For at least 30,000 years, the area around Robe was home to the Boandik First Nations peoples and Cape Dombey where the Obelisk is located is thought to have been a meeting place of these peoples.
The 12.2m high obelisk was built by a team of local stonemasons in 1855 as a marker to provide a ‘day guide’ which could be seen 16km out to sea in ordinary weather for ships entering Guichen Bay. It cost £230. It was very difficult to build here but was obviously well done as it has stood firmly in place since, while the small rocky projection on which it stands, has been reduced by erosion over time and eventually will fall into the sea and the obelisk will be lost forever.
While originally painted white, after complaints by the Captains of ships at sea that it was difficult to differentiate from Long Beach's white sand hills, the government commissioned its painting of three white and two red stripes to improve its visibility in 1862. It also stored rocket and other lifesaving equipment for the Robe lifeboat crews. The firing of rockets carrying baskets to distressed ships to bring passengers ashore helped save many lives.
Today the obelisk is a major historical landmark in Robe. So, enjoy it while you can and be sure to complete the challenge and check out the extra information about it in the sections below.
(Research sources: see video credits)