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Things to do in Kiama

15 Best Things to Do in Kiama (Top Attractions)

Last updated: April 4, 2024

Discover the 15 best attractions and activities in Kiama and its surrounding area, from coastal walks and lookouts to beaches and markets.

Kiama is a town in the Illawarra region of New South Wales, located about 120 km south of Sydney. The town and surrounding area are characterised by beautiful coastal cliffs, scenic beaches, and panoramic vantage points.

Below, we share our top 15 things to do in and around the coastal township of Kiama, one of Sydney’s best day trip destinations .

1. Kiama Coast Walk

Kiama coastline

The Kiama Coast Walk is a 22 km long coastal walking track between Minnamurra River in the north and Gerringong in the south.

It is one of the most scenic coastal walks in New South Wales, with fantastic scenery to take in, including stunning beaches, dramatic rock formations, and incredible ocean views.

But if the distance of this fantastic walking trail throws you off, don’t worry, because you don’t have to do the entire 22 kilometres. The walk can roughly be divided into three sections, and if you prefer to stay close to Kiama, it’s recommended to do the stretch between the Kiama Blowhole and Loves Bay.

Also worth noting is that sections of this walk are a shared pedestrian and cycle path. If you love cycling, check out the Thirroul to Kiama route, a popular 60 km long bike ride.

2. Cathedral Rocks

Cathedral Rocks in Kiama

Cathedral Rocks are a fascinating and distinctive set of rock formations located just south of Jones Beach.

The volcanic rock formations are the result of years of erosion, and they can be best viewed from the various vantage points on the headland.

Note that Cathedral Rocks are at their best during sunrise, so bring your camera, settle in, and get ready for an amazing spectacle as the sun rises over Kiama.

3. Kiama Lighthouse

Kiama Lighthouse

Built in the 1880s, the Kiama Lighthouse is one of the most iconic, recognisable and historic landmarks on the NSW South Coast.

The active lighthouse, also known as Kiama Light or Kiama Harbour Light, sits more than 136 metres above sea level, and today, it also includes a museum and tourist information centre.

It’s hard to miss the lighthouse, as it occupies a prime position on Blowhole Point just south of Kiama Harbour, only moments away from the Kiama Blowhole.

4. Kiama Blowhole

Kiama Blowhole

Perhaps the most popular tourist attraction in Kiama is the famous Blowhole, which attracts thousands of tourists to this small town every year.

And while Kiama has so much more to offer than just this sea-cave blowhole, it is an impressive sight that you should put on your list of things to do.

Little Blowhole in Kiama

But what many visitors to Kiama don’t realise is that there is, in fact, a second blowhole not too far away. It’s smaller but just as pretty and without the crowds.

You can find this “little blowhole” on Marsden Head between Kendalls and Easts Beach, accessible via the Kiama Coast Walk or otherwise Tingira Crescent ( see map location ).

5. Kiama Beaches

Kiama beaches

It’s no surprise that Kiama has many great beaches to choose from, ranging from family-friendly strips of sand to popular surf beaches.

Some of the most popular beaches along the entire Kiama coastline are, from north to south, Jones Beach, Bombo Beach, Kiama Surf Beach, Kendalls Beach, and Easts Beach.

A good way to explore these beaches is by doing the Kiama Coast Walk, as mentioned above, which passes all of these fantastic strips of sand.

6. Ocean Pools

Kiama ocean pool

If you’re more of a classic rock pool swimmer than a beach-goer, you’re in luck, because the Kiama region is home to no less than four ocean pools .

The most popular one is the Blowhole Point Rock Pool , located only moments away from the blowhole. The nearby Continental Pool , on the other side of the Harbour at the north end of Black Beach Reserve, is another popular swimming spot.

Also worth mentioning is the Gerringong Boat Harbour Rock Pool at the southern end of Gerringong Beach, a family-friendly ocean pool with a sandy pool floor.

7. Minnamurra Lookout

Minnamurra Point

Kiama has no shortage of scenic coastal vantage points, and if we had to pick one as our favourite, then it would be the Minnamurra Lookout.

The Minnamurra Lookout is located on the Minnamurra Headland , also referred to as Minnamurra Point, north of the Kiama town centre, and offers panoramic views of the river, Stack Island, the coastline and the ocean.

The lookout is surrounded by large, open grassy areas, which adds to the experience.

8. Kiama Markets

Kiama Seaside Markets

If you love scouring markets and boutique shops on the weekends, Kiama is not going to disappoint.

The most popular market event is the Kiama Seaside Markets that happens on the third Sunday of every month, brought to you by the Kiama & District Business Chamber.

The market typically hosts more than 100 stalls against the backdrop of Kiama Harbour, selling arts, crafts, clothing, jewellery, collectables, produce, and so much more.

Another market worth visiting is the Kiama Farmers Market , which is held every Wednesday afternoon at Kiama Surf Beach.

9. Whale Watching

Whale watching platform in Kiama

With a beautiful and mostly unspoiled coastline, it’s no surprise that the greater Kiama area is the perfect location to try and spot some whales and dolphins.

While it’s easy to pick a good spot anywhere along the coast, there are two dedicated whale-watching platforms to be found in the Kiama area.

The Minnamurra Whale Watching Platform is located north of the Kiama town centre, and the Gerringong Whale Watching Platform is in the village of Gerringong just south of Kiama.

The best time to see whales is during June and July, when they migrate north to warmer waters, and from September to November, when they migrate back southbound.

10. Bombo Headland Quarry

Bombo Headland Quarry

The Bombo Headland Quarry is a unique geological site just north of Kiama, consisting of unusual basalt walls and columns that make the headland look like a moon landscape.

As the name suggests, the site is a former quarry, and the fascinating rock formations are a result of the blue metal quarrying that took place at the end of the 19th century, in addition to the continuous erosion.

Like Cathedral Rocks, the Bombo Headland Quarry is the perfect location to unleash your photography skills, especially during sunrise.

11. Bonaira Native Gardens

Bonaira Native Gardens

The Bonaira Native Gardens are a bit of a hidden gem in the Kiama area, a green oasis with beautiful native flora and fauna to discover.

Walking paths run through the gardens that can be explored on foot and by bicycle, with various benches and picnic areas to make the most of it.

You can find the Bonaira Native Gardens on Allambie Crescent off Bonaira Street, only metres away from Kendalls Beach.

12. Minnamurra Falls

Minnamurra Falls

Minnamurra Falls is a beautiful two-tiered waterfall on the Minnamurra River, quietly tucked away in a thriving rainforest in Budderoo National Park.

A scenic, moderately challenging walking track leads to this water spectacle, with a generously sized viewing platform situated right in front of it.

This walk, with a few steep sections, starts from the Minnamurra Rainforest Centre, which is located approximately 16 km west of Kiama.

Read our Minnamurra Falls article with more practical information and photos of the walk and the waterfall.

13. Jamberoo Action Park

Jamberoo Action Park

Jamberoo Action Park is a large themed water park “where you control the action”. It is located in a village that goes by the same name and is only a 15-minute drive from Kiama.

The theme park offers world-class rides and attractions, such as the Funnel Web and the Perfect Storm , in a well-maintained natural setting between the mountains and the ocean.

The reasonably affordable admission prices cover all rides, attractions, and parking facilities, so get your mates or loved ones together for a fun and exciting day out.

14. Saddleback Mountain Lookout

Saddleback Mountain Lookout

The popular Saddleback Mountain Lookout is only a short drive from Kiama and offers fantastic district views as far as Sydney on a clear day.

This spectacular lookout is located at the end of Saddleback Mountain Road, where you will find a car park. From there, it’s a few hundred metres of easy walking to the three viewing platforms ( see map location ).

All three viewing platforms (the Northern, Western, and Southern) offer unique views from different angles, so it’s worth exploring all of them.

Berry NSW

A day trip to (or weekend getaway in) Kiama is not complete without a detour to nearby Berry, a small historic town only a short 20-minute drive away from Kiama.

It’s a lovely country town that deserves to be a day trip destination in its own right, with quality restaurants, heritage buildings, boutique shopping, and beautiful scenery to take in.

If you’re going there for just a few hours, head to the main street, where you will find a great collection of shops, restaurants and cafes.

About Kiama

Kiama is a seaside town in the Illawarra coastal region of New South Wales, just south of Wollongong and north of Nowra. The local Aboriginal people of the Illawarra region are the Wodi Wodi people , who are a subgroup of the Dharawal people who are united by the Dharawal language.

The town has long been one of the most popular NSW coastal destinations, and for good reasons. The beaches are plentiful and are among some of the best beaches in New South Wales . Various lookouts, unique rock formations and geological sites, excellent food options and other towns nearby make Kiama the perfect weekend and day trip destination.

The town of Kiama has the 2533 postal code and currently has a population of approximately 10,000 lucky residents.

How to Get to Kiama

Kiama is very easy to get to, by car as well as by train.

You can drive to Kiama from Sydney in less than two hours.

Depending on where you’re driving from, you can choose between the M1 Motorway past the Royal National Park, or the M31 Hume Motorway past Campbelltown. Both these routes go to Kiama via Wollongong.

From Wollongong, you continue on the M1 Motorway, followed by the A1 Princess Highway to Kiama.

Kiama does have a train station which is serviced by the SCO South Coast line , which travels from Bondi Junction to Kiama, via Central, Sutherland, Thirroul and Wollongong.

From Sydney Central Station to Kiama Station takes just under 2.5 hours. It’s certainly not a short trip, but it’s comfortable, and Kiama Station is conveniently located in the centre of town.

Hopefully this guide to the best things to do in Kiama was helpful. Here are some more destination guides:

  • Things to do in Lithgow
  • Things to do in Canberra
  • Things to do in Byron Bay

15 Best things to do in Kiama and surrounds

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17 Awesome Things to Do in Kiama, NSW

Alesha and Jarryd

  • Last Updated: January 11, 2024

Here’s our ultimate guide to the best things to do in Kiama, one of the most beautiful coastal towns in New South Wales.

Located just 2 hours south of Sydney along the Grand Pacific Drive, Kiama is a tranquil seaside town set amongst some of the most incredible beaches and coastal vistas in all of New South Wales.

If you love hanging out by the ocean, you’ll be in absolute heaven. The coastline is jaw-dropping, with a mix of picturesque beaches and jagged cliffs and headlands.

Heading inland you’ll start to find the magnificent forests and native bushland that New South Wales is most famous for. With countless outdoor activities and natural attractions, there are many opportunities for adventure.

Lush hiking trails lead to towering waterfalls, with kangaroos, wombats, and ample birdlife waiting around every corner.

The list of what to do in Kiama doesn’t stop with outdoor activities though. This region will keep art lovers, food connoisseurs, history buffs, and photographers buzzing in delight.

We recently travelled to the Kiama area for a week on our way to Jervis Bay , and quickly extended our stay to over a week as we completely fell in love with the place.

We packed our days with plenty to do to help bring you this epic list of the best Kiama activities and attractions.

READ MORE: See what else has made our list of the best places to visit in Australia !

Table of Contents

Walk the Kiama Coastal Trail

Visit the amazing beaches, watch the sunrise at bombo quarry headland, smell the native plants at bonaira native garden, go back in time with the kiama historical walk, check out the kiama lighthouse, be amazed by the kiama blowhole, don’t forget about the little blowhole, go to cathedral rocks, old station community arts centre, kiama street art, grab a bite to eat (and a coffee of course), shop for souvenirs, check out the views from saddleback mountain lookout, wander the old streets of berry, minnamurra rainforest centre, the top things to do in kiama.

From the gorgeous beaches like Seven Mile Beach, Werri Beach, Kendalls Beach and Kiama Surf Beach, to the iconic Kiama Coastal Walk, to the magnificent Kiama Blowhole, there are so many cool things to see and do in the area.

So let’s get into it – here’s our guide to all of the amazing things to do in Kiama, Australia on the New South Wales south coast.

Stretching for 22km, this coastal trail is truly spectacular, and shouldn’t be missed when visiting Kiama.

The Kiama Coast Walk offers stunning views, ancient rock formations, and beautiful beaches along the way.

Split into 3 sections, which you can complete in one go or over a few days, the Kiama Coast Walk starts at Minnamurra River in Kiama Downs and finishes up at Werri Beach in Gerringong.

Some of the highlights are Minnamurra River, Bombo Headlands, Kiama Blowhole (big and small), and Werri Beach, Kiama. 

The Kiama Coast Walk curves around beaches and cliffs, and has a mixture of sealed paths and grassy tracks. It is suitable for all ages and all fitness levels.

From May to November, watch out for humpback whales as they will put on a magnificent show for you if you are lucky. Nothing like a free whale watching show on the Kiama coast!

Kiama Coastal Trail

The Kiama region has so many beautiful beaches to choose from along their coastline, that it can be difficult to choose just one to visit.

So why not go for them all?

It all depends on what you’re looking for. You could walk the Kiama Coastal Walk and visit all of them if you are super keen, or pick one or two to check out.

Our personal favourites were Surf Beach, Werri Beach, Seven Mile Beach, and Kendalls Beach. So if you’re wondering what to do in Kiama, start at the beaches!

Kiama’s Main Beach and Easts Beach are good options as well. Again, you can do some free whale watching along the Kiama coast in winter!

And don’t miss our brand new guide to the best Kiama beaches !

Jones Beach Surfer

Bombo Quarry Headland is one of the most impressive parts of the New South Wales south coast you’ll ever see.

This natural attraction includes huge waves slapping against the basalt walls and columns, a legacy of blue metal quarrying from the 1880s through to the 1900s.

It’s also a fantastic place to watch sunrise between the jaw-dropping basalt columns.

Don’t worry – if you’re not an early riser, visiting the Bombo Quarry is great at any time of day.

To get there park up at the north end of Bombo Beach and take a short walk along the path to get there.

If you keep walking you’ll eventually end up at the Boneyard, another beautiful beach in the Kiama area.

Bombo Quarry Sunrise

If you are at Kendall’s Beach do not miss the Bonaira Native Garden. The garden is just around the corner, off Allambie Crescent.  

Once you get to the end of the road, you will come to a path that passes through an area that is dedicated to the Wodi Wodi people, a local Aboriginal tribe.

If you want a bit of me-time, this is a beautiful place to enjoy some peace and quiet. With towering trees and the sounds of birds, this is a great spot to listen to nature. 

This Native Garden can be explored by bike or on foot, and the short walk around the grounds will take about 30 minutes.

This is one of the best outdoor activities in the region and is definitely one of the top things to do in Kiama.

READ MORE: Don’t miss our complete guide to travelling in Australia !

The history in this area is quite rich, so why not immerse yourself in it on the Kiama Historical Walk?

Along this walk, you’ll dive into the local Indigenous culture, as well as the history of European settlement.

You can get the self-walking guide from the Kiama Visitors Centre near the Kiama Harbour, or you can download the Kiama Library My Place: A Digital Tour of Kiama app, which has audio guides and will show you the 15 points of interest. Don’t forget your headphones. 

It is fascinating walking through the Kiama town centre looking at the heritage buildings and learning more about what they were used for.

