There are endless places to explore around KIAMA.Take in really fresh air along the coast or in the hinterlands around the area.
A good tip is the user-friendly Kiama Walk-it map identifies locations of popular walking paths and tracks and also provides information on the time taken to complete each walk, distance and grade of difficulty. The Kiama Walk it map also shows interesting locations to visit during each walk. Call into Kiama Visitors Centre for further information including pocket guides and trail maps or download the Kiama Walk-it Map at their website.
Let the photos speak for themselves! Make sure you take a drinkbottle (with plenty of water of course)during summer and even during the colder months as September to October can also be very cold and windy.
Make sure you allocate time to explore several marked and unmarked tracks that exist around the coastal reserves. They include - Minnamurra Headland, Cathedral Rocks, Bombo, Black Beach to Kaleula Head and Little Blowhole to Loves Bay.
Being a passionate nature lover, the natural phenomenon of Kiama's blowhole was a pleasant surprise as excited as I was to see them, I was also wary having read of several unfortunate incidents of drownings around the area.
As usual, my endless curiosity got the better of me and I was not disappointed, nor was it unsafe for the kids.
The blowholes, the main and little blowholes had safe viewing platforms properly fenced off and allows even little ones to view the enormous plumes of water being spouted sandwiched between the rocks in the ocean. apparently when the seawaters run from he southeast.
According to the visit nsw website-This landmark has attracted people to the region for over 100 years, and was first sighted by George Bass when he anchored his whale boat in the sheltered bay, now known as Kiama harbour, in December 1797.
I also learned that an estimated 600 000 people visit the Blowhole per year to view the spectacular plumes of water that can be seen when the seas are running from the south east.
The blowholes are a sight to behold especially on windy days! Lucky for us, a particularly cool breeze was blowing when we were there, so watching spouts of water
rush above as the waves crashed on the rock,s was truly spectacular!
My boys squealed with delight and didn't seem to tire waiting for the sudden rush of water
to a point where we get splashed from time to time! It was fun and something I have never experienced in my life! Something unforgettable indeed!
Be warned though, passing through sleepy seaside towns, pleasant emerald fields and
fascinating coastlines, don't expect a MacDonald's or KFC to quickly asuage your kids' and your own's hunger!
Having a much slower pace of life, things around this area seem to be at a very relaxed plateau..so you have to wait a while even for a cup of coffee! We have forgotten our flask in the beachfront cabin we rented for that week.
It's a bit hard to miss the lighthouse; (a) because it stands out and (b) because it's right next to the blowhole.
As these things go it's not very spectacular, more of a reference point really. That doesn't stop lots of people having their photos taken in front of it however.
The following is taken from a newspaper at the time (1886):
"Situated on the round apex of Blowhole Point, the Kiama lighthouse stands from sea level to the light at a height of 224 feet. The foundation is concrete, 14 feet in depth and 12 feet in diameter; from the bottom of the foundation to the top of the entrance is 16 feet. The height of the building from the floor to the coping is 36 feet, to the light is 40 feet, and to the top of the weather vane is 50 feet.
The building is of brick, cemented outside and plastered within. The ascent is accomplished by means of three iron ladders, leading from one storey to another, the staircase being lighted by side lights.
The top of the structure is surrounded by a very artistic railing; and the light, which will be of a similar magnifying power to the Hornby light, near Watson's Bay, is very shortly expected to arrive from England."
Which just goes to prove that you can't believe everything you read in the press. It's actually only 121 feet above sea level.
Kiama's centre is bustling and has a vibrant feel about it. I like the way the shops surround the spacious park, it gives a balance to the whole situation and, unlike nearby Shellharbour, there are lots of trees still around.
Terralong Street crosses Collins Street and forms the main area of activity. Terralong runs northwest to southeast, ending up at the Blowhole if you go far enough.
Inland from Kiama there are abundant amounts of waterfalls and escarpments where the sandstone plateaus drop dramatically into the canyons below.
Most of them are part of National Parks and Wildlife and all represent worthwhile day trips but you can manage a few in one hit.
One of my favourites is Fitzroy Falls that also has Twin Falls and The Grotto at the same location.
A rugged beauty makes walking the headlands a great way to spend time and there's certainly some ramparts that taunt the eye, especially if they are being pounded by a rising swell.
I'll leave the pictures to tell the rest of the story here.
Bearing in mind the rugged nature of the coastline, it's quite surprising that there is a harbour at Kiama, albeit not one where an ocean liner might berth.
Fishing is what this harbour is all about and there are at least four charter vessels on offer to take you and your money out on the ocean.
There's also an ideally situated restaurant and the whole thing is easily accessed by the walkway that follows the coastline, something that other places could take note of, especially at how well it's been made.
We had left the relative security of Easts Beach Caravan Park and driven to the local showground nearby when I suggested to Rosemarie that we go for a walk.
Immediately beside us was the headland and there was a steadily increasing southerly swell, always worth a look when there's a moderate sea running. What freaked me out was that there were two lid riders (boogie boarders) out. Well, actually, one was already out but the other was awaiting a gap in the swells.
As you can clearly see from the opening shot, it wasn't the most risk-free thing he was ever going to do in his life. Made for good photography though!
Yes, this heritage protected lot of cottages has been saved (well done I say) from developers and now provides a bonanza for those who want to browse or have a cuppa. Situated on Collins Street on top of the park it is very easy to lighten your wallet here.
One of the highlights for me was the Beach and Bush Gallery where you can see the results of over 30 years of photography by a man named Gary Barnes who was born up the road at Wollongong. His panoramic prints are definitely in the eye candy category but you can also have something to eat and drink as it doubles as a cafe as well, though there are more places nearby to choose from in that aspect.
Aside from that there is a wonderful range of gift items at some of the other shops. Make sure you allocate time for the Terrace Cottages.
Between Collins Street and the ocean is a fertile area for a stroll. You can ramble past historic buildings, go beserk shopping, relax a while in the park or just enjoy the stroll.
The repainted post office is one of the standout pieces of architecture
We didn't have long to spend in Kiama as we were just passing through, but we did take time to see the lighthouse, which looked quite impressive against the backdrop of the sea and brilliant blue sky.
"Oh, a wondrous bird is the pelican!
His bill holds more than his belican.
He can take in his beak
Enough food for a week.
But I'm darned if I know how the helican."
Dixon Lanier Merritt
These huge black and white birds with pale pink bills and pouches are one of only 7 or 8 species of pelicans worldwide (internet resources disagree on how many). The Pelicanus conspicillatus, or spectacled pelican, has a wingspan of about 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 m, and it's nearly 2 meters long. They are generally seen all over Australia, as well in other areas of the Pacific.
There is a pelican statue at the harbour area on the north side of Blowhole Point in Kiama, dedicated to a dead pelican who was found to have several plastic bags in its stomach.
The message? Dispose of litter properly, and realize that many animals/birds who live in/around the water are attracted to plastics, which appear to them to be their natural foods. Inevitably plastics cause fatalities once ingested.... or even strangulation if looped around necks, etc.
Kiama was built along a pretty wavy section of the coast, so from the points you get beautiful views back at the surrounding headlands.
I think this is a view of Pheasant Point from an area of Kiama Harbour on the north side of Blowhole Point.
I've heard that this hole can really blow, but it wasn't doing that much today. It takes precise timing to get the right pictures, because if you wait until the WHOMP, you've already missed your shot!
The Blow Hole is probably what Kiama is best known for. I remember visiting it years ago and I was pretty impressed...but this visit the blow hole didn't even 'blow'... I guess if you're visiting, make sure you go to the blow hole at high tide...