- Parks and recreation
- Resale or rental value
- Eating out
Not great for
Who lives here?
- Families With Kids
Reviews of Echuca, VIC
"BEWARE of what lurks behind the picturesque Murray and gum trees"
Last updated : 03/03/22
Echuca is a city of natural beauty and the people are generally friendly, but some are quite abrupt/cliquey. Shops suffice for everyday needs. Echuca is unbearable in the holiday season and long weekends. Summers are hot and dry and UV radiation is bad.
Drugs (including alcohol) and crime are very serious problems and I certainly would not raise a family here. Go online, read the Riverine Herald about all the crime reports and criminal court outcomes and weigh things up. Week in, week out, the sh*t never stops. Police and a local politician are frustrated with all the crime here. The weekend tourist or occasional passerby (with blinkers on) has no idea of what is happening here. Social and racial problems are excessive here also.
Concerning social problems, a very alarming crime statistic is the rate of domestic violence. The Campaspe Shire is amongst the worst, if not the worst shire for domestic violence in Victoria. I remember circa 2017/18 a domestic violence awareness advertisement, at the rear of perhaps the Tourist Information centre(?) in Heygarth Street. Such alerts should prompt us to "dig deeper". I do not advocate the use of rhetorical questions as they are manipulative, below-the-belt tactics employed, typically, by some politicians, the media, business advertising and other sectors of "social influencing". So obviously, no-one wants to live next door to a violent thug, nor have their children subjected to what spills over the fence. What is equally alarming is the rate of breaches of family violence orders in the Campaspe Shire. Please think twice before you decide to permanently reside in Echuca. If you do, ensure that you don't close any doors behind you, if you decide to bail out.
The "Days of Our Dreariness" saga continues....
Avoid living in Boothman Street and Freeman Street, including surrounding streets of these "Bronx" areas. Avoid living in Warren Street as the new bridge will bring a lot of noisy traffic.
The number of police arrests and confiscations associated with the Echuca Village area are significant, considering the sparse population density there.
Police typically confiscate drugs, firearms (including illegal firearm "types"), varieties of stolen things and even explosives. Crime in Echuca emanates from residents in Echuca and also by people from other surrounding and more distant towns. It appears that Echuca is a "cross roads" or "hub" city for crime. Other hubs could exist and may be indicative of crime movement.
Check the "Suspicious Activity Echuca - Moama | Facebook" site. A support group is doing a great job, but for all the wrong reasons. Sad and very annoying crime reports to be followed on that page. Also check the police Facebook page "Eyewatch - Campaspe Police Service Area".
If unemployment should rise further in Echuca and/or surrounding towns, look out! Floods, droughts, industry closures, plagues and of course pandemics and epidemics have severe effects on employment and the economy. Financial crises leads to assaults, burglaries, robberies, domestic violence and further drug abuse (the La Trobe Valley is a case in point here). By the time the last drought showed signs of breaking (early - mid 2019), farmers (Primary Producers) were selling dairy farms and cropping areas, especially when water prices rose by 60 per cent. They said "Beam me Up out of here, Scotty!" .
The cost of living in Echuca isn't much cheaper than Melbourne or Geelong, unless you enjoy your coffees in Toorak Road or Brighton. Rentals in Echuca are ridiculously high due to a supply-demand imbalance. The average income for Echuca is significantly less than urban areas. The only respite may be the average mortgage in Echuca. The root of all evil is not the love of money but the lack of it, hence the high crime rate in Echuca and rural areas.
Anyone paying more than $2,000 rent p.c.m. and not working from home, could consider getting a better paying job in Melbourne or Geelong and have a higher employer super contribution.
Melbourne has some of the safest suburbs in all of Victoria (east and north east) but avoid Melton 3335, Frankston 3199, Dandenong 3175 and some of the western suburbs. In and around Geelong, avoid Corio, Norlane and Werribee 3030. Incidentally, Corio and Norlane have lower crime rates than Barmah and Picola. Geelong is within reasonable reach of the surf coast as well.
Bendigo could, and I do emphasise "could", be worth relocating to for a higher paying job. Lake Eppalock could be an alternative for the Murray River and there are many more shops and services in Bendigo, including a TAFE and a La Trobe University campus (n.b. Echuca has a TAFE campus).
On the downside, Bendigo has its problems with drugs and crime also.
A state-of-the-art home security system is essential and a ferocious German Shepherd watch dog would be very handy (S.T.C.A.). Houses without front fences compromise security.
Schools in Echuca and Moama are not spectacular when you analyse the respective VCE/HSC rankings or the ATAR index. A lot of statistics are available online but be cautious and discerning when terms such as "most popular" or "most improved" are used. Virtually all top 100 schools are located in capital cities.
If you need to buy property in Echuca (or anywhere), do your homework very carefully. Be wary of what real estate agents say and don't say, but do come to your OWN conclusions. These agents are very much "in the know" of local issues but they will hide all negative points - that's pure common sense.