The Kiama Family History Centre is another resource in town to visit for historic information about the area.

No trip to the Kiama area is complete without a visit to the lighthouse. It’s one of the most iconic points of the town and can be seen from many points along the coast.

The Kiama Lighthouse was built in 1887 and featured an oil lamp that was visible up to 9 miles away.

As time went on and improvements in technology and electricity made their way down the coast, they switched to modern tools.

You can get up close to it when you go to visit the Big Kiama Blowhole. Speaking of the Big Blowhole…

Kiama Lighthouse

Keep walking a little past the lighthouse you will come across the Big Kiama Blowhole, the top Kiama attraction that put the town on the map.

In fact, it’s the one thing that most people who are on a day trip from Sydney come down here for.

This natural blowhole was known to the local Indigenous people as “Khanterintee” which means mysterious noise.

The Kiama Blowhole is one of the world’s most powerful sea cave blowholes and is quite a sight to see.

How does this work you may ask?

When the ocean rushes into the sea cave that is located underneath the rocky headland, the water completely blocks the cave entrance and forces compressed air and water to fire out through the blowhole.

When all the pressure comes together at just the right amount, it sprays up through the hole in the rocks in an impressive burst.

When you are visiting the Kiama Blowhole, do pay attraction as you can get wet. Depending on the seas and the winds, the lower viewing area can be drenched in water from the blowhole.

Nearby on the same headland is the Kiama Blowhole Point Rock Pool if you want to go for a dip after viewing the natural show.

Big Blowhole Kiama

Surprisingly, many tourists will head straight to the big blowhole and think that’s it. But trust us, don’t miss out on this little gem!

Kiama’s Little Blowhole is located between Kendalls Beach and Easts Beach, just off the Coastal Trail, and you may be the only one there when you visit.

There is a viewing platform where you can view the sprays from the blowhole, or you can walk right up to it (just be very careful).

If the seas are from the northeast then you will really get a great show. As this attraction is secluded and a little hard to find, do not hesitate to ask the friendly locals that you may pass.

We actually got chatting to one who said that the Little Blowhole has been getting bigger and bigger in recent years. So maybe it’ll be larger than its more famous sibling one day.

Little Blowhole Kiama

The coastline in Kiama is, as you’ve already seen, spectacular. And one of the most stunning spots is Cathedral Rocks Kiama, a true gem of New South Wales.

Cathedral Rocks is a bunch of jagged rock formations that are scattered just off the headland, formed after thousands of years of erosion.

You can see the rocks safely from the top of the headland, but if you want to check them out from the ground, you’ll need to walk around from Jones Beach.

Rocks Kiama

Check Out the Kiama Art Scene

Kiama has a vibrant arts scene that has been growing in recent years, so do yourself a favour and spend some time seeking out the cool murals, paintings, and sculptures.

Here are some of our favourite spots.

This old fire station is a great place to pop into and see what is happening with the local artists in the area.

Every Friday to Wednesday, there are new exhibitions to discover. You will find art exhibitions from photography to pottery to music to woodwork.

There is something that will interest everyone. Oh and say hi to Daisy the Decorated Dairy Cow. 

Also check out the Kiama Ceramic Art Studio, and one of the other many galleries run by local and small businesses.

There are so many amazing local galleries and studios in town, and there is even art to be found on the streets.

When you’re walking around town, just keep your eyes peeled for any street murals or designs made by local artists.

Kiama Art Trail

There are so many amazing cafes and restaurants in town, most of them located near Kiama Harbour in the centre of town. Grab a coffee or lunch and enjoy the views of the coastline.

The dumpling shop on the main road was a favourite of ours. And the wood-fired pizza from Centrepoint Pizza was divine.

If you are a souvenir shopper and love picking up local unique items from destinations you go to, make sure you leave an afternoon to do this as there are so many places to buy some trinkets in Kiama.

Pick up a framed photo of the area or a beautifully crafted ceramic bowl. Whatever it is, it will be unique.

If you are lucky and are there on the third day of the month, do not miss the local Kiama seaside markets. 

To get a real understanding of just how beautiful Kiama’s coastline and surrounding farmlands are, make sure you head up to Saddleback Mountain for the best views in town.

On a clear day, locals say you can see all the way to Cronulla in the north and Milton in the south.

You can drive right to the Saddleback Mountain Lookout, but you’ll have to walk a few hundred metres to see all the viewpoints.

If you are up for a little adventure, check out the 6km Hobbles Track. Starting from the Saddle Mountain Lookout car park, follow the green markings west.

This is one of the area’s best outdoor activities, though there are some steep areas that can be slippery when wet.

Do wear appropriate hiking shoes. Watch out for all the different birds and all the beautiful views. 

Saddleback Mountain Lookout Kiama

Bonus – Day Trips from Kiama

While it’s easy to spend all your time in Kiama, it’s worth getting out a bit and visiting some of these other amazing spots on the NSW South Coast.

The rolling green hills and rainforests of Budderoo National Park are just west of Kiama, so there are lots of beautiful day trips into nature and outdoor activities available here.

Here’s our list of the best Kiama day trips around the South Coast.

This little heritage town on the NSW South Coast is so beautiful and has so much charm. With the main street lined with historic terrace houses and lots of boutique stores, you could spend all day exploring and shopping.

The Berry Produce Market is on twice a month along Queen Street, but if you happen to be here on a different day, don’t worry – Berry is great at any time.

Do not miss getting yourself a delicious donut from the famous Berry Donut Van!

Be warned though, Berry gets extremely busy, especially on weekends and school holidays. Get to town early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the crowds.

The next town south of Kiama is Gerringong, which is well worth spending a day (or more) exploring.

Stop off at Stoic Brewery or Crooked River Wines for some tasty drinks. These are both family-owned businesses with a passion for beer, cider, and wine.

The beaches in Gerringong are long and gorgeous, perfect for bringing the family. Seven Mile Beach is near Gerringong as well, so stop by here if you haven’t already!

Also consider checking out the magnificent Gerringong Falls in Budderoo National Park.

This little quaint town has a number of 19th-century buildings lining the streets. Stop in for a coffee or lunch and go for a walk.

On the last Sunday of the month, there is the Jamberoo Arts and Craft Fair, which is a fun and interesting attraction.

The famous Jamberoo Action Park is located close to town and is a fantastic spot for kids and adults. With its emphasis on family-friendly entertainment, Jamberoo Action Park features a variety of rides catering to different preferences, from adrenaline-pumping slides for thrill-seekers to more relaxed attractions for those seeking a leisurely day out.

Another fun activity besides Jamberoo Action Park is Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures, where you can get outside and have a blast on the Illawarra Treetop Walk or a thrilling Illawarra Fly Zipline Tour. 

Do not miss the Jamberoo Lookout on your drive. It has great panorama views of the rolling hills and paddocks with the ocean in the background. Great at the end of the day when the lighting is soft. 

Just up from Jamberoo is the Minnamurra Rainforest Centre, which is one of the best day trips from Kiama when you want to trade in the coastal views for some rainforest vibes.

There is a picturesque hiking trail that leads you right to Minnamurra Falls, and the new educational centre that is being built is a great place to learn about all the unique flora and fauna in the area.

Minnamurra Falls

Alesha and Jarryd

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10 of the best new and iconic things to do in Kiama

Carla Grossetti

Sub-Editor & Journalist

30 January 2024

Time

Cocoon yourself in Kiama for a week (or several) and you’ll discover there’s a lot more to this seaside destination than just its beaches and blowholes.

The vibrant, fun-loving town of Kiama on the NSW South Coast is gaining a reputation for everything from its markets and makers to Kiama art, artists and artisans. There are also awe-inspiring Indigenous-led tours that touch on the area’s rich cultural heritage, while a burgeoning culinary scene provide further reasons to visit.

There’s even more to enjoy a short drive away. The Illawarra region of the NSW South Coast extends inland to Jamberoo and along the Grand Pacific Drive to Minnamurra, Bombo, Gerringong and Gerroa.

Here are 10 of the best new and iconic things to do in the Kiama Region, just 90 minutes from Sydney.

Kiama lighthouse

Even the natural Kiama art is spectacular.

1. Take in Kiama art displays

There are a multitude of ways to get creative on the Kiama Coast. Start with a visit to Seven Marks Gallery on the outskirts of town to see the latest exhibitions featuring works by emerging and established local artists, as well as its artists in residence, Chick Butcher, Cobi Cockburn and Cesar Cueva. It also includes Courtesy of the Artist at Seven Marks, the second offshoot of the Strand Arcade jewellery store in Sydney’s CBD.

Meanwhile, Fern St Gallery shows works that have been inspired by the craggy Illawarra escarpment; drop a few pins in your map app to visit local artists Robyn Sharp and Kerry Suttonberg at their studios, too.

Kerry Suttonberg studio, Kiama art

Visit Kerry Suttonberg at her studio.

2. See the Kiama blowhole

The sound of Kiama, on the lands of Dharawal and Wodi Wodi, is the sound of water. Its name is derived from the Aboriginal word kiarama , which means ‘place where the sea makes a noise’.

You can experience this at Kiama’s iconic blowhole, which showcase nature at its best: theatrical and wild. To get your best view of the Kiama Blowhole, walk along the pathway that curves down to a platform built into the sandstone.

The best time to see this natural phenomenon is when there’s a southerly swell running on a high tide; get the timing right and you’ll be rewarded with the spectacle of water blasting into the sky amid rocks cemented into position by the elements.

Kiama Blowhole

Listen to the iconic Kiama Blowhole as it erupts.

3. Swim at Kiama’s best beaches

Take surfing lessons, watch for dolphins and whale s, or jump in a crisp ocean pool even on cool, sunny winter days. There are nine beaches that necklace the Kiama coastline, meaning you can pick your own path.

Wriggle into your wetsuit at dawn to watch the sunrise from the surf, where pro surfer Sally Fitzgibbons grew up, build sandcastles with the kids or wander along the cobbled coastline. There are also four tidal ocean pools glittering like pieces of beach glass set into the rock shelf; remember your mask and snorkel, as they’re brimming with marine life.

Werri, Easts, Kendalls, Surf and Seven Mile beaches are some of the best-patrolled beaches in Kiama, while Boneyard Cove is great for snorkelling.

Werri Beach, Kiama

Take a refreshing dip (even in winter) at Werri Beach.

4. Learn about local Indigenous culture

Kiama’s rich cultural landscape is very accessible due to the compact nature of the region, and a great way to learn about it all is with Gumaraa Aboriginal Experiences .

Conducted on the banks of Minnamurra River, the tours celebrate the culture, traditions and history of the Dharawal and Yuin Nations. Gumaraa means ‘wise old man’, and founder Richard Campbell has taken on the role of sharing the knowledge that was passed down to him by his elders.

Take part in spear-making and art workshops, didgeridoo programs, canoeing and fishing tours, and listen to talks focusing on everything from bush tucker to boomerangs and Dreamtime stories.

Gumaraa Aboriginal Experiences

Learn more about local Indigenous culture with Gumaraa Aboriginal Experiences.

5. Join Creative workshops in Kiama

Want to tap into your creative side? The Kiama region is overflowing with art workshops for those who want to swim a little away from the mainstream.

Visitors to Soul Clay Studios in Gerringong can try their hand at making pottery; find yourself fully immersed, elbow-deep in clay, for the Friday night Clay Date or Saturday Soul Sessions.

Luxury Clay Experiences are for those who don’t want to leave the comfort of their coastal chic Kiama accommodation , as the Gerringong-based potters specialise in bringing all-inclusive luxury classes complete with floristry, catering and beverage packages.

Willowale Road will guide you through the art of candle making with workshops that include bubbles and grazing boxes.

Soul Clay Studio, Kiama art

Get creative (and messy) at Soul Clay Studio. (Image: Sol Flare Photography)

6. Book brewery and winery tours

Gerringong has a lot of street cred. It’s where the social media stars Inspired Unemployed hail from, and it forms the backdrop to a lot of their reels.

A pop culture tour of the Kiama region should also include a tour of Stoic Brewing , where drinking beer and cider amid the towering vats is a vibe; expect live music on the weekend and exciting flavour-forward brews.

Crooked River Wines is also a popular destination for day trips, weekends away and events in the Kiama region. The family-run winery has been making carefully crafted wines for more than two decades and is tucked into the rich verdant folds of a valley overlooking the sea. Soak in more of the views by staying in their onsite accommodation.

Stoic Brewing, Kiama

Take a tour of Stoic Brewing.

7. Find Kiama’s best bars

Kiama really lights up for a few bar bites and drinks on weekends after dark. The small-bar scene here is very compact, which makes it easy to get from A to B.

Wait for the sky to turn velvet before stepping out for considered cocktails or small-batch local beers on tap. If it’s fancy drinks and tapas you’re after, make a beeline for Bar Padres . Finding Fillmores , Little Betty’s in Kiama or The Hill Bar & Kitchen in Gerringong are three of the best bars to bounce between around the area.

Bar Padres Kiama

Have a tipple at Bar Padres.

8. Follow hike and bike trails

Base yourself at The Lodge in Jamberoo before heading for an outdoor adventure with a difference: an elevated walk through the rainforest at Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures .

On your way to Kiama, take a detour to the Saddleback Mountain lookout. From here, you can follow the signs and walk to the summit of Mt Noorinan, where you’ll hear birdsong symphonies from crimson rosellas, eastern bristlebirds and golden whistlers.

Kiama Coastal Walk

Soak in the area’s natural beauty on the Kiama Coast Walk. (Image: TDA Images)

Back in town, hire a bike from Kiama Cycles and take the 24-kilometre return ride along the shared path from Jones Beach. The 20-kilometre-long Kiama Coast Walk is also an adventure.

You can also get your heartrate going by bouncing between Bombo Clothing , Sara Handmade Jewellery and The Retro Room in Kiama. The Collective Beat in Gerringong is also a one-stop shop for up-and-coming local designers and artists.

Retro Room Kiama

Get your heart rate up and find treasures walking through Kiama’s best stores, like Retro Room.

9. Indulge at Kiama restaurants

Let brunch or lunch at a local cafe be your motivation to do a few laps in a sea pool to loosen your limbs and work up an appetite.

Kiama (and its surrounds, for that matter) has you covered when it comes to casual eats, such as the most excellent Little Earth Cafe (which won an International Coffee Award for its Chasky blend). For a sophisticated date night, your best bet is The Blue Swimmer at Seahaven.

If it’s a party you’re after, make a beeline for Bar Padres , while those seeking to spice it up will enjoy the Southeast Asian cuisine at Wildginger . You could also grab a juicy burger from The Hungry Monkey , the hottest franchise on the NSW South Coast.

Wild Ginger Kiama

Enjoy the Southeast Asian cuisine at Wildginger. (Image: annamul)

10. Time your trip for Kiama events and festivals

Keep an eye on the weather and wait for the Kiama sky to form a canopy of blue before heading to the weekly Kiama Farmers Market .

