A NEW full colour brochure will be used as part of Ipswich City Council’s push to revitalise the existing Cobb and Co Tourist Drive between Ipswich and Toowoomba via the Lockyer Valley.
The brochure, produced in conjunction with Lockyer Valley Regional Council, contains details of points of interest along the route
of the Cobb and Co drive which starts at the award winning Workshops Rail Museum in Ipswich and finishes at the Cobb and Co Museum in Toowoomba. Ipswich City Council Tourism and Libraries Committee Chairperson Councillor David Pahlke said council had produced the brochure to encourage travellers to explore the Ipswich townships of Walloon, Rosewood and Grandchester.
We also want to encourage people to travel off the Warrego Highway through these areas as this brings an economic benefit to these local communities.
The first mail route awarded to Cobb and Co coaches in Queensland started in January 1866 linking Brisbane, Ipswich and Toowoomba. This was a co-ordinated service with the railway which had started operating between Ipswich and Grandchester in July 1865. Passengers and mail were transported from Ipswich by railway to Grandchester which was the end of the rail line at that time. They were then picked up by another Cobb and Co coach to continue their journey from Grandchester to Toowoomba by road. Staging posts along the route were listed as Bigge’s Camp (Grandchester), Laidley, Gatton, Helidon and Postman’s Ridge.
The Cobb and Co Tourist Drive was developed in 2002 to provide a scenic alternative to the Warrego Highway route between Ipswich & Toowoomba while at the same time approximating the original Cobb and Co route between these two cities. The new Cobb and Co brochure was currently being distributed to Visitor Information Centres throughout South-East Queensland. 50,000 copies have been printed.
Cobb and Co had a long history in Australia as the company’s coaches carried passengers, mail and parcels for 70 years in every mainland colony of Australia as well as New Zealand, South Africa and Japan. At the turn of the nineteenth century, the company operated 39 routes in Queensland, covering 7750 kilometres. Averaging two services per week on each route, Cobb and Co would harness 9000 horses and travel more than 31,000 kilometres every week. The last Cobb and Co coach ran on the Yuleba-Surat route on August 14, 1924.