The Tasman Peninsula

Connolly's Coach Service

In 1915, Arthur Thomas Connolly first commenced carrying mail, and then set up a coach service, between Bellerive (there was no Hobart bridge at that time) and Port Arthur. Up to that time most travel between Hobart and the lower Tasman Peninsula was by ferry, and the road was little better than a track in many places. This service ran until at least the 1950s, with cars being apgraded and enlarged, and finally replaced by enclosed, side-entrance buses. Finally Arthur Connolly ran a fleet of buses that were, in appearance and function, clearly the natural predecessors of some still serving the Tasman community today.

The following fascinating old photographs documenting the first two decades of Connolly's service are reproduced here by courtesy of Mandy Wood, who owns the old photo collection from which they come.

All photographs © Mandy Wood 2007. They may not be reproduced of used in any way without her permission in writing.

Click on thumbnails to enlarge.

1915. Start of the Bellerive to Port Arthur mail service.

1915 (December). First mail and passenger service.

A Sunday outing from Eaglehawk Neck to Port Arthur

Winter 1916, pulling the vehicle out of the mud with horses.

1916. The Port Arthur passenger bus near Port Arthur.

1916 at Eaglehawk neck, 8-passenger, 15HP 4-cyl Berliet. Connolly standing with mail-bags over his arm.

1924 at Eaglehawk Neck, AT Connolly and his 16-passenger, 40HP Fiat.

 1925. Converted doctor's car, 16 passengers.


 1928+ Side-entrance buses brought into service.
 1935. A fleet of Swansea & East Coast Motors Co. (AT Connolly Prop.) lined up to transport a visiting sporting team.
This photo and the next show a Swansea & East Coast Motors Co. (AT Connolly Prop.) after being side-swiped by a lorry on the way from Hobart to Port Arthur.
Accident! See comments for previous picture