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Located on the Murray River, Echuca is a heritage river town, home to a fleet of paddle steamers and a great base for waterskiing, swimming, cruising or taking a houseboat holiday. From the Aboriginal word meaning 'meeting of the water', Echuca was once the state's most substantial inland river port. Paddle steamers traded along the Murray and Darling Rivers almost as far as the Queensland border and brought their cargoes of wool to Echuca for transport to the Port of Melbourne. Echuca's rich port history continues to draw visitors. The restoration of many original buildings rejuvenated the streetscape and the wharf now offers visitors a fascinating opportunity to experience a working steam port. You can take a relaxing hour-long cruise aboard one of the authentic paddle steamers or a leisurely one hour stroll on a self guided tour of the Echuca Wharf. The world's biggest fleet of operating paddle steamers is based at Echuca and each has its own history and character. Paddle steamers again travel the local waters, these days for recreation and nostalgia . Learn about pioneering days from the captain's commentary and enjoy refreshments as you cruise in comfort. Alternatively, hire a houseboat and cruise down the Murray River at your own pace. Echuca is a great family holiday destination. Its location right on the Murray River, its warm Mediterranean climate and the myriad of water based activities, including waterskiing, swimming and boating, make for endless family fun. Make time for a meal at Oscar W's Wharfside restaurant for fine Aussie dining. Echuca is just under three hours from Melbourne on the Hume Freeway/Northern Highway.