The Oscar W is a steam-powered, wood-fired, River Murray paddle steamer that was built in 1908 in Echuca, Victoria. Now restored and crewed by volunteers, visitors to Goolwa can take one hour cruises from the wharf at the River Port of Goolwa. The cruise takes passengers to the river barrage just before the Murray mouth and then back under the bridge to Hindmarsh Island. Experience the sounds and smells of the hard working vessel that was made to pioneer the inland waters of Australia.
The Oscar W was built for Franz Oscar Wallin and named after his son Oscar who he hoped would take over his shipping business. Sadly, young Oscar was killed in World War I and the vessel was sold out of Wallin’s fleet. The Oscar W interprets the River Murray trade of the nineteenth and twentieth Centuries and is the only River Murray steamer in South Australia able to tow a barge.
Since 2001 the paddle steamer has been owned by Alexandrina Council and is maintained and operated by a dedicated group of ‘Friends of the PS Oscar W’.