One of the early ports in the state’s south-east, the modern Robe on Guichen Bay is home to a large commercial fishing fleet and entices a constant flow of recreational anglers, surfers, sailors and bushwalkers.
The rugged, windswept coastline harbours stunning, secluded beaches backed by conservation parks studded with shifting dune systems, salt and freshwater lakes and wildlife - including fairy penguins which waddle ashore at sunset.
In colonial days Robe, 335 km south of Adelaide, was an important port of entry for the state and during the rush to the Ballarat goldfields in the 1850s thousands of Chinese prospectors landed in the port. Many of them died aboard ship, getting ashore or on the overland trek to Ballarat. A local cairn honours their memory.
Robe’s fascinating history is preserved in a museum and colonial buildings. Early colonial Governors were fond of spending their summers taking in the Robe sea breezes in the beachfront mansion, Karratta House. These days Robe is regarded as a year-round tourist destination by visitors who consider the wild, winter storms just as compelling as the delights of summer.