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Top 10 must see sights on and offshore at the Port of Echuca

July 06, 2024

Come to Port of Echuca for the paddlesteamer tour but stay for the sights long after you’re back on dry land. From iconic Australian attractions to serene scenery and mind-blowing historical artefacts, let your eyes wander around the Port of Echuca Discovery Centre and beyond for an extra dose of adventure along your Murray River getaway.

From the paddlesteamer

Echuca Thong Tree

Keep an eye out just past the Discovery Centre for the Echuca Thong Tree. Though it’s not the only thong tree in the area, you’ll be lucky enough to view the original and oldest one from the paddlesteamer deck, which happens to be covered in the most thongs. Want to leave a legacy from your travels?  BYO double plugger, hammer and nail to add it to the collection.


Echuca Moama Bridge

Otherwise known as the Iron Bridge, the Echuca Moama Bridge has been a significant rail link between New South Wales and Melbourne since 1878. However, one of the most iconic stories of the bridge’s history occurred before its completion in 1877, when an accident in the building process caused six men to be thrown off the edge of the bridge. Local urban legend suggests one of the men is still trapped inside the pylon today. Though this is just an urban legend as far as we’re concerned, it makes gliding under the bridge on the paddlesteamer tour a little more intriguing with this story in mind.

PS Adelaide

If you aren’t one of the lucky riders on board PS Adelaide’s occasional charter, keep an eye out for PS Adelaide on the slip or moored at Echuca Wharf. PS Adelaide is the oldest working wooden-hulled paddlesteamer worldwide, built in 1866. Though her workload is quite minimal these days (forgive her, she’s 158!), it’s still a mind-blowing sight to see the working mastery of almost 160 years ago.

From the Discovery Centre

Rudders

Before setting sail along the Murray River, wander amongst pristinely preserved original rudders and discover the stories of the paddlesteamers they belonged to. Whether you’re an Aussie history enthusiast, boat lover, or just looking for a holiday activity to spark your curiosity, the original remains of boats over 100 years old are bound to catch your attention.

Rail Vans

Step inside a breakdown and guards van and become immersed in the rich tales of Echuca’s rail heritage. Breakdown and guards vans were essential railway vehicles equipped with a hand brake to be used by the guard – these provided extra emergency braking but are no longer necessary due to most freight trains now having continuous braking. Discover fascinating stories about this once vital train equipment as you wander through the original train structure, unveiling the crucial role railways played in shaping the region.

Steam display

This is a sight bound to blow you away. See original working steam engines and pumps and meet the engineers who operate them in real life. You’ll learn about the important role steam played in developing Port of Echuca. For those with the little ones in tow, kids will be excited to get involved in their own contribution to steam engine history by completing the very important (and super fun) tasks set by the engineers. They’ll even be rewarded with an outstanding performance certificate to magnet to the fridge at home! Though the working steam engines of over 100 years are beyond impressive, nothing will beat the sight of the wide, toothy smiles the children will have after their exciting new achievements.

Freeman’s Landing

As much as we love learning about Port of Echuca’s past, there are little experiences more tranquil than appreciating the nature of the present. Make your way to Freeman’s Landing for a public viewing platform over the river. This is perfect for snapping some Instagram pics for your next post or simply soaking up the scenes of the riverside greenery and snaking waters below.

Sawmill

Travel back in time and appreciate how timber was milled in the early 1900s with nothing less than the original Evan’s Brothers Sawmill sight. This exhibit was created with the original 1900s mill restored in 2014.  Now it acts as a static display with sound effects, interpreting how red gum timber was used for ship building and railway sleepers.

The Allison Barge

Do you feel like you’ve seen more than enough paddlesteamers on your Murry River holiday? Introducing: Allison Barge, a preserved outrigger barge built in Koondrook in 1907. As much as we believe you can never learn too much about the history of Murray River’s paddlesteamers, barges have their own important slice of history ready to be shared with locals and visitors. It’s hard to miss this sight with it right next to the Discovery Centre car park.

Long Winch & Slip

These original pieces of infrastructure were used by Evans Brothers’ Sawmill to haul logs up the riverbank from logging barges to be processed at the mill. An incredibly short, walkable distance from the Allison Barg to Long Winch & Slip and then to the original Sawmill will tell a tale of the land’s history. Wander from sight to sight and ponder all the intertwining stories about the area’s past and its effect on Port of Echuca’s growth to the popular holiday destination it is today.

Need to book a paddlesteamer tour to check off some of these sights from the water?

Port of Echuca