Inland port on the Murray River
only 2.5 hours drive from Melbourne
but Echuca is a world away from the busy big-city life.
in between the Campaspe River and the mighty Murray River, Echuca's
current easy lifestyle belies the fact it was once the most important
inland port in south-eastern Australia.
the expansion of railways across Victoria
the paddlesteamers sailing from Echuca delivered all manner of goods
around the state. Of course it helped being the closest point on
the Murray River to Melbourne.
of the must-see things to visit in Echuca is the magnificent old
port. The 75m redgum wharf is heritage listed and gives you an idea
of just how busy the place would have been when at its peak when
it was 400m long! The wharf is being preserved and revitalised at
a cost of more than $6million.
you want to travel back in time at a peaceful rate then take a journey
on one of the working paddlesteamers from the port. It is a really
peaceful and pleasant way to see one of the great waterways of Australia.
are several steamers working now - all offering different slices
PS Pevensey was built in 1911 and was one of the stars of the Australian
TV series All the Rivers Run.
PS Adelaide is the oldest wooden paddlesteamer in the world having
been built in 1866.
PS Alexander Arbuthnot was the last paddlesteamer built for the
river in 1923 and she is joined by PS Canberra and the Pride of
the Murray. If you are into looks then PS Emmylou is regarded as
being the prettiest vessel on the Murray River and is also the only
wood-fired steamer in the world that has overnight journeys.
is also developing a new visitors' centre to bring to life the history
of the port and its paddelsteamers. The cost - $4 million.
if you have yearnings to be a paddlesteamer captain you may want
to take easier route and hire one of the many houseboats available.
marvellous floating homes give you freedom to explore the Murray
River at a sedate pace and enjoy the beauty of the waterway.
are memorable on the Murray, as not only are the colours striking
but the spectacle of scores of cockatoos, parrots or kookaburras
in the sky above you is beyond description.
is a magical place to visit and remember this - with an annual average
temperature of 22C it has very pleasant weather and more sunshine
hours than Queensland's Gold Coast!