The seaside town of Robe, on South Australia’s Limestone Coast, is blessed with a lovely bay, and kilometres of stunning beachfront. With a rich maritime history, crayfish a local speciality, and plenty to do in and on the water, it’s an ideal summer retreat. But there’s also ample to discover in the surrounding area.
Little Dip Conservation Park
South of Robe, Little Dip Conservation Park makes a great day out for nature lovers. There are several four-wheel drive tracks that will take you to secluded spots, ideal for a picnic or simply to admire the beautiful views and serenity. Along the coast edge of the park, you might clamber over the sand dunes, stroll along the boardwalk, or try your hand at beach fishing. The park is home to several small lakes, including the shallow and marshy Lake Eliza and the larger Big Dip Lake and Fresh Water Lake. Birds flock to the lakes, so it’s a great spot for those keen on wildlife. North of the park, pretty Nora Creina Bay is also worth a stop.
Pack your binoculars if you’re looking to visit Beachport. This coastal town and adjacent park is home to a wide variety of birdlife, including the rare orange-bellied parrot. Park your car and take a look at the historic jetty or enjoy the walking trail, which winds around Woolley Lake. The coast here is lined with striking limestone cliffs.
Upper South East Marine Park
From Robe, you can also access Upper South East Marine Park, a haven for animal lovers with abundant marine and bird life. Fishing is popular in the park, or you might pay a visit to Lake Fellmongery, a large freshwater lake whose name came about after a fellmongery was established there in the 1860’s. For those who haven’t heard the term before, a fellmongery is an industrial plant where wool is removed from sheepskins.
Mount Benson Wine Region
The Mount Benson Wine Region is emerging as one of South Australia’s most interesting wine areas. And while it’s the place to head if you’re looking to sample a selection of fine reds and whites, it’s also a picturesque spot that’s a pleasure to drive through. Pack a picnic to dine in the open air and make a day of it. Or, better still; fill up on cheese, olives and other fine produce from local providers. Be sure to visit the Robe Visitor Information Centre for a map of the region before you head off.
If you have the time, there are a few spots further afield that shouldn’t be missed. Naracoorte Caves is a World Heritage listed site 150km south of Robe. There are five stunning caves to explore, and a variety of tours on offer, including adventure caving for the more athletic. The area was once home to marsupials similar to giant wombats and kangaroos, and you can view life-sized models of these amazing creatures at the fascinating Wonambi Fossil Centre.
And if you’re heading to or from Victoria between November and February, don’t miss one of South Australia’s unique treasures. The Blue Lake in Mount Gambier is renowned for its striking cobalt waters, which stay mysteriously vivid during the summer months, before returning to a sombre dark blue. There’s a walking track around the edge of the lake, or you can join a tour down a glass lift in the original dolomite well shaft for a closer look.
And of course while you are exploring the beautiful surrounds of Robe, you will need a place to stay! Check out the award winning Robe Harbour View Motel for 4-star luxury and affordable accommodation. Visit their website here – www.robeharbourview.com.au.