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Robe

South Australia

ROBE.SA.GUIDE

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Robe Local History

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Robe is a small town located in the southeastern region of South Australia. The town has a long history that is deeply intertwined with the region, dating back to the early 1800s. Robe is situated on Guichen Bay, which was originally named by French explorer Bruni d'Entrecasteaux in the late 18th century. The area that is now Robe was used by Indigenous Australians, notably the Ngarrindjeri people, for thousands of years before colonization.

In the early 1800s, whaling was a major industry in the region, and Robe was a key location for whaling stations. In 1846, Captain Barker established the first sheep station in the area and by the mid-1850s, the town of Robe was established as a port town to support the growing wool export industry. Robe became an important stopover point for ships traveling between the eastern colonies and Europe, as well as being a popular port for traders from the nearby goldfields of Victoria.

During the 1850s, Robe played an important role in the establishment of the colony of South Australia. In 1852, Charles Sturt, a noted explorer and colonial administrator, arrived in Robe in order to negotiate a loan for the colony from the Bank of South Australia. As a result of these negotiations, Robe became the capital of the colony for a brief period before Adelaide was officially designated as the capital in 1856. Robe also played an important role in the establishment of the South Australian Police Force, with the first police force in the colony being established in Robe in 1840.

Throughout the 1860s and 1870s, the town of Robe continued to grow as a major port town. However, the rise of other ports in the region, including Port Adelaide and Port Augusta, led to a decline in the importance of Robe as a port town. Despite this decline, Robe remained an important center of the wool export industry for many years.

Today, the town of Robe is a popular tourist destination, known for its historic buildings, beautiful beaches, and scenic coastline. Many of the town's historic buildings, including the Customs House and the Old Gaol, have been preserved and are now tourist attractions. In addition, the town is home to a number of art galleries, cafes, and restaurants, making it a popular destination for both local and international visitors.

Overall, the history of Robe is deeply intertwined with the history of the region and the colony of South Australia. From its early days as a whaling and wool port town to its importance in the establishment of the colony and later as a tourist destination, the town of Robe has played an important role in the history of the region. Today, it remains an important part of South Australia's rich cultural heritage and a popular destination for visitors from around the world.


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Small beach at Robe on the Limestone Coast thanks to Ian Wool
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