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Port of Echuca

Home > Victoria > Day Trips | Boating | Places of Interest | Unusual Things to do
by Neil Follett (subscribe)
I'm a retired photographer living in Lilydale mainly researching and writing on Australian aviation history. Now writing more on general subjects.
Published June 16th 2019
You don't need a storm to visit this port
The beginning of Echuca was in 1850 when Henry Hopwood operated a ferry to enable people to cross the Murray River. By the 1870s, it had become Australia's largest inland port.

Street sign
The entrance to the port.

Today the Port of Echuca is the town's biggest tourist attraction, with many of the riverfront buildings now restored to replicate the past. If it wasn't for the modern dress of us tourists wandering along the dusty street, you would be forgiven for thinking you were back in days of Echuca's bustling river port.

It could be called a walk down memory lane as you pass many old buildings that must hold many memories from the past. Those memories can come to you as you imagine what life was like in those buildings 150 years ago.

Old building
One of the restored buildings.

In its heyday, Echuca boasted many hotels. Two that were opposite the wharf have been restored over the years and are now open for meals. They are the Bridge Hotel, originally built by Echuca's founder Henry Hopwood in 1859 and the Star Hotel.

The Star Hotel.

My recent visit was on a weekday and visitors were few and far between. On previous occasions, I have been there on a weekend and the street was buzzing with activity.

Art gallery
An art gallery and old time photo studio.

Cars are banned from the street and several horse drawn carts line the street, as well as a stack of beer barrels, adding authenticity to the area and the era.

Hotel & beer barrels.
The bridge Hotel and beer barrels.

A two horse-power coach makes frequent trips along the wharf street and completes a circuit along Echuca's main street to give its passengers the feeling of the travel of yesteryear.

Horse & coach.
The two horse power coach.

Horse & coach.
The old meets the new.

No visit to Echuca would be complete without a paddle steamer cruise on the Murray River.

Booking office
Book your paddle steamer cruise here.

Paddle steamer sign.
Take your pick.

Murray River Paddlesteamers operate three paddle vessels. The Canberra, the Emmylou and the Pride of the Murray. Options range from a one hour cruise to a one or two night cruise.

Paddle steamer
The Pride of the Murray leaving on a cruise.

Between those options are morning and afternoon tea cruises and lunch and dinner cruises. On past visits to Echuca, I have participated in several cruises, including one dinner cruise. My recollections of that were I was surprised at the quality of the food from a floating restaurant.

Paddle steamer
The Emmylou returning from a cruise.

There is a lot to see and do in Echuca, so go, see and do.
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