Only 2.5 hours from Melbourne City, you will come across the historic port town of Echuca, located on the Murray River. It is Australia’s Paddle Steamer capital with a rich and exciting colonial heritage and with plenty to see and do with kids.
To understand all about the history, jump aboard a paddlesteamer with Murray River Paddlesteamers or Echuca Paddlesteamers. Discover what life was like in the early 1900’s when the Port of Echuca was Australia’s largest inland Port and the old paddlesteamers ruled the mighty Murray River. Kids can even try their hands at the wheel and steering the steamer (the kids will love this).
Sat on the riverbanks, right where the paddlesteamers leave from, is the Port of Echuca Discovery Centre. Take a guided tour which will teach you the history and importance of the river trade in Echuca/Moama. Each tour is designed around what ages the people are on the tour. The Discovery Centre also has a new kids trail, which is interactive and the kids have to find the answers to a quiz. They also get to dress up in old fashioned costumes and play, all whilst learning. Cool.
The main street of Echuca takes you back in time as the buildings and architecture are from the olden days. Take a stroll down the main street and see all the quaint shops and cafes. Be sure to stop in at the Olde Penny Arcade. It has some delicious homemade fudge and ice cream, but it has over 50 old time arcade games for the kids to play, as well as a black and white movie (something the kids have probably never seen!!)
If you are heading to Echuca during Spring, Summer or Autumn, be sure to pop by The Strawberry Pick, where you can pick your own strawberries!
On the Moama side of the river lie all the sporting clubs and a lot of the family friendly accommodation/caravan parks.
The Rich River Golf Club has an awesome new mini golf course that will be a hit with the kids. See who comes out the winner. Grab a bite to eat at their restaurant or café, which has an indoor kid’s area.
One of the most family friendly resorts (and one I recommend you staying at) is Moama on the Murray. It has everything you could want when staying with kids. All villas are self-contained and set in a beautiful location. There is mini golf, a tennis court, two pools, canoes, pedal cars, animal feeding and on a Sunday morning they do a pancake breakfast for everyone! On site is Squiggles Playhouse, an indoor playhouse with a dinosaur themed water park, scooter track and giant jumping pillow.
The Echuca Workers Club have put in an amazing new kid’s room and teenage retreat. Why not go there for dinner and get some peace and quiet whilst the kids run wild. They even offer a courtesy bus (winning).
You will be sure to find something to suit everyone in Echuca/Moama. With so much to do, the kids won’t have time to say “I am bored”.
What are you waiting for? It’s close to Melbourne and has everything a family needs for a week or weekend, so head on up to Echuca/Moama. You won’t be disappointed!