Old Dubbo Road, The Wellington, Dubbo and Narromine areas feature a wealth of Cobb & Co relics. Some of the best remains of Cobb & Co changing stations and buildings are in these parts and many original Cobb & Co tracks, also in very good condition, still exist. Local Visitor Information Centres can supply mudmaps and information, so take the time to enjoy some leisurely exploration.
•The village of Bakers Swamp had a post office and a Cobb & Co changing station. The latter is now a private residence.
•Part of Burrendong State Park, Burrendong Dam was built long after the days of Cobb & Co and has drowned miles of original Cobb & Co road and buildings. When the dam is low, relics from yesteryear emerge from their watery grave. A popular spot with locals and tourists alike, the park offers various recreational facilities including camping, caravanning, water sports and walking.
•If you are following the Cobb & Co Heritage Trail along the Mitchell Highway between Wellington and Dubbo, you will pass through the village of Geurie. Here, the coaches would turn west and head along the Old Dubbo Road, travelling along the Macquarie River and passing through the locality of Eschol. The road is still used today and, whilst unsealed, is in good condition generally and takes in some pretty scenery. Waugoola, a property near Geurie, was once owned by the Rutherford family and still has an old single-roomed groom’s cottage on it. The stone building sits beside a dam (now silted up) that watered Cobb & Co horses. You can inspect the cottage by appointment with the Wellington Visitor Information Centre.
•Goanna Crossing. Situated opposite the service station at Blathery Creek, just south of Wellington, is a dead tree that features Aboriginal carvings of goannas and marks a Cobb & Co creek crossing.
•Gobolion was a Cobb & Co changing station, not far past Montefiores on the way to Dubbo.
•The Lion of Waterloo Hotel is situated at Montefiores, the site of Wellington’s original settlement. Cobb & Co crossed the Bell River behind the pub after the horses had been changed and passengers refreshed; these days you can have a picnic in a park at the crossing and imagine what a sight the coach must have made as it ploughed its way through the water. The Lion of Waterloo still welcomes visitors and has some interesting history of its own (in 1854, it is said to have witnessed the last known duel in Australia).
•Miles of original Cobb & Co roads wind their way through the hills around the homestead of Narroogal Park to Mumbil and Stuart Town. Bushranger, Ben Hall, watched from the surrounding peaks for opportunities to hold up the coach, and the caves in which he sheltered are nearby.
•Cobb & Co roads pass through the locality of Neurea, which was a stop on the Orange to Montefiores run. The original post office building on the Old Sydney Road became a Cobb & Co change station after nearby Camelford Park closed, and the dust of yesteryear has long since settled on its ledgers and scales. You can inspect it by appointment with the Wellington Visitor Information Centre. On the other side of the highway, an original Cobb & Co crossing can be seen in the natural ford of rocks in the Bell River beside the old and new bridges.
•Take the turnoff from the Mitchell Highway to the Wellington Caves, then turn into the first road on the right and you will be on the Old Sydney Road, an original Cobb & Co road running for 4km along the Bell River to the cemetery. At the beginning of the road, between the two peppercorn trees, there used to be a wine shanty. Ask at the Wellington Visitor Information Centre for a mudmap.
•Across the common from the village of Stuart Town (Banjo Paterson’s legendary ‘Ironbark’) lies the Mookerawa State Recreation Area, set on the southern shores of Lake Burrendong. A pleasant 4km walk along an old Cobb & Co road leads you to a bridge that was used by the coaches but has since collapsed (check with the Wellington Visitor Information Centre re safe access). The Cobb & Co road continues under the lake.
•Wellington was a major destination on Cobb & Co’s mail and passenger routes. When in town, visit Wellington’s Cobb & Co coaching office and the hotels of the coaching days: the Royal Oak, the Royal, the Post Office, the Lion of Waterloo (across the river at Montefiores), the Sportsman’s Arms and the Wellington Inn. The Wellington cemetery contains the grave of Ross Hood, a Cobb & Co driver.
Wellington Visitor Information Centre
Cameron Park, Nanima Crescent, Wellington
Phone (02) 6845 1733 or Toll Free1800 621 614