There are so many fun things to do and see in the lovely little beachside town of Kiama, located 80 miles south of Sydney.
Whether you’re up for going for a swim in the rockpool, visiting the largest blowhole in the world, surfing, or exploring the many beautiful beaches along the scenic Kiama Coastal Walk, there’s certainly lots of things to do here.
Kiama is a lovely town on the coast, and being so close to Sydney, Kiama makes for a great weekend trip from Sydney or a great place to stop on a NSW road trip.
Read on for the 14 best things to do in Kiama, as well as how to get here and much more!
THINGS TO DO IN KIAMA
There are many attractions in Kiama – let’s take a look at them below:
1. Kiama Blow Hole
The most popular thing to do in Kiama is to visit the blow hole. The Kiama blow hole is so famous because it is the largest blow hole in the world!
Usually a couple of times a minute the sea water powerfully whooshes up into the air through the rocks – when the conditions are right the water can be around 20 metres high, it is really something spectacular to see!
However, depending on the tide and the wind, sometimes you may not see the water whooshing up through the rocks as high as this. The most optimal time to visit, when the blowhole is most active, is when the wind is blowing in a south-easterly direction and the tide isn’t too low.
The waves rush in and are forced under a lot of pressure through a hole in the bottom of the rocky overhang. When the waves crash against the rock, the water sprays high into the air through an opening in the cliff face, which is what creates the ‘whooshing’ sound.
It is free to visit Kiama blow hole and there are always people here (it’s estimated almost a million people visit the blowhole each year!!), but there are a couple of viewing platforms in different angles from where you can watch, so be sure to check them out.
Never go over the barriers here. The barriers are there for your safety as there have been accidents in the past. Please be careful.
Kiama Blow Hole is located along the Kiama Coast Walk at the end of Blowhole Point Road. The car park is right next to the blow hole and parking is free.
If you don’t have a car don’t worry as the blowhole is really easy to walk to from the centre of Kiama and Kiama Train Station. Kiama is fairly compact so everything is quite close.
Afterwards, wander around the Blowhole Walkway and check out the interesting rock formations and coastal views. You can also pop into the nearby Visitor Information Centre if you wish.
2. Kiama Lighthouse
Right next to Kiama Blow Hole is Kiama Lighthouse – built in 1887. You can get some really nice photos of the lighthouse, especially at sunset.
3. Kiama Rock Pool
Two hundred metres from the blow hole is Kiama Rock Pool which is also one of the best things to do in Kiama. Kiama Rock Pool is a really unique natural ocean rock pool and is quite large. The views are nice and the waves often spill into the pool from the sea as the tide is coming in.
As Kiama Rock Pool is a natural rock pool the floor is quite rocky and uneven so be careful. On a sunny day there can be lots of people here but it never feels too crowded.
Toilets are located right next to the rock pool.
4. Kiama Main Beach (Surf Beach)
The closest beach in Kiama is Surf Beach – located just south of the main centre. It is a pretty beach and is popular with surfers as the surf here is great. If you’ve never tried surfing before, why not give it a go in Kiama?!
Or if you prefer you can just sunbathe and relax on the sand! There are toilets here if you need.
Alternatively if you want a nice view of Surf Beach and fancy sitting on the grass and using the bbq facilities, stroll south to Kendalls Point for a lovely view.
5. Kiama Harbour
From the Kiama Ocean Pool, stroll around to the quaint Kiama Harbour. Kiama Harbour was built almost 150 years ago, at a time when it was hard to access Kiama by land.
6. Black Beach
Carry on walking past Kiama Harbour and you’ll come to the beautiful Black Beach. Black Beach gets its name because of the black basalt cobbles and sand here.
There is also a large ocean rock pool here too.
7. KIAMA COAST WALK (NORTH OF KIAMA)
At 22 km long, the Kiama Coast Walk is definitely not a quick walk. It does however offer fantastic views and you should definitely see at least a part of it.
