Category: Blog Large

Sea Vu January 19, 2018 0

History of Robe

Historic Robe is located 338km south east of Adelaide on Guichen Bay. Today it is very much an attractive holiday resort combining a dramatic rocky, windswept coastline with a number of attractive and secluded beaches including the beautiful, 17km long Long Beach. It is notable for its very sophisticated and charming town centre and is one of the most attractive historic towns in South Australia.

The town was named after Governor Frederick Holt Robe who sailed into Guichen Bay (the bay had been named after Admiral De Guichen in 1802 by the French explorer, Nicholas Baudin, as he sailed around the South Australian coast) in 1846 aboard the Government cutter, Lapwing. He chose the site for the town and later in 1846 it was surveyed by Thomas Burr.

Although the associations with Governor Robe are now barely recalled it is worth remembering that he was one of South Australia’s most unpopular governors with the editor of one local newspaper claiming that there was ‘never a man who worked so hard to make himself unpopular’.

In the 1840s and 1850s the majority of people travelling to Robe arrived by sailing vessel, bullock wagon or horseback. After 8 weeks at sea from London the site of Guichen Bay marked by the obelisk must have been a welcome sight for the ship’s passengers, as also it was to the many bullockies from across the border and from the north who had to travel for weeks on end averaging only 10-15 km per day. In the late 1840s substantial numbers of Irish and Scottish immigrants reached the port.

The 8 hotels in the area would have seen some of the great horsemen of the day as regular customers exchanging exciting tales with each other and with the squatters and merchants of the south east.

In 1857 the town gained widespread infamy when Chinese gold miners trying to avoid the taxes imposed at Victorian ports landed at Robe and walked across to the Victorian goldfields. In that year some 20,000 Chinese miners landed at Robe. One vessel, the Young American, reputedly carried over 1,000 passengers. The reason was simple. Victoria were charging £10 per person for entry to the state. This was more than the Chinese were paying for their sea voyage to Australia.

Not surprisingly this meant that the port had many ships eager to find cargoes once they had dropped their cargoes of Chinese miners. In the 1850s the area was providing the British Army in India with horses and the products of the local sheep industry – tallow, wool and hides – were being shipped to Europe. Until the establishment of proper jetties the bullock drays would come down the main road to the Royal Circus and simply continue on down the beach and into the water where there produce would be collected by shallow-bottomed boats which would carry them out to the waiting ships.

The importance of Robe as a major South Australian port declined after a peak of prosperity in 1864 until it became used mainly as a fishing port. The real charm and character of Robe can best be seen by walking the original streets which have been little altered since the 1860s. This, combined with the surrounding coastal area, which varies from the rugged cliffs of Cape Dombey to the tranquil countryside near the outlet to Drain L and Lake Fellmongery.
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Sea Vu November 1, 2017 0

Southern Ocean Drive – Explore the Limestone Coast

Southern Ocean Drive: See the Fleurieu, Limestone Coast and Kangaroo Island

From wine to wildlife, embark on a road trip from South Australia’s south coast to Kangaroo Island.

The great southern journey

Stunning cliff faces, roaring waves and spectacular beaches are just some of the highlights of the Southern Ocean Drive. Not to mention the Coonawarra wine region, the Naracoorte Caves and Victor Harbor – the perfect spot to take in some whale watching during the winter months. Four-wheel drive along pristine beaches or kayak along the still waterways of the Coorong and explore Kangaroo Island – one of the world’s most pristine natural environments.

Download the Southern Ocean Drive map, pack your car and away you go on this stunning six day adventure. Continue on to the Great Ocean Road or drive from Melbourne along the coast to explore the Southern Ocean Drive.

Robe is a highlight of the Limestone Coast on the Southern Ocean Drive road trip.

Southern Ocean Drive road trip map

Southern Ocean Drive road trip map

Download the Southern Ocean Drive road trip map with suggested stops and experiences.

Limestone Coast

Discover Coonawarra reds

Taste for yourself why the Coonawarra is known as Australia’s red wine centre.

Kangaroo Beach Lodges, Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island visitor information

Discover Kangaroo Island – a place of authentic experiences that make you pause and reflect.

Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island on Instagram

Discover more #KangarooIsland wildlife and landscape photos on Instagram.

Piccaninnie Ponds

Limestone Coast on Instagram

Discover more amazing photos of the #LimestoneCoast on Instagram.

Long Beach at Robe, Limestone Coast

Robe visitor information

Reminisce, relax and explore the seafaring history of South Australia’s favourite seaside town.

Southern Ocean Drive road trip highlights:

Mount Gambier to Coonawarra – 30 minutes. See the Blue Lake, Umpherston Sinkhole, Piccaninnie Ponds, Saint Mary McKillop Centre in Penola and stop in at cellar doors in the Coonawarra.

Coonawarra to Robe – 90 minutes. Visit more Coonawarra cellar doors and the Naracoorte Caves. See Robe’s Long Beach, do some shopping in the main street and snap photos of the stunning Robe Obelisk.

Robe to Victor Harbor – 4 hours 30 minutes. Marvel at the Coorong, Jack Point Pelican Observatory, Meningie Cheese Factory Museum and sample the offerings at Langhorne Creek’s cellar doors. Explore the Goolwa Wharf Precinct, take a Big Duck Boat cruise, enjoy views from The Bluff, take the horse drawn tram to Granite Island and join a Spirit of the Coorong Cruise.

