Robe Holiday & Travel Guide Robe Holiday & Travel Guide

The Ultimate Travel Guide toRobe

Nestled between Melbourne and Adelaide on the Limestone Coast in South Australia, the tiny town of Robe (population: roughly 1500) is known for its rich history, great fishing and beautiful beaches, lakes and bushland. Learn about its history as the home to the Bunganditj and Meintangk peoples, English settlers and Chinese migrants at its several museums or by visiting one of its more than 70 historical buildings and landmarks. Take advantage of its teeming waters by fishing off its main jetty, booking a half-day or full-day fishing charter or taking a 4WD onto one of its many beaches to surf fish. Or, simply soak in its dramatic coastal scenery on a walk or swim, all the while wondering how this slice of South Australia has still managed to remain so relatively under-the-radar.

Getting to Robe

From Adelaide, choose from driving routes via the Murray River or Fleurieu Peninsula, both 3.5 hours’ long and offering scenic water views. Prefer not to do the driving? Hop on a Stateliner coach bus. From Melbourne, the the Horsham or The West District driving routes will get you here in seven or 7.5 hours, respectively. Or, take the Great Ocean Road and split the trip into two days, overnighting in Warrnambool or Port Fairy.

 

The best time to visit Robe is during the warmer months, from November to April, when the area experiences less rainfall and fishing is at its best. The ideal time to book a trip here is in February. However, that said, Robe in winter is also an attractive option as you’ll escape the crowds.

Top things to do in Robe

Nature & Beaches

Robe has five main beaches, including Hooper’s Beach, Fox’s Beach and West Beach. Its two most popular are Town Beach, which extends 12 kilometres from Robe Hotel to Robe Point, and Long Beach, a wide bay running 17-kilometres-long with consistent surf and no reef or rocks.

 

Too cold to swim? Consider 12-kilometre-long Robe Walking Trail, which features views of Robe Gaol Ruins and Cape Dombey Obelisk. Fresh Water Lake Walk (1.7km) or Lake Eliza Hike (3.5km), both within Little Dip Conservation Park, are also trails to consider. Drive roughly 30 minutes from Robe to reach the town of Beachport, where you’ll find 500-metre-long Lanky’s Walk and 1.5-kilometre-long Wendy’s Walk. A further 15-minute drive south and you’ll hit Canunda National Park, a protected area of surf beaches, sand dunes and untouched bushland.

Fishing & Fishing Charters

Whiting, salmon, garfish, flathead, mulloway and crayfish are among the many fish that can all be found in Robe. Fish off the town jetty or drive onto the beach with a 4WD and surf fish at Back Beach, Evans Cave Beach or Long Beach, or Bishops or Domashenz Beach within Little Dip Conservation Park. Half-day and full day fishing charters are also available.

Attractions & Activities

As one of the oldest towns in South Australia, Robe has more than 70 heritage-listed buildings, most of them over a century old. Of note is Robe House, one of the first buildings in Robe and now a five-room bed and breakfast; Robe Customs House, now a maritime museum; and Karatta House, a lakeside manor once used by wealthy pastoralist Henry Jones and his wife as a summer’s residence to escape the heat.

 

Smillie Street, running from Devonport Street to Hagen Street and at one-time the town’s main street, also boasts a number of significant buildings erected in the 1850s and 1860s. Today, you’ll find the main drag to be Victoria Street, home to a dozen-or-so clothing and homewares boutiques, as well as many cafés and restaurants. Cap off a day of exploring Robe by catching sunset from Beacon Hill Lookout.

 

For an overview of Robe’s history and current activities and attractions offering, head to Robe Visitor Information Centre and the Historical Interpretation Centre within in, opposite the foreshore area.

Best places to stay in Robe

Hotels & Motels

Being a popular holiday destination, Robe offers a wide selection of hotels and motels. Historic Robe Hotel on the waterfront is a one-stop shop in entertainment with a beer garden, a front bar with Keno and TAB and a large dining area and lounge. For a fuss-free stay with sweeping water views, consider Robe Harbour View Motel with its 14 rooms and suites. Or, if you’re with a group, Aloha Highview Robe Central, which sleeps 10 and boasts floor-to-ceiling windows. For Instagram fodder, book into coastal holiday homes the Driftwood House or the Pelican Shed at Robe Retreats.

Caravan Parks

Robe also has four caravan parks. Sea Vu Caravan Park sits on the beach, steps from the centre of town. Also along the beach, Discovery Parks – Robe features a kids’ activity room and playground, as well as indoor heated pool. Robe Holiday Park is run by local couple Anthony and Keryn who love to share their area knowledge. And finally, Lakeside Tourist Park is a leafy site on the shores of picturesque Lake Fellmongery.

Camping

Sea Vu Caravan Park, Discovery Parks – Robe, Robe Holiday Park and Lakeside Tourist Park all also offer camping. However, you can also camp at Tarooki Campsite, tucked between Guichen Bay and Lake Fellmongery or at five-campsite The Gums Campground in Little Dip Conservation Park. Beach camping is allowed, but beware of the tides.

Best Restaurants & Dining in Robe

Start the day with a perfectly-roasted flat white or long black at Mahalia Coffee on Flint Street or a hearty brekkie at Adventurous Spoon, Union Café or Drift Café, all on Victoria Street. For lunch, head to Caledonian Inn for English-style pub food or to Robe Seafood and Takeaway for affordable chicken, burgers or seafood caught from the waters just off Robe.

 

Sails at Robe serves Modern Australian fare lunch and dinners, while The Project Robe dishes up delicious pizzas and pastas. A cruisey five-minute drive out of town, Robe Dairy sells cheeses, yoghurts and milk, all from its small herd of Jersey cows. Grab some cheeses here and some other nibbles from grocer in town Foodland and set up a picnic at one of Robe’s many parks, reserves or ovals.

 

Thirsty? Head to Karatta Wine Room & Gallery for a tasting of wines made from grapes grown in coastal vineyards in Robe or to cellar door The Attic House for a sampling of Governor Robe Wines. Beer lovers should make a beeline for family-run Robe Town Brewery, which serves hand-crafted specialty ales, made using the only wood-fired brewing kettle in the country.

 

Tours and Packages for Robe

One of the best ways to see Robe’s rugged coastline is on a half-day tour or tag-along tour with Robe Tours’ Back Beach Adventure. To see the area from above, and maybe even spot a seal, book a chopper tour with Limestone Coast Helicopters, departing from Robe Airfield. For tours of Robe Customs House, enquire at Robe Visitor Information Centre. Tours of Cape Jaffa Lighthouse, which run for 45 minutes on the hour, can be booked online.

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