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Echuca

Echuca is a town on the banks of the Murray River and Campaspe River in Victoria, Australia.

Details

  • Area:143.745 km2
  • Elevation:100 m
  • Population:14,043
  • Local Government Area:Shire of Campaspe

Description

Echuca is a town on the banks of the Murray River and Campaspe River in Victoria, Australia. The border town of Moama is adjacent on the northern side of the Murray River in New South Wales. Echuca is the administrative centre and largest settlement in the Shire of Campaspe. As at June 2018 Echuca had a population of 14,934, and the population of the combined Echuca and Moama townships was 21,242 at the same time. Echuca lies within traditional Yorta Yorta country. The town's name is a Yorta Yorta word meaning "meeting of the waters". Echuca is close to the junction of the Goulburn, Campaspe, and Murray Rivers. Its position at the closest point of the Murray to Melbourne contributed to its development as a thriving river port city during the 19th century. # History ## Origins The riverine plains of the Goulburn Broken catchment are the traditional lands of the Yorta Yorta Nation. The population of the Yorta Yorta before European contact is estimated to have been approximately 2400. The Yorta Yorta were dispossessed of their traditional lands and left to eke out an existence on the edges of European settlements as remnant tribal groups.Present-day Echuca was founded by one of the most enterprising figures of the early colonial period, an ex-convict named Henry Hopwood. In 1850 he purchased a small punt to ferry people and goods across the Murray River near the Campaspe junction. The small settlement known as Hopwood's Ferry grew to become the town of Echuca. The Hopwood's Punt Post Office opened around 1854 and was renamed Echuca Post Office on 1 January 1855. ## Australia's inland port By the 1870s Echuca had risen to prominence as Australia's largest inland port. Being the point of shortest distance between the Murray River and the major city of Melbourne, Echuca was both a key river port and railway junction. Steam-driven paddleboats would arrive at the 332-metre long redgum Echuca Wharf, which were unloaded by hydraulic crane, and the goods then transported by rail to Melbourne. Wool, wheat, other grains, livestock, and timber were the most common commodities transported to Echuca. The wharf has been listed as a Heritage Place on the Australian National Heritage List. This industrial boom led to a rapidly expanding population, at one stage in excess of 6000, with more than a hundred pubs/hotels rumoured to exist in the Echuca district at one time. An iron bridge was constructed over the Murray River in 1878 by the NSW Railways Department. ## Decline The expansion of the railways from Melbourne to most parts of Victoria, as well as improvements to roads and fickle river conditions all combined to lessen Echuca's importance, and by the 1890s the paddlesteamer fleet was in decline. An economic depression and the collapse of several banks virtually ended Echuca's role as a major economic centre, and its population began to disperse. # Weather # Things to do

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