District Council of Robe

2017 Award Winner
Award Category: Local Government Award – Organisation

District Council of Robe logo

Robe Walking Trails


The many informal walking trails through the coastal dunes and cliff tops around the Robe township had for many years damaged the environment of the areas by trampling vegetations, wearing away soft limestone rock surfaces, eroding the coastal dunal system and causing wind and water erosion.

Council by formalizing and consolidating these tracks into one trail, surfacing the trail with an impervious surface and controlling the access through the coastal areas has had a significant impact on the environment, preserving and regenerating vegetation and the dunes and cliff tops.

Council has worked cooperatively with the local coast care group in revegetating and fencing areas to control public access and protect the vegetation.

Managing Risk/Public Safety

The informal tracks through the coastal areas were in locations that attracted people close to the cliff edges.

The geology of the area (crumbling limestone) and the height of the cliffs (in excess of 20 metres) meant that these informal tracks placed people in dangerous situations and Council were required to take some action.

The new formalized trails were relocated away from the cliff edges while still allowing people to experience the views which was an effective way of managing Councils risks.

In those areas were the trails are within close proximity to the cliff edges and were unable to be relocated council has erected fencing and signage to improve the safety of the public.

Tourism/Economic Development

The construction of the new trails and their location will eventually when completed provide a 20 kilometre walking /cycling trail around the Robe township. (Council to date has completed 11 kms of this system).

Council is promoting the town as a destination for walkers and cyclists during the winter off season when the scenery and coastal views of the wild southern ocean are spectacular.

The formalization of these trails was the catalyst for the formation of the Robe Mountain Bike Association who use the coastal trails for introductory rides involving families and who have connected their more difficult rides to this coastal trail.

A new business called TRAX has been established which hires bikes and takes guided bike rides on the coastal trails or mountain bike trails dependent upon the skills of the participants.

Health and Wellbeing

The existence of the formal trails which have been designed and constructed in a way which allows easy access has encouraged the local community and the many visitors to the town to access the town by walking and cycling.

Council is promoting this health activity especially amongst people of retirement age and while the geography of the area prevents some areas of the trail being easily accessed by people with disabilities the majority of the trail can be accessed and is accessed by people using wheel chairs and gophers.

This allows people with disabilities to also enjoy the coastal scenery and be involved in some physical activity.

About the Walking Awards

Walking SA has initiated annual awards to recognise sustained and outstanding contribution to walking at all levels throughout South Australia.

Many volunteers and others have contributed to South Australia’s great walking trails, waling clubs, and walking promotion and opportunities for health, wellbeing, recreation and tourism.

If you know of someone who should be considered for an award please do consider nominating them, nominations are taken throughout the year.