20 Best Things to Do in Robe That Will Make Your Trip Memorable

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Looking for things to do in Robe?

This charming seaside town on the Limestone Coast of South Australia has something for everyone, from outdoor adventures to cultural experiences and delicious local cuisine.

Situated on Guichen Bay about 350kms southeast of Adelaide, Robe is one of the oldest towns in South Australia.

In detail, it is a four-hour drive and is located on the beautiful Limestone Coast. Robe, South Australia indeed has a remarkable and interesting history.

Hence, if you are wondering what to do in Robe SA, I have put together the best things to do that you can’t miss. 

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Things to See and Do in Robe

Robe SA is a popular holiday destination with many activities to do, such as fishing, swimming, surfing, boating, hiking, and exploring the local wineries and restaurants. The town is also home to historical landmarks and scenic coastal views.

Check out this guide to discover the top Robe attractions and activities, including exploring historic sites, and indulging in the local cuisine at one of the town’s many cafes, restaurants, and wineries.

1. Discover the Robe icon – Cape Dombey Obelisk

things to do in robe
Cape Dombey Obelisk in Robe SA

TThe first one on my list of what to do in Robe is to visit the iconic Cape Dombey Obelisk. This obelisk was built in 1855 to guide mariners along the bay.

It’s a significant part of South Australian maritime history and stands as a sentinel over the sand dunes and the rugged limestone coast.

In particular, it was built in 1855 to guide mariners along the bay.

The Obelisk was originally white painted but mariners were unhappy as it was difficult to differentiate the marker from Long Beach’s sandhills and the coast’s limestone cliffs.

Furthermore, in 1862, it was repainted with red and white horizontal bands. Cape Dombey Obelisk is 40 feet tall and stands 100 feet above sea level.

Because the South East Coast is known for shipwrecks, the Obelisk was used to store rockets fired at distressed ships.

Not to mention, these rockets carried life-saving equipment to bring passengers ashore. 

Sad fact: Unfortunately, you wouldn’t be able to get any closer to Cape Dombey Obelisk as they put a fence around it. Local authorities estimated that the Obelisk may eventually fall into the sea due to erosion. 

2. Visit the Encounter Signal

The Encounter Signal

Chiefly, the Encounter Signal is a modern sculpture that commemorates the exploration of the Robe’s coast by Matthew Flinders and Nicolas Baudin.

This constructs to pay tribute to Robe’s ongoing maritime tradition during the Robe’s Encounter celebrations in 2002.

Designed by Rodney Spooner, this sculpture has the same size as the Obelisk. Moreover, a block of limestone rock called a “door”, the same shape as the Obelisk door, acts as a gateway to entering the sculpture.

On the other hand, at the back of the door is an original map that was drawn by Matthew Flinders and Nicolas Baudin, etched on a stainless steel panel.

The names of all the boats presently fishing from Robe in 2002 and the French and English names for Robe’s coastal areas were engraved on the four-sided stainless steel mast.

The red and white stripe on the sides signifies the importance of the Obelisk.

3. Explore the Ruins of The Old Gaol

Old Gaol Ruins

The high cost of travel for trial to go to Adelaide led to the construction of a Gaol in Robe. In fact, for 1959 pounds, the first part of Gaol was built by George Halles in 180/61.

However, there was a concern about the standard of workmanship in the walls as two prisoners managed to escape by using a hook wrenched off a window shutter.

The cell’s outer walls were reinforced with boilerplates which were believed to have been taken from the shipwreck of Admella. 

Unfortunately, having not enough prisoners, the gaol was closed permanently in 1881.

With this, most parts of the building fell into disrepair and were demolished and used as road rubble in the 1940s.

4. See the Robe’s Customs House

Robe’s Customs House

Made of limestone and brick quoins, this attractive five-sided Customs House was built in 1863.

In fact, for 25 years, it serves as a Customs House for the South East Coast. Moreover, it became a Maritime Museum in 1969.

Hence, in this museum, you will learn about the shipwrecks and the Chinese migrants who arrived off ships at the port on their way to the Victorian goldfields. 

Entry Fee: Gold coin donation

5. Take Pictures in the Chinese Pai Fang

A Chinese arch called ‘Pai Fang’ was erected in 2017 to mark the epic journey of the 16,000 Chinese miners seeking their fortunes in the goldfields of Victoria. 

