After leaving Melbourne our journey took us onto Echuca. It was raining heavily almost the whole way there so it made for a pretty dreary drive. The highlight was what I’m going to name ‘Roo Kill Road’. Along all the roads in Australia, they like to point out the kind of animals to be aware of when you drive and along our many thousands of kilometres, we had seen lots of kangaroo signs. We’d also seen a fair amount of dead roo’s that had been pulled to the side of the road after they’d been hit. This road however, seemed to have more that it’s fair share. Barry and I had decided to play a game of who can spot the dead roo first. On our last count on Roo Kill Road, I was winning 7-5.
As we pulled into Echuca, the sun started to come out and ended up being quite warm, so we were hopeful that the next day would be a sunny one as we had lots planned…it was and we actually had to break out the suncream. It had been a while! Our new home was the Echuca Holiday Park.
The day started with a stroll to one of the old streets, where it had been left to look like it would’ve done last century. Barry got very excited when he saw an old trough on the side of the street as it meant he could put the horse’s head to good use. As I was busy taking his picture whilst he posed like an idiot, an old guy offered to take our photo. I politely declined (didn’t want to be seen with a horse) but he insisted, so Barry took off the head and posed with me. When we got back that night, Barry was very puzzled with the picture as he just couldn’t understand what the old man was taking – it was just us standing in a random street!
The first place we stopped at was Sharps Magic Movie House & Penny Arcade. We paid $15 to get in and were given a tub of old pennies to use. First off Barry had his fortune read. It was slightly worrying as it said a friend would urge him to take a trip and that he shouldn’t do it – guess it was too late for that! We got to play all sorts of old school games including pinball machines, personality indicators (I got selfish and was not impressed with that!) and mutoscopes – where you look through the eye holes, wind the machine and it plays a film through pictures. Of course Barry managed to find the version that had all naked ladies in it!
After the arcade we decided it was time for some lunch so we went to The Star Hotel where we had a delicious meal consisting of a Ceaser Salad for me and a wrap and chips for Barry. It was an old pub so naturally we had to have some alcohol to washit down with and this is where it got confusing. Barry wanted a beer, but in the state of Victoria where we currently were, all the measurements were different. On the menu it said you could have a jug, so, intrigued, Barry asked what a jug was. Turns out it was Victoria’s version of a pint, only it was no where near the size of a pint, more like half a pint. But it was the biggest he was going to get, so ordered it anyway.
Having finished our meal we headed to the dock, where we’d booked ourselves tickets to travel along the Murray River on a paddle steamboat – The Pevensey. This is what Echuca was famous for, so we couldn’t really come here without going out on one of the boats. As we climbed aboard, we were told to go and have a look around. The boat was left as it would’ve been years ago, with its old style cabins and kitchen. The engine was all on show, so you got to see it moving and could smell the coal burning. As we sailed down the river, the banks were lined with other paddleboats – dozens of them. It looked as though everybody that lived there owned one. You could even hire out fancy versions to have parties on.
After an hour of paddling, we were back at the dock and ready to make our last stop on our tour of Echuca – St Anne’s Cellar Door for some port and wine tasting. We’d enjoyed the port and wine from our previous tastings so much, that we had to stock up on some more. St Anne’s was renowned for it’s port, particularly White Port that we really wanted to try. So we did and ended up leaving with a bottle of white port, red port and some sweet red wine.