Walking in the footsteps of history

By Ivy Jensen

ECHUCA Historical Society is now offering a guided heritage walking tour shedding new light on Echuca-Moama’s earliest days.

EHS tour guide Gwen Potter provides a wealth of facts and insights about how and why the twin towns were founded.

Gwen takes visitors to stand on the spot at key sites and learn about the driving forces behind town settlement and the renowned 1800s riverboat era. 

Visitors can follow in the footsteps of Echuca founder Henry Hopwood, an ex-convict turned ruthless business tycoon, to his punt and bridge locations and other sites unique in Australian history. 

Gwen’s vivid commentary covers stories of power and ambition, wool, timber and cattle dealing, illicit drinkers and their escape tunnels, scarlet ladies, colonial law-breakers, devastating floods and lots more during the hour-long tour.

EHS president Dot Hammond said the walk “explained clearly where, why and how Echuca was established”.

“People get to hear about the background of the earliest characters in town and stories about the heritage buildings we still have – these are certainly not obvious just by walking around,” Dot said.

The tour begins and ends at Echuca Historical Museum, corner of Dickson and Warren Sts, opposite Hopwood Gardens near the port.

The cost is $15 per person, $30 for a family.

Gwen is also able to board visiting coaches and deliver a commentary that takes in the important Moama historical precinct, as well as sites in Echuca.

The walks run until the close of winter on May 31, 2020. To book walks and coach tours with Gwen call 0456 223 184.