When life hands you two nights accommodation at a spa resort in a cute little country town, you say goodbye to work and hello to champagne on arrival.
Echuca is a small town on the Victorian side of the Murray River, with big character, a lot of history and a large number of paddlesteamers. Moama is Echuca’s sister town on the New South Wales side of the river. In Moama is Madison Spa Resort. This beautiful country-style spa resort is where a room with a gas log fire and a spa bath overlooking the beautiful surrounding bushland awaited us – the perfect winter escape.
We had one full day to explore Echuca Moama and we started with the obligatory paddlesteamer cruise. Winter is off-peak tourist season, so we were the only two aboard the PS Canberra for what turned out to be a pretty sweet hour-long private charter along the Murray River. The Captain even handed over the reigns and let us have a go at the steering.
We then wandered through Echuca’s historic Port Precinct and found ourselves at the cellar door of St Anne’s Winery. Here they offer wine tastings accompanied by free bike hire. Yes. Free bikes. At a winery. I can’t think of a more perfect combination. So Matt and I had some wine and then went for a bike ride along the river bank to find a nice spot for a picnic lunch. But first, we stopped off at the Echuca Farmhouse Cheese for a cheese tasting, with more wine of course, and grabbed some delicious macarons from the Black Pudding Deli (which, in my opinion, also serves up the best soy cap in town).
Sharp’s Movie House and Penny Arcade is also located in the Port Precinct. The beautiful antique arcade machines are in working order and the black and white silent movies playing in the theatre give this cute little place some great atmosphere. It is definitely worth a visit, even if it’s just for the antique peep show machines featuring risqué slides of scantily clad women from the early 1900s.
We had one day in Echuca and it wasn’t enough. The region is a haven for food lovers and wine drinkers. There are bike trails and walking tracks. Echuca Moama is a great place for a winter weekend escape. I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.