Echuca is a historic port town of the Murray river on the Victorian side of the Victoria-New South Wales border (with Moama being on the NSW side of the river). Echuca was Australia’s largest inland port by the 1870’s, before trains had reached other towns in Victoria.
As Echuca is the shortest distance between Melbourne and the Murray River it became a natural choice for a port where boats could unload goods to trains to Melbourne. Wool, timber, wheat, and livestock were brought here from along the river to be transported to Melbourne.
While the port related industry became obsolete decades ago, today you can wander around the river port area and get a glimpse of what times used to be like back in the 1800’s. The wharf has been listed on the Australian National Heritage List as a Heritage Place. Many of the historic buildings have been preserved and the main street is made of gravel, to add to the feel.
Most importantly though, some of the old paddle steamers that plied the Murray River were saved and have been restored and now make up the largest paddle steamer collection in the world. Included in the collection is the PS Adelaide (built in 1866), which is the oldest operating wooden hulled paddle steamer in the world. The paddle steamers operate cruises along the Murray River as well.
Legend has it that at its peak population of 15,000 in the 1870′ that there were over 100 pubs.
This old shack is the oldest classified brothel in Victoria. I guess if you have a claim to fame you gotta claim it!
Olde timey shoppes along the main street.
[Shackell’s Bonded Store]
Echuca is just under three hours drive from Melbourne, and there is also a train service that runs from Melbourne.
Official Site: www.echucamoama.com.