In its heyday, from about 1860 to the early 1900s, Echuca was a bustling, pioneering outpost
“Paddlesteamers ferried people and goods from all through the Murray, Darling and Murrumbidgee River systems, to Echuca – closest
point to Melbourne on the Murray.
Echuca flourished. Pubs, breweries and brothels boomed as the township revelled in its success. Legend has it that it wasn’t uncommon for horse races to stir up the dust down High Street where boutiques boasted the finest in European fashion and finery. Bare knuckle fights lasted hours down on the river banks and you could catch cod fish as big as a man.
The centre piece was the huge red gum Wharf, where in just one year (1872), more than 240 boats were cleared. with all that hard work going on, it’s no wonder the premises which offered refreshments were so popular. Once Australia’s largest inland Port at 1.2Km long, it is now home to the world’s largest collection of paddlesteamers. Both PS Pevensey and PS Alexander Arbuthnot were restored in Echuca by shipwrights at Port of Echuca.