Busabout Wagga Wagga

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Busabout Wagga logo.png
Busabout - Bustech VST bodied Mercedes-Benz O500LE 6086MO.jpg
Bustech bodied Mercedes-Benz OC 500 LE in October 2009
ParentJoe & Tony Calabro
HeadquartersEast Wagga Wagga
Service areaWagga Wagga
Service typeBus services
AllianceBusabout Sydney
Routes8 town services
48 school bus routes
DestinationsAshmont, Bourkelands, East Wagga Wagga, Estella, Forest Hill, Glenfield Park, Gumly Gumly, Kooringal, Lake Albert, Mount Austin, North Wagga Wagga, Springvale, Tatton, Tolland, Wagga Wagga
Fleet61 (December 2014)

Busabout Wagga Wagga is an Australian private bus company formed in 1916 as Fearnes Coaches, with depots in Wagga Wagga and Harden, New South Wales.


Fearnes Coaches[edit]

Fearnes Coaches logo
Austral Pacific Classic III in Fearnes Coaches livery in December 2008

Fearnes Coaches was founded by William Fearne and William Borlase in 1916 as a general carrier and charter bus operator, however Borlase pulled out of the partnership in the early 1920s.[1] In 1927, William Fearne commenced the first route and timetable in Wagga Wagga between the suburb of Turvey Park and Docker Street which was later extended to North Wagga Wagga.[1][2]

In 1936, William Fearne's son Clive bought the company and ran it until his death in 1989. The business then passed to his son Garry, who died in 1996, leaving the business to his widow Audrey, who ran it until deciding to retire and sell the business in December 2008.[1][3]

In 1952, two school services were taken over from George Greely and a depot established in Harden. By 1969, the Harden fleet comprised eight buses.[4] Extended touring to the Northern Territory commenced in the 1960s, and in 1974 Fearnes began operating tours from Sydney to Cairns as a contractor for Carah Coaches.[5]

In 1988, an express service to Sydney was introduced followed in 1998 by a service to Melbourne.[6]

In June 1990, Fearnes began coach services from Cootamundra to Tumbarumba, Cootammudra to Griffith and Wagga Wagga to Griffith under a contract with CountryLink.[2][7] These were retained when re-tendered from December 1992.[8][9][10]

Upon being re-tendered, in January 2003 the Albury to Echuca, Wagga Wagga to Echuca and Cootamundra to Condobolin services all passed to King Brothers, the Cootamundra to Tumbarumba service to Transborder Express and the Wagga Wagga to Griffith service to Makeham Coaches.[11] Following King Brothers being placed in administration, Fearnes took over its four CountryLink routes on 22 April 2003.[12]

Sale to Busabout[edit]

On 5 December 2008, Fearnes Coaches was purchased by Sydney bus company Busabout and rebranded as Busabout Wagga Wagga in 2009.[3][13][14] In February 2009, the coach service to Sydney was discontinued.[15][16]

In November 2013 Busabout commenced operating the services previously provided by Charles Sturt University.[17][18][19]


As of December 2014, the fleet consisted of 57 buses and coaches.[20]

Since taking over in December 2008, the Calabros have replaced over half of the fleet with a combination of buses transferred from their Busabout Sydney and Hawkesbury Valley Buses operations, second-hand purchases, most notably Volvo B10Ms from Reservoir Bus Company, and some new Bustech bodied Volvo B7Rs.


  1. ^ a b c "Fearnes Buses". Junior Advertiser. Wagga Wagga City Council. 28 March 2007. Archived from the original on 13 June 2007. Retrieved 4 May 2008.
  2. ^ a b 75 years - one family's tradition of service Truck & Bus Transportation September 1991 pages 54-59
  3. ^ a b "Fearnes is sold to Sydney firm". Fairfax Media. The Daily Advertiser. 6 December 2008. Retrieved 8 December 2008.
  4. ^ Country operator develops local potential Truck & Bus Transportation April 1869 pages 67-70
  5. ^ Moving with the Times Truck & Bus Transportation December 1977 pages 42-44
  6. ^ "Fearne's Coaches" Australian Bus Panorama issue 14/4 February 1999 page 29
  7. ^ "Countrylink Contracts" Australian Bus Panorama issue 6/3 October 1990 page 26
  8. ^ Rural coach services Fleetline issue 209 December 1992 page 228
  9. ^ Contracts places for NSW Rural Coach Services Truck & Bus Transportation January 1993 page 11
  10. ^ "New South Wales Rural Coach Services" Australian Bus Panorama issue 8/6 February 1993 page 31
  11. ^ New Countrylink contracts effective 1 November 2002 Fleetline issue 281 December 2002 page 190
  12. ^ King Bros in receivership Fleetline issue 284 June 2003 page 77
  13. ^ Fearnes bought out by Busabout Australasian Bus & Coach 10 December 2008
  14. ^ Private Operator Sales Australian Bus 31 January 2009 page 27
  15. ^ "Coach services face axe". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 28 January 2009. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  16. ^ Recent Company Takeovers Australian Bus issue 32 March 2000 page 40
  17. ^ Expanded bus service to CSU Charles Sturt University 24 October 2013 Retrieved 8 November 2014
  18. ^ University revamps bus service The Daily Advertiser 25 October 2013
  19. ^ Charles Sturt University Bus Service, Wagga Wagga Australian Bus issue 61 February 2014 page 5
  20. ^ Busabout - Wagga and Harden Australian Bus Fleet Lists

External links[edit]

Media related to Busabout Wagga Wagga at Wikimedia Commons