Pristine blue beaches, produce driven eateries bookended by quaint wineries and breweries, and enough adventure trails to build up a hunger to visit them all, Robe is one of the jewels in the Limestone Coast’s glistening crown.
Three and a half hours south east of Adelaide, there is something whimsical about this seaside town. For the most part, Robe and its sandstone cottages lay blissfully dormant with friendly locals searching for a seachange with endless fresh air. However, come the peak summer period, the regular holidaymakers descend, and the caravans roll in.
Surrounded by a diverse collection of beaches, there is always something new happening in Robe’s nucleus, Victoria Street. From a full-on family affair to a romantic reprieve for two, no matter the time of year, there is something for everyone.
Jump Into Beautiful Beaches
Known for its zesty water temperature, Robe serves up a bevy of sandy offerings to suit a sun craving desire.
For first-timers, Town Beach is family-friendly fodder. Adventurers will relish in an off-road rummage on the ‘back-beaches’. With a well-equipped car, stock up on snorkels, snacks for the day and diving gear for a trip to Stoney Rise.
Then, there is the behemoth, Long Beach. Cruise along 10km of crisp sand pulling up in a prime location for a dip. Come summertime, Long Beach is stockpiled with cars, boogie-boards, and deck chairs.
Learn To Surf
It’s time to master the longboard. Rural dwellers come from far and wide to the beaches for the surf.
If you are a newbie, Charlie’s Surf School is the ideal place for a shame-free first attempt on a board. Since 2009, local born and bred Charlie has been spreading the surfing word and has built a cult following of kids and adults. Held on demand, Charlie holds a maximum of four lessons a day. At $40 for a two-hour session, it is recommended you have three lessons to master the art.
Drink Local Wine at Wangolina
If you’ve made it to Robe, chances are you have a car. Retrace your steps about twenty minutes back towards Adelaide and you’ll arrive “where the wattle bird nests” at Wangolina winery.
An all-female run operation, Wangolina is the Mt Benson region’s fastest growing winery. Set in a converted farmhouse, the cellar door offers a personalised tasting journey. Friendly staff guide you through an extensive and versatile selection of wine varietals.
Pick your favourite, order a shared board of localised deliciousness, and watch the day go by beneath the towering gum trees.
Throughout the year, Wangolina hosts regular events both at the winery and in the main town. Wine lovers wanting to stay in town will also enjoy Karatta Wines and Woodsoak Wines tasting stops on Victoria Street.
Sip SA Coffee At Mahalia Coffee
Robe’s industrial area is home to more than a couple of sheds. The booming housing precinct on the outskirts of town also roasts some of Australia’s best beans.
Since 2003, Mahalia Coffee HQ has been the epicentre of the Mahalia empire. The best part? You can visit the Bali-style café where the range of beans is created and try some for yourself. While you’re there, browse through the overwhelming collection of giftable knick-knacks and devour a sweet treat.
Shop Til You Drop
Well supported by locals, the shopping scene has undergone a bit of a rejuvenation of late. As to be expected, beach fashion is on point. Steve’s Place is a mainstay of beach apparel and has even launched a beachwear line.
Meanwhile, Loaves & Fishes and Holiday do battle in the homewares and women’s fashion arena. Those looking for a heftier investment, stop by Karatta Wines cellar door for seaside themed paintings, sculptures and gift cards.
A Refreshing Morning Walk
Starting with a coffee at your favourite local hangout, set out on a coastal walk that lets you soak in the sites.
Following a well-set-out trail, head along the foreshore to where Chinese sailors first landed in Robe way back in the 19th Century. Then, make your way to the impressive marina.
Reaching the other side of town, you then wander a little further to the Obelisk. An imposing red and white structure, the stagnant beacon which once warded off sailors, has become Robe’s icon. Snap a photo, then head along the cliff edge curling your way back to the main town.
Meet the Locals at The Caledonian Inn
Believe it, Robe has a (semi) heaving (summer) nightlife. Affectionately known as The Cally, this historic sandstone pub is at the centre of Robe’s social culture.
The Caledonian Inn has undergone many a redevelopment, but the main street English style pub always manages to pull a crowd.
Perfect for a cosy winter pub feed, or a summer session with live music thrown in, every local and visiting regular has a fond memory from the Cally. Overlooking Town Beach, secure a spot in the charming waterside accommodation.
Amongst other delights, Robe is famous for its lobster. In addition to finding it on paraphernalia everywhere, the next best thing to catching your own lobster is dining on one at a local restaurant.
However, for your best shot at trying the local delicacy, book a table at Sails. Serving modern Australian fare, the seasonal menu is the most in demand local eatery. Sitting on Victoria Street, you can’t go wrong with a wine and southern rock lobster (served October to May).
Swing Away On The Golf Green
Following a $1.4million redevelopment, a serene day at the Robe Golf Club is blissful, even if you decide to enjoy it from the comfort of a golf-buggy. We guess that golf lovers will enjoy taking a swing too. Green fees start at $25 for adults.
Relax In Boutique Accomodation
Hidden amongst the lush beach-houses and coffee shops sit picturesque hamlets of housing history. Quaint sandstone cottages are commonplace around the town centre, some of which have gone on to become boutique B&Bs and holiday rentals.