Words & images by Chris Q.
On the weekend of the 26th, 27th and 28th November a group of 18 attended the Echuca Weekend Away, in Echuca of course. After much deliberation and planning, we set off (albeit in different directions, and not on time lol) for Echuca from Melbourne, with one attendee driving his historic vehicle down from Wollongong. We arrived at our respective AirBNB accomodation residences and settled in for a weekend that promised to cater for everyone.
Our first event was the dinner at the Shamrock Hotel, an Irish themed pub that boasted 101 Parma’s on their menu, although most only consumed one. We returned to house number 2, the larger of the two properties for nibblies and drinks before getting some much needed rest as Saturday was penciled to be a rather full on day.
Saturday Morning Club Breakfast was prepared by Nick Bassett, Chris Dunkinson and myself over at house 2, there was food a plenty and no one was to leave hungry. We then set off for the National Holden Museum, Mark and Tony the owners of the museum put on an airbag demonstration and answered any questions as we walked through the museum, it included early model Holden Cars, Engines, Equipment, Signage etc right through to the modern day variant.
A short drive south to Rochester lead by Echuca local Bruce Pearson and his partner Jak who had joined us for the day brought us to the Silo art right along the main street of town. A quick photo opportunity and we were off again to the riverbank – Gordon brought his trusty roadtrip bbq and he and yours truely cooked up some gourmet sausages in bread, and those that had a sweet tooth polished it off with a muffin. (They were huge!).
After lunch we returned to Echuca via a different route that Bruce had planned for us – Right upto the beer shed. Some of us took advantage of the upgraded ticket which included a stubby holder and choice of beverage for an extra $5 whilst we walked around the collection. Neil the curator and owner of the museum has been collecting for some 40+ years, and his latest inclusion he stated to be the wooden wagon and horse harness equipment that had been donated to him from Carlton United Breweries. His collection also included old farm machinery, cars, Kodak equipment and paraphernalia which kept Gordon amused for a while, as well as a collection of old household wares from yesteryear – all in all the Great Australian Beer Shed was a real eye opener and a must visit.
We called into Bruces residence to have a poke around, with his permission – and after much deliberation and pondering from those of us mechanical minded enough to have a tinker, we got one of his red tractors going, and was driven around his yard by anyone who was able to make it up into the driving position unaided, that included Gordon, Chris Q, Chris D, Matt NM, Jason A.
Saturday evening consisted of dinner at The Royal Hotel, where most took advantage of the 3 for $20 deal on Espresso Martini’s during their happy hour – Both hotels provided an excellent meal and service, and I think we would all recommend.
After dinner we found ourselves at the Port of Echuca Discovery Centre where Bec our host with all the ghostly stories took us on an adventure and shared with us some interesting stories of times gone by at the port – Including the Star Hotels underground bar, and murder alley!
Back at the House 2, Nick, Paul, and Chris G won a bucket each in the random raffle, which consisted of car cleaning products, a pen, a couple of Motafrenz key rings and stickers.
Sunday we checked out of our accomodation and boarded the PS Canberra, which is fitting as one of next years weekends away is planned for the nations capital. this 100 year old paddlesteamer took us on a 30 min journey out to Morrisons Winery.
At Morrisons Winery we enjoyed a 2 course lunch and some lovely NSW wine before returning via the Canberra to Echuca and dispersing for our respective journey home.
All in all an enjoyable weekend was had by all.
On behalf of Matt NM and myself, thanks goes out to those who attended and contributed to a fantastic weekend, and we look forward to planning the Canberra trip next year.