"A River of Diversity and Wonder"
The 'Mighty Murray' begins in the Alps and flows to the Great Southern Ocean
From the twin towns of Albury/Wodonga all the way to Mildura the traveler will find some of the most beautiful and diverse river country in the world. This part of the country produces some of Australia's most delicious fruits. Its life blood, the Murray River, is spectacular. Wide and mature, its ancient banks are lined with mighty red river gums and changes from what looks like an oversized irrigation channel to wind through limestone cliffs that further along its route rise higher and higher, close to and sometimes over one hundreed feet in height.
Sulphur crested and pink (galahs) cockatoos, crimson rosellas and river birds of all varieties nest here where paddle steamers once supplied the trade routes along the river and now parade a time long passed.
Exploring the Murray on a paddleboat is a great way to spend some time and there are a number of museums based around the steam traders and the buildings that supported them along the river towns.
The historic spirit of the past is powerfully portrayed at towns like Echuca - where there were once over forty hotels in just this one town - at Swan Hill and its River Museum - and at Morgan in the South Australian RIVERLAND where the remnants of its old wharf still stands.
The Gem is now anchored at the Swan Hill River Museum for visitors to climb aboard and see one of the finest of these boats that were the lifeline of the farmers growing wheat and sheep (wool) during the 1800's and the first decades of the 1900's. Likewise the PS Ruby at Mildura is one of four paddleboats restored there and in operation as tourist attractions with some offering rides to the public. Moreover Australia has the largest number of active paddleboats still used in the world, with the P.S. Adelaide at Echuca, the P.V. Pyap at Swan Hill and the Murray River Queen at Waikerie being among a long list of boat tours on offer.
Swan Hill Highlights Links
Echuca Highlights Links
Shepparton Highlights Links