Port Of Echuca Paddle Steamer Cruise Victoria
the mid 1800's to early 1900's, much of outback Australia was opened
up to world trade, largely due to the busy river paddle boats that serviced
remote areas of Victoria, NSW and Queensland on or near the Murray -
Darling river system. The construction of rail lines eventually took
over the river trade, as railway traffic serviced the areas regularly
and goods were transported to major centres faster and was less
When the river trade diminished, most of the paddle steamers that were
in operation at that time were simply abandoned and left to rot, many
of them sinking into the muddy waters of the Murray River. Luckily,
enterprising people with foresight, refloated some of these historic
water craft, refitting these grand river ladies of early Australian
heritage to their former glory.
Today they proudly take excited people
along the mighty Murray River once more, on tourist pleasure cruises,
dinner cruises and special events.
Situated on the banks of the Murray River at Echuca, which is just
a 2 1/2 hour drive directly north of Melbourne, the Port of Echuca is
home to a collection of authentic paddle wheelers that actually worked
the rivers over a hundred years ago. The Port of Echuca Wharf is a standing
testament, and a great example of early Australian history, to the memory
and courage of the pioneers that shaped a great nation.
Originally more than 5 times the size that the wharf is today, in it's
heyday, the Port of Echuca was the busiest inland port in the world,
shipping in goods, wool, sheep and cattle to and from some of the most
remote areas along the inland river system.
are several paddle boats that take tourists on pleasure cruises and
people can purchase tickets from various gift shops in the Port precinct
or directly on boarding each boat. Dinner cruises are operated each
evening and are a wonderful, relaxing way to spend a balmy night on
what is regarded as Australia's mightiest river.
Several of the riverboats are not just historically famous, they have
made the world stage by starring in films that were screened around
the world. Perhaps the best known craft is the P.S. Pevensey, which
was renamed the Philadelphia for the movie "All The Rivers Run",
a romantic movie depicting life on the river in the late 19th century.
Another of these wonderful crafts, P.S. Alexander Arbuthnot, was the
last paddle steamer especially built for the river trade in 1923. Later
abandoned, she sunk at her mooring in 1947, where she lay rotting until
raised in 1974.
The City of Echuca bought the Alexander Arbuthnot in
1989 and fully restored the old girl to her former glory. She now is
one of the Ports finest examples of paddle boats, taking people on regular
pleasure cruises, up and down the Murray from Echuca.
There is a host of excellent and affordable accommodation in Echuca
and it's sister city across the Murray at Moama that will suit all tastes
and budgets. Echuca and Moama are popular holiday destinations, with
the Murray River as the main attraction, plus water sports, excellent
golf resorts and many historical activities to keep the most active
person fully occupied.
Day tours are operated out of Melbourne to Echuca for the Murray River
Paddle Boat Cruise, which are a great day where you can sit back and
enjoy the scenery from the comfort of a luxury coach. The bus driver
always gives informative information enroute and all the skippers on
board the paddle steamers give river talks and historical commentary.
So make your way up to Echuca and take a paddle boat ride on an authentic river
boat queen. It's like taking a relaxing trip back into the past and
a Murray River cruise will hold lasting memories for both young and