“WOW!” That was all Jacob could say during our one hour paddle steamer ride on the Murray river. We were sailing on a historic steamer, the star in the television series “All the Rivers Run.” We were passing beautiful scenery and bird life. We were on board a piece of history. But that didn’t matter to Jacob. He had found the engine. And that was were he stayed for the rest of the journey.
The Murray River is one of the most important rivers in Australia. It has even starred in it’s own television series. We arrived in the twin towns of Echuca – Moama in the early afternoon. We stayed at the family paradise of the Comfort Resort Echuca Moama. After checking in we made sure to visit and say hello to all the bunnies, chickens, and guinea pigs which are permanent residents at the hotel. Well, we said hello, Jacob said “HewWO!”
But back to the steam boat. Taking a ride on a traditional steam driven paddle boat is the number 1 thing to do in Echuca. The Echuca Port has been reconstructed in it’s traditional form. The whole street leading up to the port is like a living museum. The buildings are all in the traditional colonial style, and vintage carts and other artifacts are displayed along the street. It’s like walking back a hundred years. We recommend stopping at the old fashioned candy store and grabbing some fudge. The coconut ice is highly recommended!
A variety of paddle steamer experiences are available. We went on the hour long river journey, but you can also go on overnight or multi-day trips along the Murray.
The highlight of the journey for our little boy was the engine. This steam engine is an original engine from 1906! Wood fire produces steam which moves all the arms which power the paddles on the side of the boat. Jacob was absolutely memorized. At a few points throughout the journey, one of the engineers went down to feed the engine more wood. Jacob watched his every movement as he undid the hatch and through in the wood.
With the few exceptions that Jacob took off to run around the deck, this engine was where Jacob was stationed during the entire hour long journey. Dan and I took turns watching our little boys amazement, and enjoying the views of the Murray.
Riding a paddle steamer is an absolute MUST DO for any family with a little boy.
Our stay in Echuca was made possible by Choice Hotels. Want to win your own Aussie Road Trip Adventure? Check out the Tom Williams Aussie Adventures competition for your chance to win.