Robe is situated on the magnificent Limestone Coast just over the Victorian border at the end of the Great Ocean Road. Just 4 hours drive south of Adelaide it’s the perfect spot for a weekend getaway, relaxing holiday with the family or the perfect stopover for busy people on the move between Adelaide and Melbourne.

How to get here

Visitors can get to Robe by car (600 kilometres from Melbourne and approx 360km from Adelaide). Bus services run from both cities. These services terminate at the Shell service station. The Service station is not a bus terminal, but it does have toilets, shelter, take away food and drink. It is a 2 minute walk to the main street of Robe from here.

• From/To Adelaide Bus tickets for Adelaide can be purchased at the local Australia Post Office. The bus service to Adelaide is run by Premier Stateliner. It can be just as easy to make a phone booking with Premier Stateliner. Thursdays and Fridays you can get from Adelaide to Robe in the morning (8.15) or evening (5.30). Sundays the bus leaves Adelaide at 2.45pm. Other days the service leaves at 8.15am. the bus trip takes about six hours.

• From/To Melbourne Premier Stateliner also do the round trip to Melbourne. Again it is normally easier just to call them to make a booking

Getting around Robe

Robe is tightly packed and well organised in it’s little place in the sun. Most attractions can be seen by just walking around. If you prefer not to huff and puff you can drive around easily and get to nearly everything, except the off road 4WD tracks. Please note there are no taxis in Robe.

Happyshack has properties both in the heart of town, by the beach, on the outskirts or at Long Beach. You can walk from one end of town to the other in around 1 hour.

What to see
  • Beaches: Robes beaches are pristine and unpolluted. Everything from rugged coastal cliff top beaches to 11km of long, white, flat surf and swimming beaches.
  • Chinese Monument: In 1857 some 17,000 Chinese landed at Robe and walked to the Ballarat Goldfields to avoid paying the tax if they landed in Melbourne. At one stage some 4000 Chinese were camped in Robe.
  • The Obelisk: In the early days of settlement, Robe was the main port for the south-east of South Australia and the border country. Until the establishment of its lighthouse, the only navigational aid into Robe was an obelisk.
  • Beacon Hill Lookout: Originally an old navigational point, Beacon Hill Lookout Tower overlooks Robe. The tower offers stunning views across the town to the ocean and bay.

What to do
  • Walk the beautiful beaches and historical streets, get to know the locals and chat with business owners.
  • Wineries: Located approx 25km from Robe is the Mount Benson wine region with cellar doors open regularly. Located a short distance away are the Penola and the Coonawarra wine region. This famous wine producing region is approximately 1 kilometre wide and 17 kilometres long and is home to some of the very best red wines available.
  • Sports: Whilst in Robe you can enjoy all kinds of water sports plus golf, tennis, squash, football, cricket, skate boarding, bike riding and waking.
  • History: Visit the Robe Visitor Information Centre and walk through the history room with photos, videos, maps and associated walks.
  • Shop till you drop: Robe has the most incredible array of retail shops. From gourmet food and wine to clothes, home wares, giftware, antiques and bookstores.

Feed me

Robe has a multitude of different eateries. Everything from the bakery and award winning butcher to cafes, pubs, pizza bars, coffee houses, ice cream parlours and upmarket alacart dining.

Drink me

There are two hotels in Robe. The Robe Hotel and The Caledonian, some of the cafes are also licensed. Some live entertainment is available on weekends.

Odds & sods
  • Robe is a quiet and safe community. Criminal activity is negligible however it is still advisable to keep valuables and cars locked, especially in the busy peak periods.
  • The best mobile phone reception comes from Optus, then Telstra (although it can be temperamental in the outskirts). Unfortunately vodaphone reception is virtually non existent.
  • The local library/Visitor Information Centre has free Internet facilities available as well as wireless.

Our view of home

One half of the creators of Happyshack have been a resident of Robe for countless generations (the last four are still ambling around, the rest lie in peace in our beautiful, historic and fascinating Robe cemetery). We have current generations of family in the town running and working local businesses, on the land farming magnificent lamb and beef, in the vines at Mount Benson making succulent reds and crisp whites and on the boats bringing in their quota of fresh crayfish.

We’ve spent our childhoods roaming Robes pristine beaches and investigating the rock pools, attending local sporting events, tobogganing down massive sand hills and camping in backyards. Our teenage years wandering aimlessly and parking on the beach with the music on as teenagers do, swimming, surfing, boarding, kayaking or just plain burning in the sun. We’ve driven down, on to Long Beach in the family car with a BBQ, esky and the kitchen sink and spent the entire day and most of the night there. We’ve skinny dipped in the seclusion of moon light and had camp fires on the beach and reminisced about the good old days. We’ve had the pleasure of waking to the sound of distant waves rhythmically crashing on the shore and to the idling of the diesel engine boats preparing to make the voyage to sea.

We’ve watched Robes fishing fleet be blessed and taken rides out into Guichen Bay on the blessed boats and forgotten our sea legs. Watched the local boys swim for the cross and watched them shiver and turn blue afterwards. We’ve thrown a line in from the jetty, the breakwater and from the shore, baited for crabs and had large octopuses scare the wits out of us.

We’ve delighted in watching whales frolic with their calves in Guichen Bay, pods of dolphins herding schools of bait fish into a feeding frenzy at Hoopers Beach and ridden horses along the expansive sands of West Beach. We’ve been excited and terrified by the smallest rock pool anemone and wondered if it was possible if we stuck our finger in that it could hold on to us forever. We’ve collected shells, smooth glass and mermaid beads, hunted for shark eggs and squealed with delight turning rocks where the Lake Battye drains out into the ocean.

We’ve taken early morning walks, jogs and bike rides along cliff top paths and watched the sun rise over the ocean to greeg a new day, full of fresh air, sweat and red faces.

It’s just so beautiful here in Robe, the crystal clear water with it’s breathtaking blue shine, unpolluted beaches, laid back people and multitude of local Limestone Coast producers providing restaurants with the freshest in season delights.

Our explosive Christmas tourist season enables us to have so much more than your average country town of 1300 permanent residents. There are specialty clothes and home wares stores, beauty and massage services, divine cafes and restaurants, expansive pubs with live music and poker nights, and every second hand and antique store you can think of. We even have a specialist coffee brewer, ice cream parlour and our own double cinema.

There isn’t much about Robe, it’s community, people and business that we can’t tell you something about. Our team are also local and come with their own vast experience and stories of their arrival in Robe and their inability to leave.

If you haven’t guessed by now, we love Robe, we love its serenity, its fusion of history and modern comforts, it’s people and it’s sense of community. Its home to us and we’d like to impart a little of that sense of belonging to you – our guest at Happyshack. Our holiday coordinators can help with any questions you have about Robe and the Limestone Coast, regardless of whether you are staying with us or not. We just love to tell people how great it is here. Give us a call on 08 8768 2341 and if we don’t know the answer your looking for we’ll find someone who does.

Come on, visit Robe, we know you’ll love it as much as we do.