The Kiama Coastal Walk goes from Minnamurra River north of Kiama, through Kiama and down south to Werri Beach in Gerringong.
The walk north of Kiama includes Bombo Beach and Headland, Cathedral Rocks, Jones Beach and Minnamurra Headland and is around 8km long.
If you want to start the trail from the most northern point – at Minnamurra, you can take the train from Kiama to Minnamurra and then walk back to Kiama via the coast walk. If you continue the walk all the way to Gerringong, again just take the train back to Kiama from Gerringong.
It is the same train line you use to get back to Sydney, just make sure to check the train timetable so you’re not waiting too long!
If you are in the car and prefer not to do so much walking, just drive to each attraction!
8. Minnamurra Headland
If you are coming by car, park at the end of Eureka Avenue and make your onto the grassy Minnamurra Headland. You’ll see Jones Beach below on your right, as well as a whale watching platform.
Carry on walking to your left and you’ll get some incredible views out across to Minnamurra River and the sandbar at Boyd’s Beach from the lookout.
9. Jones Beach
Walk south to Jones Beach and admire the surfers here at this popular surfing spot. On the northern end of the beach is a small shop and some toilets, and the southern part is an off-leash dog area.
Don’t walk in the long grassy dunes behind the beach as snakes can often be in there (there is a sign up reminding you). If you walk all the way to the south end of Jones Beach you will see the Cathedral Rocks.
If you don’t want to walk all the way along the beach (as it is almost 1km long) you can also reach the rocks by walking on the street then turning off at Cliff Drive. You’ll see a pathway down on your left hand side after the houses that will lead down to the beach and you’ll be able to see the rocks.
10. Cathedral Rocks
The Cathedral Rocks are rather unusual vertical rock columns that lie on the southern end of Jones Beach.
The rock formations are the remains of lava flow that was eroded by the sea and there is a really picturesque cave you can access from the beach to get some nice photographs of the formations.
Ensure to check the tide times and only visit at low tide so you’ll be able to walk all the way around the rocks and into the cave. The waves are really powerful here. Do not attempt to go inside the cave at high tide as it will be too dangerous.
You can also park your car on Cliff Drive and view the rocks from above. The view from up here is really nice but do be careful if you go onto the grass at the top of the cliff behind the houses as there is no barrier.
If you walk a little further along the road you’ll also see a really nice view of the Cathedral Rocks as well as an information board that shows a famous painting of it by Augustus Earle in 1827. Ever since he painted the Cathedral Rocks tourists have been coming here to witness them for themselves.
11. Bombo Beach
Before you get to Bombo Beach you’ll pass by Bombo Quarry and the Boneyard at Bombo Headland. The views from here are really stunning.
Bombo beach is a lot quieter than Kiama’s main beach but is nevertheless just as beautiful.
On the northern end of the beach there is a small parking area and some toilets. From here just walk along the coast roughly 2km to Kiama.
KIAMA COAST WALK (SOUTH OF KIAMA)
If you want to continue the costal walk south of Kiama it is about 12km until you reach Gerringong.
You’ll pass by Kendalls Beach, Kiama Little Blowhole and East Beach before arriving in Gerringong.
It is a lot of walking, so if you prefer you can always drive or take the train to Gerringong from Kiama.
12. Kiama Little Blowhole
An 8 minute drive south from the main Kiama Blowhole, and halfway between Kendalls Beach and East Beach on Marsden Head lies Kiama Little Blowhole.
Despite being smaller than Kiama Blowhole, the Little Blowhole is also really popular – most likely because even though the spray isn’t as high, the height of the spray is quite consistent, unlike at Kiama Blowhole where it can vary tremendously depending on the conditions.
Like at Kiama Blowhole, there is a viewing platform for you to watch the water whooshing up in the air.
Gerringong is a quaint seaside town south of Kiama. The Hill Bar and Kitchen here has sweeping panoramic views overlooking Werri Beach and is the perfect place to stop for a coffee or cold drink!