Kiama also gets points for taking cues from the views for its whimsical Kiama Winter Festival at the harbour foreshore in July; expect six days of an authentic ice rink and more. The Winter Wine Festival at Crooked River Wines and its epic musical lineup – watch Matt Corby and The Cat Empire – is also worth marking in your 2023 calendar.

Winter Wine Festival, Crooked River Wines, Kiama

Pull up a rug and enjoy live music at the Winter Wine Festival.

For more ideas and inspiration, visit kiama.com.au .

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Top Things to Do in Kiama

Things to do in kiama, explore popular experiences, tours in and around kiama.

tourist attractions near kiama

Sea Cliff Bridge, Blowhole, Beaches & Farmlands- Escape the City

tourist attractions near kiama

Southern Highlands & South Coast Private Tour From Sydney

tourist attractions near kiama

South Coast Private Charter

tourist attractions near kiama

Waves, Wildlife, & Wines in South Coast (Sydney private tour)

tourist attractions near kiama

  • Sydney South Coast to Country Private Tour | Grand Pacific Drive

tourist attractions near kiama

Private Tour: Sydney South Coast & Highlands

tourist attractions near kiama

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tourist attractions near kiama

  • Escape Sydney: Sea Cliff Bridge, Blowhole, Beaches and Farmlands

tourist attractions near kiama

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tourist attractions near kiama

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tourist attractions near kiama

Top Attractions in Kiama

tourist attractions near kiama

Other Top Attractions around Kiama

tourist attractions near kiama

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Private sightseeing tours.

tourist attractions near kiama

Nature and Wildlife Tours

Tours & sightseeing, luxury & special occasions, what travelers are saying.

Ron B

  • Kiama Coastal Walk
  • Kiama Blowhole
  • Saddleback Mountain Lookout
  • Little Blowhole Reserve “Endeavour Lookout”
  • Cathedral Rocks
  • Kiama Harbour
  • Bombo Headland
  • Sea Cliff Bridge, Blowhole, Beaches & Farmlands- Escape the City
  • Southern Highlands & South Coast Private Tour From Sydney
  • Private Tour: Sydney South Coast & Highlands
  • Kiama Visitor Information Centre

Top Things to Do in Kiama

Things to do in kiama, explore popular experiences, tours in and around kiama.

tourist attractions near kiama

Sea Cliff Bridge, Blowhole, Beaches & Farmlands- Escape the City

tourist attractions near kiama

Southern Highlands & South Coast Private Tour From Sydney

tourist attractions near kiama

South Coast Private Charter

tourist attractions near kiama

Waves, Wildlife, & Wines in South Coast (Sydney private tour)

tourist attractions near kiama

  • Sydney South Coast to Country Private Tour | Grand Pacific Drive

tourist attractions near kiama

Private Tour: Sydney South Coast & Highlands

tourist attractions near kiama

Erupting Blowholes and Ancient Rainforests SOUTH COAST OF SYDNEY PRIVATE TOUR

tourist attractions near kiama

  • Escape Sydney: Sea Cliff Bridge, Blowhole, Beaches and Farmlands

tourist attractions near kiama

Jervis Bay Dolphin Cruise

tourist attractions near kiama

Beachside Skydive Sydney-Shellharbour

tourist attractions near kiama

Top Attractions in Kiama

tourist attractions near kiama

Other Top Attractions around Kiama

tourist attractions near kiama

Ports of Call Tours

Private sightseeing tours.

tourist attractions near kiama

Nature and Wildlife Tours

Tours & sightseeing, luxury & special occasions, what travellers are saying.

Ron B

  • Kiama Coastal Walk
  • Kiama Blowhole
  • Saddleback Mountain Lookout
  • Little Blowhole Reserve “Endeavour Lookout”
  • Cathedral Rocks
  • Kiama Harbour
  • Bombo Headland
  • Sea Cliff Bridge, Blowhole, Beaches & Farmlands- Escape the City
  • Southern Highlands & South Coast Private Tour From Sydney
  • Private Tour: Sydney South Coast & Highlands
  • Kiama Visitor Information Centre

Sydney Expert

16 Fun & mostly Free Things to do in Kiama

There are so many things to do in Kiama we think it’s worthy of repeat visits. Today we share a list of the best Kiama activities that we recommend you see when you visit this National Trust listed town only 120km south of Sydney.

The coastal town of Kiama, south of Sydney, is one of our favourite places to head for a short break. We have been visiting since primary school days, so whether you are heading there on a day trip or quick getaway, we have you covered.

View The Kiama Blowhole / Khanterinte

Swim in the kiama rockpools, stroll the kiama coastal trail, head to kiama’s whale watching platforms, watch a kiama sunrise, explore the minnamurra rainforest and minnamurra falls, follow a scenic tourist drive, get a birds eye view, swim at kiama stunning surf beaches, visit one of the nearby villages, eat fish and chips at kiama harbours fisherman coop, try some retail therapy, discover kiama’s art trail, taste the local wine and brews, get an adrenaline hit, find some hidden gems near kiama, things to do in kiama when it’s raining, where to stay, where to eat in kiama, kiama day trip map, how long does it take to get to kiama, how to get to kiama, how far is kiama from wollongong.

This page contains affiliate links. You can find our full disclosure policy here .

Heritage buildings by the harbourside and an abundance of natural attractions make Kiama the perfect spot for a day trip from Sydney, a weekend getaway or even a week-long break, which will give you plenty of time to enjoy the many riches the region offers.

The traditional country of the Wodi Wodi people, the indigenous name is Kiaram-a, is said to mean “where the sea makes a noise.”

Must-see sites and things to do in Kiama

All this natural beauty, such a short distance from Sydney and halfway along one of the state’s best coastal roads, the Grand Pacific Drive, make plans to go soon if you have not visited.

For over 100 years, the Kiama Blow Hole has been the number one stop for visitors from Sydney. It’s still a draw card today, so pop in and look. The best way to find the blowhole is to head to Kiama Lighthouse.  

The blowhole was first spotted by explorer George Bass in 1797

There are two blowholes – Big Blowhole gets most of the attention, but Little Blowhole can actually be more exciting. 

tourist attractions near kiama

It is impossible to plan the best time to see the blowhole and to be honest; It has disappointed more often us than we have been delighted, but according to the team at the visitors’ centre, there are a few things to consider.

  • In a northeastern wind, Little Blowhole
  • In a south-easterly, the main Kiama Blowhole near the lighthouse is the go

Kiama has two fabulous rock pools right in town and two more only a short drive away in Gerringong. If you are staying a while, we suggest you add all four to your list as they are picturesque spots to spend some time in the water or even just look at it!

Blowhole Point Rock Pool  This pool to the north side of Blowhole Point is an excellent choice if you have young kids with you. There is usually plenty of parking and decent facilities. Where : Open the Google map location

tourist attractions near kiama

Continental Rock Pool, aka the Olympic pool  This 50m rock pool at Black Beach reserve has a lovely aspect across the harbour. The pool is accessible, children’s change rooms and parking.

Where : Open the Google map location

Boat harbour Rock Pool A splendid choice if you want to settle in for a while. There are picnic and bbq facilities. You will find it a short walk from Boat Harbour Reserve.  

On the wishlist for hikers is the Kiama Coast Walk , with its beautiful coastal views.  

Werri Beach at the Southern end of the Kiama Coastal Walk

You can choose to walk some or all of the trail. While some people knock it off in a day, most cover it in two. The walk is generally split into three sections:

  • North Section – Minnamurra River to Kiama Blowhole – 8.4km – allow 3hrs.
  • Mid Section – Kiama Blowhole to Loves Bay –   5km – allow 1.5hrs.
  • South Section – Loves Bay to Gerringong – 6km – allow 2hrs

Everyone asks which is the best part of the Kiama Coast Walk for us; it’s the South Section cause we love that it’s relatively quiet and green. Photographers will probably favour the first section, which offers plenty to please the lens, particularly at sunrise and sunset.

Kiama Coast Walk

Tip : Gerringong Bowling Club has a great deal on offer to hikers – spend $20 per person at the club for a free ride back to Kiama.

Spot some whales – The best whale-watching spots in the Kiama area are the two official viewing platforms.

  • Gerringong Whale Watching Platform
  • Minnamurra Whale Watching Platform

tourist attractions near kiama

Whale watching season runs from June to November, but the best time to spot them is in July-August when they head north and are closest to the coast.

The best place to see a sunrise on the Kiama Coast is Cathedral Rocks at Jones Beach. We have to be honest; we have not actually managed to wake up and be there for sunrise, but our nephew, a keen photographer, rates it highly and shared this image with us.

Kiama Sunrise Cathedral Rocks

Head to the Bombo Headland Quarry or Jones Beach to capture the action. Ideally, photographers should try to visit the day before in daylight to scope out the best places to set up their cameras.

This is also one of the best spots in NSW to see the Milky Way

If the temperature rises and you fancy cooling down, then take a short drive to the Minnamurra Rainforest. The temperature is always a few degrees lower, and the walk to the falls is not too difficult for most. Check with the visitors centre staff to see if it’s right for you.

tourist attractions near kiama

BTW it’s located confusingly in Jamberoo and not in Minnamurra Village as the name might suggest.

Related: Check out our guide to the best waterfalls in NSW

If a scenic drive is more your thing than a hike, we recommend Official Tourist Drive No 9. The trip will take you from Kiama to the Southern Highlands via Jamberoo Mountain Road.

Carrington Falls

Along the way, you will pass:

  • Jamberoo township
  • Minnamurra Rainforest & Waterfall
  • Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures
  • Carrington Falls
  • Robertson – famous for its pie shop and Big Potato – possibly the ugliest “big” thing in the country.

Return to Kiama via Macquarie Pass and Albion Park. Alternatively, head further south and take in the towns of Gerringong, Gerroa, and Berry before returning to Kiama via the highway.

If you don’t fancy the full tourist drive, there are some spectacular views from the many lookouts along the coastal cliffs and in the Kiama hinterland. 

Coastal lookouts Minnamurra Lookout – Located on Minnamurra Headland offers magnificent views over the river and towards Kiama. There are also great views of Stack Island, an interesting rock formation just off the beach.

Minnamurra Lookout

Open the Google map location.

Mount Pleasant Lookout – For the classic south coast shot of rolling green hills, cows and crescent-shaped beaches, this lookout is epic. It’s also just off the main road, so not a huge time investment. It’s also known as Billy’s Lookout – open the Google map location. Sir Charles Kingsford Smith Memorial Lookout – A short drive south of Kiama just before you arrive in Gerroa, this is the spot where Kingsford Smith took off on January 11, 1933, to New Zealand. The turn off to the lookout is at the crest of the hill, and there is a small car park. You can also park at the Gerroa Fisherman’s Club, which offers a similar view from their dining room. Open the Google map location.

Kingsford Smith Lookout Gerroa

The view over Seven Mile Beach is backed by the Seven Mile National Park, where you can camp or challenge yourself to walk the length of the beach – we had done it a handful of times when we stayed in the area. It’s a brilliant workout!

Hinterland Lookouts There are at least three great hinterland lookouts within an easy drive of Kiama. You probably only need to visit one of them as the aspects are similar. Choose the one that is near other things you plan to visit.

Jamberoo Lookout – The viewing platform at Jamberoo offers a distance view of the ocean over miles of lush farmland. Where : Open Google map location .

Saddleback Mountain Lookout Near Kiama

Saddleback Mountain Lookout – Just 6km from Kiama offers panoramic views that stretch from Sydney’s southern beaches at Cronulla to Milton. Where: Open google map

A little further down the coast is Cambewarra Mountain Lookout .

There are several beaches between Shellharbour and Seven Mile Beach at Gerroa that are easily visited from Kiama. Our favourite is Seven Mile, where I spent many school holidays in my later teen years; it’s a beautiful long beach backed by National Park and usually devoid of crowds.

  • Jones Beach – Popular surf beach close to Cathedral Rocks
  • The Boneyard Beach – a pebbly beach that is dog friendly and popular for snorkelling
  • Bombo Beach – the long beach you can see from the train, this dog-friendly beach is best for surfers.
  • Black Beach – not a good choice for swimming but popular for snorkelling
  • Kiama Surf Beach* (aka Main Beach) a small beach with excellent facilities
  • Kendall’s Beach* – a popular choice for families, usually not too busy
  • Easts Beach* – a brilliant choice on windy days as it is a well-sheltered beach

*They patrolled these beaches between October and Easter each year.

Kendalls Beach, Kiama. Credit: Destination NSW

Which Kiama Beach is best for kids ? Surf Beach has a good playground, and Kendall’s Beach is also a popular choice. Which Kiama Beach is suitable for snorkelling ? Bushrangers Bay Aquatic Reserve at Shellharbour is about 20 minutes north of Kiama and the best spot along the coast. Which Kiama Beach is a good choice for some privacy? Mystic Beach at Minnamurra is a splendid choice if you are steady on your feet and don’t mind a bit of a walk to get there.

Berry – Only 20 minutes south is the charming town of Berry. Its main street is lined with cute shops and a popular day trip for Sydneysiders who go to poke around and have lunch.

tourist attractions near kiama

Many people rate the Berry Donut Van; we haven’t eaten one in over a decade, so we can’t vouch for that, but Milkwood Bakery in the main street does fab pies, pastries and excellent sourdough. Gerringong /Georra – Just a 15-minute drive south of Kiama surrounded by dairy country and enough shops and cafes to keep you entertained for a short visit. If you prefer something more active, the Gerringong Golf Club must be one of the most picturesque in the state. You can also do surf lessons at nearby Seven Mile Beach. Jamberoo Village  – This hinterland village is best known for its fabulous old pub that makes a meal hamburger. Definitely worth a stop on Tourist Drive 9.

I am not sure anything beats eating fresh fish straight off the boat, and after a look at the blowhole, your next stop should be the Fisherman’s co-op. There is plenty of lawn overlooking the harbour to enjoy your meal, whether you go with the traditional serve of battered fish and chips or the healthy serve of fresh prawns and oysters.

Kiama Seaside Markets are held at Black Beach, Kiama, from 9am on the 3rd Sunday of each month. Get in early for parking as this busy little town gets a lot busier on market day. The Historic Terrace Houses at Kiama were once cottages for quarry workers, but in the 1970s, they were restored and turned into shops that quickly became popular with daytrippers. Today they house antique and gift shops and cafes. If you visit in summer, you will be drawn to them by the beautiful jacarandas that line the street outside. Don’t miss The Collective, a marketplace that retails for dozens of local businesses (they also have shops in Gerringong and Huskisson)

tourist attractions near kiama

Kiama Farmers Market  – The Farmer’s markets every Wednesday afternoon at Coronation Park, Surf Beach. Unlike most markets, they operate from 3-6pm, perfect for late sleepers.

We discovered the Kiama Art Trail after purchasing a couple of paintings from a stall at the seaside market. The artist suggested we look at some of the small galleries and studios in town. The trail stretches from Kiama Downs to Berry.