Beware of how agents (anywhere) may market properties in terms of location. For instance, Torrumbarry Pub is located at 2614 Murray Valley Hwy., Torrumbarry. Property Titles can be confusing as to how they name various areas. However, by my reckoning in the 21st century, Torrumbarry 3562 is not Echuca 3564. Beware of any property on the market referred to as being part of "Greater Echuca". That may sound erudite, but potentially, that is all. What other adjectives could be used......?
In the 1850s, at least one real estate agent marketed Footscray 3011 as Melbourne. Hopefully you will understand where I am coming from on this issue. You will need to use your own discretion to determine what is or isn't, a fair call. However, don't be surprised if you end up in a place that appears to be somewhat desolate when locating a property in Echuca.
Survey the street that you intend to buy into as OFTEN as you can (including SURROUNDING streets), even at 2 am. Check the tidiness and repair of houses in the immediate area at least. Ascertain if the behavioural patterns of neighbours and their children are acceptable. This will be difficult to do during a few inspection opens. You can get a small flavour by sitting in your car and watching the locals at shops, if located nearby. You may want to note how much alcohol is being purchased, but you might have to wait until Pension day for the full picture.
An old or unregistered car or continual quick "visitations/meetings" by people could be signs of trouble. Regular patrols by police into streets usually indicate problem hot spots, so it is best to avoid. As I have said in another post on this site, "There aren't many good streets in Echuca".
Also, a termite/white ants (pest) test and structure report are extremely advisable. The Campaspe Shire Council has declared Echuca and Echuca Village to be termite areas. If termites were baited and killed in the past, the property damage done by the termites may never have been repaired, so a structure report will expose this. Termites invade very quickly and even a very recent termite report can be outdated. Termites can be anywhere but they are prevalent close to the rivers and gum trees.
Houses close to rivers can be flood prone also. Echuca has the junction of the Murray, Campaspe and Goulburn rivers on its doorstep (Echuca is the Indigenous name meaning "meeting of the waters"). Major floods are not a once in a lifetime/century event and if there is major flooding, you might not get away with gum boots.
Properties that contain trees or are close to trees could be regarded as a fire risk by insurance companies. Older houses that have not been rewired and replumbed in the last 30 years will be frowned upon by most insurance companies, due to increased risks of electrical fires and floodings (bursting water pipes and leaks). Never lie to an insurance company about rewiring,replumbing and other issues as you will forfeit your claim when they conduct investigations. If an advertised property claims to have been replumbed/rewired, then ask for proof. New taps and fittings don't constitute "replumbing" and new electrical switches, power points and new light fittings don't constitute "rewiring". Be careful especially with rural properties that have large sheds. There could be a "backyard" or "Bodgie" 3-phase electrical hookup that could be potentially fatal. Electrical wiring that runs underground from a house to provide power to a garage or shed should be inspected and tested.
Be careful with older brick veneer houses (anywhere) that have been rendered. It will give the house a more modern appearance, especially when vogue colours are used, but the render could be hiding some nasty cracks in the brickwork underneath it. Some ground movement must be allowed for but anything more major could signal soil dampness/instability/erosion problems. Similarly, imitation synthetic/plastic weather board cladding looks good but what's under it can remain a mystery. A soil test could be useful.
I personally wouldn't advise buying a holiday house in Echuca, especially if it will be unoccupied for extended periods of time. You will miss out on capital growth but professional financial advice should be sought for this. Campaspe Shire has a very high rate of criminal activity of various types. Sadly, break-ins / burglaries are common by adults and children. Echuca being the major town within the Campaspe Shire has the lion's share of all the crime. You will need to have high security levels to protect the property. Perhaps some retired neighbours who stay at home a lot, could keep watch for you. Insurance companies stipulate a limit for the number of consecutive days that a holiday home can be unoccupied. Shop around and you might be able to avoid this generalisation.
It may be better to park your money elsewhere instead, and book in advance to stay in motels when you are holidaying.
It's best to get insurance quotes first before signing sale contracts, especially if a mortgage is involved. Mortgagors quite often sell their own insurance products but "comparethemarket" and Canstar could be useful. A mortgage broker could also be very useful as they have access to hundreds of mortgage products, whereas banks have only a handful of their own products. Real estate Contracts of Sale should be CONDITIONAL upon the return of satisfactory reports for pest and structure tests, and anything else that you or the mortgagor deem necessary.
Beware of streets or areas where many properties have been sold in recent times (at least 18 months). It could mean that something undesirable will be built or is coming there shortly, a major employer is closing/relocating and property owners are getting out whilst they are "still in front". Real estate agents could use excuses like "owners cashing in on exceptional price growth", "downsizing or upsizing", "essential relocation needs", which could be true but ...... Always check with the local council for forthcoming developments (particularly infrastructure) and any pending applications. Ask locals as well. If purchasing a property with scenic views, evaluate the potential of losing those views due to future construction developments.
