•Dandaloo features in many personal accounts of Cobb & Co journeys and passengers would have stayed at Richardson’s Dandaloo Inn on the banks of the Bogan River. There are three cemeteries at Dandaloo (innkeeper, BG Richardson, is buried in the main cemetery) and an old post office (now an Aboriginal centre) where Cobb & Co used to deliver the mail. The old police station and house have been moved to Trangie. You can follow the original Cobb & Co track from Peak Hill, along the Bogan River, through Dandaloo, up to Buddabadah and on to Nyngan. There was a Cobb & Co mail route from Dandaloo to Trangie daily, leaving Dandaloo at 4.30am and returning at sundown. At the Boggy Cowal, near Trangie, water sometimes came up to the coach floor when crossing. In wet times, they used five horses and changed two or three times.
•Gin Gin Bridge and village (site only). A change station, store, post office and inn once stood about 300m downstream of the present Gin Gin Bridge, near the still evident peppercorn trees. The Gin Gin village was further downriver from Weemabah, west of Timbrebongie (see below).
•There is a scenic drive along an original Cobb & Co track from Minore Falls to Timbrebongie, ask at the Narromine Visitor Information Centre for directions. Situated 6km downstream from the old Minore Hotel or Dickygundy, the falls are next to a lovely picnic spot with a wide beach and very shallow crossing when the river is low. This was the main crossing for the Dubbo-Timbrebongie-Warren-Bourke route.
•The charming Timbrebongie Hotel was once an important travellers’ hotel and changing station for Cobb & Co and is privately occupied and in good condition today. It had a dance hall (still there but on private property) which was painted with murals (visible even now) and people used to flock from miles around to listen to piano accordion music and partake of dancing and general entertainment. The settlement also had a racecourse and a cricket ground. Timbrebongie Presbyterian Church, claimed to be the oldest surviving church west of Dubbo, is thought to have been the original Timbrebongie Roman Catholic church (it is now on display in the Rose Gardens Tourist Park in Narromine). The old post office remains can still be seen not far from Timbrebongie, as can the Timbrebongie Falls coach crossing, which was about 150m upstream from the hotel.
•Tomingley is an historic town at the junction of the Newell Highway and rods leading north to Narromine and west to the Bogan River. The overflow Hotel (originally the Teamsters Hotel) was the stopping off point for teamsters
and a changing station for coaches, and linked up with the Obley road to Orange. The Overflow was also the site of a Chinese garden owned by Wah Sing and his family (see box); the graves of his wife, Sarah and child, Mini, are in the Tomingley cemetery. A clump of pepper trees on the Obley road marks the site of the Gundong Hotel, which was built and used by the coaches at a later date. Bulgandramine, 17km south-west of Tomingley, also had a changing station and was part of a mail route servicing Obley and Dandaloo via Ten Mile Reefs (another of Tomingley’s early names).
The Garden of Wah Sing
Wah Sing emigrated from China in the late 1800s and settled near Tomingley (then known as Ten Mile Holes after a nearby billabong) at the site of The Overflow. Here he established a garden, growing vegetables for his family and local miners, and became something of a community identity. Finding the irrigation of his vegetables to be a problem, he decided to dig a trench leading from his garden down to the billabong, a labour completed by hand using an ordinary hoe. He used to carry his buckets on a yoke down to the trench, fill them with water siphoned from the billabong, and lug them back to water his garden. The trench still exists and is now part of a creek.
•Trangie had a Cobb & Co mail coach run from Dandaloo daily. Next to the Railway Hotel were some shops set back from the road to allow room for the teamsters to park. Amongst these stores were blacksmiths and wheelwrights (the present Trangie-Nevertire Scheme is now on the site). Charles Garnsey was a saddler and harness maker with a shop here. He had a harness room at the rear of his shop where Isaac Garlick supplied music on his concertina for dancing. Isaac also built the Royal Hotel as well as a smithy where Carman’s store is now. On the other side of Dandaloo Street is the Trangie Hotel, rebuilt on its original site; Bob Sword’s saddlery was where the library is now. The Trangie Hotel had water troughs out the front for the use of travellers. Visit the Trangie Visitors Centre for more information.
•Weemabah (The Miles Hotel, The Gate Inn, The Gate Hangs High Inn) was a stopping place for Cobb & Co. The site of The Gate Inn, which was settled in 1842, is 1.6km towards Narromine from the homestead, under some large peppercorn trees. There is an old grave there of the first publican, William Collett. Officially, he was said to have been killed by a wagon running over him, but local lore says that his wife pushed him into the river because he was drunk and he subsequently drowned. He was 32 years old.
NARROMINE TOWN CENTRE
4.Teh Blacksmith’s Museum
5.Narromine Visitor Information Centre
7.Old Timbrebongie Church
1.The old blacksmith’s shop is still standing behind the ambulance station in Narromine.
2.Narromine Cemetery includes the graves of two Cobb & Co coach drivers: Harry Hart of Narromine, who drove coaches in his youth and lived to the ripe old age of 88, and John Gilchrist, who was the driver between Dubbo and Peak Hill and died in 1932 aged 81.
3.The site of the old Narromine Hotel and change station is on the corner where the Hargraves Service Station is today.
4.The Blacksmith’s Museum is behind the library, which is next door to the Visitor Information Centre on the Mitchell Highway.
5.Narromine Visitor Information Centre (see below).
6.The Royal Hotel was a favourite stop with Cobb & Co passengers and still welcomes visitors today.
7.The charming old Timbrebongie church is now in the Rose Gardens Tourist Park. It is in excellent order and often used as a community room.
Narromine Visitor Information Centre
There’s so much to see in Narromine – the Gliding Capital of Australia. Beautiful rose and iris gardens, gliding, Aviation Museum,Cobb & Co coach rides, heritage trails. Everything you need to make your visit a pleasure.
Burroway Street (next to the Olympic Swimming Pool), Narromine
Phone (02) 6889 4596 Open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm
Saturday 9am-4pm and Sunday 10am-1pm
Trangie Visitors Centre
Situated next to the Bogas service station
Mitchell Highway, Trangie
Phone (02) 6888 7712 Open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm