Maybe it’s all those European cruisers desperate for a fix, but Outback Pioneers’ historic paddlewheeler, the Pride of the Murray, is already sold out after an incredible 1750-kilometre-long journey to Longreach by road after 26 years at Echuca.
The company is considering extending her normal tour season into the summer to meet demand, despite temperatures that can soar as high as 40 degrees.
The 100-year-old vessel was bought recently and joins the smaller Thomson Belle in cruising the Thomson River.
She has a chequered history. She was built in 1924 to transport wool bales in Victoria.
When she was no longer needed, she was sunk in her namesake river.
Beneath the water, she remained well preserved and, in 1973, Captain Maxwell Carrington decided she was worth restoring. He purchased the boat for $100, and after removing 250 tonnes of silt, refloated her.
In 1977, the revitalised diesel-electric passenger boat began a new life as a tourist vessel. Now she does 1.5 and four-hour cruises.
Explore more: outbackpioneers.com.au