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Along the road

Spirited: Australia's Horse Story

Along the road

Cobb and Co. stagecoach outside the post office at Adavale, Queensland, 1907.
Cobb and Co. stagecoach outside the post office at Adavale, Queensland, 1907. State Library of Queensland.

As colonial settlement expanded inland, rough tracks were built between towns, ports and remote pastoral stations.

At first most people walked or relied on bullocks to pull their loads, but as roads improved they increasingly used horses to ride, pull passenger vehicles and haul heavy goods.

While horses were expensive to buy and keep, they were faster, enabling trade to flourish, people to visit and communicate with each other, and the long arm of the law to reach across the continent.

Explore some of the stories and objects

Detail from the Cobb and Co ledger
Cobb and Co. ledger

Recording the accounts of the busy Tamworth Cobb & Co. office in the 1870s.
 
 Tabletop wagon
Tabletop wagon

Used to haul wool and wheat around Cooma, New South Wales.
Lantern slide
Lantern slide

Showing bushrangers attacking the Eugowra gold escort, early 20th century.