We spent our last few days in Sydney just doing everyday things as well as catching up with Simone for lunch in Parramatta and enjoying a lovely Thai meal with Chris and Jamie when they returned home after time spent in the US.   Before we knew it, we were saying goodbye to the creatures and catching a short flight to Melbourne for the next stage of our trip. 

We have some friends who live in Echuca-Moama in northern Victoria, so we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to visit them and to spend some time touring a part of Victoria that we haven’t seen before.

We were delayed in a huge traffic jam coming out of Melbourne as this was a long holiday-weekend for Labor Day.  By the time we arrived in Echuca it was already dark and we noticed huge swarms of what we took to be moths swirling in the floodlights of the town and hitting the windscreen of the car.  They looked like a snowstorm in a globe – you know the kind you had at Christmas when you were a kid?  On arrival, it became apparent that they weren’t moths at all, but crickets and locusts which have been in evidence of biblical proportions since the area was subjected to heavy rain and flooding recently.  EEwwww!!

As we stepped out of our car, we could see that the front of the car was splattered with dead insects which had also stuck in the car’s radiator.  So THAT was why the locals all had a net covering the front of their vehicles!

  Echuca is a town located on the banks of the Murray River in Victoria, Australia.  The twin town of Moama is on the northern side of the river in New South Wales.  Echuca, an Aboriginal name meaning “Meeting of the Waters” is indicative of the role rivers have played in the town’s existence, being situated close to the junction of the Goulburn, Campaspe and Murray Rivers. Its location at the closest point of the Murray to Melbourne contributed to its development as a thriving river port city during the 19th century.

The town is known as Australia’s Paddle Steamer capital, and the Port of Echuca is home to the largest Paddle Steamer fleet in the world, which includes the world’s oldest surviving wooden hulled paddle boat, the 1866 built PS Adelaide.

We wandered around the historic port, took a river cruise on the Pride of the Murray and enjoyed a fantastic lunch at Morrison’s Winery with Jen and Pat…..check out the delicious menu on their website!

Later in the day, whilst me and Jen chatted over a bottle of champagne, Pat took Michael to the Moama Bowling club (which is SO much more than just a bowling club) for his first game of bowls.  It seems that Michael was a natural!