The Pleasant Town of Robe, South Australia

Located on the Limestone coast, Robe is marketed as South Australia’s favourite seaside town. It’s decently sized with about 1200 residents and a healthy amount of summer tourists. Highlights include fishing, fresh lobsters, port industry and historic sites. I visited Robe on the way from Adelaide. I wanted to see the Chinese memorial, Cape Robe Lighthouse and the Cape Dombey Obelisk.

History of Robe

Robe has a somewhat connection to my ancestry. Part of my family came to Australia from China in the late 1800s gold rush. In 1857, 16,000 Chinese people were dropped off in Robe and had to walk 320km through the treacherous outback to the Victorian goldfields. They landed in Robe because of a xenophobic rule in Victoria that only applied to Chinese miners – they had to pay a landing tax of 10 pounds (more than the cost of the voyage). This tax would have been equivalent today to about $1500 Australian Dollars. That’s crazy. Today there’s a memorial park in Robe, photo below.

Cape Robe Lighthouse

Cape Robe Lighthouse is the sister lighthouse of Cape Jervis Lighthouse. Check out my post about things to do in Cape Jervis here. It was built in 1972 as an automated unmanned light to replace Cape Jaffa Lighthouse. I think it’s a pretty cool structure! I have to say that the one in Cape Jervis has a more dramatic outlook however. It’s easy to get to because it’s next to the road.

Robe Coastal Walk

One of the most popular things to do in Robe is the Robe coastal walk. It’s pretty nice – I was surprised at the scenery! The path goes along the western coastline – I did the walk from Cape Robe Lighthouse. Look out for ‘Doorway Rock’ in the water, which is an exposed reef fragment with an archway like a door. You can also walk in the other direction to West Beach. People go surfing around here but I would be careful of swimming here unless you know the conditions well.

Cape Dombey Obelisk

This 12m obelisk is in danger of falling into the sea. The cliff it sits on is slowly being eroded by waves, wind and rain. It was built in 1855 after a bad year of shipwrecks – 30 individual ships were grounded in Guichen Bay. It has become a somewhat symbol for Robe. It’s surrounded by limestone cliffs and blue waters. You can walk here from the Robe Coastal walk, or you can drive to the dirt carpark.

More Experiences in South Australia

I’ve heard that Long Beach is a nice beach that you can go 4WD in Robe.

Kingston is the next town over – Check out my blogpost about the best things to see in Kingston.

My favourite region of South Australia was the Fleurieu Peninsula. Check out my blogpost about the best places to visit in the Fleurieu Peninsula.