What locals love about Echuca Moama

If you want to know the inside scoop, you should ask the people who live there. Hear what five locals love about the twin towns of Echuca Moama – from cruising the Murray to long winery lunches, birdwatching, great cafe food and two-wheeled adventures.

Destination NSW

Destination NSW

Jul 01 -
3
min read
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Meet the ranger

Amanda, a ranger with the National Parks and Wildlife Service, moved to the Echuca Moama area more than 11 years ago and still feels lucky to work in this unique environment. “Being near the river and among the red gum forest; it’s just a beautiful atmosphere,” she says.

One of her favourite local spots is the Reed Beds Bird Hide in the Murray Valley National Park at Mathoura, a half hour drive from Echuca Moama on the way to Deniliquin. There are informative panels along the boardwalk, which can help you identify the myriad species that call this place home.

“The walk there is pretty special itself and something that I really enjoy,” she says. “You go through a red gum forest before you get to the reeds, so you are looking at two different environments and will see woodland birds as well as wetland birds."

“If you’re lucky, you might get to see some baby purple swamp hens as they nest below the hide.”

 

Meet the guides

David and Suzanna Barry are the passionate owners and guides behind Green Pedal E-Bike Hire & Cycling Tours in Echuca Moama, a town easily explored on two wheels.

Purchasing their own e-bikes and cycling around their hometown spurred the Barrys to start the business.

“David loves people and he has a passion for sharing his local knowledge,” says Suzanna. “He also enjoys history and, if you’re on a bike tour with him, you’re likely to learn a few interesting things about the region.”

The couple also love exploring the local food options.

“There are so many great cafes in the area,” she says. “But one of our favourites – and one that we recommend to people who hire our bikes – is the Three Black Sheep in Moama. It’s a lovely scenic ride that takes only 20 minutes. They serve great coffee and have lots of choices for breakfast and lunch.”

If it’s on the menu, don’t miss the calamari and chorizo risotto.

 

Meet the winemaker

Richard McLean has been making wines in Moama for 22 years as head winemaker at the family-owned St Anne’s Winery. The winery creates a fascinating range of drops, from toasty chardonnays and herby sauv blancs, to spicy shirazes and fabulous fortified tawnys.

Richard is a dyed-in-the-wool fan of the region. “Our area has a genuine rural atmosphere and an idyllic country lifestyle but is so close and well connected to many large regional centres,” he says.

And the weather, too. “Sure, it can get hot in summer, but there’s no place like Moama in spring – just beautiful, day in, day out. Grab a bottle of local wine and find a quiet spot to sit by The Murray on a sunny afternoon. You’ll fall in love with this area just like I did 22 years ago.”

Where to buy that wine? Visit St Anne’s Winery and pop into the rammed earth Moama Cellar Door overlooking their lake.

 

Meet the paddlesteamer captain

James McDougall is a paddlesteamer captain with Murray River Paddlesteamers, which operates three ships up and down the mighty Murray, including the iconic PS Emmylou (named after country great Emmylou Harris), the world’s only wood-fired cruising paddlesteamer.

The Murray region is great to experience from the water.

PS Emmylou, Murray River Paddlesteamers

The world’s only wood-fired cruising paddlesteamer PS Emmylou, Murray River Paddlesteamers

“The crew on board are all locally based, and they are a great resource,” says James. “They are eager to point out all the interesting facts about the river and the region, and tell you about places you wouldn’t normally see when you’re visiting the area. For example, there are hundreds of islands within the waterways to explore, shaded by beautiful red river gums. You can explore for years and still never see it all."

“That’s the best part about travelling the river on PS Emmylou – being able to fully immerse yourself in the region and experience it from a local’s perspective.”

 

Meet a winery manager

Even though Eleisha Catalano, who’s the manager of Morrisons Riverview Winery & Restaurant in Moama, has lived in town for 14 years, she still relishes exploring the region’s many places for walking and biking.

“We have a great community here,” she says. “And I really enjoy the events that come to the region, including Moama Lights, local markets and festivals.”

Her must-do tip for visitors? “I think everyone should take the Wharf to Winery tour [on the river]. You’ll cruise from the Port of Echuca to Morrisons for a two-course lunch and drinks, then back to the port in the afternoon. It’s a really unique experience being able to arrive at a restaurant by paddlesteamer.”

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