Check out a local brewery. Stoic Brewing in Gerringong is best known for its pale ales. Food trucks provide the eats and change regularly. It’s only a short walk from the train station, so if you stay in Kiama, consider taking the train and letting loose! Coolangatta Estate The first winery in the Shoalhaven and also the most awarded in the region Coolangatta Estate offers a cellar door and a restaurant only a short drive from Kiama. You can book a wine tasting of six of their current releases or enjoy a wine paddle in the garden. They also serve some pretty tasting plates.

Sun shining over the scenic grounds of Coolangatta Estate, Shoalhaven Heads.

The property also offers convict-built cottages, which you can book as your base for a night or more.

Jamberoo Action Park  – You can easily spend an entire day at Jamberoo, especially in summer when the water slides will melt away the heat.

Illawarra Treetops – From a gentle walk through the treetops to zip-lining, the Illawarra Treetops is an experience for the entire family.  Explore the temperate rainforest, waking the 1.5km tree walk. For one-third of the walk, you will be 30 metres above the ground, and the view from the lookout is breathtaking.

Illawarra Fly

Not sure how to pronounce Kiama? It’s “I AM A” with a K 🙂

Buena Vista Farm Take a 2-hour tour of this beautiful farm overlooking the ocean north of Werri Beach. Affordably priced and suitable for adults and kids. They also offer full-day classes in cheese making or vegetable growing. Find out more here. Nellies Glen This pretty waterhole in Budderoo National Park is close to Carrington Falls, is a lovely spot for a swim or a picnic. Best visited midweek as summer weekends can be pretty busy. Find out how to get to Nellies Glen on the Wild Swimming website.

Depending on how hard the rain is, a trip to Minnamurra Rainforest might still work. Alternatively, take a drive down to Berry for some shopping. You could also head to Crooked River or Coolangatta Estate for wine tasting.

We usually book an apartment when we visit Kiama or this part of the coast. There are also a couple of Caravan parks and a good number of hotels.

Loves Bay Kiama Airbnb

This one above at Loves Bay , just a few minutes’ walk from Easts Beach, is on our radar for our next visit.

Otis Deli – generous salads and mains prepared by ex- Ottolenghi head chef Emily Herbert is reason enough to get me in the car for the drive south. You can grab a table in the small dine-in area, but this is the perfect food to buy en route to your accommodation for an easy dinner.

Salads from Otis Deli in Kiama

Penny Whistler s – Worth a visit, even if you are not hungry for the view alone. Grab a drink and enjoy the outlook . If you are looking for a breakfast option, their zucchini and halloumi fritters, which come with a poached egg, are epic. They have a day and a night menu, so if you enjoy eating lunch at breakfast and breakfast at lunch, this is the place for you.

For coffee with a view, try Diggies at Blowhole Point . They offer coffee with a view and an extensive all-day breakfast menu. Try the Hungry Monkey in the terrace houses if you are a fan of those massive, almost monster-sized burgers that Instagram loves. They also have delicious healthy bowls and salads.

Plan your trip to Kiama

The Kiama region is an easy drive from Sydney or a relaxing and quite a scenic train trip if you travel down via the Grand Pacific Drive.

Kiama Sydney Map

Consider making the Kiama Visitors Centre near the Blowhole your first stop if you are a first-time visitor. Download all the stops listed and our Kiama map here.

It takes about 2hrs to 2hr 15 mins to reach Kiama, depending on whether you drive or take the train.

Drive : You have two choices from Sydney, the motorway via Campbelltown (M31) or the coast road (the A1), which is the most scenic option, including the stunning Grand Pacific Drive . At 121km, it will take you just under 2 hours, less if you live in Sydney’s southern suburbs. Alternatively, the M31 will take a similar time, especially if you live in the north of Sydney.

Train : The train from Central takes 2hrs 15 mins and travels via Wolli Creek, Hurstville, Sutherland and Wollongong. If you plan on doing the Kiama walk, you can get off at Minnamurra Train Station.

If you stay in Wollongong, it’s only 35km to Kiama or 45mins by train.

So there you go, our favourite things to do in Kiama, whether you have a day or a week to visit. What have we missed? Got any advice for our next visit?

Want more Sydney Getaway ideas?

Try some of these:

  • A weekend in Newcastle
  • Exploring Maitland and Morpeth
  • Take a trip to Forster
  • A Two Day Getaway to Blackheath
  • Three Great Sydney Weekend Escapes
  • 24 Irresistible Weekends from Sydney
  • Places to visit near Sydney by train

Main image credit: Mark-Fitzpatrick Destination NSW

2 thoughts on “16 Fun & mostly Free Things to do in Kiama”

Can someone please tell me what air bnb that house is with the pool ASAP!

Sorry but I don’t think the listing is live at the moment. Maybe after Covid lockdowns end

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THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Kiama Municipality

Things to do in kiama municipality, explore popular experiences.

tourist attractions near kiama

Private Sightseeing Tours

tourist attractions near kiama

Top Attractions in Kiama Municipality

tourist attractions near kiama

Other Top Attractions around Kiama Municipality

tourist attractions near kiama

Ports of Call Tours

Private and luxury.

tourist attractions near kiama

Tours & Sightseeing

tourist attractions near kiama

Outdoor Activities

What travellers are saying.

Tamara A

  • Kiama Coastal Walk
  • Kiama Blowhole
  • Saddleback Mountain Lookout
  • Little Blowhole Reserve “Endeavour Lookout”
  • Minnamurra Falls
  • Kiama Harbour
  • Wild Wombat and Kangaroo Day Tour
  • Sea Cliff Bridge, Blowhole, Beaches & Farmlands- Escape the City
  • Sydney South Coast to Country Private Tour | Grand Pacific Drive
  • Southern Highlands & South Coast Private Tour From Sydney
  • Private Tour: Sydney South Coast & Highlands
  • Kiama Visitor Information Centre

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15 Best Things to Do in Kiama and its Surrounds

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Looking for the best things to do in Kiama?

You’ve landed on the right travel guide because  I live in New South Wales , not far from Kiama, actually. In this article, I’m going to tell you about all the best things to do in Kiama and the surrounding area.

Kiama is an attractive coastal town that lies around 120 kilometres south of the New South Wales capital and just 40 kilometres north of Wollongong. It is famous for its record-breaking blowhole, but there is so much more to do in Kiama than see the blowhole!

Besides all the unmissable things to do in Kiama, this article also contains a Kiama Travel Guide that answers all your FAQs, like how to get to Kiama, where to stay in Kiama, and more.

It’s at the end of the article, so don’t miss it after you discover what to do in Kiama and its surrounding area!

15 best things to do in Kiama

Top Fun Things to do in Kiama this weekend

1. Kiama Coastal Walk

Looking for things to do in Kiama this weekend? I highly recommend the Kiama coastal walk!

Spanning an impressive 22 kilometres from the Minnamurra River to Gerringong, this exceptional coastal walk features a picturesque blend of stunning beaches and dramatic rock formations.

Not only does the path lead you to the renowned Kiama Blowhole, but it also provides access to a host of other must-see spots. These include the Cathedral Rocks, Bombo Beach, the Little Blowhole, and the tranquil Werri Lagoon.

Though tackling the entire Kiama Coast Walk in one day is an option, most prefer to digest the experience in smaller portions, typically divided into three manageable stages:

→ The first section takes you from Minnamurra River to Kiama Blowhole, an 8.4km trek (approximately 3hrs).

→The second stretch runs from Kiama Blowhole to Loves Bay, a journey of 5km (around 1.5 hours).

→ The final leg bridges Loves Bay to Gerringong, covering 6km (roughly 2hrs).

If you’re wondering about how to get back to Kiama at the end of your walk, don’t fret! The Gerringong Bowling Club offers a Walk + Eat + Ride lunch deal that includes a complimentary lift back to Kiama when you spend at least $20 at the club. 

However, should the vastness of the trail feel somewhat daunting, rest assured, you are under no obligation to conquer the entire 22km. There’s flexibility in exploring the parts that most pique your interest.

❗️If you fancy staying nearer to Kiama, it is suggested to traverse the distance between the Kiama Blowhole and Loves Bay.

It’s worth mentioning that parts of this trail serve as a shared pathway for both pedestrians and cyclists.

For those who have an affinity for cycling, consider embarking on the Thirroul to Kiama route, a popular 60km ride that is guaranteed to invigorate your senses.

Best Things to do in Kiama Lighthouse in New South Wales

2. Kiama Lighthouse

The whitewashed tower of Kiama’s 19th-century lighthouse, soaring to a height of 16 metres, is an emblematic fixture of the NSW South Coast landscape.

This lighthouse, situated just south of Kiama’s harbour and perched more than 136 metres above sea level, is an unmissable sight. While the tower itself is off-limits to visitors, the quaint assistant keeper’s cottage is open to the public , now serving as the Pilots’ Cottage Museum.

Managed by the Kiama Historical Society, this museum offers visitors a captivating peek into Kiama’s storied past.

It illuminates aspects such as the town’s shipping history, the early cedar industry, and the basalt quarries that have profoundly shaped the region. Known as either Kiama Light or Kiama Harbour Light, this active lighthouse also hosts a tourist information centre alongside the museum.

Situated on Blowhole Point, just south of Kiama Harbour and only moments away from the Kiama Blowhole, the lighthouse’s prime location makes it a key feature on any Kiama itinerary. As you plan what to do in Kiama, don’t miss the opportunity to delve into its heritage at this iconic landmark.

3. Bombo Headland Quarry

Just a brief drive north of Kiama, you’ll find the unique and breathtaking Bombo Headland Quarry. This geological marvel, with its distinctive basalt walls and columns, resembles a moonscape.

As its name implies, the site was once a quarry, and the captivating rock formations you see today are a testament to the blue metal quarrying operations of the late 19th century, complemented by centuries of continuous erosion.

Listed on the New South Wales State Heritage Register, the Bombo Headland Quarry shares a resemblance with the Cathedral Rocks, offering an ideal setting for photo enthusiasts. Particularly during the sunrise, when the day’s first light bathes the quarry in an ethereal glow, it’s a photographer’s dream come true.

Whether you’re considering what to do in Kiama or looking to dive into its history at the Pilots’ Cottage Museum, make sure to carve out time for a sunrise visit to the Bombo Headland Quarry.

This striking site provides a fascinating glimpse into the area’s industrial past and natural beauty, and it’s undoubtedly a highlight of the Kiama region.

4. Cathedral Rocks

Just north of the Bombo Headland Quarry Geological Site are the distinctive rock formations of Cathedral Rocks.

These towering basalt formations have been sculpted over millions of years and are a photographer’s favourite, particularly at sunrise!

The Cathedral Rocks can be visited along the Kiama Coastal Walk but if you’re serious about your photography, we recommend getting there early to capture the magnificent changing colours as the day breaks. 

Things to do in Kiama go on a Scenic Drive

5. Enjoy a scenic drive

For those who prefer the thrill of a scenic drive over a hike, we highly recommend embarking on Official Tourist Drive No. 9. This picturesque route carves a path from Kiama to the Southern Highlands via Jamberoo Mountain Road, offering breathtaking views and an array of attractions along the way.

Here are some highlights you can expect on this journey:

📍The quaint Jamberoo township, is a charming locale that captures the essence of rural Australia.

📍Minnamurra Rainforest & Waterfall, is an unspoiled natural wonder where you can explore verdant landscapes and marvel at cascading waterfalls.

📍Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures, an elevated walkway that offers panoramic views across the Pacific Ocean.

📍Carrington Falls, a mesmerizing waterfall that is among the many hidden gems of the Southern Highlands.

📍Robertson, a town famed for its delectable pie shop and its peculiar landmark, the Big Potato, is perhaps one of the country’s most unconventional “big” attractions.

Your journey can either loop back to Kiama via Macquarie Pass and Albion Park or, for an alternative route, you could venture further south to visit the enchanting towns of Gerringong, Gerroa, and Berry before returning to Kiama via the highway.

Whether you’re stopping to hike to the waterfalls of Minnamurra and Carrington, taking a leisurely stroll through Robertson’s antique stores, or simply enjoying the drive, the Official Tourist Drive No. 9 provides a unique experience and a compelling answer to the question of what to do in Kiama.

Kiama Blowhole Fun things to do in Kiama, NSW

6. Kiama Blowhole

Looking for things to do in Kiama with kids? The Kiama Blowhole is a surefire hit.

Known as the world’s largest blowhole, it’s one of the town’s most beloved attractions and has enthralled visitors for over a century. When conditions are right, seawater can spurt more than 30 metres into the air from its 2.5-metre-wide opening, creating a spectacle that captivates both kids and adults.

The blowhole was first identified by explorer George Bass back in 1797, and it continues to be a magnet for visitors today.

The blowhole is easy to find; simply head towards the Kiama Lighthouse. It’s within walking distance from the town centre and offers several viewing points to witness this natural wonder. With picnic tables and public toilets nearby, it makes for an easy and enjoyable outing.

Interestingly, Kiama boasts not just one but two blowholes. While the Big Blowhole gets most of the limelight, the Little Blowhole often provides an even more exhilarating display.

Predicting the best time to witness the blowholes in action can be tricky; sometimes they may leave you a bit underwhelmed. However, according to local experts at the visitor centre, your best bet is to visit the Little Blowhole during a northeastern wind and the main Kiama Blowhole near the lighthouse in a southeastern wind.

Visiting the Kiama Blowhole is undeniably one of the most popular things to do in Kiama, especially for families. Don’t miss the chance to see this unique natural spectacle in action!

7. Kiama Ocean pool

If you’re searching for romantic things to do in Kiama, consider a tranquil sunrise swim in one of the town’s beautiful ocean rock pools. Sharing the serene early morning with your loved one, before the hustle and bustle of the day begins, is an experience that’s both peaceful and invigorating.

Kiama is home to four stunning rock pools, each with its own unique charm. The Blowhole Point Ocean Pool, located near the famous Kiama Blowhole, is a favourite among locals and visitors alike. On the opposite side of the harbour, you’ll find the 50-metre-long Continental Pool, ideal for a few leisurely laps amidst breathtaking views.

For a more secluded experience, head to the Ourie Ocean Pool at the southern end of Werri Beach or the Boat Harbour Ocean Pool in Gerringong. The latter even features a sandy beach at its shallow end, perfect for a relaxed picnic after your swim.

These four picturesque spots are well worth adding to your Kiama itinerary, whether you plan to spend time in the water or simply enjoy the beautiful views.

With ample facilities, including children’s change rooms, picnic and barbecue areas, and ample parking, these rock pools offer an idyllic setting for a day out in Kiama.

Things t do in Kiama go to Minnamurra Falls rainforest Centre

8. Minnamurra Falls and Rainforest

When you’re in need of a cool retreat, consider a visit to the stunning Minnamurra Rainforest. Despite the name, it’s actually located in Jamberoo, not Minnamurra Village , but don’t let that dissuade you. The area is known for being a few degrees cooler, providing a refreshing escape, especially during warmer days.

A standout feature of this verdant paradise is the magnificent Minnamurra Falls. Situated within the Budderoo National Park, this two-tiered waterfall is a sight to behold as it cascades along the Minnamurra River.

