Robe is a town and fishing port on the South East Limestone Coast of South Australia. The town's distinctive combination of historical buildings, ocean, fishing fleets, lakes and dense bush is widely appreciated. Robe lies on the southern shore of Guichen Bay, just off the Princes Highway. At the 2006 census, Robe had a population of 1,246. Robe is the main town in the District Council of Robe local government area. It is in the state electorate of MacKillop and the federal Division of Barker. Robe was named after the fourth Governor of South Australia, Major Frederick Robe, who chose the site as a port in 1845. The town was proclaimed as a port in 1847. It became South Australia's second-busiest (after Port Adelaide) international port in the 1850s. Robe's trade was drawn from a large hinterland that extended into western Victoria, and many roadside inns were built to cater for the bullock teamsters bringing down the wool, including the 'Bush Inn' still standing on the outskirts of Robe. Exports included horses and sheep skins and wool. The Customs House is listed by the National Trust of Australia. A stone obelisk was built on Cape Dombey in 1852 to assist ships to navigate safely into the bay. Even so, there have been a number of shipwrecks along the coast in the area. An automatic lighthouse was built on higher ground in 1973.
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