Welcome to Nowra Coaches

Pioneer Motor Service commenced operations in August 1929.The business was started by the late Mr Cecil Bartin Haigh and two partners - the partner staying with the business briefly before selling to Mr Haigh.

The initial service commenced with seven seater cars which ran from Bomaderry Railway Station (Nowra) and serviced the townships of Tilba Tilba, Central Tilba, Bermagui, Cobargo, Quaama & Bega. In 1946 the Bega to Eden service was purchase from Edwards Bus Service. The northern end of the south coast was serviced by two operators, i.e. Harrisons Motor Service and Bartletts Bus Service.

Pioneer Motor Service, under the direction of Bart Haigh, settled on a fleet of Ford vehicles, which he ran from the early thirties until the late forties. The early vehicles were 12-15 seater parlour car type units with through bench type seats and numerous doors along the side. In the forties, he changed to an aisle type vehicle with one front door. All luggage was located on the roof. In the early fifties, he switched stables to Internationals, which he was operating when he died in 1957.

Mr Ken Haigh, Bart’s brother, took the reins and continued the services until his death in 1968. In 1962 Pioneer Motor Service purchased Bartletts Bus Service from the owners at that time, i.e. John A Gilbert Group formerly Reo Motors. This then meant that Pioneer Motor Service now covered the whole of the South Coast between Nowra and Eden with pickup and set down rights all the way. Harrisons continued to operate the night service until the early seventies when they decided to discontinue the service. Pioneer Motor Service then picked up on the night service also, leaving them the sole long distance operator on the coast.

The roads in those early days were gravel, very rough, continually winding and in some places practically no road at all. With the best equipment available at that time and a lot of hard work, a regular service was provided. Progressively over the years, road conditions have improved with bridges in place of punts/ferries and roads straightened and sealed.

Following deregulation in the nineties Pioneer Motor Service extended it’s services north to Sydney. The fleet then consisted of Denning and Austral tourmaster 45 to 48 seater coaches with toilet facilities.

In May 1995, the Haigh family decided to sell the business of Pioneer Motor Service to Nowra Coaches owned by the King family. The booking office known as Stewart Place, Nowra was immediately renovated to include a passenger lounge waiting area and the introduction of a computerised booking system to replace the manual system used for the past 65 years.

In June 1996, Pioneer Motor Service expanded their operation with the purchase of Kirklands Bros. service from Brisbane to Sydney. These services consisted of 3 daily returns and offices in Brisbane, Surfers Paradise and Sydney. Two months later another expansion occurred with the purchase of Lindsay’s Coaches who also provided a service between Brisbane, Coffs Harbour and Sydney.

October 1997, following a court battle Pioneer Motor Service changed their name to Premier Motor Service along the route between Sydney and Brisbane and most recently from Eden to Melbourne. The banner of Pioneer Motor Service remains strong today on the south coast between Eden and Sydney as the "true pioneers" of this route.

Premier Motor Service and Pioneer Motor Service today boasts some of the most modern fleet of Scania coaches on the market. These five star coaches carry 57 to 60 passengers and are equipped with toilets, air conditioning, seat belts and boosts state of the art safety features.

In 1998, the Nowra Coaches group commenced the Year 2000 compliance conversion and have now completed it early in 1999. Premier and Pioneer Motor Service has installed the first Internet booking system for this industry. Agents booking our services can enjoy the efficiency and accuracy of booking straight onto our system through INTERBUS. No more lengthy phone calls or delays waiting for operators plus the ability to get the best product for their clients immediately.

Nowra Coaches combined with Pioneer/Premier Motor Service and NCT Tours (Asian Travel Agency) employs 140 staff, owns 40 buses and 24 coaches. The company’s success can be directly related to the commitment it receives from it’s directors and staff members all of whom work steadily to provide its current standard of excellence. The profits generated from these services are being reinvested back into the company to provide new buses and coaches and to upgrade the six offices located throughout Australia’s East Coast.

© Nowra Coaches Pty Ltd | Last updated 30 October 2023
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