We snuck off for a quick family holiday over the Easter break.
We drove the three hour trip from the Yarra Valley and arrived just in time to dump our things and head off for dinner. The hosts of the holiday park informed us that there was a twilight market and fireworks down by the Murray River for an Easter celebration. The rain didn't put anyone off and the crowds pulled in for an amazing fireworks show and the paddle steamers gave us a runway show down the river. There was a roaming Easter Bunny giving out chocolate eggs and unintentionally scaring my daughter. Trying to find a car park was near impossible so getting there early would have been better.
There was a pick of pubs around to eat dinner but I found that Echuca isn't really a town that caters for vegetarians (based on menu options).
Murray River Holiday Park
We stayed at the cutest little holiday park just over the bridge in Moama. The pool would have been so much fun if it was hotter. There's little pedal carts you can hire for $10p/hr including helmets for the kids (or grown-ups).
The cabin had three bedrooms (sleeps 7) so everyone had their own room. I was still connected to the world via wifi available in the cabin and the TV's had DVD players so don't forget your family movies! We either ate out or ordered takeaway for dinners but the kitchen was fully equiped for cooking if you prefer.
The hosts were so lovely and you can tell they really love their holiday park. Everything is well maintained and clean.
Paddlesteamers & Port of Echuca
You cannot go to Echuca and not go on a paddlesteamer!
We were lucky enough to be able to get onboard the PS Pevensey, the 106 year old paddle steamer. She's the largest one on the Murray and is still running off her original steam engine.
There's a cafe on board for light snacks, colouring sheets and the kids get an opportunity to steer the steamer and get a certificate for doing so at the end of the trip. It's a one hour round trip up the Murray. There's toilets onboard so don't worry about getting stuck with kids needing to go.
Tickets are available from a kiosk on the Port of Echuca. Check the website for cruise times and prices.
As you disembark the paddle steamer you exit onto the historical Port of Echuca. Get taken back in time as you wander the strip.
Get some old time photographs done in costume or take a ride on the horse-drawn carriages down the Main Street of Echuca.
The Port of Echuca runs parallel to Main St, Echuca where you can grab some lunch t one of the many pubs or cafes. We chose the delicious burgers from Bruburger. Surprise, surprise the kids got chips and nuggets though.
This place is totally worth the two hour round trip to Strathmerton just for the Insta worthy photographs!
Take a stroll trough the desert and be amazed at the impressive varieties of cactus. We ended up getting the pram out of the car half way through as it was too much of a walk in the heat for little Kaylee.
Finish your walk with some nachos at the cafe and maybe even a cheeky margarita (or slurpee for the kids).
Don't forget to grab your sombrero on your way into the garden for some fun photos! We didn't know they were there to borrow until we came back.
Plan to spend a whole day at Billabong Ranch. We only had a window of one hour and we managed to squeeze in a round of indoor mini golf and a cruise around the dam on the pedal boats.
Don't expect it to be an easy drive to Billabong Ranch. It's a long drive down a dirt road and my car was filthy when we left.
There's plenty of other activities to do while you're there and a cafe to refuel in-between.
Be sure to check out Echuca Supapass for discounts and family passes.
Echuca is a pet-friendly town. Dogs are able to visit most of the same places as you!
Other places of interest:
Check out our Echuca trip Stories saved in highlights on Instagram Chance of Grace