Local Attractions

location1Echuca-Moama began as a crossing place for the Campaspe and Murray Rivers.

In 1846 James Maiden established a crossing from the NSW side (Moama) and in 1853 the Lancashire ex-convict Henry Hopwood established a town (Echuca) and a crossing on the Victorian side.

The paddlesteamers flourished, ferrying people and goods, particularly from 1864, when the railway from Melbourne reached Echuca.

Paddlesteamers landed huge quantities of wool and timber in the 1860s and 1880s, and then reloaded with supplies for the return trip along the Murray, Murrumbidgee or Darling Rivers.

With the spread of railways, however, the river trade declined towards the end of the century. Echuca’s port fell into neglect as well until the 1970s when concerned local people saw it value and its potential, and began to work for its restoration.

Today, in and around the port precinct, you can see horse-drawn carriages, working steam engines, old-fashioned timber mills, lots of machinery, the massive redgum wharf still being used and of course the Port’s own wonderfully restored collection of working Paddlesteamers.This unique collection is now the world’s largest collection of authentic paddlesteamers.

location2The fascinating wharf area also includes the rail installation, cargo shed and audio visual presentation as well as a tour of Hopwood’s historic Bridge Hotel, and the secret tunnel (for illegal drinkers) at the Star Hotel.

Watch the blacksmith and the redgum woodturner at work, have your photo taken in yesteryear costume, or if you dare you can visit Echuca’s National Trust-listed brothel!

Enjoy lunch or a drink overlooking a million-dollar view of the tranquil Murray, as riverboats appear around the bend tooting nostaligically. Most of the heritage buildings you will see are not brought from elsewhere and “re-created” – they are the real thing. Look for the historically researched plaques on the buildings throughout the Port Precinct.

The Bond Store, Customs House and old hotels which served the rivermen, merchants, town officials and general population during Echuca’s colourful heyday are still standing and are now lively shops, restaurants or museums.

Experience the magic of the Murray on a paddlesteamer cruise, only minutes from the Echuca Holiday Park.