According to the Chinese, the arch symbolizes:

Cross Beam – “Sky-reaching grand aspirations”

Pillar 1 – The hard times are over, good times begin, and a glimpse of golden colour is in sight

Pillar 2 – Undaunted by repeated setbacks 

6. Enjoy the view from Beacon Hill Lookout

One of the things to do in robe is see the beacon hill lookout
Beacon Hill Lookout

The Beacon Hill Lookout is an old navigational point built as part of Robe’s 150 Jubilee year celebrations. In detail, it offers 360 degrees stunning views of the Robe.

Not to mention, it is made of limestone, with a freestone face, with a concrete staircase leading to the viewing platform. 

7. Fine dining at Sails at Robe Restaurant

one of the things to do in robe is dining at sails at robe
Sails at Robe

Looking for places to eat in Robe?

Sails at Robe, established for over 10 years, specialises in modern Australian locally caught seafood cuisine.

For a special night, try the Southern Rock Lobsters at Sails (should be pre-ordered by 2 p.m. to avoid disappointment).

We tried their seafood platter and it was the best we had ever eaten. Indeed, this is a must thing to do in Robe!

one of the things to do in robe is dining at sails at robe
Seafood platter in Sails at Robe

Note: Their menu changes according to the season. With that in mind, the southern rock lobster would only be available from October to May. 

Other Robe restaurants that you can try: Adventurous Spoon, Union Cafe, The Project Robe, Robe Seafood and Takeaway (for Fish and Chips), historic Caledonian Inn

8. Start your day with a coffee from Mahalia Coffee

one of the things to do in robe is visiting mahalia coffee
Mahalia Coffee

A lovely little cafe with great coffee and food. Hence, try their award-winning freshly roasted coffee as they roast it onsite.

Oh, by the way, try their egg & bacon croissant, it’s the best! The roasted chicken toastie is also extraordinary!

9. Get a fresh lobster at Sky Seafoods

Visit Sky Seafoods and choose a fresh lobster or fish from their tank. It costs around $60 for the whole lobster (Might not be available depending on the season). 

Sky Seafoods also offers tours on lobsters cohabitating in the tanks and how they process live or cooked. Check their website for more information. 

10. Eat ice cream at Robe’s Ice Cream Shop!!!

one of the things to do in robe is visiting the ice cream shop
Robe’s Ice Cream Shop

A must-visit shop in Robe with a great selection of ice cream! In detail, the entrance and atmosphere of this place are phenomenal as it has paintings surrounding it.

Neil Welsh, the maker of house-made gelato ice cream, also created Robe Art Map, an interactive map of Robe.

A painting of the Robe Art Map is displayed on the ceiling inside the ice cream shop. Visit Art Maps Australia for details. 

Alternatively, you can get a map of Robe, SA which can be really handy for navigating through the town’s attractions.

things to do in robe - visiting the ice cream shop
Arts Map Australia

11. Drive in Long Beach

A couple of kilometres up north lies Long Beach, a 17 km-long paradise of golden sand and one of the best drive-on beaches in Australia.

During summer when the sand is very firm, hundreds of cars park up at the beach. 

12. Drink in Robe

A trip to the Robe Town Brewery is a must for those who prefer beer.

This family-run brewery is one of a kind with the only wood-fired brewing kettle in Australia, that all malt mashes and filters through hay and open fermentation.

Do not miss the chance to come and enjoy an in-depth tasting flight at their brewery tasting room. ​

The Robe Town Brewery is only open on public holidays, and long weekends and is open every day during school holidays (VIC and SA).

In addition, if you love wine, visiting a cellar door is probably one of the best things to do in Robe South Australia! 

Karatta Wines, a cellar door found on the Main Street of Robe, produces a range of wines but specializes primarily in the red varietals.

It also houses an art gallery showcasing local and regional artists which opens daily from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm.

13. Four-Wheel Driving in Robe’s Sand Dunes!

This is probably the best on my list of things to do in Robe!

Experience the rugged coastline and beautiful beaches with white sand.

Take an adventure tour with an experienced 4×4 tour guide or you can choose to tag along with your own 4×4 vehicle.

This is a private tour that includes sightseeing of the places of Stoney Rise, Queens Head, Domaschenz Beach, Freshwater Lake, Bishops Pate, Nora Creina and Lake Robe.

14. Visit a Camel Farm!

Ever wonder how to milk a camel?! Visit the fantastic and fascinating camels at the Humpalicious Camel Farm.

Book a Morning Milking Tour and learn how to milk a camel, hand-feed the babies and taste fresh camel milk and camel milk gelato ice cream!

The tour is usually scheduled every Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. Check their website for availability!

15. Walk the Robe Walking Trail

The Robe Coastal Walking Trail is a 12-kilometre loop path that will take you past some of the best things to see in Robe, such as the coastline, Robe Gaol Ruins, the Obelisk, the Robe Jetty, and some historical sites. 

