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Echuca

Trip Planner South Pacific  /  Australia  /  Victoria  /  Echuca
(4.3/5 based on 2,400+ reviews for top 20 attractions)
Things to do: museums, sightseeing, spas
Echuca is a town located on the banks of the Murray River and Campaspe River in Victoria, Australia. The Border town Moama is 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 of the 2011 census, Echuca had a population of 13,708.Echuca, an Aboriginal name meaning "Meeting of the Waters" is indicative of the role rivers have played in the town's existence. Echuca is situated 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.HistoryFoundationEchuca was founded by one of the most enterprising characters of the early colonial days, an ex-convict named Henry Hopwood. In 1850 he bought a small punt which operated across the Murray River near the Campaspe junction. The relatively small settlement known as "Hopwood's Ferry" became Echuca as the town grew. The Post Office known as Hopwoods Punt opened around 1854 and was renamed Echuca on 1 January 1855.While the settlers at Echuca treated the local Aborigines with relative kindness, their way of life was irrevocably changed by their relationship with the Europeans. Having already been decimated by smallpox in the late 1820s, in the 1850s many Aborigines developed a taste for European luxuries such as bread, tobacco and alcohol. They were relegated to the role of fringe-dwellers, living on the banks of the Murray, and occasionally entering into the European economy as fishermen and farm labourers, and by selling the possum rugs which they crafted.
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