In the 1870’s the town was Australia’s largest inland port. Steam-driven paddle boats would arrive at the wharf where the goods were unloaded and then loaded onto trains to be taken to Melbourne. The historic wharf has been heritage listed. Echuca was a very busy place and at one time there were over 100 pubs/hotels in the district.
The expansion of the railways and the fickle river conditions combined to lesson the importance of the inland port and the population began to move elsewhere.
Today the major industry of Echuca is tourism which adds some $250 million a year to the Echuca economy. The Port of Echuca has one of the world’s largest fleet of operating paddle steamers and thousands of tourists each year take a cruise on the quaintly named paddle steamers. PS Emmylou, PS, Canberra, PS Pride of the Murray, PS Alexander Arbuthnot, PS Pevensey ply the river taking tourists for sightseeing, lunch and dinner cruises.
The historic wharf district contains many restored buildings and the Port of Echuca Discovery Centre which contains displays and access to the restored redgum wharf. Access to the Discovery Centre and the wharf is free.
The town streets near the wharf area have retained their heritage feel with verandahs and heritage signage while the newer modern shopping area is a few blocks away. Echuca is a popular tourist destination all year round.
After a wander around the historic wharf we headed to The Shamrock Hotel for some lunch. These Irish Pubs just seem to draw us in. The Shamrock Hotel is well known for its Parmy menu. They have 101 Parmy dishes to choose from. It has a great atmosphere (almost like a pub in Ireland except much much bigger) and they even have Guinness on tap. I loved the red pressed metal ceiling in the bistro.
We wandered along the historic shopping street but it was getting colder, more windy and looked like rain so we thought it might be a good idea to start looking for a camp for the night. WikiCamps showed a camp at the Rotary Park just 3km from the historic wharf so we thought we’d give that a look see.
The Echuca Rotary Park is huge with plenty of room for many rigs of all sizes. You must be self contained. It is a small donation of $10 for camping and $5 to use their dump point and fill up with water. We think that is very reasonable for this great facility. We used their dump point and filled up with water before finding a nice flat spot on the gravel down next to the Campaspe River. When I looked out the window I could count about 15 camps, mostly caravans but a few motorhomes too. There was another Esperance right behind us.
We had just set up camp when the rain came down however it did not last long but it was very cold so it was a good time to update my blogs and for Rich to catch up on the news.
One thought on “Historic Echuca, VIC”
Thank you Jenny your sight seeing reports which are always a delight to read – even though we did it in our younger days. So delighted for you having a motor home , as it seems easier than towing a caravan.
Safe travelling and Echuca Tourist Industry will be delighted you called.
Ruth Hosking(Campbell), Bendigo.