A four-kilometre round trip from the Minnamurra Rainforest Centre will lead you to several viewing platforms that overlook both the upper and lower cascades.

Even in wet weather, the dense canopy of the rainforest ensures a comfortable journey, so if you are looking for things to do in Kiama when it’s raining you should definitely add Minnamurra Rainforest to the itinerary.

But the waterfall is just one part of the allure. The walk itself is an immersive experience that will bring you closer to nature.

9. Kiama beaches

One of the best things to do in Kiama is relax on its beautiful beaches, which include popular surf breaks and family-friendly stretches of sand. If you’re travelling with kids, we recommend the shallow waters of Kendalls Beach or sheltered Easts Beach, which can easily be combined with a visit to the Little Blowhole. While Kiama’s Surf Beach is renowned for its northern break, “The Wedge”, it also features calm waters that are ideal for swimming or a splash about with the kids. 

If you’re looking to brush up on your surfing skills or even take a lesson, then Gerroa’s Seven Mile Beach is the place to head. More experienced board riders won’t want to miss Minnamurra Beach, which forms part of Killalea State Park’s National Surfing Reserve. 

If you’re in need of a day away from the coast (or the weather demands it), then head to charming Berry. This historic town is just 20 minute’s drive from Kiama and is a great place for shopping, dining and weekend strolls beneath an umbrella. You can delve into the past at the Berry Historic Museum, discover treasures at one of the numerous antique stores or just admire Berry’s heritage buildings, such as the Railway Station, the Courthouse and the Gate House of the David Berry Hospital. 

When it’s time to eat, Berry is a foodie’s paradise, with everything from traditional tea shops to winery estates and dessert bars to choose from. If possible, coincide your visit with the Berry Markets, which are held on the first Sunday of the month at the Berry Showground. 

11. Wine and beer taste

If it’s raining outside, then head indoors to sample some of the region’s finest drops at the local wineries and breweries. Stoic Brewing in Gerringong has made a name for its pale ales and offers tasting paddles of its handcrafted beers and ciders. Coincide your visit with a Friday afternoon when local food trucks set up shop. 

Also a short drive from Kiama is the cellar door of Coolangatta Estate, which was one of the first wineries to be established in the Shoalhaven region. Guided tastings are offered of their Semillons, Cabernet Sauvignons and Tempranillos while the alfresco restaurant offers sweeping views across the surrounding farmland. 

Romantic things to do in Kiama Seaside Market

12. Kiama Seaside Markets

On the third Sunday of every month, the Kiama Seaside Markets ignite the waterfront, with more than 100 stalls selling everything from local handicrafts to collectables and fresh produce. You can grab a bite to eat from one of the food stalls before settling in to listen to the live music being performed by local buskers. The Kiama Seaside Markets are open from 9 am to 3 pm. 

If you’re specifically after fresh and organic produce, then we recommend the Kiama Farmers Market, which takes place each Wednesday afternoon at Coronation Park. 

13. Bonaira Native Gardens

While we love a romantic beach stroll in Kiama, we also recommend a visit to the Bonaira Native Gardens to walk arm-in-arm with your lover. This gorgeous oasis is planted with a variety of native species and towering trees, all of which are detailed by information plaques. An easy, 30-minute trail meanders through the garden, which is also the perfect spot for a romantic picnic in Kiama. 

14. Whale watching

The coastline surrounding Kiama is famed for its whale watching, particularly during the months of June and July when these giants of the ocean are migrating north, then again from September to November when they head back south. It’s possible to spot humpback whales from several points around Kiama but there are two purpose-built whale-watching platforms if you’re serious about catching a glimpse. Just north of Kiama’s town centre is the Minnamurra Whale Watching Platform while to the south is the Gerringong Whale Watching Platform. 

15. Jamberoo Action Park

Just 15 minutes’ drive from Kiama is the Jamberoo Action Park, a sprawling water park where kids can let loose on hot, summer days. It’s a great alternative to the beach, with all-inclusive admission that lets them brave thrilling water slides, play miniature golf or splash around at the Billabong Beach playground. You can kick back in a tube to ride the Rapid River, test your skills on the bobsledding course or soak up the views across the park from the chairlift. 

Hidden gems near Kiama 

Looking for more things to do in Kiama this weekend? Here are a few of our favourite destinations that lie off the beaten track. 

Barren Grounds Nature Reserve

Barren Grounds Nature Reserve is a birdwatcher’s paradise that lies directly west of Kiama. It’s almost completely encircled by rocky cliffs and features a heathland that ignites with wildflowers in the spring. There are walks to suit all abilities, with a highlight being the 4.5-kilometre-long trail that leads to Drawing Room Rocks with its rock-shaped tables and chairs.  

Buena Vista Farm

This family-run estate nestles in scenic farmland near Werri Beach and is committed to growing and rearing in a sustainable manner. In addition to a kitchen garden, laying hens and honey bees, they also keep free-range pigs and grass-fed cattle. Join one of their guided farm tours to learn about the organic practices used here or attend a hands-on cheese-making class. 

Nellie’s Glen

Not far from Carrington Falls in Budderoo National Park is this idyllic watering hole where you can swim or picnic before hitting the surrounding trails. It’s framed by magnificent eucalypts that provide habitat for a variety of species, including the satin bowerbird. Nellie’s Glen is best avoided on summer weekends when it can get very busy.

Where to eat in Kiama

Fishermen’s coop.

This iconic yellow shack at Kiama Harbour sells fish straight from the trawlers and is the place to head for a feed after visiting the Kiama Blowhole. You can opt for traditional battered fish and chips, fresh tiger prawns or oysters to slurp down straight away. 

Drawing on locally sourced and homegrown produce, Silica is positioned overlooking Kiama’s Surf Beach. It’s a fine dining experience that is all about showcasing what the South Coast has to offer, with the menu featuring dishes such as braised octopus, hot smoked duck breast and salt-baked potato gnocchi. 

The Hungry Monkey

The Hungry Monkey is a brunch favourite and is located in the heart of all Kiama’s action. Begin with a cup of White Horse Coffee before feasting on gourmet burgers (or a burger slider), bao buns and hearty salads. There’s a good kids menu available during the day and The Hungry Monkey is open select nights of the week for dinner. 

Best places to stay in Kiama

The bellevue.

Located in the heart of Kiama, these award-winning apartments offer a touch of “The Hamptons” while being close to everything the community has to offer. It boasts six one-bedroom apartments featuring wrap-around balconies, full kitchens and private bathrooms, accompanied by gorgeous views of the surrounding gardens or the harbour. You can check it out here .

BIG4 Easts Beach Holiday Park

With its stunning beachfront location, this BIG4 is one of the best options for budget-seeking campers to base themselves on. In addition to ensuite and powered sites, there’s a wide choice of stylishly designed lofts, retreats and villas if you’re willing to splurge a little. The on-site aqua park, playground and swimming pool will appeal to kids and there’s a well-equipped camp kitchen where you can prepare meals.  Click here to book .

Kiama Palms on Collins

Offering easy access to all of the shops and cafes on Kiama’s main street is this two-bedroom apartment, which has been beautifully decorated and comes with everything you need. Aside from the fully-equipped kitchen (complete with a coffee machine), there’s a flat-screen TV and a balcony offering sea views.  Click here to book .

Plan your Trip to Kiama

How to get to kiama.

Drive: Kiama is around 90 minutes drive south of Sydney or just 40 minutes from Wollongong. There are a few different route options available; the motorway via Campbelltown (M31) or the coast road (A1), which includes the scenic Grand Pacific Drive.

Premier Motor Service connects both Sydney and Melbourne to Kiama or you can take advantage of the buses that travel from Sydney to Kiama with Greyhound Australia.

TRAIN: Regular trains also make the 2.5-hour scenic journey from Sydney’s Central Station to Kiama Station along the South Coast railway line. The train passes through Sutherland, Thirroul and Wollongong.

If you are a first-time visitor to Kiama, consider making Kiama Visitors Centre (located near the Blowhole) your first stop.

Kiama NSW: Frequently Asked Questions

How far is kiama from wollongong.

Kiama is approximately 37 kilometres south of Wollongong along the coast. By car, it takes about 35 to 40 minutes to travel between the two towns via the Princes Highway and the M1, depending on traffic conditions. It’s a beautiful drive along the coast with plenty of picturesque views. Please note that travel times may vary depending on your specific starting point in Wollongong and your destination in Kiama.

Is Kiama worth a Visit?

Absolutely, Kiama is worth a visit. This seaside town in NSW offers diverse attractions for all. It boasts natural wonders like the Kiama Blowhole and Minnamurra Falls, historical sites such as the 19th-century lighthouse, and picturesque coastal walks. The Bombo Headland Quarry and the charming rock pools are perfect for photography and relaxation. Whether you’re on a family trip, a romantic getaway, or an adventure excursion, Kiama has something to offer everyone.

What is Kiama Famous for?

Kiama, a coastal town in NSW, Australia, is renowned for its Kiama Blowhole, one of the world’s largest. It’s also recognized for beautiful beaches, the scenic Kiama Coast Walk, unique geological formations like the Cathedral Rocks and Bombo Headland Quarry, and its historic lighthouse. Additionally, it’s popular for its ocean rock pools, local culture, fresh seafood, and proximity to attractions like the Minnamurra Rainforest.

Before you go…

Before you embark on your Kiama adventure, there are a few more things you might want to consider. Given Kiama’s proximity to other noteworthy destinations on the NSW South Coast, expanding your itinerary can enrich your overall experience.

One such gem is Wollongong, a vibrant coastal city situated just north of Kiama. Wollongong and the broader Illawarra region are renowned for their stunning nature walks, making them a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.

We have carefully curated a list of 15 Stunning Walks in Wollongong and the Illawarra in another blog post, which we highly recommend you check out. These walks range from tranquil bush trails to spectacular coastal paths, offering breathtaking views and a healthy dose of fresh air.

Incorporating some of these walks into your travel plans can provide a deeper appreciation of the region’s natural beauty and diverse landscapes, thus enhancing your trip to Kiama NSW and beyond.

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Travel Expert

Chloe Scorgie, the creative force behind Passport Down Under, offers an insider's perspective on relocating and exploring Australia. A British expatriate who made the leap to Australia in 2022, she leverages her firsthand experiences to guide and inspire others embarking on a similar journey. Her experience of navigating the complexities of moving to Australia with a young child adds a unique and relatable perspective for families. From finding the best beaches for surfing to understanding the intricacies of emigration, Chloe's insights are invaluable for anyone considering an Australian adventure, particularly those with young families.

Passport Down Under has proudly featured in major publications such as BBC Travel, Go!Banking Rates, Yahoo! Finance and Best Life Online.

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Top Things to Do in Kiama, Australia

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Tours & Sightseeing

Luxury & special occasions, what travellers are saying.

Ron B

  • Kiama Coastal Walk
  • Kiama Blowhole
  • Saddleback Mountain Lookout
  • Little Blowhole Reserve “Endeavour Lookout”
  • Cathedral Rocks
  • Kiama Harbour
  • Bombo Headland
  • Sea Cliff Bridge, Blowhole, Beaches & Farmlands- Escape the City
  • Sydney South Coast to Country Private Tour | Grand Pacific Drive
  • Southern Highlands & South Coast Private Tour From Sydney
  • Private Tour: Sydney South Coast & Highlands
  • Escape Sydney: Sea Cliff Bridge, Blowhole, Beaches and Farmlands
  • Kiama Visitor Information Centre

Beyond Wild Places

Your guide to the wilder side of life

18 Best Things to Do in Kiama, NSW South Coast

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Located less than a couple of hours south of Sydney, Kiama is a popular weekend getaway on the South Coast. When I arrived for the first time, I was quick to understand why. It’s one of the prettiest towns on the South Coast, with rolling coastal hills, beautiful beaches, enticing rock pools and plenty of vantage points to admire the coastline.

Whether exploring the streets and sights in town, or heading up to Minnamurra or down to Gerringong, there are so many things to do in Kiama to keep you busy for days. I’ve now visited this town a few times as I’ve explored the South Coast in my van and it’s one of my favourite stops.

In this guide, I’m going to detail all the best things to do in Kiama, from walks to beaches and nearby sights.

Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links which means I get a commission if you buy a product through my link at no extra cost to you. By doing so, I can keep this blog going and continue to create helpful guides for you. Read more:  Privacy Policy

Why Visit Kiama on NSW South Coast?

Kiama is the perfect place to escape the city for the weekend. It’s an attractive town built over the rolling coastal cliffs of Illawarra with dramatic beauty at every turn. There’s so many things to do in Kiama, that it offers something for everyone. From surf beaches to coastal walks, buzzing little cafes and high end boutiques, you could easily spend days in Kiama and never get bored.

While the town does swarm with visitors in the summer months, it’s peaceful for the rest of the year. I’ve always visited in autumn, when the water is still just warm enough to swim, the waves are picking up and it’s easy to relax and let time slip by.

It’s definitely one of my favourite towns on the South Coast (along with Ulladulla/Mollymook and Bermagui). If you’re planning a trip to Kiama, then here are the best things to do.

Read next: 20 Best Places to Visit on the South Coast

Sunset in Kiama

How to Get There

Sydney to Kiama: 120 km or 1 hour 45 minute drive via M1

Kiama is 120km south of Sydney and is easily reached on the M1, via the famous Grand Pacific Drive and Sea Cliff Bridge. Driving is the quickest option, but you can also opt for public transport too.

There are frequent trains running from Sydney to Kiama on the South Coast Line every day. The journey takes around 2 hours 20 minutes one way. You can find timetables and fares here .

View of Kiama

Where to Stay in Kiama

As a popular weekend getaway from Sydney, Kiama is filled with plenty of accommodation choices. Check out some of my recommendations below:

Kiama Shores || Perfect for a romantic weekend away, this property offers King Rooms with a patio right in the middle of town. Close to everything, the spacious rooms also have a private kitchenette and ensuite bathroom. Check prices here .

Surf Beach Holiday Park || Just 200m back from the beach, this caravan park offers cabins, bungalows, and villas, some with sea views. There are also powered and unpowered camping sites as well. Check prices here .

Sea Breeze Studio || A beautiful place to stay for a solo traveller or couple, this self-contained studio apartment is located to the northern edge of town overlooking the beach. While small, it’s reasonably priced considering you can wake up to the view of crashing waves from bed. Check availability here .

Kiama lighthouse

Best Things to Do in Kiama

There’s plenty of things to do in Kiama town, all within walking distance of each other. If you’ve only got a short time in Kiama, I can recommend visiting the following places:

Kiama Lighthouse

Built in 1887, this lighthouse stands tall on the headland known as Blowhole Point. It stands out as an important landmark along this stretch of coast and it’s always busy with visitors.

There’s plenty of car parking up at the point, along with a Visitor Centre, the big blowhole and Kiama rock pool. You can easily walk up to the lighthouse from town, and visit the other sights on the way. Otherwise, it’s a great place to park while you explore the headland.

