Archives for June 2021


New Zealand was crying out for a public transport network. Although it was not the first coach service in the colony, Cobb & Co. was the first to operate a timetabled service so it quickly became the biggest public transport operator in the young colony.

On the 4th October 1861, Cobb & Co. coach owner Charles Cole landed in Dunedin on the steamship S.S India with a state-of-the-art stagecoach, along with five wagons, a buggy and fifty-four horses. The American built Concord Stagecoach was a vast improvement over any coach then operating in New Zealand because its style of suspension was designed to handle extremely rough roads. At that time, ‘roads’ in New Zealand were often not much more than boggy tracks. The fully equipped coach had a centre door with a glass window which could be raised or lowered and the openings either side had leather shades which rolled up and down to keep out the weather. The interior was upholstered in crimson cloth while the outside was painted red, with gold ornamentation. A box seat on the roof allowed the coach to carry five extra outside passengers, with six to nine seated on benches inside. read more