Almanac Road Trip: Part 2 – Echuca to Swan Hill


Echuca was a pea souper when we left, not ideal conditions for driving let alone while towing a caravan. However, it was steady as it goes though disappointing we could not distinguish much of the scenery. The fog remained for most of the trip to Swan Hill.


Meryl was keen to stop in Gunbower to check out the Gunbower National Park but the fog made it difficult to find directions to the park. We took a punt and turned right from the highway and  discovered the Gunbower Creek. With the mist thinning it provided an opportunity to take a few atmospheric photos of a very still creek as my photos below indicate.


Gunbower Creek



Gunbower Creek


Cohuna was our stop for a coffee and cake, but turned out to be coffee  and waffles, and very nice indeed. What immediately struck us in Cohuna is how clean and tidy everything is, obviously a lot of civic pride here.








The waffles were magnificent!


Thankfully the fog thinned out considerably by the time we finished our morning tea, and after some purchases from a lovely produce store we were on the road again.


Finally arrived in Swan Hill with the sun breaking through the still lingering but dissipating fog.


My only previous visit to Swan Hill was a weekend induction course for newly elected councillors  nearly thirty-five years ago so my memory is hazy of the place. I remember visiting the Pioneer Village and drinks on a paddle steamer. I suppose things have changed there since that visit. Undoubtably we’ll soon find out.


From the caravan park there is a walking track to, and along the river to the Swan Hill Pioneer Village for a leisurely stroll to take in the surrounding sights. I was expecting to see a lot more older buildings than I have so far which surprised me. Were many demolished in the name of progress?


From the walking track beside the Murray, Swan Hill



Bridge across the Murray, Swan Hill



Close up view of bridge



Liked the lines of the branches going different directions


One of the reasons we made the spur of the moment decision for this trip was to hopefully experience some warmer weather. Little did we know! With steady rain overnight, and today bitterly cold, and with threatening skies, today’s sightseeing had to be of the indoor variety.


Catalina Museum Lake Boga




A short trip by car to Lake Boga to visit the ‘Home of the Catalina Museum’ was our choice for today. Meryl’s father  flew in Catalinas as a navigator during WW2 so she was keen for a close up look at the plane.


Navigator’s seat from a Catalina. Meryl’s father sat on a similar seat.


A fully restored Catalina takes pride of place in the centre of the building and it is an impressive sight. The size of the plane, and the basic, rudimentary cockpit, makes one wonder about the difficulties experienced flying such a cumbersome plane. It leads you to appreciate the skill and courage of these aviators. It is an interesting museum full of bits and pieces from and associated with the aircraft help tell an amazing story of the Catalina’s relationship with Lake Boga.




Lake Boga



Next stop, Mildura!


Home on the road



All photos taken by Col on his iPhone.


You can read Part 1 of Col’s trip Here



More from Col Ritchie can be read Here


To return to the  home page click HERE


Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


Do you enjoy the Almanac concept?
And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help keep things ticking over please consider making your own contribution.


Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE
One-off financial contribution – CLICK HERE
Regular financial contribution (monthly EFT) – CLICK HERE




About Colin Ritchie

Retired teacher who enjoys following the Bombers, listening to music especially Bob Dylan, reading, and swimming.


  1. What a brilliant illustrated account, Col. We are just back from a week in the high country from Corryong to Yarrawonga as part of my wife’s aim to trace the Murray from source to sea. In small discrete chunks of course. My diary lacks your quality of photographs and text and is not something for circulation beyond the family. Your offering will be very useful when we follow in your footsteps. My colleague Marnie Haig-Muir’s father was in Catalinas during the war, so I am sending her the link. Thanks for sharing this, Col.

  2. Peter Clark says

    The road trip sounds and looks like a hoot Col. Your artistic pics convey the life and colour of the Murray environment in those parts. And the buildings too… perhaps a footy ground could take your eye?

    Swan Hill is a second home for me. I lived thereabouts for several years as a young chalkie at Tooleybuc. Stop by the river there on your way to Mildura if you have the time.

    Enjoy the gentle flow downstream.

  3. Enjoying your trip from afar Col. Beautiful images.

  4. roger lowrey says

    Hey Col, do I assume that by the time I get to Swan Hill next Friday for the three day Cup carnival you will be in Mildura by then? Kindly advise. RDL

  5. Colin Ritchie says

    Thanks for the comments everyone. RDL, we hopefully will be in Hawker or Wilpena Pound by then.

  6. Jodie Russ says

    It’s well worth taking the backroads too ?
    Hi from Quambatook ?

Leave a Comment