Kiama blowhole

Kiama Blowhole

Just in front of the lighthouse, you’ll hear the blowhole before you see it. The natural hole in the rock below the carpark has an opening of about 2.5m and when the swell is right, the water plumes can record heights up to 30m.

It’s considered one of the largest blowholes in the world, meaning many visitors flock to Kiama just to see it. There are a few different viewpoints around the lighthouse, where you can enjoy the natural show of water.

You’ll hear the growing pressure of the waves underneath the rock, until it’s suddenly propelled through the rock into the air at random intervals. It’s an impressive sight, at any time of the year, although winter can see it reaching its highest when the swell is right.

Little blowhole

Little Blowhole

Many people miss the little blowhole because it can be hard to find, but it’s worth heading out to see it. You can either reach it by following the Kiama Coastal Walk south of town to Marsden Head, or by driving to Tingira Crescent.

There’s a small carpark and viewing platform down off Tingira Crescent from where you can wait for the blowhole to burst. Some people argue that it’s often better than the main blowhole, but I think they’re both worth visiting while in Kiama.

Kiama Coastal Walk

Kiama Coast Walk

Stretching for around 22km one way along the coast, Kiama Coast Walk is one of the best things to do on the South Coast. The stunning walk reminded me of a longer version of the George Bass Coastal Walk in Victoria, as it winds its way along the rolling cliffs.

The Kiama Coast Walk begins in Minnamurra and heads down through Kiama and finishes in Gerringong to the south. It’s a long walk to do in one go, especially as it’s one way. I broke it into sections to complete it over a few different days instead.

It’s rated as easy-moderate, but does have many hills, although nothing overly steep. The trail follows a combination of footpaths, mowed grass trails and gravel tracks. It’s signposted, although I would say in some places it can be hard to follow, especially when it goes through Kiama town and follows footpaths. So, keep an eye out!

Some of the highlights along the way include the Minnamurra Lookout, Cathedral Rocks, Bombo Headland, Kiama Blowhole, Little Blowhole and Werri Beach. All of these places can also be visited individually, but walking is a good way to see them.

Walking to Bombo Headland

Grab a Coffee and Bite to Eat

Along both Terralong Street and Manning Street, you’ll find plenty of places to grab a bite to eat and a coffee. While the cafes get packed on weekends full of visitors, I recommend getting in early if you want a seat at a table.

Some favourites include Saltwater Cafe for seafood, Wild Patch Cafe for coffee, gluten free options and healthy food, and The Hungry Monkey for brunch, especially their burgers and pancakes.

Old buildings in main street

Shop the Boutiques

Kiama is filled with pretty boutique shops worthing checking out. Whether you’re looking for a gift or just window shopping, you’ll find a wide variety of shops, including a book shop, clothes shops and local collectives selling handmade things like candles, jewellery and soap. There’s also a couple of good op shops.

Kiama rock pool

Kiama Rock Pool

On Blow Hole Point, this is Kiama’s famous rock pool. The free swimming pool is just down from the lighthouse and blow hole, and is one of the most beautiful on the South Coast. Bordered by coastal rocks, this pool is popular for both visitors and locals alike.

There’s a small carpark right by the rock pool with toilets and a cold shower. Locals come everyday for their cold water swim in the early morning, but it can be busy all day long, especially in summer.

I went in for a dip at sunset a couple of days in a row, when it was much quieter and it’s definitely one of my favourite memories from my time in Kiama.

Swimming in Kiama pool

Kiama Ocean Pool

Around the bay from the rock pool, you’ll also find another ocean pool. This is not as popular, but still quite a nice place to do some laps or enjoy the view. There are toilets nearby and you can reach the pool by walking along the harbour path.

Kiama Beaches

There are a few beaches around town to check out during your stay in Kiama. Kiama Surf Beach is the closest and a popular spot for beginner surfers looking to take some small waves. The next beach to the south is Kendalls Beach , a beautiful spot for fishing, surfing and going for a quick dip. There are lifeguards in the warmer months.

Further south again is Easts Beach , a small cove right in front of Big4 Holiday Park. North of Kiama is Bombo Beach , a long stretch of sand that is popular for surfers, walking and relaxing on the sand.

Kiama pool

Kiama Markets

If you’re a fan of markets like me, you’ll be happy to learn that Kiama is home to a few great markets.

Kiama Farmers Market is held in Coronation Park every Wednesday afternoon from 3pm to 6 pm. It specialises in fresh local produce and is the best place to pick up organic veggies and local honey.

Kiama Seaside Market is held on the third Sunday of every month, with some extra markets held on public holidays throughout the year. It’s held along Kiama Harbour Park, with over 100 stalls to browse through local produce, handmade products and crafts.

Kiama Makers & Growers Market is held on the fourth Saturday of every month on Black Beach. There’s usually around 70 stalls selling all sorts of arts and crafts handmade by South Coast locals. You can also enjoy some live music throughout the day.

Cathedral Rocks

Best Things to Do Around Kiama

If you have a little extra time, then there are some great things to do around Kiama. Within just a short drive, you can explore more surf spots, interesting rock formations and beautiful vantage points over the coast. Check out some of these spots:

Cathedral Rocks

Distance from Kiama: 4km

A distinct geological formation not far from Kiama is Cathedral Rocks. Years of erosion have slowly carved out these interesting basalt rocks. It’s a little bit of a hidden spot if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

You’ll find it by either walking along this part of the coast on the Kiama Coast Walk or driving along Cliff Drive in Kiama Downs. You can park somewhere on the side of the road. Cliff Drive is a dead end road, where you’ll find Boneyard Beach at the far end. Cathedral Rocks is just before that.

It’s meant to be most spectacular at sunrise, but I was there in the late afternoon instead.

Surf at Boneyard Beach

At the end of Cliff Drive, you’ll find the walking trail down to Boneyard Beach. The Boneyard is a popular local surfing spot that is often quieter than anywhere else around Kiama.

It’s also a nice secluded spot to relax on the sand. I combined a walk down to Boneyard Beach with the nearby Bombo Headland Quarry, which can be done together in a nice little loop walk.

Bombo Headland Quarry

Bombo Headland Quarry

This spot was totally unexpected to me and definitely worth visiting. It’s a famous geological site on Bombo Headland with towering basalt rock pillars and waves crashing over them.

If you take the trail up from Boneyard Beach, then you’ll get a nice panoramic view over the coastline and the Bombo Headland Quarry, before continuing down to the bottom. This is a great way to appreciate two different perspectives of the area.

Otherwise, you can also just reach the old quarry from Bombo Beach Carpark, which is a flatter and easier walk.

The interesting rock formations are the result of both natural erosion and blue metal quarrying from the 1880s and 1900s. It’s a completely unique place to see and I highly recommend taking the time to check it out on foot.

Bombo Headland Quarry from below

Minnamurra Lookout and Minnamurra Whale Watching Platform

Distance from Kiama: 6km

Just north of Kiama Downs, drive out to the Minnamurra Lookout and Whale Watching Platform. Very close to the beginning of the Kiama Coast Walk, it’s one of the prettiest views around Kiama.

From the carpark, you can easily reach Minnamurra Whale Watching Platform within 100m, offering views back towards Kiama. But I also recommend following the trail up a bit further north to find the beautiful grassy headland of Minnamurra Point.

This offers an incredible view down to the mouth of the Minnamurra River and further towards Minnamurra Beach.

Minnamurra Lookout

Killalea Reserve

Distance from Kiama: 14.5km

Stretching north of Minnamurra, the Killalea Reserve is a must for any keen surfers. Named a National Surfing Reserve in 2005, the reserve is home to two epic surf breaks; The Farm and Mystics.

There’s also a campground inside the reserve, not far from Mystics which is perfect for those wanting to catch a wave early or late in the day. You can book through the NSW Parks website here .

There are always surfers out there all year round, but I found on a weekend it got really busy, even in autumn. When the swell is good, you should try to arrive early as the carparks do fill up quick.

Killalea Surfing Reserve

Saddleback Mountain Lookout

Distance from Kiama: 8km

For a bird’s eye view of the coastline, drive a short way up the escarpment to Saddleback Mountain Lookout, about 10 minutes away from Kiama. At the lookout, you’ll find viewing platforms just a few hundred metres apart.

You can see right down to the coast, across the farmlands, and as far as Cronulla in the north and Milton to the south. At just a short drive, it’s worth heading up for sunset for the best view.

Minnamurra Falls

Distance from Kiama: 15.5km

Just up from Jamberoo in Budderoo National Park, you can explore Minnamurra Rainforest Centre. A complete change from the coast, this dense forest is home to Minnamurra Falls, which can be reached on a 4.2km return hike.

While there are some steep sections, it’s mostly on elevated walkways and a paved track, so it should take only about 1.5 hours in total. It’s best visited after some rain to see it at its most beautiful.

Moon rise in Gerringong

Distance from Kiama: 11.5km

South of Kiama is the smaller town of Gerringong. Home to the 1.8km-long Werri Beach, which is also the end of the Kiama Coastal Walk, it’s worth a day trip from Kiama. There’s some great surf spots and a chance to walk along the long stretch of sand.

Head down to Gerringong’s Rock Pool for a cold water dip or head up to the Whale Watching Platform in winter to see if you can spot some humpback whales as well.

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15 Things To Do In Kiama      

Kiama attractions make plenty of noise

- This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure.

There she blows. With a thunderous roar, the waves hit the jagged rock wall below, catapulting a plume of sea spray as high as 20 metres into the air. Almost in unison, cameras snap away, budding photographers hoping to capture the ocean’s fury at its best. Photographing the Kiama Blowhole is probably the most popular of the many Kiama attractions but there are plenty of other things to do in Kiama too.

Kiama attractions span from the beaches and fishing trips to the heritage walks to the centuries-old buildings dotting the town and the scenic drives to the north, west and south. Here are eight things to do on in Kiama to get you started. Combine a trip to Kiama with these things to do in Wollongong for a weekend getaway. 

1- Visit the Kiama Blowholes

2- discover kiama’s colonial past, 3- discover kiama’s art scene, 4- explore the kiama coastal walk, 5- take a kiama camping trip , 6- go on a scenic drive, 7- admire the view from saddleback mountain lookout, 8- hit the kiama shops , 9- eat fish ‘n’ chips at werri beach, 10- make a splash at jamberoo action park, 11- attend a festival, 12- stay in a luxury escape, sebel harbourside kiama, 13- photograph cathedral rocks, 14- explore bombo quarry headland, 15- hit the beach, 15 amazing things to do in kiama.

kiama blowhole

Long before Europeans settled along the NSW South Coast to quarry blue metal (basalt) and graze dairy cattle, the Kiama Blowhole had already made plenty of noise.

To the generations of indigenous locals who spent much of their time fishing for their next meal, the Kiama blowhole was a spot to be revered.

They named the area Kiarama – “place where the sea makes a noise” – and a derivation of the name has remained to be synonymous with the naturally carved hole which today attracts international tourists by the coachloads.

To have the blowhole functioning at its most breathtaking best requires a strong south-easterly wind.

When the wind blows in from the west, and there’s barely a breath of spray, the focus moves to the many other attractions which make the town a popular holiday spot.

what to do in Kiama

For a good insight into Kiama’s colonial past, when horse and cart was a main mode of transport, don the walking shoes for a leisurely stroll through the coastal town’s heart.

You are sure to be intrigued by the architectural treasures, majestic examples that were indicative of the town’s importance in the 19th Century.

Shadowing the blowhole on the headland is the 130-year-old lighthouse, its light a constant warning to ships of the rocky dangers which lie 36 metres below.

Nearby is the beautifully restored 1881-built Pilots’ Cottage, appropriately a Heritage and Maritime Museum.

While next door is the Kiama Information Centre with its ample stock of maps and free guides to ensure the walk is more informative.

Kiama Old Fire Station

Look out for such fine churches as Christ Church, near Kiama Showground , and the Presbyterian Church, circa 1863-1898, along with the 1925-built fire station which today houses an art gallery of local works.

It’s easy to spot as the building is fronted by a colourfully decorated life-sized model of a cow.

Perhaps the town’s prime landmark is the lovingly cared Post Office which opened nearly 140 years ago and is familiar for its clocktower which doesn’t seem to miss a beat, like Kiama itself in drawing a holiday crowd.

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To combine sightseeing with much-needed exercise, lace-up the serious boots for the Kiama Coastal Walk .

And make sure to bring along the camera as well as the essential water supply.

It’s 10 years ago since the green light was given to allow trekkers to pass through privately-owned farmland on a lushly green section of coast linking the southern outskirts of Kiama with Werri Beach, Gerringong to the south.

The initial section of the scenic Kiama Coastal Walk actually begins as far north as Minnamurra, passing Bombo Beach before rising to Kiama’s Pheasant Point, around Kiama’s historic harbour to Blowhole Point and onwards across the fronts of Kiama’s main Surf Beach, Kendalls Beach and East’s Beach.

En route, trekkers are given an opportunity to view Kiama’s Little Blowhole before descending on East’s Beach.

Overall, the walk spans 22 kilometres and takes most sightseeing walkers a few leisurely hours to complete.

Like many walkers, though, the section between southern Kiama and Werri Beach is preferred for its whale watching, bird gazing and, of course, the ocean views.

kiama caravan park

As a child who spent family holidays camped at the family-owned East’s Beach, on the southern outskirts of Kiama, the scent of freshly barbecued fish was almost as commonplace as bacon and eggs first thing in the morning.

To wake to the mouth-watering aroma and the sounds of waves crashing against the shore remains as welcoming as it was so many years ago, although the park has far many more attractions to meet today’s holidaying demands.

These days the camping ground is known as BIG4 East’s Beach Holiday Park, the site boasting a wide range of self-contained cabins and villas in addition to the permanently positioned privately-owned caravans and the grassed powered sites for tents and camper trailers.

Children are spoiled for choice of activities with a palm-fringed 25-metre resort-style pool, and undercover “jumping pillow” and a themed playground and games room.

For parents, there’s the communal kitchen and barbecues, to name a few more facilities.

East’s Beach isn’t the only waterfront campground in the area as there are attractive holiday parks at nearby Kendalls Beach and the Kiama caravan park at Surf Beach as well as Kiama Harbour Cabins and Gerringong’s Werri Beach.

things to do in kiama

Whether you take the high road or low road, the drives in and around Kiama are as scenically breathtaking as some of the sign-posted names indicate.

And all lead to hotspots within 30 minutes of your hotel or camping ground address.

Some of the views are worth dying for, especially if you visit Gerringong. Expect to see a cemetery with one of the most spectacular outlooks imaginable.

Drive inland for 10 minutes, and you will come across the sleepy village of Jamberoo, in the heart of lush dairy country, the imposing escarpment of National Budderoo Park shadowing it.

Here you can pop into Tudor-style Jamberoo Pub for thirst quencher while admiring the sporting memorabilia to decorate the walls.

Another five-minute drive beyond the village is Minnamurra Rainforest where you can stretch the legs on an elevated loop walk which spans 1.6km and is wheelchair friendly.

kiama things to do

Also within an easy drive of Kiama is Saddleback Mountain Lookout and a bird’s eye view of the coast and hinterland which unfolds from the newly-opened southern platform.

