Two felons sentenced to transportation in the same English court in Lancaster on the same day in 1834 and who became sworn enemies in the land Down Under were the founders of the twin Murray River towns of Moama and Echuca.
James Maiden gave Moama the initial kick-start by establishing a punt crossing on the northern side of the river, while Henry Hopwood’s hotel and ferry operated from the Echuca bank.
When Maiden was forced to close his punt operation for a refit, it was boom time for Hopwood and Echuca and Moama has never closed the growth gap.
Echuca, of course, became the largest inland port in Australia in the golden age of the paddlesteamers. At one time the port of Echuca stretched over 1.2km and had three wharf decks to accommodate the river’s ever-changing levels.
Today these twin resort towns retain the romance of the river boat era.
Find out more about the Goulburn-Murray Waters
region of Victoria.