Make sure to bring sunscreen, a hat, plenty of water and great walking shoes, especially during summer. 

16. Camp in Robe

If you’re into camping, check out the four secluded campgrounds at Little Dip Conservation Park.

Each campground is accessible by 2WD with high clearance or by 4WD. It costs $17 per night. For more information, visit National Park SA.

Long Gully Campground | Old Man Lake Campground | Stony Rise Campground | The Gums Campground

17. Robe Lighthouse: A Beacon on the Coast

The Robe Lighthouse is more than just a navigational aid for mariners; it’s a symbol of the town’s rich maritime history.

Located near the harbour, this lighthouse has been guiding ships safely for decades.

It’s an excellent spot for photography, especially during sunrise and sunset when the sky paints a colourful backdrop to the white structure.

The lighthouse is also a great starting point for a coastal walk.

From here, you can follow a well-marked trail that takes you along the rugged limestone coast, offering stunning views of Guichen Bay.

It’s a peaceful place to reflect, take in the salty sea air, and maybe even spot some local wildlife like seabirds or dolphins.

For those interested in the technical aspects, the lighthouse is automated, meaning it operates without the need for a resident lighthouse keeper.

However, its historical significance is well-documented with information boards that provide insights into its construction and role in Robe’s maritime activities.

Things to Do in Robe in Winter

While Robe is known for its warm summer weather and beach activities, there are still plenty of things to do in the town during the winter months. Here are some ideas:

18. Take a scenic coastal drive

The rugged coastline of Robe is even more dramatic in winter, with crashing waves and stormy skies. Take a drive along the coast and soak up the dramatic scenery.

19. Go whale watching

Winter is the best time to spot Southern Right Whales in the waters around Robe. Take a whale-watching tour to see these majestic creatures up close.

From June to early October, whales migrate to the warmer waters off the coast of South Australia to give birth.

While southern right whales are the most common visitors, other species like humpbacks, blue whales, sperm whales, and even orcas have been spotted in the area.

20. Catch Some Fish

Winter is the best time to catch some of the local fish species, such as snapper and salmon. Hire a fishing charter or cast a line from the shore and enjoy a peaceful day by the sea.

Winter in Robe is a beautiful and peaceful time, with plenty of unique experiences to enjoy. Whether you’re interested in outdoor activities or exploring the town’s rich cultural heritage, Robe has something for everyone in the colder months.

How to Get to Robe

Getting to Robe is a breeze. The most straightforward way to get to Robe is by car.

From Adelaide, it’s a four-hour drive along the Princes Highway.

The journey takes you through some picturesque landscapes, including the Coorong National Park, making the drive itself a part of the adventure.

If you’re coming from Melbourne, the drive is approximately six hours.

Day Trips from Robe

Robe is not just a destination in itself; it’s also a great base for exploring the wider region. Here are some day trips you can take:

Naracoorte Caves

Just a two-hour drive from Robe, the Naracoorte Caves are a UNESCO World Heritage site and a must-visit for anyone interested in natural history.

The caves are home to some of the world’s most complete fossil records.

You can take guided tours to explore the caves and even try adventure caving if you’re up for a challenge.

Coonawarra Wineries

If you’re a wine enthusiast, the Coonawarra region is just a short drive away.

Known for its terra rossa soil, this area produces some of Australia’s finest red wines.

Spend a day touring the vineyards, sampling wines, and perhaps even taking a bottle or two home with you.

Mount Gambier

About an hour and a half away, Mount Gambier offers a range of attractions.

The most famous is the Blue Lake, a volcanic crater lake known for its stunning blue colour.

The city also offers other natural attractions like sinkholes and gardens.


Just 30 minutes from Robe, Beachport is another coastal town worth visiting.

It’s known for its long jetty, second only to Port Germein, and is a popular spot for fishing.

The town also has a beautiful coastal trail perfect for a leisurely walk.

Kingston SE

About 45 minutes from Robe, Kingston SE is famous for its giant lobster statue.

The town is a hub for lobster fishing and offers a range of seafood dining options.

It’s a great place to enjoy a seafood feast before heading back to Robe.

Where to Stay in Robe?

The robe accommodation in South Australia offers a range of luxurious and comfortable options for tourists and travellers.

Many are located close to the town’s beach and Robe SA attractions. To help you find the best places to stay in Robe, I have curated this list for you!

📍Robe Marina Accommodation

The Robe Marina Accommodation is just a short drive from the marina. On-site private parking is cost-free. Complimentary WiFi is available.

