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Sunday 31 March 2024

Cobb & Co Festival turns the clock back 100 years


This August will mark 100 years since the last horse-drawn Cobb & Co mail coach kicked up dust on the dirt tracks of outback Queensland.

To celebrate the centenary milestone a special 10-day Cobb & Co Festival is planned.

The Cobb & Co Festival will run from Friday, August 16, through to Sunday, August 25, in the Maranoa region, 500km west of Brisbane. 

The all-ages family friendly festival will culminate on August 24-25 with a re-creation of the last Cobb & Co mail run in Australia on the 76-kilometre Cobb & Co Way, an historic route that runs between the towns of Surat (population 402) and Yuleba (population 271), both of which are now mere dots on the map.

The festival aims to pay homage to the legacy of Australia's last horse-drawn mail service.

Mail will be collected from the Surat Post Office by a replica coach from the Surat Cobb & Co Changing Station Museum that will be pulled by three different teams of five specially trained horses that will be rotated every 10km throughout the two day trip. 

The replica coach will follow a cavalcade of more than 300 people on horseback, in buggies and on wagon and bullocks to the Yuleba Post Office.

“Back in the day the Cobb & Co coach drivers had to battle bushrangers and extreme conditions in isolated regions to provide the all-important mail delivery service throughout the outback," said festival organiser Paul Masson.

"Our re-creation is going to be much easier and more celebratory - but will be a definite nod to the essential and often dangerous service Cobb & Co drivers provided 100+ years ago.

"Our participants will make the trip across two days - camping in the bush on the journey, just as the travellers did all those decades ago. 

"It’s going to be a once in a lifetime ride-along experience for keen horse riders, and for festival goers to witness the spectacle.” 

The festival will kick off with the Cobb & Co Long Table Dinner under the stars with events including bullock wagons, a horse art exhibition, markets, coach rides, bush poetry, clay shooting, the Cobb & Co Festival Ball, period dress-up and live entertainment and an open-air concert taking place over the following 10 days.

The festival is a mix of free experiences and ticketed activities. The full program will be released in April when tickets will also go on-sale.

A special song written and performed by Golden Guitar-winning country music singer Josh Arnold for the Cobb & Co Centenary Celebrations titled Cobb & Co Country (see music clip here Cobb & Co Country) has already been released and has hit #1 on the Australian Country Radio charts.

For more info see www.cobbandcofestival.com.au


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