I love a good ye olde town. Clydesdales clopping down a dirt street, boiled lollies lined up on counter tops in glass jars, staff dressed in multiple layered period costumes whatever the weather. It’s history without the bad bits like the putrid stench of open sewers and the threat of death from Tuberculosis.
The Old Port of Echuca
has everything you expect from a good ye olde town and unlike other such historical representations scattered around the state of Victoria, it’s free. Set along a street running parallel to the Murray River the Old Port features all of those ye olde type businesses that you’d expect.
There’s a working blacksmith shop where you can purchase a wine rack made of horse shoes, garden ornaments or whatever it is that the blacksmith happens to be making at the time.
There’s a wood turner’s shop where the floor
is covered in sawdust in which you can buy very realistic renderings of fruit carved from wood or a key holder to hang in your hallway.
And there’s the tourist trinket shop selling tea towels, pens and postcards. It also sells the key rings to hang from the holder at the wood turner’s shop. In the corner there is a TV playing a never ending loop of “All the Rivers Run” the 1980’s miniseries starting Sigrid Thornton and John Walters which was set in Echuca.
There is even the obligatory fudge shop. Fudge must have been very popular in the ye olde days although it never seems to be mentioned much in historical records.
If the gentle giants of the horse world are your thing Clydesdale drawn carriages run through the old port and then down the main street of Echuca with the cars for an old meets new experience. It was disappointing to see the driver of the carriage complete with authentic bush ranger beard talking on a mobile phone. For goodness sake old chap; stay in character and keep the magic alive.