1 Best Sight in Echuca, Murray River Region

Historic River Precinct

Fodor's choice

The inland river port of Echuca is a heritage town, home to a large paddle steamer fleet and its historic wharf. Among the vessels docked at the wharf is the PS Adelaide (built in 1866), the world's oldest operating wooden-hulled paddle steamer. Other historic buildings include the Bridge Hotel, built by ex-convict Henry Hopwood and the "father of Echuca," who had the foresight to establish a punt, and then to build a bridge at this commercially strategic point on the river. The Star Hotel, built in the 1860s, has an underground bar and escape tunnel, which was used by after-hours drinkers in the 19th century to evade the police. The Port of Echuca Discovery Centre is now open and full of historical displays. It's also a booking office, where you can get tickets to paddle steamer cruises and other historic sights, plus a spooky Port After Dark tour (A$15). The center itself runs daily tours (A$12.50) covering its displays and the recently revitalized wharf areas (warehouses, old railroad tracks, and riverboats included), and the Star Hotel.

One-hour river excursions are a refreshing treat at the end of a hot summer's day. Step aboard the Adelaide, the historic Pevensey, or the Alexander Arbuthnot for a one-hour cruise. Book tickets at the Port of Echuca Discovery Centre.

Otherwise, Murray River Paddle Steamers runs hour-long excursions on the PS Canberra, and the Emmylou, a 19th-century-style boat built in 1980–82 for a historic television series, does overnight and multiday cruises from two to six night.  A one-hour cruise on the PS Canberra costs A$30.