Chinese Monument

  • location icon Mundy Terrace Robe SA 5276

Over 16,500 Chinese gold seekers took loans and indentured their families to raise the money for the journey to Australia to prospect for gold and escape the famine in China. The Victorian State Government fearing an influx of Orientals onto the gold fields introduced an arrival tax of 10 per passenger paid by the ships captain upon disembarking at Melbourne.

To avoid paying the tax the Chinese immigrants were disembarked at Robe, the nearest port outside of Victoria paid no tax and the prospective gold miners walked to Ballarat and Bendigo.

The Chinese were charged 10-12 to sail to Robe, 1 to be ferried from ship to shore, up to 4 for guides to the goldfields, 1 residence tax and a 1 protection fee, but the ships captains when landing in Robe were charged nothing

The Chinese miners walked over 440 kms to the Victorian goldfields in groups of up to 700 led by Bullocky guides over flooded wool trade tracks through the south east. They stumbled on and discovered the richest, shallow, alluvial goldfield in Australia's history, the Canton lead, now Ararat.

It was not an easy life for these intrepid miners , they died of Eastern disease on the ships and when they landed, died of exhaustion and exposure on the walk, were abandoned in the bush by guides, were waylaid by squatters who blackmailed them into undertaking construction works for free, were thrown and burnt off their claims on the goldfields.

Visit the Customs house museum to view relics and learn more of this interesting piece of Robes history

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