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Governor Macquarie was an dedicated traveller. In addition to laying out new towns and providing place names for recently explored or newly settled areas, he liked to personally survey new routes for roads and to visit the outlying parts of the colony.

An important part of his household equipment, therefore, was his carriage and horses. Although there are no surviving pictures of Macquarie's travelling carriage, it is likely that it was a travelling-chaise. It would have been designed to meet the harshest of road conditions - such as those encountered on the road to Bathurst. This route included deep sand drifts, large boulders on the surface, and steep roads that required the team to be unhitched and the coach or waggon walked down by hand or half a team to be hitched behind a dray or carriage to slow its progress on the descent.

Macquarie also took his travelling coach and horses with him from Sydney when he visited Hobart for the second time in 1821. He used it for his journey on the newly-completed road from Hobart to Launceston.


Axle Tree: The fixed bar or beam of wood on the rounded ends of which the opposite wheels of a carriage or cart revolve; the spindle or axle of any wheel.

Vehicle Types

Barouche: a four-wheeled shallow carriage with a driver's seat high in the front, two double seats inside - one facing back, the other towards the front - and a folding top over the back seat. The entire carriage was suspended over C springs which provided improved suspension and cushioned the ride for passengers during long journeys.

Cape Wagon: a large loosely-constructed transport wagon, drawn by either horses or oxen (precursor to the 'kakebeenwa' [jawbone wagon] used by Dutch speaking colonists of the Cape during their migration into the interior of southern Africa in the 1830's, known as the 'Great Trek').

Curricle: a light two-wheeled carriage, usually drawn by two horses abreast; seating for two, plus a seat at the back for the groom. Curricles were well- sprung and could be used on longer journeys without discomfort.

Gig: a light two-wheeled vehicle with two seats, suitable for fast driving. At the turn of the nineteenth century they were built with a high centre of gravity to raise the body above the road dust. Unfortunately, this feature made them easy to overturn, and later designs were modified to make them lower.

Hackney Coach: the hackney coach derives its name from the French word haquenee meaning 'horse for hire'. The name was applied to a great variety of vehicles during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Finally,in 1823, a hackney 'cabriolet', built by David Davies (a coachbuilder of Albany Street, London) was licensed for public conveyance in England, though clearly there were numerous carriages in London already performing this service.

Tandem: a two-wheeled carriage drawn by two horses harnessed one behind the other.

Travelling-Chaise (or Town Coach): a type of chaise or chariot seating two, with a box for the coachman; if used in town it was known as a 'town chariot'. With the box removed, and a large luggage boot in its place, ridden by postillions, and able to be used on longer journeys, it was known as a 'travelling-chaise'. This type of chaise was, in fact, a half-coach.

Badger, Ian. Australian Horse-drawn Vehicles. Adelaide, Rigby, 1977.

Cuffley, Peter. Buggies and Horse-Drawn Vehicles in Australia. Lilydale, Vic., Pioneer Design Studio, 1981.

Stringer, Michael. Australian Horse Drawn Vehicles. Adelaide, Rigby, 1980.

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