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Echuca Paddle Steamer Cruise Port of Echuca Victoria

Image of Port of Echuca Wharf.

It only seems yesterday thet we took some cruises on the old paddle steamers in Echuca. We also enjoyed a dinner cruise and never wanted our time in Echuca to be over. We loved the river and the old boats. Lunch at a pub at the old port site and the people who work this unique tourist attraction.

Once the busiest inland port in the world, Port of Echuca is now a popular tourist spot, with authentic recreations of the bustling river trade of the late 19th century.

Port of Echuca... Murray River cruises, paddle boat rides, souvenirs, restaurants and recreated memories of life on the Murray River. You will probably enjoy this spot as much as we did.



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Port Of Echuca Paddle Steamer Cruise Victoria

Image of Alexander Arbuthnot steaming past Echuca Wharf.During 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 expensive.

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.

Image of cruise passengers enjoying a Murray River paddle boat cruiseThere 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 old.

 

 

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