Australia’s Postal History

Australia’s first postal service became official in 1809

The first postmen appeared in 1828

Posting boxes for letters were first used in 1831, at the time stamps were not in use and it was the person who received the mail that had to pay, not the sender

The first pre-paid method for postage in the world started in Sydney in 1839

Pre-paid stick on stamps were first introduced in NSW and Victoria in the 1850s

The first post transported by train in Australia was in 1855

By 1870 there were over 5,000 horses traveling over 40,000 kilometres a week on mail delivery runs

Early postie in uniform circa 1920

Sydney General Post Office was the first to sell Australian post cards in 1875

As a result of federation in 1901, several colonial postal services were combined to form a single national department that was to be named the PMG – The Postmaster Generals Department

In 1911 the cost of sending a letter from one location in Australia to any national destination was 1 penny

By 1913 Australia’s first Commonwealth stamp was introduced, it featured a standing kangaroo inside a map of Australia (see below)

Australian stamp 1913

The first commercial air mail service was from Melbourne to Sydney in 1914

In 1919 Australia’s first international air mail was received in Darwin

By 1924 the Cobb & Co horse powered mail coaches were upgraded to mail trucks, increasing the overall effectiveness of the postal delivery service



1920 - Cobb & Co. Mail Coach
1920 – Cobb & Co. Mail Coach


By Scott.


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