Robe Customs House

A five sided Customs House built in 1863 of limestone and brick quoins.

The Customs House was built in 1863 and used for 25 years as a Customs House and office of Harbor Master and Receiver of Wrecks for the south east coast as far as the Victorian border.

The Customs House  is now a Maritime museum, in the care of the Robe Branch of the National Trust of SA. It became a museum in 1969 after being the local council offices for many years and reopened after a major refurbishment in October 2008.

The Customs House stands on top of a small sand hill overlooking the sea and encircled by a road called the Royal Circus. Originally bullock teams pulling drays piled high with wool or wheat would use this road as a turning circle when bringing their goods to the customs house before export. For several years the customs revenue collected was only second to those at Port Adelaide.

Between 1856-58 large numbers of Chinese men, amounting eventually to around 16,500, arrived off ships at the port of Robe on their way to the Victorian gold diggings. There is a cairn commemorating the Chinese who walked to the goldfields near the Customs House and also marking the re-enactment of this event which took place in 1986 during the state’s 150th anniversary.

Address:

Royal Circus, Robe 5276 SA

Open:

Depending on Availability of Volunteers. Enquire at Robe Visitor Information Centre (08) 8768 2465
Groups and other times by special arrangement – Branch Chair 0431 301 686

Phone:
(08) 8768 2465 Robe Visitor Centre
Entry Fees:

Gold Coin Donation