If you fancy visiting one of the local breweries to taste some beer or cider, head to family run Stoic Brewing. Sunday is the best day to visit when there is live music and food trucks here too!
If wine is more you then head to nearby Crooked River Winery. The views overlooking the rolling hills and vineyard are just fantastic.
From Gerrigong you can then get the train back to Kiama (the next stop on the train line).
14. Kiama Town Cafe’s, Restaurants & Boutique Shops
Kiama has really great cafes and restaurants. Kiama’s quaint main streets (Terralong Street and Manning Street) have several cosy cafes and restaurants. There are also some really nice beach boutique shops here to browse around.
If you are looking for a unique experience head to Bouquiniste – a small independent bookshop and cafe in the day and a wine bar by night!
How To Get To Kiama
Kiama is really easy to get to by car and by train.
Kiama is located 30 minutes south of Wollongong, and can be reached in 2 hours from Sydney, whether you are coming by car or by train.
Turn off the Princes Highway and onto Lawrence Hargrave Drive at Helensburgh so you can drive along the Grand Pacific Drive and over Sea Cliff Bridge for stunning views!
Don’t worry if you don’t have a car as Kiama is easy enough to get to on public transport. Take the South Coast Line train from Bondi Junction, Town Hall or Central all the way to Kiama.
Make sure to check the train stops at Kiama as some services have limited stops and terminate at Port Kembla.
Train times are pretty sporadic and the stops vary considerably, so be sure to check the train timetable beforehand.
Kiama train station is right in the centre of Kiama and as Kiama is fairly compact you can reach all the sites in Kiama by foot.
Where To Stay In Kiama
Nova Kiama is the perfect place to stay when in Kiama. The hotel is decorated beautifully and it is just 300 metres to Kiama Surf Beach.
Is Kiama Worth Visiting?
Kiama is definitely worth visiting if you are on the East Coast of Australia. Ideally it’s worth spending one or two days here to get to know the area and see all the best of Kiama.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Kiama?
Kiama generally sees good weather year-round, however the spring and autumn months are usually when the weather is the most pleasant.
PLACES TO VISIT NEARBY KIAMA
Sea Cliff Bridge
The Sea Cliff Bridge is a suspended bridge that makes up part of the Grand Pacific Drive: one of the most scenic roads in Australia.
The Sea Cliff Bridge secret lookout can be found by clambering through the trees up the hill, where you can get to to see the scenic bridge from above.
If you are coming via train and want to visit the Sea Cliff Bridge on your way back to Sydney from Kiama you will need to change trains at either Wollongong or Thirroul to take the slow train. The stop for Sea Cliff Bridge is Scarborough.
Again make sure to check the train timetable as trains are not so regular, especially at the weekends when trains stop at Scarborough once every two hours!
Illawarra Fly Tree Top Adventures
If you are looking for something more adventurous and adrenaline filled, head to the Illawarra Fly Tree Top Adventures about 15 km from Kiama.
Their 1.5km treetop walk goes through the canopy of trees and then you can take the zipline, which also happens to be Australia’s highest zipline! Definitely a fun day out!
More Australia East Coast Travel Itineraries:
The East Coast of Australia is full of beautiful scenery, from stunning waterfalls to beaches and hikes. If you’re set on doing an East Coast road trip, check out these other travel guides to help you plan your trip!
Fraser Island: Fraser Island Day Trip From Hervey Bay
Pelican Banks: Unknown Tropical Paradise Island In Australia!
Brisbane: 24 Hours in Brisbane
Byron Bay: Best Byron Bay Photography Spots
Nimbin: Things To Do In Nimbin
Yamba: What To Do In Yamba
Port Macquarie: 7 Best Port Macquarie Beach You Have To Visit!
Seal Rocks: Top Things To Do At Seal Rocks
Forster: Booti Booti National Park Walks
Newcastle: The Bogey Hole – Secret Ocean Pool!
Central Coast: Bouddi National Park Walk
Sydney: The Best Beaches Near Bondi Beach!
Southern Highlands: Fitzroy Falls Walk