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About Echuca

Echuca

 

is a town located on the banks of the Murray River and Campaspe River in Victoria, Australia. The Border town Moama is on the northern side of the Murray river in New South Wales. Echuca is the administrative centre and largest settlement in the Shire Of Campaspe. At the 2011 census, Echuca had a population of 12,983.

Echuca, an Aboriginal name meaning "Meeting of the Waters" is indicative of the role rivers have played in the town's existence. Echuca is situated close to the junction of the Goulburn, Campaspe and Murray Rivers. Its location at the closest point of the Murray to Melbournecontributed to its development as a thriving river port city during the 19th century.

 

 

Echuca
Victoria
Echuca docks Stevage.jpg
Echuca's main landmark, the dock on theb Murray River.

 

 

History

 

Foundation

 

Echuca was founded by one of the most enterprising characters of the early colonial days, an ex-convict named Henry Hopwood. In 1850 he bought a small punt which operated across the Murray River near the Campaspe junction. The relatively small settlement known as "Hopwood's Ferry" became Echuca as the town grew. The Post Office known as Hopwoods Punt opened around 1854 and was renamed Echuca on 1 January 1855.

While the settlers at Echuca treated the local Aborigines with relative kindness , their way of life was irrevocably changed by their relationship with the Europeans. Having already been decimated by smallpox in the late 1820s, in the 1850s many Aborigines developed a taste for European luxuries such as bread, tobacco and alcohol. They were relegated to the role of fringe-dwellers, living on the banks of the Murray, and occasionally entering into the European economy as fishermen and farm labourers, and by selling the possum rugs which they crafted.

 

 

Governance

 

 

Shire of Campaspe Head Office

 

 

 

Echuca is the administrative centre for the Shire of Campaspe Local Government Area. At state level, Echuca is represented by the Electoral district of Rodney. At federal level, Echuca is represented by the Division of Murray.

 

 

Economy

 

The main industry in Echuca is tourism. Tourism injects approximately $250 million into the Echuca economy annually. Visitors are attracted to the town by its warm climate, the Murray River, recreational attractions, and historical features, such as the Port of Echuca which has the world's largest fleet of operating paddle steamers.

Echuca is also a major regional service economy. Agriculture is very important to the region and dairy, wheat, sheep, pig, and cattle farms are all within close proximity.

 

 

Culture

 

Paddle Steamers

 

 

 Paddle Steamer PS Pevensey

 

 

The Port is home to the largest Paddle Steamer collection in the world, which includes the world's oldest operating wooden hulled paddle steamer, the PSAdelaide built in 1866. There are several historic vessels operating out of Echuca on a daily commercial basis such as PS Pevensey (built 1911), PSAlexander Arbuthnot (built 1923), PS Adelaide (built 1866) operating from the wharf and the PS Emmylou (built 1980 with a steam engine in use from 1906), PS Canberra (built 1913) and PV Pride of the Murray (built 1924 as a logging barge C24) operating from Riverboat Dock, a short distance downstream from the main wharf. These vessels conduct between 4-6 1hour cruises daily, while the PS Emmylou offers 1.5 hour lunch cruises twice daily and 2 x 1hour cruises daily, and in peak seasons 2-3hour dinner cruising and 1,2 & 3 night accommodated cruises for up to 18 passengers. There are also a number of privately owned paddle steamers in Echuca. As well as the paddle steamers there are numerous houseboats, many of which can be hired. The MV Mary Ann (built 1981) operates as a cruising restaurant in busier times.

The Port of Echuca is also restoring the PV Success to full working order. When operational, it will be added to the fleet of paddle steamers at Echuca Wharf.

 

 

Transport

 

 

The Echuca-Moama Road Rail Bridge

 

 

Echuca is connected over the Murray River to Moama by the Echuca-Moama Road Rail Bridge. This historically significant bridge has riveted iron spans supported on cast iron pillars. Trains no long run on this bridge; a dedicated rail bridge has been constructed next to the old bridge, which now only carries road vehicles.

Echuca-Moama Transit runs 3 services hourly to Echuca East, South & the town of Moama. The terminus is the Old Echuca Post Office on Hare Street. At the moment they are testing a service to 24 Lane and streets on the way to the lane which are near the Rich River Golf ClubV/Line operates the Echuca line rail service from the local station to Melbourne, via Bendigo. Echuca Airport is also located outside the town.

 

 

 

 

SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echuca

 

 

 


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