Victor Harbor to Kangaroo Island – 45 minutes. Take the SeaLink Ferry to Penneshaw, visit Seal Bay, Raptor Domain, take a tour with Kangaroo Island Outdoor Action and get sandy at Little Sahara.

Kangaroo Island. Explore Flinders Chase National Park, see why Admirals Arch and Remarkable Rocks are among the most photographed places on Kangaroo Island, climb the lighthouse at Cape Borda and hit the beach at Stokes Bay.

Kangaroo Island to Adelaide – 1 hour 45 minutes. Follow the McMurtie Mile in McLaren Vale and taste, discover and experience the very best McLaren Vale has to offer all on one road. Explore the area’s cellar doors and restaurants featuring local produce.


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Sea Vu May 8, 2017 0

Last Chance Tourism

Mining. Wind farms. National park development. Bitumen in the Outback. The list of things altering the Big Lap experience is growing. Yet, rather than putting grey nomads off hitting the road, it seems that even changes seen as ‘negative’ are having the opposite effect.

Australian experts have identified the rise of a phenomenon known as ‘Last Chance Tourism’, whereby people choose to visit a destination expressly because it is in danger, and because they want to see it before it’s too late.

Research conducted by two University of Queensland academics, Annah Piggott-McKellar and Karen McNamara, has shown the Great Barrier Reef is a classic example. A survey of hundreds of reef tourists revealed that 69% chose to visit because they wanted to do so ‘before it was gone’. While coral bleaching and the reef’s general ailing health may have given tourists a new reason to visit, it doesn’t exactly promise a long-term future.

“There’s a vicious cycle at play here: tourists travel to see a destination before it disappears but, in so doing they contribute to its demise, either directly through on-site pressures or through greenhouse gas emissions,” said the academics. “These added pressures
increase the vulnerability of the destination and in turn push up the demand for Last Chance Tourism still further.”

While the Great Barrier Reef is the classic case of an iconic destination being under imminent threat, there are numerous less publicised examples affecting the grey nomad world. And it’s not always changes to the natural landscape itself.

Many grey nomads rushed to camp at James Price Point north of Broome a couple of years ago when it looked like a giant gas hub was going to be built there; other travellers have headed up to Cape York before more bitumen ‘spoils the adventure’; and some want to visit remote national parks before improved amenities make it ‘too civilised’ and bring in the crowds.

While she has not studied grey nomad behaviour specifically, Annah Piggott-McKellar says some general conclusions can be drawn.

“The concept that something people care a lot about being threatened and its state changed to a less desirable state by something – whether it be coral bleaching, shower blocks, or bitumen roads – leads people to want to experience it before it does change is legitimate,” she told the Grey Nomads. “However whether it is the last chance to see something, period, can be an exaggeration in some instances … it would be more appropriate to say that people are wanting to see something ‘in its current form’.”

She says Last Chance Tourism may be a factor for grey nomads when they perceive the expected change to be a significant one.

“The wilderness areas will still be there, but the value they hold to travellers might have changed due to increased infrastructure,” said Ms PiggottMcKellar. “So, while it’s not a ‘see it before it is gone’, it could be a ‘see it before it changes’ scenario.”


This post is reprinted from The Grey Nomads. Check out more stories here.


Sea Vu May 8, 2017 0

A Family Travel Blog

How did we get started on our family road trip and start travelling Australia? You might relate to some of the things we went through in getting started, especially if you are in two minds about your own family road trip; so read on – hopefully it will inspire you to get started with your own planning.

Camping? How did I get to be a camping person? I thought I was a hotel girl. I was a hotel girl! I was a five star hotel girl. Camping? I’d never used the word ‘ablutions’ before let alone used them. So when my husband mentioned, several years ago, that we were going camping for our first holiday in over 5 years, I was a tad perplexed. I think my first comment was “Who? Us?” All I needed to do apparently was.. try it. That’s what we always told the children wasn’t it? Try things. He had booked nine nights, but said, if after three I wanted to go home. Then we’d go. How could I say no? (The actual family road trip was not even hinted at at this point!)

We borrowed our friend’s tent – yes tent, no van at this stage – and all the equipment that we’d need. Oh and the coffee machine, and the air conditioner and the TV. My husband drew the line at the dish washer, something to do with plumbing – boy stuff.

I lasted nine nights and we booked in another two. I loved it. Most days were at the beach, I read three books, wine o’clock was found. And surprisingly we could survive without the dishwasher. (Thanks mostly to the deal that if he wouldn’t let me bring it, then he would become it!). I truly embraced it and really couldn’t wait to do it again.

“Let’s Travel Around Australia!” Hubby then suggested. “Let’s take the children out of school, buy a caravan, and do the family road trip to every state in Australia.”

Well, I had enjoyed the camping and I’d like to have a better look around this country – a family road trip sounded like a great idea…..but what about the children’s education? They need to continue to learn! Home School them? Me? Are you kidding me? No, not kidding. Right….Right.

Next question “How long for?” – We had somehow found ourselves in a position, where hubby was working all the time and not able to spend as much time as he would like with the children and really felt like he was missing out. A friend had just be diagnosed with a terminal illness and something just clicked. We thought that we needed to do this trip now. What were we waiting for?


This article is reprinted from “Travelling Australia With Kids” – Click here to find out more.