Back Then – Murray River
1865 – PS Adelaide
PS Adelaide is the oldest wooden paddle steamer still operating in the world. It is now based at the Port of Echuca Wharf and is only ever used on special occasions. PS Adelaide was built by George Linklater. It was mainly used to transport the wool from sheep stations along the Murray to the Port of Echuca. During the time PS Adelaide was based at Echuca, it was also used as a Passenger Steamer to take local ladies who lived on properties located on the edge of the Murray to town for shopping. Eventually, PS Adelaide was used by a sawmill company who used the vessel for logging timber. It stayed with the company until 1958 when it was moved to Adelaide after it was sold again. Years later, it was returned to Echuca and placed in a local park for display. It was eventually restored and ready to be used again on the Murray as a tourist steamer. Its now back at the Port of Echuca where it is located with many steamers used for tourism.
1915 – Murray River Water Agreement.
In 1915 New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia where the Murray River runs through all signed a Water Agreement. As a result of this agreement, locks, storage reservoirs and weirs were built along the river to assist with navigation of the river for the paddle steamers. Three large reservoirs were built along the Murray River, known as Lake Hume, Lake Mulwala and Lake Dartmouth. The Murray also receives water from the Snowy River which runs into the Murray River upstream of Lake Hume. Barrages were built in the late 1930’s early 1940’s near the opening of the Murray River to help stop the egress of seawater into the river, especially when the water levels are low. Farmers who have properties along the Murray River have also signed water agreements with the government as to how much water they are allowed to use on their land for the crops and animals.
1965 – Swan Hill
In 1965 Swan Hill became a city. Swan Hill was part of the Swan Hill Road District which was most of the North West Region of Victoria. The Shire of Castle Donnington was removed from the district and was eventually renamed the Shire of Swan Hill. A small area near Swan Hill separated themselves from the Shire in 1939 and was eventually incorporated into the Borough of Swan Hill, which eventually changed to the City of Swan Hill. Swan Hill is now known as the Rural City of Swan Hill. This year Swan Hill residents will celebrate their 50th Birthday of the naming of their city. It is a great place for dining, tourists and to live. There is so much to see and do around Swan Hill.
2015 – PS Cumberoona
The PS Cumberoona was built during the 1980s as a project for the Bicentennial Year of 1988. Total cost for this project was $840,000. It was launched in 1986 and did not start working until a year later. It is 25.2 metres long and 6.5 metres wide. It was used as a tourist cruise steamer in Albury on the Murray from the late 1980s until 2006. It was moored at Noreuil Park. Over the last few years the Cumberoona has been in dry dock due to the water levels of the Murray River and the fact that it hasn’t had anyone to run it since 2007. It has since been repaired and is now ready to run once again. It was recently moved to Yarrawonga and will mainly run cruises out of Yarrawonga and will eventually run cruises from Albury when the water levels of the Murray River are right. It will be great to see the Cumberoona back up and running tourist cruises on the Murray River once again.