RDA Limestone Coast Region

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District Council of Robe

About the area

Current area:

Key Statistics


The District Council of Robe is located in the Limestone Coast Region of South Australia, about 340 kilometres south-east of the Adelaide CBD. The District Council of Robe is bounded by the Kingston District Council area in the north, the Naracoorte-Lucindale Council area in the east, the Wattle Range Council area in the south, and the Southern Ocean in the west.

Economic Region

Included Areas

The District Council of Robe includes the localities of Boatswain Point, Bray (part), Clay Wells (part), Greenways, Kangaroo Inn (part), Mount Benson, Nora Creina (part), Reedy Creek (part) and Robe.

Land Use

The District Council of Robe is largely rural, with a small township at Robe. The District Council encompasses a total land area of about 1,100 square kilometres. Rural land is used largely for sheep and cattle grazing and crop growing, with some viticulture, forestry and aquaculture (particularly lobster). Tourism is also an important industry, with a high proportion of holiday homes in the area.

Name Origin

The District Council of Robe is named after Major Frederick Holt Robe, Governor of South Australia, who selected the site in 1846.

Indigenous Meaning

The original inhabitants of the Robe area were the Booandik Aboriginal people.


European settlement dates primarily from 1846 when the village of Robe was established, with land used mainly for grazing and crop growing. Considerable growth took place during the 1850s and 1860s as Robe developed as a port, serving as the major shipping service of the south-east until the late 1860s. The population declined from the 1870s, largely due to the port not being connected to the south-east railway network. Fishing then became an important industry. Population growth took place from the 1940s, aided by improved access, the popularity of summer holidays, and the development of the rock lobster industry. The population increased from the early 1990s, rising from about 1,200 in 1991 to about 1,700 in 2006. The population then declined, falling to about 1,400 in 2011, mainly due to a decline in dwelling occupancy rates.

Major Features

Major features of the District Council include Guichen Bay Conservation Park, Little Dip Conservation Park, Woakwine Conservation Reserve, Lake Robe Game Reserve, Lake Butler, Lake Charm, Lake Eliza, Lake Fellmongery, Lake Robe, Lake St Clair, Guichen Bay, Fox’s Beach, Hoopers Beach, Karatta Beach, Long Beach, Town Beach, Robe Sealife Centre, Robe Lighthouse, Cape Dombey Obelisk, Robe Customs House, Robe Gaol Ruins, Cape Thomas Wines, Governor Robe Wines, Karatta Wines, Woodsoak Wines, Robe Golf Course, Lipson Park, Tarooki Youth Camp and Robe Aerodrome.


The District Council of Robe is served by the Princes Highway and the Southern Ports Highway.

RDA Limestone Coast Region

economic profile