A houseboat trip on the Murray creates many opportunities for water activities and interesting stop-offs at attractions along the way, but it also offers a completely fresh and memorable sightseeing experience simply by having a captain’s viewpoint from the middle of the water.
So what makes the Murray so special? We could give you a thousand reasons but you don’t have all day, so try these ones for size.
It’s home to “Dinky-Di” Australian wildlife …
From Eastern Grey kangaroos and large goannas (Lace Monitors, or tree goannas) to kookaburras, koalas (if you are lucky), emus, possums and snakes, the Murray River region in and outside of Echuca-Moama always has a reptile or furry friend that may make its way into your frame.
The sunsets and sunrises
There’s nothing quite like catching a sunset or sunrise than on the mighty Murray, especially when the sky becomes a blaze of pink or orange, and a cacophony of Kookaburras and cockatoos fires up to make sure you know you’re in the thick of some of nature’s finest country. Another great thing about sunrises or sunsets on the Murray is you may even get lucky to catch some large fish jumping up for the insects on dusk or dawn.
Port of Echuca, paddlesteamers and the Echuca Wharf
Heritage listed Echuca Wharf was an incredibly big part of daily life on the busy Murray River in the late 1800s and it’s a stunner to see while cruising towards it. The river trade played a big role in the pastoral boom way back then. Today the wharf is still operational with tourist packed paddlesteamers leaving from the wharf daily. The Port of Echuca surrounds the wharf on the riverbanks of Echuca-Moama, an open-air museum tracing the history of Echuca’s river wharf, shipbuilders, sawmills and novelty stores of yesteryear.
Here’s a poem by Ray Clarke (http://www.poetry.com/poems/701518-Mighty-Murray-river) that sets the scene beautifully…
Mighty Murray River, winding through this land
Mighty Murray River, always in demand
Mighty Murray River, flowing endlessly
This mighty muddy river’s only searching to be free
There are days it seems to be, that you’re almost standing still
Reflecting back a landscape, for watching eyes to thrill
And as you catch a red sunset, with the sky lit like a flame
The beauty and the splendour, to you it’s all the same
And those nights the moon and stars, also do their magic show
You can change your face to silver, reflecting back their glow
But day or night it’s plain to see, just how much you’re really worth
To each and every life form, living on your path on earth
This mighty river, this muddy river’s our Murray River