•Drop into the Royal Hotel in Brewarrina (near the site of the original Royal Hotel which was Cobb & Co’s booking office) and enjoy a talk with the locals about the old days. In Brewarrina, you can see the Settlers Museum, the post office and the Aboriginal Cultural Museum (also near the site of the Royal Hotel) as well as the Aboriginal stone fish traps that span the Darling River. Cobb & Co helped to bring white people to Aboriginal land and is very much part of our common story.
•Charlton Station was an important Cobb & Co stop because at that point, the coaches crossed the Boomi River to travel north to Brewarrina. Today, the property still features stables dating back to the 19th Century. Not far away are some posts that signify the remains of an old hotel known as The Waterhole which, it is believed, was relocated from Tarcoon.
•Gongolgon was planned by RJ Campbell, surveyor, in 1867. There are still some old Chinese gardens and one of their sheds on the banks of the Bogan River. The old post office burnt down in 1922, but the new one, now a private house, still has the Cobb & Co stables behind it. The hotels in the days of Cobb & Co included The Lame House, The Royal and The Commercial. Gongolgon is a great spot to picnic, fish and imagine yourself back in the days of Cobb & Co.
•Cobb & Co passengers went from Readford’s Inn at Warren to Canonba, then camped near Nidgery House at Nidgery Downs. At some stage a hotel, the Coach and Horses, was built to cater for travellers.
•Pink Hills (site only) is mentioned in many personal travel journals, and you can see the distinct rise in the ground and the pink soil as you drive towards the site. The pub used by Cobb & Co was called The Red House in 1869, the Oxley Tableland in 1870 and was later known as the Mountain Home Hotel until it burnt down in 1900. Travellers had their evening meal at Pink Hills before continuing to Mount Oxley Hotel, usually arriving around 2am. By 6am, after a few hours’ sleep and breakfast, they were back in the coach and on their way to Bourke, passing through spectacular scenery to arrive in town around 1pm.
•Tarcoon (remnants only). Once a thriving town, with a Cobb & Co hotel called The Exchange, Tarcoon later became an important rail station. Today, all that remains are some building foundations, posts and the rubble of the past.
•The Horse and Jockey Inn (site only, situated on the Brewarrina-Enngonia road). Sergeant Murphy captured the bushranger believed to be ‘Captain Starlight’ here, but he escaped, fatally wounding Mrs Shearer, the proprietor’s wife, in the process. There is a wonderful cemetery to explore at this site.
Brewarrina Visitor Information Centre
Offering detailed information to help you make the most of your trip to Brewarrina
Heritage trails, Settlers Museum, Aboriginal Cultural Museum and historic Aboriginal
fisheries on the sparkling waters of the Barwon River
Bathurst Street, Brewarrina
Phone (02) 6839 2152
Open Monday to Saturday 10am-2pm