Alexander Arbuthnot (paddle steamer)

The Alexander Arbuthnot is the last paddle steamer built as a working boat on the Murray River, Australia.[1]

Ship history

The ship was built by the Arbuthnot Sawmill at Koondrook, in 1916, as a barge, and named after the sawmill's founder. She was fitted with an engine and superstructure in 1923. The engine was built by Ruston & Hornsby of England and was once used in an earlier boat called The Glimpse. The ship towed empty barges to the nearby forest to collect logs; then back to the mill where the logs were cut up into lengths of timber. Barges towed upstream could be left for loading then floated back on the current while the steamer returned to the mill and took another barge downstream. The boat worked at the mill until the 1940s. It was then sold to charcoal producers at Barmah. Eventually in 1947 it sank. Volunteers from Shepparton raised it in 1972 for use at the International Village theme park. In 1989 the Alexander Arbuthnot was bought by the Port of Echuca for further restoration. Currently the Alexander Arbuthnot carries 47 passengers per trip at the Port of Echuca.[1] The Port of Echuca has the largest fleet of paddle steamers in the world.

PS Alexander Arbuthnot. Was used to supply logs the company sawmill at Koondrook. Source State Library of South Australia. Circa 1930.


  1. ^ a b "PS Alexander Arbuthnot". Echuca Paddlesteamers. Retrieved 10 November 2016.