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Pride of the Murray
How did the Pride of the Murray end up on the Thomson
As its name suggests, the Pride of the Murray started its life on the River Murray in Victoria. Built in 1924, she was originally a wool barge.
After being converted to a paddlewheeler in the 1970s, she was a much loved sight in Echuca offering tourist cruises and a venue for special occasions.
She was put up for sale in 2022 and Richard Kinnon of Outback Pioneers knew she was just the historic vessel he needed to expand the company’s cruises on the Thomson River in Longreach. The only problem was getting her there!
An incredible journey
Moving the Pride of the Murray overland from Echuca to Longreach in May 2022 was the largest overland marine transport operation ever undertaken in Australia. Handling a fragile old lady and navigating her through the backroads of three states was either brave or crazy, or perhaps a bit of both! Richard Kinnon felt passionately that for an authentic pioneer story, he needed a real paddlewheeler and not just a reproduction. He personally travelled to Victoria to oversee her removal from the water and to make sure she was secure for the 1750 kilometre journey to her new home!
Some of the facts of the journey:
She was fully restored for her new role in Longreach and was launched there in June 2022. For the four remaining months of the 2022 tourist season, she cruised alongside the Thomson Belle at sunset, drawing visitors from around Australia.