One of the iconic places to visit in Victoria would have to be Echuca where Victoria meets NSW. On one side of the Murray River you have Echuca which is is in Victoria and on the northern side of the Murray River you have Moama which is a town in NSW. As Echuca is situated near the junction of the Goulburn, Murray and Campaspe Rivers you can see how it got its aboriginal name which means “meeting of the waters”.
7 Reasons Why You Should Visit Echuca
- Historical Town
- Oldest Paddle Steamers in the world
- Echuca Historical Wharf
- Caravan Park
- Water sports
- Border of Victoria and NSW
Many locals and tourists flock here, once you arrive you can understand why, especially if you are into history or just love being by the river.
Echuca is a great place to explore whether it be for a day trip or longer. This is where you’ll find the biggest number of paddle steamers. PS Adelaide which was built in 1866 is the worlds oldest operating wooden hauled paddle steamer. Numerous houseboats cruising the river and parked on the embankments.
It’s a popular spot for campers to set up alongside the Murray, especially in the warmer weather when the river is used to cool down and for water sport enthusiasts.
Years ago when Poker machines were illegal in Victoria many Victorians would organise bus trips to Echuca, stay in Echuca, cross the river to play the “Pokie’s” in Moama. It was a very popular excursion!!
The iron bridge crossing The Murray River from Echuca, Victoria to Moama NSW was built in 1878.
What sort of accommodation is available?
With a caravan park near to the Murray River and other camping areas nearby, hotels to choose from and houseboats for hire there’s a variety of accommodation to suit your needs.
If you are not into camping and nor looking to stay in a hotel then its a perfect place to hire a houseboat. A houseboat is loads of fun. Whilst it’s been many years since my Mum went on a houseboat along the Murray she definitely recommends it. Grab family and/or friends for an adventurous, memorable time cruising and sleeping along the banks of the Murray in a houseboat. The house boats are very spacious, some equipped with BBQ’s and spa’s.
On long weekends, school holidays and especially in summer the river is full of people enjoying the river. If you intend to visit Echuca in peak periods ensure you book your accommodation or paddle steamer cruise in advance to avoid disappointment.
Our Experience in Echuca
We were staying in the nearby town of Kyabram visiting family and went to Echuca for a day trip.
The first thing we did was take a stroll along the Murray River and admire the many houseboats that were parked along the bank of the river, others were cruising along as they soaked up the atmosphere. As we walked along we saw lovely birds enjoying their flight from one tree to another.
We then walked around the historical area of Echuca, checking out the different shops. It was then off for a lunch cruise on The MV Mary Ann which was built in 1981. This is a great way to view the paddle steamers as they pass by. If only these paddle steamers could talk. I’m sure they could tell some wonderful stories with the oldest being the PS Adelaide being built in 1866.
After the cruise we explored the historical wharf. Here we took ourselves back in time trying to imagine what life would’ve been like when Echuca had become Australia’s largest inland port by 1870!! With Melbourne being the closest city by the Murray River Echuca became a major river port and railway junction. Whilst visiting the historical wharf you can read up on some history and check out the old trains.
Back in the day the paddle steam boats carrying livestock, timber, wheat and wool were unloaded at the wharf and then transported by train to Melbourne.
It is on the Historical wharf where you can stand with one foot in Victoria and the other in NSW !!
It was interesting to learn about how The Murray River became under control of the NSW Waterways.
You can go on a horse and cart which takes you for a short ride around one of the blocks. The Clydesdale horses are absolutely gorgeous!!
Whilst in Echuca you cannot pass the popular ice-creamery!! The ice-creams are extra yummy!! Looking at the queue we were not the only ones that enjoy their produce.
You can even hire a push bike for free to explore the town. This is the first time we have witnessed this. What a fabulous idea.
The MV Mary Ann cruise
We opted for The MV Mary Ann cruise as it was a long weekend and all the paddle steamer cruises were fully booked except for later in the day. We were extremely lucky to get a table on The MV Mary Ann where we had lunch and a couple of refreshments. The cruise was free, you just have to pay for the cost of your meal/drinks as you would a normal restaurant. The cruise went for approximately 1hr. It was great value for money.
If you book in advance you can choose to sit inside or outside and have a choice of downstairs or upstairs. Our recommendation would be to sit upstairs, outside weather permitting. Wherever you sit you are free to walk around the boat to take your photos of the historical paddle steamers as they pass you by.
We had a very memorable day trip to Echuca and we will definitely return. Perhaps next time we will be able to enjoy the Murray River from the decks of a house boat!!
Echuca is a great fun place to explore for all ages and is a place of interest for many.
- Approximately 214km, 2hrs 35mins from the Melbourne CBD
- On the border of Victoria and NSW
Do you have any adventures you can share with us whilst staying at/or near Echuca? Perhaps you would like to share stories about house boats you’ve stayed on or places where you have seen paddle steamers.