A vacant block of land could turn into a diesel truck Roadhouse. Ownership of land/property could be under a subsidiary company of an oil company (or any other company), but that subsidiary company name may bear no resemblance to the name of the parent company or its commonly known trading name. A privately owned property could be sold to an OilCo, fast food outlet or other, at any time. Our Section 32 Statements (Vic) should be changed to include much more than what they currently reveal. This is one for the local MP.
NEVER be pressured by real estate agents to sign UNCONDITIONAL contracts but only if you have a good reason(s) to do so. It is best to have a lawyer or experienced conveyancer to oversee any property transfer. Different property laws pertain to Victoria and N.S.W.
I thoroughly recommend Neil Jenman's books entitled "Don't Sign Anything" and "Real Estate Mistakes" for anyone, particularly First Home buyers, to be read BEFORE buying your next property, anywhere.
An injection of a rich, classy culture is what Echuca desperately needs.
Looking for a home in Echuca?
"Escape to the country"
Sick of the cost of city life, and the daily commute ?
Move to the Echuca ! Everything you need at half the cost ! You can buy a superb home here for 1/2 what it costs in Melbourne. More sunny days than the Gold Coast. Top schools both state and private.
Something happening almost every weekend. Coffee shop and resturants again at 1/2 the cost of Melbourne. Get your kids out of the city life and move up here you wont regret it.
- Top Schools in Echuca and just over the bridge in Moama
- Plenty of work especially for trades people
- NEVER seen a drug addict or gang on the streets.
Not great for
- Parking meters in Echuca business district
Who lives here?
- Families with kids
- Country Lovers
"Beautiful Town With Fantastic People"
Echuca Victoria i say is one of the best places i have ever been to i visited for about 5 yrs almost every weekend & now i live here. It is a town where at 5am you see alot of joggers, if you say hi you always get a hi & a smile back i dont feel as though i am going to get shot like you do in some melbourne towns. I say Echuca is the place to be with a fantastic people and fantastic facilities i give Echuca 10/10.
Who lives here?
- Families with kids
"The seachange on the river..."
I love Echuca. It is a small city on the banks of the Murray just two hours north of Melbourne, and is one of the friendliest places I've lived. There are some areas to avoid just like any other place; but on the whole it is very safe. There is ok shopping but major centres like Shepparton and Bendigo are within an hour's drive, and Melbourne is in easy reach if you take the train/bus. The tourist season sees the town explode in population (I think most of Melbourne come up then), so over Christmas/New Year till Easter the place is alive - and that is when Echuca holds two of its major attractions in the Jazz Food & Wine Festival and Southern 80 ski race (both in February). It has a Winter Blues Festival in July which is also pretty cool.
Echuca needs more parks (LOL, but try going down the river - you're not here for the playground...), but Moama (across the river and Echuca's twin city) has an adventure playground with bbqs that is free. There are a couple of very busy doctor's surgeries (and one equally busy hospital with lovely staff), and daycare is readily available. There is a cinema with four separate screens and indoor heated pool, as well as a shire library. You can walk to most places in town, and there is a town bus service that travels to Moama as well. The clubs across the river all have courtesy buses, and I don't think I've ever been dished up a bad meal - this is Echuca's meal ticket after all!!! The Port area is lovely and I tended to live down there every Sunday for a relaxing afternoon with friends and family just having a glass of wine. The nightlife is ordinary, but Friday and Saturday nights are ok with plenty of pubs/clubs to visit. Supermarkets (Coles and Woolworths) are open till midnight.
Jobs are ok to come by but can be limited. There is a Tafe which is Bendigo based. For families there are heaps of primary schools around which are all good, but only one main secondary school except for the Catholic and Anglican colleges (and I would choose one of them if I could afford it). Younger adults tend to leave the area for uni in Bendigo and Melbourne, but many return once they have families of their own. Houses can be a little pricey to rent and buy, but still very affordable by large city standards, and your groceries will cost more due to zoning. There isn't much in the way of traffic, but avoid driving in the main shopping area at peak times as parking can become limited with sooo many tourists and their boats! I had lived in Echuca for 28 years before moving to Melbourne and would return in a heartbeat for the friendly, laidback atmosphere. And the sound of the paddlesteamers which I loved.
Who lives here?
- Families with kids
Rentals in Echuca
Perfect for a family holiday. Specially for those who love a bit of teh country life great place to getaway. Also perfect for retirment
Who lives here?
- Families with kids
"A lovely spot to live and a great spot for a wedding"
I spent some time here for a friends wedding and it was a wonderful time. A beautiful city situated on the Murray River with some lovely buildings and places to stay.
It was nice and green and easy to get around. The area was serviced by a good range of shops so if you needed anything you could get it.
This would be a place that I would consider living in and would definitely visit again. Nothing can beat sitting in the beautiful Autumn Echuca sunshine overlooking the River Murray.
Who lives here?
- Families with kids