For most, the short but winding highway that links Kiama with Gerringong is rewarding on the eye, as is the drive along motorway conditions to the quaint historic town of Berry, famous for its pubs, cafes, and quirky shops which line the main street.

Make sure to bring along the credit card as the temptations are many.

If you have more time, keep on driving along the NSW south coast and explore the lovely towns of Batemans Bay, Narooma, Bermagui, Tathra, Merimbula and Pambula.

kiama restaurants and shops

While on the heritage walk, make a beeline to the row of heritage-protected Terrace houses on Collins Street which was originally built in 1886 to house the workmen from the quarries.

Within the weatherboard designs of these quaintly restored cottages are stores selling art and craft, collectibles and clothing you wouldn’t find in mainstream department stores.

There’s also an interesting mix of cafes and restaurants, including the ever-popular Amaki Café, where guests have the choice to dine inside or outdoors.

Behind the cottages is a pleasant detour which will take you past another scattering of interesting stores, ultimately leading you to the large park which hosts the Kiama Seaside Markets, held on the third Sunday of each month.

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Such is the popularity of fish and chips in and around Kiama, even the pelicans are known to queue for a bite.

No-one holidays on the NSW south coast without sampling the traditional fare, Werri Beach Fish Shop a favourite among locals as well as the sun-seeking holidaymakers.

Here, across the street from the beach, the store is kept busy serving the catch of the day and other tantalisingly fresh seafood along with burgers and coffee, to be consumed in a small outdoor courtyard fronting the shop.

Then again, you do have the option to take away – back on the beach.

On the eastern edge of Kiama Harbour, patrons line up to put their orders in, the resident pelicans and seagulls watching in anticipation of a drop chip or corner of fried snapper.

For restaurant diners, head to Gerroa, at the northern end of Seven Mile Beach, and sample the quality of the seafood at the Blue Swimmer at Seahaven.

While Queensland’s Gold Coast has some of the country’s most famous and popular theme parks, the south coast has one to rival their thrills and spills.

Unlike the sleepy village of the same name, the Jamberoo Action Park offers, as the name suggests, action aplenty, and much of that action centres on water.

There’s a new ride known as the Perfect Storm, not for the faint-hearted as it is billed as one of the longest, biggest and most exhilarating water thrill rides of its kind in the world. “It’s like being in the middle of three tornadoes,” is how one young visitor described the ride.

When you have other aqua rides with names such as Funnel Web and the Taipan, expect a few screams to spread across the park.

Set on 40 hectares of landscaped gardens and parkland, Jamberoo Action Park doesn’t just cater thrill-seekers as there are activities and attractions for all ages and sizes.

For parents with youngsters, Billabong Beach and Kiddies Cove are perfect enough.

The region has a full calendar of events all year round, including festivals, live entertainment and sporting competitions.

Fans of blues and roots will love the Jamberoo Music Festival when hundreds of musicians gather in Jamberoo in July. 

Another festival to mark down on your calendar is the quirky KISS Arts Fest, which celebrates the artistic energy of the sea with music and circus performances. 

The SurfLife festival is an excellent time to visit as you can relax and enjoy a fantastic weekend surfing and listening to music in the lovely town of Gerringong. 

Kiama is 35km south of Wollongong and is an easy drive on the Princess Highway. Also read this post for more luxury escapes in NSW .

kiama council

Ideally located in the heart Kiama, overlooking the historic harbour and the Pacific waters beyond, is a hotel which prides itself on its warm welcome and service as much as its views.

The Sebel Harbourside Kiama is not only within an easy walking distance of the Kiama Blowhole and the historic Terrace shops, cafes and restaurants.

It offers a feel of being at home the moment you check-in and unpack the bags.

The Kiama hotel’s “around the clock” reception is matched by the tastefully decorated and furnished self-contained guest rooms (there are 80), room 302 a favourite for its large balcony which looks directly across the harbour, perfect spot for early evening G&Ts.

Perfect for longer stays are the one and two-bedroom apartments, the latter found on the ground floor and featuring a full kitchen and laundry facilities, separate living and dining area with an outdoor courtyard.

One of the delights of staying at The Sebel Harbourside Kiama is the setting for the buffet breakfast, inside the Quarry Room with its stunning 180-degree view of the harbour.

One floor below is the relaxed Blue Diamond Bar and Bistro, open for lunch and dinner seven days week and popular for its gourmet pizzas and tapas.

Diners can choose between dining alfresco style in the courtyard or indoors, preferably near the window for yet another chance to view the harbour.

Fitness fanatics aren’t forgotten either with the hotel boasting a fitness centre to beat all – One Fitness Gym – which has attracted celebrities as well as major sporting teams.

A centrepiece of the hotel is the 1871-built heritage-listed former school which has been beautifully restored to its glorious best as a conference and meeting centre as well as an outdoor backdrop for garden wedding receptions.

kiama cathedral rocks

Cathedral Rock is a stunning basalt column formed through thousands of years of erosion of volcanic rocks.

The impressive natural sculptures are at the south end of Jones Beach and can be seen while on the Kiama Coast Walk.

These unique jagged rock formations are scattered just off the headland and can be seen from the top of the headland.

It’s one of the best natural landmarks in Australia to photograph, especially at sunrise or sunset .

bombo quarry headland at night

One of the most impressive New South Coast coastline sections is Bombo Quarry Headland, where massive waves slap against basalt columns.

The quarry is one of the best spots to photograph the sunrise for its eye-catching basalt columns.

Bombo Quarry is at the northern end of Bombo Beach and is a short walk along a path.

Going to the beach is one of the top things to do in Kiama

Kiama is a short drive from several excellent south coast beaches and any Kiama itinerary should include some time at the beach.

Jones Beach, near Cathedral Rocks, and Bombo Beach are great for surfers, while Seven Mile Beach has a long stretch of sand adjacent to the national park.

Boneyard Beach is a pebbly dog-friendly option if you’re travelling with your four-legged friend, while Kiama’s Main Beach has facilities for families.

8 Things to do in Kiama

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13 Amazing Kiama Attractions: Weekend Itinerary

by Lisa Bull | Last updated Jul 20, 2022 | Illawarra

Discover what to do in Kiama NSW with this list of top Kiama attractions, including Cathedral Rocks, Kiama Blowhole, Bombo Quarry and amazing beaches.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more details.

With fantastic beaches, a backdrop of rolling green hills and a large town centre, Kiama has enough attractions to keep you occupied for a weekend or longer.

Based in South Coast NSW, Kiama is the ideal destination for a drive stop on a Melbourne to Sydney road trip . Alternatively, you can explore all the best things to do in Kiama on a weekend trip from Sydney .

While Kiama is well known for its blowhole and Cathedral Rocks, but you’ll also find a choice of top beaches, great surf and beautiful coastal hikes. So, if you’re wondering what the best things to do in Kiama are, read on to find out more.

1. Kiama Blowhole & Rock Pool

Of all the Kiama attractions, Kiama Blowhole has to be the most famous, probably because it’s the largest blowhole in the world! To get there head to where Manning St meets Terralong St, and you’ll see the little road leading out onto Blowhole Point.

Kiama blowhole.

You’ll find free parking and toilets at Blowhole Point, as well as Kiama rock pool if you fancy a swim. Take a stroll around to enjoy stunning views of the coastline both north and south.

Swimmers at Kiama rock pool.

2. Kiama Harbour

Kiama Harbour opened in 1876, when it was difficult to access the town by overland transport. You’ll find it on the northern edge of Blowhole Point, and you can also see it from Black Beach in the town.

Kiama Harbour on a cloudy day.

3. Kiama  Lighthouse

Up near the end of Blowhole Point, you’ll also find Kiama Lighthouse, which was built in 1887. It looks stunning at sunset.

Kiama lighthouse at sunset.

4. Kiama Town: Shops & Cafes

The main strip of shops in Kiama runs along Terralong St and up part of Manning St. The town has a wide choice of pretty cafes as well as surf shops and beachy boutiques, making it the ideal NSW weekend escape for a group of friends.

Kiama town centre, Australia.

5. Kiama Beach (Main/Surf Beach)

One of Kiama’s main attractions is the choice of beaches! The easiest to reach is Surf Beach, which is a popular spot just south of the town centre.

You can either settle yourself on the sand or sit up on the grass at Kendalls Point where you’ll find some shade from the trees as well as barbecue facilities.

Surf Beach in NSW on a sunny day.

6. Kiama Coastal Walk

The 22km Kiama Coastal Walk begins at Werri Beach and ends up at Minnamurra River. You’ll pass some beautiful sights, including Kiama beaches and town, Bombo Beach, Bombo Quarry and Headland, Cathedral Rocks and Jones Beach.

Kiama coastal walk map.

If you don’t fancy doing the hike, you can still visit these places individually like I did, either by car or train with a little bit of walking.

7. Bombo Beach

Just north of Kiama town centre is quieter Bombo Beach. You can walk there via the coastline around Pheasant Point, or catch the train. Its ruggedness makes Bombo Beach one of the top attractions in Kiama!

Sunny Bombo Beach viewed from the train.

8. Bombo Quarry & Headland

Bombo Headland can be accessed by a fairly short bush track starting at the end of Cliff Drive (about a 20-minute walk). You’ll see plenty of nature and wildlife (birds and lizards) along the walk, and the sweeping views both north and south are amazing.

Bombo Quarry viewed from Bombo Headland.

Looking north you’ll see the unusual basalt columns at Bombo Quarry, the results of blue-metal quarrying over 100 years ago.

9. Boneyard Beach

Boneyard Beach can also be accessed by a bush track from the end of Cliff Drive. Just turn left at the fork near the start and go downhill. It’s a sheltered, stony beach, but the water is very clear and still. You’ll also see Cathedral Rocks in the distance.

Boneyard Beach in South Coast NSW.

10. Cathedral Rocks

Cathedral Rocks is one of the most interesting Kiama attractions I visited. These vertical columns at the southern end of Jones Beach are remnants of lava flow eroded by the sea. At low tide you can walk around the base of them.

Beautiful Cathedral Rocks in New South Wales, Australia on a cloudy day.

To get to Cathedral Rocks head south down Cliff Drive. Just after the last house on your left there’s a path leading down to the beach and rocks. You can also get a great view from further down Cliff Drive where the information sign is.

Looking down on Cathedral Rocks in NSW.

11. Jones Beach

Stretching north of Cathedral Rocks is Jones Beach in Kiama Downs, which is a popular spot for surfers. You’ll find toilets up at the northern end as well as an IGA supermarket on Johnson St.

Sunset at Jones Beach, South Coast NSW.

12. Minnamurra River & Headland

I’d highly recommend a visit to Minnamurra Headland. Along with Cathedral Rocks, I think it’s one of the best Kiama attractions, because of the beautiful view across the Minnamurra River and the sand at Mystics Beach swirling around the mouth.

I don’t think my picture does the Minnamurra River justice, but the river looked like glass!

Stunning Minnamurra River at the mouth in NSW, Australia.

You can sit and relax on one of the benches looking north or south, or walk down to the river’s edge where you can kayak and swim.

Rocky beach at Minnamurra River, Australia.

13. Gerringong & Werri Beach

If you have the time, the little surf town of Gerringong is only ten minutes south of Kiama by car or train, and well worth a visit. It’s smaller and more quaint than Kiama, with some lovely beach-style clothing and homeware shops as well as a choice of cafes and the large Natural Necessity Surf Shop .

The Hill Bar, overlooking the beach in Werri.

For coffee with a sea view try The Hill Bar and Kitchen or Sea Vista Café. I enjoyed a lovely coffee and cake at The Perfect Break Café. Down the hill you’ll find the huge and lovely Werri Beach too.

Sunny Werri Beach with green hills behind.

How to Get to Kiama

The distance from Kiama to Sydney is 12 km, which takes about two hours to drive. For a more scenic journey, come off the motorway at Helensburgh and follow the Grand Pacific Drive along the coastline and over Sea Cliff Bridge.

You can also reach Kiama by train from Central Station in Sydney, which takes just over two hours. The station is right in the centre of Kiama, and you can get to Minnamurra, Bombo and Gerringong by train too, all using your Opal card.

 Accommodation in Kiama

Kiama doesn’t have any backpacker hostels, but it does have plenty of hotels and apartments, as well as caravan parks in prime locations. To browse options, take a look at Kiama accommodation on Hotels Combined . They compare prices for each hotel on all the major booking agents to find the best price.

If you’re looking for more holiday destinations in New South Wales , I highly recommend visiting Jervis Bay , an hour south of Kiama. It’s lined with amazing white beaches with a really tropical feel. It’s known as the Whitsundays of New South Wales!

If you’re heading north towards Sydney, check out my top things to do in Wollongong or the best day trips from Sydney . Happy travelling!

Things to do in Kiama, NSW, Australia.

Lisa Bull, founder of Dreaming of Down Under, has been living in Australia as a British expat since 2015. After travelling to every state and territory in Australia and living in Perth, Brisbane and Sydney, Lisa knows from first-hand experience the best destinations to visit in Australia and the best budget travel tips. Her guides on this blog have been read by over 700k readers and helped thousands of people achieve their dream of living in or travelling Australia.

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Hi, I'm Lisa, a British expat living in Sydney. I've travelled almost the whole Australian coastline and love sharing detailed travel and migration guides to inspire other adventurous souls to travel or move to Australia. Read more about me!

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The Trusted Traveller

Things to Do in Kiama and Surrounds

The sleepy town of Kiama is the perfect place to spend a long weekend or or a night or two on a longer road trip down the NSW South Coast.

This lively town is full of restaurants, cafes and boutique shopping as well as some must see attractions and picture perfect beaches. Spend your days relaxing on the beach, taking long walks on the sand and through the surrounding rainforests and browsing the local artisan stores. In the evening there are lots of places to enjoy good local food and entertainment.

While a lot of people travelling south from Sydney stop into Kiama to visit the famous blowhole, this article will show you that there is more to the region, with an abundance of things to do in Kiama and the surrounding area. Spend a few nights here and you will be charmed for life and wanting to come back time and time again to soak up the laid back lifestyle.

The Blowhole

Kiama Blowhole - The Trusted Traveller

This natural phenomena is basically a hole in the volcanic rock that shoots water metres into the air when the sea rushes underneath. It is said to be at its best when the seas run from the south east, but having been there dozens of times myself, I haven’t left disappointed regardless of the sea direction.

Address : Blowhole Point Rd

Cost : Free

Hours : Best seen in daylight hours

The Little Blowhole

The Little Blowhole - The Trusted Traveller

While the big attraction in Kiama is its big brother, the Little Blowhole is worth a look also and doesn’t draw the crowds like the its big brother. Located in a quiet residential street away from town, the Little Blowhole again shoots water up through a hole in the volcanic rock as the sea rushes underneath. The views from this point looking back north up the coast are also worth the visit.

