In 1872, English author Anthony Trollope landed in Bluff from Melbourne and looked over a somewhat raw port town to begin his two month trip around the colony. While there were many memorable moments in his journey, it was his coach ride from Queenstown to Dunedin that lasted long in his memory.
The journey from Queenstown to Dunedin usually took three days via coach, and while it wasn’t the most comfortable of trips, it certainly was better than walking. Trollope’s party setout from Queenstown but due to the winter weather, their progress was slow. It took several days to travel as far as Roxburgh where they stopped for the night. The next day, not long after departing at 6am, they encountered a furious snowstorm that slowed their progress even further, forcing them to call in at the small town of Beaumont for the evening. After resting for the night, Trollope’s party and their heavy load proceeded to Lawrence. Unfortunately the heavy snow was too much for the horses who were left to pull the coach while all the passengers walked for five hours through snow and mud until they reached their lodgings in Lawrence. The following day, they continued their travels to Milton which included Trollope having to get out twice to dig first the coach and then the horses out of the snow.
Once arriving in Milton, their journey was made easier by way of a made road through to Dunedin. So it was that at 8:00pm – fourteen hours after leaving Lawrence, Trollope’s weary party arrived in Dunedin, which he described as “a remarkably handsome town.”
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