Echuca Paddle-Wheel Steamers
Echuca has more than a dozen Paddle-wheel Steamers at their original old-time wharf on the Murray River, in Victoria, Australia. You can experience the magic of the mighty Murray River with the Echuca Paddle-wheel Steamers with a one hour cruise like I did. They depart the Echuca Wharf daily. The one I went on was the P.S. Alexander Arbuthnot, which was built in 1923 at Koondrook by Arbuthnot's Sawmill. The Alexander Arbuthnot was the last paddle-wheel steamer built on the Murray during the times of trading by the river boats.
The Alexander Arbuthnot was used as a logging towboat intitially and was later used in Barmah Forest carrying charcoal and firewood to Echuca.
The Alexander Arbuthnot sank at her mooring in 1947, and was resurrected by a team of volunteers from Shepparton in 1972. In 1989 she was moved to Echuca and a full restoration was started. She was recomissioned in December 1994 by Charles (Bud) Tingwell, star of the internationally renowned TV mini-series "All the Rivers Run". Today, the Alexander Arbuthnot does passenger cruises from the Echuca Wharf.
P.S. Alexander Arbuthnot
Length: 76 foot
Beam: 15 foot 3 inches
Draught: 2 foot 3 inches
Maximum Speed: 4 miles per hour
The P.S. Peveney was built at Moama, New South Wales, and this paddle wheel steamer can carry 120 tonnes in giant holds. It is powered by a twenty horse-power twin high pressure steam engine. After the P.S. Peveney was restored at the Port of Echuca in 1976, she had a starring role as the P.S. Philadelphia in the TV mini-series "All the River Run".
The P.S. Adelaide paddle wheel steamer was built at Echuca in 1866 and is the oldest wooden hulled paddle steamer still in use in the world. The Adelaide was used as a logging boat for approximately ninety years, and was brought back to Echuca as a community effort in 1960. After her restoration at the Port of Echuca, she was re-floated in 1984 and now carries passengers and tow barges on special occasions.