ca. 1900. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 19475

Side view of Cobb & Co's factory building at Charleville, 1903. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 48008

Bogged Cobb & Co. wagon, Blackall district, 1908. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image API-046-01-0005

Cobb and Co. Cadillac 30 carrying passengers between Thallon and St. George ca. 1911. An American built Cadillac 30 (30 hp, 226 cid., 4 cylinder with individual cast iron cylinders) with a modified tourer body, used by Cobb and Co. as a service car on the run from Thallon to St. George, Queensland. Note that there are no lights, windscreen or hood, but that every available space is used for luggage. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 195218

Arthur Richardson, a blacksmith and wheelwright for Cobb & Co., Charleville, ca. 1912. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 39821

Cobb & Co. coach in front of the Cloncurry Post & Telegraph Office, ca. 1920, ca. 1920. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 16224

Cobb & Co. coach on the last trip between Longreach and Jundah, January 1922. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 60598

Poem published in The Truth newspaper, February 10, 1924

Cobb and Co. route from Longreach to Jundah, c.1920. Published in Coaching in Australia : a history of the coaching firm of Cobb & Co. with guide to the present coaching routes in Queensland

You can peruse State Library of Queensland's collection of Cobb & Co. related materials via our One Search catalogue. You can also find more information at the Cobb+Co Museum in Toowoomba.

Further reading

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I am interested in anything to do with Cobb & Co, My father & both Grandfathers drove Cobb Coaches for many years. My Mothers Father Billy Lumley drove the last Cobb Coach from Charleville to Tambo, Billy passed away in Goondiwindi in 1940. Dad was driving the Surat to Yuleba leg until he in listed in the A.I.F in Roma in 1916. Jimmy Davidson Snr. retired from Coach Driving in 1912 & passed away in Surat in1927. Dad was laid to rest in the Military section of the Chermside Cemetery on Melbourne Cup day 1958

It is disappointing to find no photograph of Cobb and Co in Surat,QLD and the last coach ever to run in Australia was from Surat to Yuelba in 1924.Surat is my hometown.

I live on a property which borders an old Cobb & Co trail. You can see the old roads and creek crossings and wooden ruts in the ground that the horses went over and there are a couple of old rest spots where you can find the occasional object. They are all in a road reserve, it takes a bit of looking but it’s in between Condamine and the crossroads