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The ultimate guide to Kiama

Kiama Blowhole Point, KiamaCREDIT: Destination NSW

Aerial overlooking Kiama Blowhole Point, Kiama.

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The ultimate
guide to Kiama

Kiama Blowhole Point, Kiama CREDIT: Destination NSW

Aerial overlooking Kiama Blowhole Point, Kiama.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Hashtags #lovensw #newsouthwales

Where to eat and drink 

Diggies Blowhole Point Kiama opened in December 2019, offering coastal views, a beach vibe, great cocktails, and high-quality food with a focus on seafood (think pan-fired local Kiama snapper, and prawn and basil ragu). It’s the same combination that has served Diggies so well at its iconic venue 40 minutes up the coast at Wollongong.  

Silica, on Kiama Surf Beach, offers everything from takeaway fish and chips to three-course dinners and a tasting menu, with much of its produce home grown on a community farm. Head to Art Bar Kiama for great tapas, drinks, art exhibitions and live music in the quiet Kiama backstreets, perched on a hill with ocean views. Grab hand-crafted burgers at The Hungry Monkey, and wholefoods and great coffee at Wild Patch Café

Kiama is the northern gateway to the thriving Shoalhaven Coast wine region, and vineyards, cellar doors and restaurants are all within easy reach. Head to Coolangatta Estate, half an hour south of Kiama, where you can enjoy wine tasting experiences with grazing boards, and a restaurant. The winery is best known for its award-winning mature semillons. The estate was first settled in 1822, and you can stay here in convict-built (and lovingly restored) buildings, including the old dairy and blacksmith’s shop, all just a stroll from the cellar door. You can even jump aboard a monster truck and head to the summit of Mount Coolangatta with Bigfoot Adventures, for spectacular coastal views, and combine the trip with a tour of the estate.

Crooked River Wines is near the beautiful beaches of Gerringong, a 10-minute drive south of Kiama, and offer outstanding views as well as award-winning wines grown in the rich volcanic soil of the area. It has a cellar door, is home to a brewery (Uncle Joe’s Brew), offers accommodation in Willowvale Estate House, and has a restaurant overlooking the vineyard. Also near Gerringong, Roselea Vineyard grows pesticide-free chardonnay, verdelho, chambourcin and ruby cabernet grapes, and offers tastings by appointment. 

Take a farm tour at Buena Vista Farm outside of Gerringong and learn all about the small-scale, sustainable farming systems that are used to produce eggs, dairy, coffee, goat’s milk and more. You can also join workshops to explore cheesemaking, biscuit baking, chicken raising, fermenting and growing your own organic vegetables.  

Where to play  

Kiama’s most famous attraction is the Kiama Blowhole, an opening in an oceanside rock face near the centre of town that produces spectacular plumes of water that can spray up to 30m in the air. There are lots of vantage points, and a picnic area and ocean pool nearby. A 10-minute drive to the south, you’ll find its lesser-known cousin, Little Blowhole Kiama

Pull on your walking boots and set off on the spectacular Kiama Coast Walk, a 20km hike from the mouth of the Minnamurra River, south through Kiama to Gerringong’s Werri Beach. It includes beach walks, gentle hills, dramatic rock formations and panoramic ocean views, and can be divided into three sections of shorter walking and cycling paths, if you don’t fancy taking on the whole thing. 

South Coast Experiences can arrange bespoke adventures for visitors including romantic beach picnics, art and floral art workshops, fishing charters, wellness workshops, pottery classes and yoga classes.  

Learn to surf with former big-wave surfer Rusty Moran at Gerringong Surf School, or head to Gerroa, a few minutes down the road, where Surf Camp Australia offers lessons and multi-day camps.  

At Illawarra Fly, half an hour inland from Kiama, you can experience the Treetop Walk in native rainforest, along gently swaying walkways 50m above the ground. Or for a change of pace, fly through the air on a zipline tour that whisks you from one treetop platform to another, 35m above the forest floor. You’ll learn all about the rainforest from your guide along the way.  

Get wet and wild at the family-run Jamberoo Action Park, just outside the pretty village of Jamberoo, a 10-minute drive west of Kiama. Exciting water slides include the Perfect Storm, a vortex ride that sucks you and three friends into a giant twister to experience zero gravity. 

A 10-minute drive west of Jamberoo, the Minamurra Rainforest Centre is the gateway to Budderoo National Park. Cross a suspension bridge and take an elevated walkway on the easy and shady 1.6km Rainforest Loop Walk. If you want to go further, continue on to the Falls Walk, which leads you to viewing platforms at the lower and upper Minnamurra Falls. 

Highlights from Kiama CREDIT: Destination NSW

Selects from the south coast town of Kiama.

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Highlights from Kiama CREDIT: Destination NSW

Selects from the south coast town of Kiama.

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Crooked River Wines, Gerringong CREDIT: Dee Kramer Photography

Aerial view of Crooked River Wines, Gerringong.

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Crooked River Wines, Gerringong CREDIT: Dee Kramer Photography

Aerial view of Crooked River Wines, Gerringong.

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Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures, Knights Hill CREDIT: Destination NSW

Guide zipping through the scenery at Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures, Knights Hill in the Illawarra region of NSW.

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Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures, Knights Hill CREDIT: Destination NSW

Guide zipping through the scenery at Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures, Knights Hill in the Illawarra region of NSW.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Where to sleep 

The coastline and rolling hills of the Kiama region offer a huge range of accommodation options, from new hotels to luxury bespoke guesthouses. Nova Kiama opened in late 2019. A couple of minutes’ walk from the Surf Beach, it has options from queen rooms to executive suites with kitchens, has a swimming pool and gym, and serves coffee and snacks from a converted VW Kombi parked in the lobby. The Driftwood Beach House Kiama is a gorgeous pale-blue weatherboard cottage, beautifully renovated to create a modern beachside retreat for families and groups. It sleeps up to nine, has multiple living areas, whitewashed floors and an outdoor room for alfresco dining in the centre of the home.  

At Soul of Gerringong, builder and interior design duo Ben and Simone Mathews have combined to create a stylish, laid-back, bespoke guesthouse experience. Choose from the Soul Farmhouse (sleeping up to 16 guests in a farmhouse, barn and cabana) and the Soul Cottage (sleeping up to seven). Both offer light-filled, open-plan, white-timbered luxury, and the option of in-house services including grazing tables, a pop-up bar, spa treatments, a personal trainer and an outdoor cinema. The Mercure Gerringong Resort, a boutique hotel near Werri Beach, has spacious rooms including spa suites, the onsite Bella Char restaurant and wine bar, a tennis court, two pools and a day spa. 

A five-minute drive from Gerringong, the luxury four-bedroom, four-bathroom Ocean Farm holiday house takes its name from its location on a working farm overlooking the ocean. Check out the stunning views while cooling off in the highly Instagrammable infinity pool. 

Just outside Jamberoo, Terragong 1858 Country House Bed & Breakfast offers three comfortable bedrooms and numerous guest areas, including a library, garden room and wraparound verandah, in a National Trust-listed Colonial Georgian country house. Cottage garden beds, magnolias and figs can be found in the gardens, a two-course breakfast is provided each morning, and there are complimentary drinks and snacks each afternoon. 

Ocean Farm, Gerringong CREDIT: Destination NSW

Couple relaxing by the pool at Ocean Farm luxury accommodation in Gerringong.

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Ocean Farm, Gerringong CREDIT: Destination NSW

Couple relaxing by the pool at Ocean Farm luxury accommodation in Gerringong.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

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