Excellent location. Massive room. Wifi was excellent. Towels and bed linen were clean

-PEte (see more reviews)

While some apartments are on the ground floor, others are situated on the first floor. A TV can be found in every air-conditioned flat.

Some apartments come with a dining room and/or balcony. Also included are a kettle, a toaster, and a microwave.

Several of the apartments include kitchens as well, complete with an oven and dishwasher.

📍Robe Harbour View Motel

There are lots of Robe Accommodations in the area. In our case, we stayed at Robe Harbour View Motel, a contemporary motel with 14 elegantly appointed and spacious guest rooms and suites.

having a sea view and balcony to sit on and within easy walking distance of town center

-fran (see more reviews)

They also have a premium room with the most oversized windows to enjoy the panoramic and breathtaking views of Robe Marina and Guichen Bay. 

📍The Caledonian Inn

An old English-style tavern in Robe, South Australia, the Caledonian Inn opened in 1858 and has been in An old English-style tavern in Robe, South Australia, the Caledonian Inn opened in 1858 and has been in continuous operation with guests wanting to come back more.

If you’re looking for a more casual dining experience and pubs in Robe, the historic Caledonian Inn is a great option.

It has been serving locals and visitors alike for more than 160 years.

Beach front location, walking distance to many restaurants and shops. Very clean and comfortable.

-natalie (see more reviews)

In fact, locals and visitors alike have flocked to enjoy Cally’s beachside dining in the summer and cosy fireside warmth in the winter for more than 160 years.

Indeed, the Caledonian Inn is an excellent option for a coastal vacation.

In addition, if you want a more private setting, choose one of their charming cottages by the sea or Splash, a three-bedroom home with its entrance and bathroom.

📍Guichen Bay Motel

As a tiny coastal town in South Australia, Robe is right on the beaches of Guichen Bay, which you can reach through the Guichen Bay Motel.

If you’re looking for a place to stay in an area that is convenient for shopping, dining, and entertainment, they’ve got your back!

Great location, close to beach, restaurants and supermarket. The rooms are comfortable and clean.

-lin (see more reviews)

In detail, in a peaceful garden setting, the Guichen Bay Motel’s newly refurbished rooms have a microwave, a mini-fridge, and tea and coffee-making amenities.

Moreover, flat-screen television and free Wi-Fi are available in each room for your pleasure.

Best of all, you’ll find an ironing board and hairdryer in the closet for added convenience.

Visiting Robe FAQs

When is the best time to visit Robe, SA?

The best time to visit Robe depends on your interests.

If you’re a beach lover, the summer months from December to February are ideal.
For those interested in whale watching, winter from June to October is the time to go.

Is Robe worth visiting?

Yes, Robe is absolutely worth visiting!

The town has a lot to offer, including beautiful beaches, a rugged coastline, picturesque countryside, and a rich history.

There are many Robe activities that you can do, such as fishing, swimming, surfing, boating, hiking, and exploring local wineries and restaurants.

How long is the Robe coastal walk?

The Robe Coastal Walk, also known as the Robe Coastal Trail, is approximately 7.2 kilometres long.

The trail runs along the coastline from Long Beach in the west to the Robe Golf Course in the east.

It is a well-maintained and easy-to-follow trail that offers stunning views of the rugged coastline, rocky cliffs, and sandy beaches.

The trail can be completed in about 2-3 hours, depending on your pace and the number of stops you make along the way to take in the views.

The Robe coastal walk is a popular activity for visitors to Robe and is highly recommended for those who enjoy hiking and nature.

Do you need a 4×4 to go to Robe?

No, you do not need a 4×4 to visit Robe.

The town of Robe is easily accessible by all types of vehicles, including regular passenger cars.

The main highways leading to Robe are sealed and well-maintained, so a 4×4 is not necessary.

However, if you plan to explore some of the more remote or rugged areas surrounding Robe, such as some of the beaches or sand dunes, a 4×4 may be required.

The Wrap-Up: Best Things to Do in Robe

In conclusion, Robe, SA is a fantastic holiday destination with plenty of things to see and do.

Whether you’re interested in exploring the town’s rich cultural heritage, immersing yourself in the great outdoors, or indulging in delicious local cuisine, Robe has something for everyone.

From hiking along the rugged coastline to enjoying wine tasting at a local vineyard, the town offers a range of activities to suit all interests.

So, if you’re looking for a relaxing and enjoyable holiday destination, be sure to consider Robe, SA, and explore everything this beautiful coastal town has to offer.

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