To the right time at the right spot to see the historic paddle steamers of Echuca. We only wanted to pass through this little town on the Murray River. But when we arrived, we really liked the relaxed atmosphere in this nice little town full of history and we stayed for a few days.
Echuca was founded in 1853. The town grew very quick and on the peak of the era of the paddle steamers, it became the biggest inland port of Australia. Echuca was home of the largest paddle steamer fleet and goods as well as passengers were transported from Echuca to other cities along the Murray River. After the opening of the train line between Melbourne and Echuca the need for the paddle steamers decreased dramatically and so did the importance of the port.
The day we wanted to visit the historic port was our second day town. We learned that there will be a big event for the opening of the new and extended Discovery Centre on Saturday, the 14th of December. Because we also had to do some administrative work and organize a few things for our trip, we decided to stay a few more days.
Echuca was the perfect place for us to relax and sort out some administrative things. We liked the many coffee shops in town.
And we liked the pies in the Beechworth Bakery a lot.
In 1974 the Historic port of Echuca was opened as a tourist attraction and an interesting insight into the era of the paddlesteamers was presented. Today, on the 14th of December 2013, the new and extended Port of Echuca Discovery Centre has been officially opened by Hon. Peter Ryan, Deputy Premier of Victoria.
Many locals and people from surrounding towns came to the opening of the new Port of Echuca Discovery Centre.
Many different activities took place during this beautiful and sunny day. The entry to the Port of Echuca Discovery Centre and many of the activities were free.
The street along the river was lined with many vintage cars of different brand and age. We have seen Chevrolet, Ford, Chrysler, Morris, Studebaker, Valiant, Austin, and many more.
Steam powered equipment as tractors, pumps and steam engines were on display and in full action, attracting attention with their puffing sounds.
The main attraction was the historic wharf with many paddlesteamers moored up along the wharf or taking guests onto some rides on the Murray River.
In the air, there was a flyby of three airplanes, one of them an American Pitts Special and the other two Russian Yakovlev Yak-52.
The event was closed by a sail by of the large fleet of paddlesteamers past the new Port of Echuca Discovery Centre. The first ship was the PS Adelaide, the oldest of the paddlesteamer.
After the PS Adelaide came the PS Hero, the PS Canberra, and then the beautiful PS Emmylou followed by the Pride of the Murray, the Tooraloora, the small Billy T and the largest of the fleet, the PS Pevensey.
Luckily we decided to stay a little longer in the nice little town of Echuca. We enjoyed the time in this relaxed town on the Murray River a lot and with the opening of the new Port of Echuca Discovery Centre, we had the opportunity to see the historic paddle steamers of Echuca and gain a deeper insight in the cultural background of Echuca and the whole Murray River area.
Do you like the historic paddle steamers of Echuca?