Address : Tingira Crescent

Hours : Best seen during daylight hours

Kiama Seaside Markets

Kiama Produce Markets - Exploring the Grand Pacific Drive - The Trusted Traveller

Kiama hosts two monthly markets, on the third Sunday of the month for handmade goods and the other on the fourth Saturday of the month selling local produce. There is usually 30 plus stalls along the lovely waterfront with most of them coming from sellers in the local area. Grab a coffee and a pastry from one of the vendors and stroll through tasting, browsing and buying whats on offer.

Address : Kiama Waterfront

Hours : 3rd Sunday and 4th Saturday of each month

More Information : https://kiamaseasidemarkets.com.au/

Terrace and Sandstone Walk Shops

The Terrace and Sandstone Walk Shops in Kiama - The Trusted Traveller

This small collection of shops are housed in restored timber houses circa 1886 which are the last of their kind in the area. They were originally built by the local miners and today house boutique shops, restaurants and cafes.

Address : Collins Street

Hours : Hours vary depending on the day of the week and type of store.

Kiama Coast Walk

Kiama Coast Walk views - The Trusted Traveller

This 20 km walk along a sign posted coastal track takes you from Minnamurra Village through Kiama and finishes at Seven Mile Beach in Gerroa, south of Kiama. You can do the walk in sections and pick the parts that suit your fitness level or for those after a bit more of a challenge you can complete the walk in a whole day.

Address : The walk begins from the Minnamurra River at the village and ends at Seven Mile Beach in Gerroa

The Beaches

Jones Beach, Kiama Downs - The Trusted Traveller

Kiama has some fantastic beaches for all occasions. Looking to spend the day relaxing and swimming, head to Surf Beach which is patrolled; wanting to escape and have a beach all to yourself, check out Jones Beach which is also a great spot to see the Cathedral Rocks; endless stretches of sand can be found at Seven Mile Beach just south of Kiama in Gerroa; or my personal favourite Werri Beach where you can enjoy all of the above plus watch the locals surfers in action.

Address : Various

Hours : During summer, some beaches are patrolled during daylight hours

Jamberoo - The Trusted Traveller

Famous for the water park of the same name, there is more to Jamberoo than waterslides. A nice short countryside drive inland from Kiama, Jamberoo has weekend markets, quaint stores and a small array of excellent cafes, a great place to grab locally made scones with jam and cream. If you have the kids in toe then you won’t want to miss Jamberoo Action Park. Here you will find nearly 20 different water based rides to keep the kids (big and little) entertained for hours.

Address : Jamberoo Action Park – 1215 Jamberoo Rd, Jamberoo

Cost : Entry to Jamberoo Action Park is from $50pp for a day pass

Hours : Jamberoo Action Park is open 10am-5pm during school holidays and Friday to Sunday on summer weekends.

More Information : https://www.jamberoo.net/

Quaint shops in Berry - The Trusted Traveller

One of the top quaint towns in NSW, in Berry you will find plenty of great places to eat, lovely little local shops selling locally made items and some top pubs. If you are there for breakfast or morning tea, check out the Milkwood Bakery or for lunch the meals at the Great Southern Hotel are always great. Just a few minutes drive from the main street is the Berry Treat Factory, a great place to stock up on treats.

Address : Queen St, Berry

Hours : Shops are open roughly 9am to 5pm daily

Carrington Falls

A little further west from Kiama on Tourist Drive 9 through Jamberoo is Carrington Falls in the Budderoo National Park. Falling 50 metres into the gorge below, you can take an easy 25 minute loop walk to see the falls from all angles.

Address : Jamberoo Mountain Rd, take the Cloonty Rd turn off to Carrington Falls

Cost : National Park entry fee is $12 per vehicle per day

Hours : 9am to 5pm daily, closed in poor weather conditions

More Information : https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/picnic-areas/

Saddleback Mountain Lookout

Saddleback Mountain Lookout - The Trusted Traveller

Just a short drive from Kiama is where you will get one of the best views of Kiama, the coast and the surrounding countryside. Park the car right up near the Saddleback Mountain lookout platform and wander out for some pretty spectacular views on a clear day.

Address : Saddleback Mountain Rd, Kiama

Hours : Daylight hours

Minnamurra Rainforest

Located west of Kiama you will find the Minnamurra Rainforest which will transport you a world away from the coastal region. From the Visitors Centre, take the easy one hour long loop walk which takes you over suspension bridges and up to viewing platforms to view the rainforest canopy.

Address : 345 Minnamurra Falls Rd, Jamberoo

Hours : 9am to 5pm, last access 3pm

More Information : https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/visitor-centres/minnamurra-rainforest-centre

Illawarra Fly Treetop Walk

The steel walkway of the Illawarra Fly Treetop Walk- The Trusted Traveller

This elevate steel walkway through the highest point in the rainforest canopy is worth the extra effort it takes to get there from Kiama. You can read more about my experience visiting this spectacular attraction here .

Address : 182 Knights Hill Rd, Knights Hill

Cost : $22.50 when purchased online, otherwise $25.00

Hours : 9am to 5pm, last admission 4pm

More Information : https://www.illawarrafly.com/

Two Week NSW South Coast Road Trip Itinerary

Two Week Sydney to Melbourne Road Trip Itinerary (The Coastal Route)

Long Weekend Travel: 5 Easy Trips from Sydney

Exploring the Grand Pacific Drive

Walking the Sea Cliff Bridge

Where to Stay in Kiama

Here are three accommodation options in Kiama to suit all budgets that I recommend you check out. All are centrally located, highly rated and come with excellent facilities.

Budget – Kiama Motel 617

Mid-Range – Big4 Easts Beach Holiday Park

Luxury – Terralong Terrace Apartments

Over to you!

Which of the things to do in Kiama and surrounds are you most looking forward to seeing and doing?

Let me know using the comments section below or join me on social media to start a conversation.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post.

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THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Kiama

Things to do in kiama.

  • 5.0 of 5 bubbles
  • 4.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • 3.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • Budget-friendly
  • Good for Kids
  • Good for Couples
  • Good for Big Groups
  • Good for a Rainy Day
  • Hidden Gems
  • Honeymoon spot
  • Good for Adrenaline Seekers
  • Adventurous
  • Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.

tourist attractions near kiama

31. MV Signa

JG2519

32. Kiama Picnic Train

adz_73

33. Nadia Thompson

Top Things to Do in Kiama

Things to do in kiama, explore popular experiences.

tourist attractions near kiama

Ports of Call Tours

tourist attractions near kiama

Top Attractions in Kiama

tourist attractions near kiama

Other Top Attractions around Kiama

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Private Sightseeing Tours

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Nature and Wildlife Tours

tourist attractions near kiama

Tours & Sightseeing

Luxury & special occasions, what travellers are saying.

Ron B

  • Kiama Coastal Walk
  • Kiama Blowhole
  • Saddleback Mountain Lookout
  • Little Blowhole Reserve “Endeavour Lookout”
  • Cathedral Rocks
  • Kiama Harbour
  • Bombo Headland
  • Sea Cliff Bridge, Blowhole, Beaches & Farmlands- Escape the City
  • Sydney South Coast to Country Private Tour | Grand Pacific Drive
  • Southern Highlands & South Coast Private Tour From Sydney
  • Private Tour: Sydney South Coast & Highlands
  • Escape Sydney: Sea Cliff Bridge, Blowhole, Beaches and Farmlands
  • Kiama Visitor Information Centre

IMAGES

  1. The 17 BEST Things to Do in Kiama, NSW (Epic 2023 Guide)

    tourist attractions near kiama

  2. The Ultimate List of the Best Things to do in Kiama NSW

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  3. Bombo Headland Kiama

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  4. Here’s our ultimate guide to the best things to do in Kiama, one of the

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  5. Local Attractions at Kiama Caravan Parks » BIG4 Easts Beach Holiday Park

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  6. Best Kiama Attractions: Blowhole, Rock Pool, Beaches!

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VIDEO

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  4. DASH CAM AUSTRALIA, NSW, driving through KIAMA

  5. Kiama Blowhole near Sydney

  6. Kiama Lighthouse #kiama #shorts #lighthouse

COMMENTS

  1. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Kiama

    8. Kiama Seaside Markets. 17. Flea & Street Markets. Kiama Seaside Markets operates every 3rd Sunday, our unique collection of stalls is a must do while in the area. Kiama also offers a fantastic selection of cafes, gifts and fashion retailers all within close walking distance of the markets.

  2. THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Kiama (UPDATED 2024)

    9. Kiama Farmers' Market. 34. Farmers Markets. The Kiama Farmers' Market is a genuine farmers market that is held EVERY Wednesday in Coronation Park at Surf Beach, Kiama. The market is open from 2-5pm in winter (April - September) and from 3-6pm in summer (October - March).

  3. 15 Best Things to Do in Kiama (Top Attractions)

    In no particular order, here is our top 15 things to do in Kiama and its surrounding area. 1. Kiama Coast Walk. Kiama coastline. The Kiama Coast Walk is a 22 km long coastal walking track between Minnamurra River in the north and Gerringong in the south. It is one of the most scenic coastal walks in New South Wales, with fantastic scenery to ...

  4. The 17 BEST Things to Do in Kiama, NSW (Epic 2024 Guide)

    Some of the highlights are Minnamurra River, Bombo Headlands, Kiama Blowhole (big and small), and Werri Beach, Kiama. The Kiama Coast Walk curves around beaches and cliffs, and has a mixture of sealed paths and grassy tracks. It is suitable for all ages and all fitness levels.

  5. 10 of the best new and iconic things to do in Kiama

    Here are 10 of the best new and iconic things to do in the Kiama Region, just 90 minutes from Sydney. Even the natural Kiama art is spectacular. 1. Take in Kiama art displays. There are a multitude of ways to get creative on the Kiama Coast. Start with a visit to Seven Marks Gallery on the outskirts of town to see the latest exhibitions ...

  6. THE 10 BEST Tourist Spots in Kiama 2024: Things to Do ...

    Things to Do in Kiama, Australia: See Tripadvisor's 13,623 reviews & photos of 35 Kiama attractions.

  7. THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Kiama (Updated 2024)

    8. Kiama Seaside Markets. 17. Flea & Street Markets. Kiama Seaside Markets operates every 3rd Sunday, our unique collection of stalls is a must do while in the area. Kiama also offers a fantastic selection of cafes, gifts and fashion retailers all within close walking distance of the markets. See full details.

  8. THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Kiama Municipality

    Little Blowhole Reserve "Endeavour Lookout". 92. Points of Interest & Landmarks • Lookouts. By Marcosparko. When the big blowhole is not working, make your way to the little blow hole and you will not be disappointed. 8. Kiama Coastal Walk. 126. Hiking Trails.

  9. 16 Fun & mostly Free Things to do in Kiama

    View The Kiama Blowhole / Khanterinte. For over 100 years, the Kiama Blow Hole has been the number one stop for visitors from Sydney. It's still a draw card today, so pop in and look. The best way to find the blowhole is to head to Kiama Lighthouse. The blowhole was first spotted by explorer George Bass in 1797.

  10. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Kiama Municipality

    Kiama Blowhole. 1,499. Geologic Formations. Coastal natural wonder known for impressive high tide sprays against a backdrop of rock formations and a lighthouse. Enjoy photo ops, charming cafes, and scenic coastal walks nearby. See ways to experience (11) 2. Jamberoo Action Park. 476.

  11. 15 Best Things To Do In Kiama And Its Surrounds 2024

    2. Kiama Lighthouse. The whitewashed tower of Kiama's 19th-century lighthouse, soaring to a height of 16 metres, is an emblematic fixture of the NSW South Coast landscape. This lighthouse, situated just south of Kiama's harbour and perched more than 136 metres above sea level, is an unmissable sight.

  12. THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Kiama

    10. Boneyard Beach. 8. Beaches. By 440JohnS440. Rocky beach, not sandy. It is well maintained though and a great spot to sit in the grass and have a picnic for... 11. Kiama Lighthouse.

  13. 18 Best Things to Do in Kiama, NSW South Coast

    If you're planning a trip to Kiama, then here are the best things to do. Read next: 20 Best Places to Visit on the South Coast. Sunset from the Kiama rock pool How to Get There. Sydney to Kiama: 120 km or 1 hour 45 minute drive via M1. Kiama is 120km south of Sydney and is easily reached on the M1, via the famous Grand Pacific Drive and Sea ...

  14. Kiama

    15 Amazing Things To Do In Kiama. 1- Visit the Kiama Blowholes. 2- Discover Kiama's colonial past. 3- Discover Kiama's Art Scene. 4- Explore the Kiama Coastal Walk. 5- Take a Kiama camping trip. 6- Go on a scenic drive. 7- Admire The View From Saddleback Mountain Lookout. 8- Hit the Kiama shops.

  15. 13 Amazing Kiama Attractions: Weekend Itinerary

    Kiama Harbour. Kiama Harbour opened in 1876, when it was difficult to access the town by overland transport. You'll find it on the northern edge of Blowhole Point, and you can also see it from Black Beach in the town. Kiama Harbour 3. Kiama Lighthouse. Up near the end of Blowhole Point, you'll also find Kiama Lighthouse, which was built in ...

  16. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Kiama

    32. Kiama Picnic Train. 8. Scenic Railroads • Rail Tours. By adz_73. A team of volunteers run this amazing experience. 33. Nadia Thompson. Coffee & Tea Tours • Food Tours.

  17. 10 Best Things to Do in Kiama Including the Blowhole

    Stroll along the Illawarra Fly Treetops - $23. Nowra Treetop and Zipline Adventure - $25. Go on the Illawarra Fly Zipline Tour - $68. 1. Visit the Kiama Blowhole - FREE. See the rock formation spout seawater into the air. Image credit: @stevecfagan on Instagram. Without a doubt, one of the best things to do in Kiama is to visit the iconic ...

  18. THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Kiama

    Kiama Tourism Kiama Hotels Bed and Breakfast Kiama Kiama Holiday Rentals Flights to Kiama Kiama Restaurants Kiama Attractions Kiama Travel Forum ... Kiama blowhole is near kiama lighthouse and the rock pool so you can plan to visit all 3 together easily. ... Kiama Attractions Information. Attractions: 35: Attraction Reviews: 2 654: Attraction ...

  19. Things to Do in Kiama and Surrounds

    A little further west from Kiama on Tourist Drive 9 through Jamberoo is Carrington Falls in the Budderoo National Park. Falling 50 metres into the gorge below, you can take an easy 25 minute loop walk to see the falls from all angles. Address: Jamberoo Mountain Rd, take the Cloonty Rd turn off to Carrington Falls

  20. THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Kiama (Updated 2023)

    Good for a Rainy Day. Honeymoon spot. Hidden Gems. Good for Adrenaline Seekers. Adventurous. Attractions in Kiama, Kiama Municipality: See Tripadvisor's 14,903 traveller reviews and photos of things to do when in Kiama.

  21. THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Kiama

    Top Things to Do in Kiama, Kiama Municipality: See Tripadvisor's 13,663 traveller reviews and photos of 35 things to do when in Kiama.