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Pride of the Murray reaches new home

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Safe and sound: Richard Kinnon with the Pride of the Murray at it's new home in Longreach, Queensland.

The Pride of the Murray has reached it’s final destination at its new home in Longreach, Queensland, after a seven-day journey.

Owner of the Outback Pioneers, the company which bought the Pride of the Murray, Richard Kinnon, has welcomed the vessel to the Thomson River after the long trip.

“The Pride of the Murray is a 100-year old grandaddy of a paddle wheeler, so we took it slow and steady,” he said.

“The weight of the haulage meant we had to drive very slowly and we were only permitted to drive during daylight hours.

“In some towns we had to jack up the trailer to get over guard rails and local councils were very accommodating removing street signs and the like along the way to make the trip easier.”

“It was wonderful to see so many people come out in small towns along the route to watch the Pride of the Murray go by, it’s unlikely they will ever see anything like that again.”

The Pride has not returned to the water just yet, and its maiden voyage at its new home is scheduled for June 25.

“The boat travelled with boat builders and they managed the entire task well,” Mr Kinnon said.

“The boat has arrived in perfect condition.

“The Pride of the Murray has a very proud Australian history. Although her history might not be connected to Queensland, her future certainly will be.”

The Longreach community has welcomed the Pride of the Murray to the area with open arms, including past resident of Longreach and current resident of Echuca, Sophie Taiki.

“Being past residents of Longreach before moving to Echuca, I think it’s really nice to have a piece of our current home in our previous home,” she said.

“Longreach is a beautiful community, it booms with tourists as it’s such a historical town and I believe the Pride of the Murray couldn’t have gone to a better home.

“She will be so loved there and will continue to give tourists and locals joy as she did here with us.”

Wayne Lewis, who grew up in Echuca and now lives in Longreach, has seen the boat’s journey first-hand from the day it was constructed.

“I grew up in Echuca and watched as a kid when this boat was raised from the bottom of the Murray as a sunken barge,” Mr Lewis said.

“I went to primary school with the son of the man who was largely responsible for building her from a mess to a diesel powered paddle boat.

“I have been on her many times from childhood to late teens.

“Luckily I now call Longreach home.

“Can't wait to board her again on her maiden voyage on our river.”

New arrival: The Pride of the Murray coming into Longreach, with many onlookers welcoming her to her new home.
Homeward bound: The Pride of the Murray had a warm welcome with residents lining the streets in Longreach.
Proud: Richard Kinnon watching his newest addition to the Outback Pioneers roll into town.
Onlookers: Longreach residents out in force to watch and capture the new paddle wheeler arriving in town.