Echuca is a wonderful Victorian city that is built in an agricultural area on the Murray river. It is present across the river from the town of Moama, at the border of New South Wales. The proximity of this town from the mighty Murray river is one of the biggest draws, attracting caravanners from near and far. What’s more, this town is the closest river settlement to Melbourne.
A little bit of history
This town gained popularity in the 29th century when paddle steamers ferried supplies to various parts of Australia, making this town an important port. You will still see the steamers passing by, but this time, instead of supplies, these steamers will have onboard eager tourists.
A part of the wharf, some historical buildings barges are still retained as evidence of a glorious past. Other places of interest are shops, museums,restaurants and exquisite wineries. There is even a wine centre within the city, just for those who don’t want to step out of town for it.
The primary commercial centre of this town is on Hare Street, extending over into Pakenham Street. There are a mix of new age shops and buildings of historic significance like the post office, a clock tower, banks and churches.
Most attractions are centred around the Murray river in Echuca. The river banks have excellent cycling tracks, which means that you get to cycle along side the river, making it an exhilarating experience. If you do not want to cycle, then there are a lot of parks as well as native forests that you could explore.There is even the option to fish in these waters, so if you brought your fishing rod in your caravan, then this is the perfect place to take it out.
This town has many attractions, which include some really different entertainment. One of those is the National Holden museum, where there are more than 40 different vehicles on display. However, it’s not just the razzmatazz of these vehicles that will draw you to this museum, it is the chance to pay tribute to a car company that is an Australian icon.
If you plan to visit this icon, then there is another Aussie icon that you will enjoy being associated with, it is the Australian beer. There is actually a museum that is dedicated to beer cans, it hosts more than 16,000 of them from across different parts of the world. This museum, called The Great Aussie Beer Shed, has on display many different beer cans, beer taps and handles and even old wooden beer barrels. The curators of this museum have a unique tag line, they claim that this is the only one of its kind, but, who is arguing? As a beer lover, you know what you saw was special.
Barmah Forest and Wetlands
About half an hour’s drive from Echuca, there are Barmah forest and wetlands that attract more than 200 bird species, with many native birds. Don’t forget to admire the world's largest stand of red gums, some of these trees have been estimated to be older than 500 years.
Both Torrumbarry and gunbower are surrounded by waterways and are north-west of Echuca. If you want to find out more about the history of the Murray river then head to the Torrumbarry weir and its interpretive centre. You can go fishing at Gunbower and, caravanners with a small boat or a tinnie, will enjoy their time on the Gunbower Creek. Home to fascinating wetlands, the largest inland island, Gunbower Island, is a beautiful place to visit. Another place that you would enjoy is the Kow Swamp.
Though there are many interesting places to visit here, The Murray river is the mightiest of them all. It stretches for about 2,600 kilometres, from the Great dividing range to Goolwa in South Australia.
Other exciting places to visit are the revamped port area, wineries that get you to sip into some tantalising wine or at Gunbower, where you can try your hand at fishing.
Echuca has some really wonderful camping sites, with many of these sites facing the mighty river and close to major attractions. These sites are usually bustling with activity, bringing the holiday atmosphere alive.
If you are the quiet type and prefer serene camp sites, then there are interesting options that are not that expensive too, definitely cheaper than the ones near the river. There are two great camping sites that you can reach via Simmie road, one on the Betts Beach, which has no facilities, and the other at Christies Beach, which has lovely picnic tables, fireplaces and toilets.
The weather at Echuca is warm and, with so much to do here, you wouldn’t want to miss it for sure.