Robe, South Australia
Robe is a town and fishing port on the South East Limestone Coast
Limestone Coast
The Limestone Coast is a name used since the early twentyfirst century for the geographical region and tourist region of the southeast coast of South Australia from the Victoria border to the towards the city of Adelaide.-Location and description:...

 of South Australia
South Australia
South Australia is a state of Australia in the southern central part of the country. It covers some of the most arid parts of the continent; with a total land area of , it is the fourth largest of Australia's six states and two territories.South Australia shares borders with all of the mainland...

. The town's distinctive combination of historical buildings, ocean, fishing fleets, lakes and dense bush is widely appreciated. Robe lies on the southern shore of Guichen Bay, just off the Princes Highway
Princes Highway
The Princes Highway extends from Sydney to Port Augusta via the coast through the states of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, a distance of 1941 km or 1898 km via the former alignments of the highway ....

. At the 2006 census
Census in Australia
The Australian census is administered once every five years by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The most recent census was conducted on 9 August 2011; the next will be conducted in 2016. Prior to the introduction of regular censuses in 1961, they had also been run in 1901, 1911, 1921, 1933,...

, Robe had a population of 1,246. Robe is the main town in the District Council of Robe
District Council of Robe
The District Council of Robe is a local government area located in the Limestone Coast area of South Australia. The main offices are in Robe, the town after which the council is named...

 local government area. It is in the state electorate
South Australian House of Assembly
The House of Assembly, or lower house, is one of the two chambers of the Parliament of South Australia. The other is the Legislative Council. It sits in Parliament House in the state capital, Adelaide.- Overview :...

 of MacKillop and the federal
Australian House of Representatives
The House of Representatives is one of the two houses of the Parliament of Australia; it is the lower house; the upper house is the Senate. Members of Parliament serve for terms of approximately three years....

 Division of Barker
Division of Barker
The Division of Barker is an Australian Electoral Division in the south-east of South Australia.The division was created in 1903 and is named for Collet Barker, an early explorer of the region at the mouth of the Murray River...



Guichen Bay was named by the French explorer Nicolas Baudin
Nicolas Baudin
Nicolas-Thomas Baudin was a French explorer, cartographer, naturalist and hydrographer.Baudin was born a commoner in Saint-Martin-de-Ré on the Île de Ré. At the age of fifteen he joined the merchant navy, and at twenty joined the French East India Company...

 after Admiral De Guichen
Luc Urbain de Bouexic, comte de Guichen
Luc Urbain de Bouëxic, comte de Guichen - French admiral; entered the navy in 1730 as "garde de la Marine," the first rank in the corps of royal officers.His promotion was not rapid...

 in 1802, as he was charting
A map is a visual representation of an area—a symbolic depiction highlighting relationships between elements of that space such as objects, regions, and themes....

 the south coast of Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

. Part of it is protected in the Guichen Bay Conservation Park. Robe is one of the oldest towns in South Australia, founded by the colonial government as a seaport, administrative centre and village only ten years after British settlers formally established the Province of South Australia.

Robe was named after the fourth Governor of South Australia, Major Frederick Robe
Frederick Robe
Major-General Frederick Holt Robe CB was the fourth Governor of South Australia, from 25 October 1845 to 2 August 1848....

, who chose the site as a port in 1845. The town was proclaimed as a port in 1847. It became South Australia's second-busiest (after Port Adelaide
Port Adelaide
Port Adelaide is a suburb of Adelaide lying about 14 kilometres northwest of the City of Adelaide. It lies within the City of Port Adelaide Enfield and is the main port for the city of Adelaide...

) international port in the 1850s. Robe's trade was drawn from a large hinterland that extended into western Victoria, and many roadside inns were built to cater for the bullock teamsters bringing down the wool, including th 'Bush Inn' still standing on the outskirts of Robe. Exports included horses and sheep skins and wool. The Customs House is listed by the National Trust of Australia
National Trust of Australia
The Australian Council of National Trusts is the peak body for community-based, non-government organisations committed to promoting and conserving Australia's indigenous, natural and historic heritage....

. A stone obelisk was built on Cape Dombey in 1852 to assist ships to navigate safely into the bay. Even so, there have been a number of shipwrecks along the coast in the area. An automatic lighthouse
A lighthouse is a tower, building, or other type of structure designed to emit light from a system of lamps and lenses or, in older times, from a fire, and used as an aid to navigation for maritime pilots at sea or on inland waterways....

 was built on higher ground in 1973.

During the Victorian gold rushes
Australian gold rushes
The Australian gold rush started in 1851 when prospector Edward Hammond Hargraves claimed the discovery of payable gold near Bathurst, New South Wales, at a site Edward Hargraves called Ophir.Eight months later, gold was found in Victoria...

 around 1857, over 16,000 Chinese people landed at Robe to travel overland to the goldfield
Gold mining
Gold mining is the removal of gold from the ground. There are several techniques and processes by which gold may be extracted from the earth.-History:...

s, as Victoria
Victoria (Australia)
Victoria is the second most populous state in Australia. Geographically the smallest mainland state, Victoria is bordered by New South Wales, South Australia, and Tasmania on Boundary Islet to the north, west and south respectively....

 introduced a landing tax
To tax is to impose a financial charge or other levy upon a taxpayer by a state or the functional equivalent of a state such that failure to pay is punishable by law. Taxes are also imposed by many subnational entities...

 of £10 per person (more than the cost of their voyage) to reduce the number of Chinese immigrants. The immigrants then walked the 200 miles (320 km) to Ballarat
Ballarat, Victoria
Ballarat is a city in the state of Victoria, Australia, approximately west-north-west of the state capital Melbourne situated on the lower plains of the Great Dividing Range and the Yarrowee River catchment. It is the largest inland centre and third most populous city in the state and the fifth...

 and Bendigo
Bendigo, Victoria
Bendigo is a major regional city in the state of Victoria, Australia, located very close to the geographical centre of the state and approximately north west of the state capital Melbourne. It is the second largest inland city and fourth most populous city in the state. The estimated urban...


Robe's importance decreased with the advent of railways
Rail transport in South Australia
The first railway in colonial South Australia was a horse-drawn tramway from the port of Goolwa on the Murray River to an ocean harbour at Port Elliot in 1854...

 which didn't come to the town. It became a local service centre for the surrounding rural areas. It is still home to a fleet of fishing boats. Especially important are the local lobster
Clawed lobsters comprise a family of large marine crustaceans. Highly prized as seafood, lobsters are economically important, and are often one of the most profitable commodities in coastal areas they populate.Though several groups of crustaceans are known as lobsters, the clawed lobsters are most...



Between Robe in the north and Beachport
Beachport, South Australia
Beachport is a small coastal town 379 kilometres south-east of Adelaide, South Australia, located in the Wattle Range Council. Known for its 772 metre long jetty , Beachport is located on the northern end of Rivoli Bay...

 in the south stretches a series of coastal lakes which have been recognised as the Lake Hawdon System Important Bird Area
Lake Hawdon System Important Bird Area
The Lake Hawdon System Important Bird Area comprises a 374 km2 series of five coastal lakes on the Limestone Coast of south-eastern South Australia. They are the most important of a string of regional lakes occupying swale corridors between modern and historical sand dunes.-Description:The...

 because of their global importance for waterbirds.


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