Cape Dombey Obelisk, SA

Australian Traveller - - Contents -


THIS QUIRKY land­mark is a lo­cal leg­end in Robe, on the Lime­stone Coast, but is in dan­ger of fall­ing into the ocean at any given mo­ment. Pho­tog­ra­pher Michael Wee cap­tured it on a bright day, its red and white striped liv­ery con­trast­ing vi­brantly against a coastal pal­ette. The Cape Dombey Obelisk was built as a warn­ing bea­con for sea­far­ers in 1855, af­ter a sig­nif­i­cant spike in the num­ber of ships that ran into trou­ble on the cliffs: it was vis­i­ble from 16 kilo­me­tres away and guided fish­er­men and their ves­sels into Robe’s port safely. Since then, it has be­come a last­ing sym­bol of com­mu­nity


her­itage in the small town, as well as a tourist draw­card. But over its 162-year life, the head­land it was built on has been grad­u­ally washed away by surf and wind, and now the obelisk is at real risk of fall­ing into the waves below at any mo­ment: next week, next year or in 30 years’ time. Due to its method of con­struc­tion – small stones that were lime mortared to­gether – it’s not even fea­si­ble to re­lo­cate the obelisk for pos­ter­ity. So, see it now be­fore it is too late: the ill-fated star at­trac­tion on a brac­ing coastal walk, in an idyl­lic stretch of South Aus­tralia.

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