South Coast, NSW

Weekender's guide to insta-worthy Kiama NSW

By Emma Moylan

September 9, 2020 | 5 minute read

Image credit: VisitNSW
Image credit: VisitNSW

Dreaming of escaping the city for a weekend of relaxation and fun? Whether you need to unwind, unplug or unleash, 48 hours in the Kiama region is a total cure-all experience: charming seaside towns, laid-back coastal lifestyle, endless stunning beaches and green rolling hills. 

And did you know that Kiama also has some of the best insta-worthy spots in NSW? So read on for the best places to visit on your next getaway, based around the azure-blue waters of this inviting NSW South Coast haven.

* At the time of writing, activities and places mentioned in this guide are at varying stages of recovery from COVID-19. Please check government and business websites for specific details on opening times and any restrictions before you travel.

Kiama Blowhole – Blowhole Point Headland, Kiama 

A true geological wonder, no visit to Kiama is complete without visiting this amazing natural spectacle. One of the largest blowholes in the world, this famous landmark has attracted tourists to the region for over 100 years. The colonial explorer George Bass was the first European to sight the blowhole’s powerful display in 1797—however, it was already a well-known phenomenon for the area’s traditional inhabitants, the Dharawal people, with the name Kiama derived from a local indigenous word meaning “place where the sea makes a noise”. 

Formed from volcanic lava flows 260 million years ago, the best time to see the blowhole in all its glory is if there is a southeast wind when surging plumes from its sea-cliff cavern can spout water into the air at heights of more than 25 metres!

Seven Mile Beach – Seven Mile Beach National Park, Gerroa

One of the longer beaches on the South Coast of NSW, Seven Mile Beach extends from the beautiful seaside town of Gerroa in the north to Shoalhaven Heads in the south. A 30-minute drive from Kiama, Seven Mile Beach is a great day out and is ideal for long beach walks, exploring the coastal bush environment, fishing, picnics, swimming, surfing and of course - some great photos. 

If you’re feeling energetic, you can walk the entirety of the seemingly endless beach that stretches for 12.5 kilometres in a gentle arc. The walk is easy, and afterwards you can kick off your shoes and feel the sand between your toes and let the lovely water cool you down.

Kiama Lighthouse – Blowhole Point Headland
Kiama Lighthouse – Blowhole Point Headland

Mount Pleasant Lookout – Kiama Heights

Driving from Sydney the highway bypasses Kiama and enters ‘The Bends’ at the southernmost point where the Illawarra escarpment tumbles to the Pacific Ocean. These scenic bends lead to the breathtaking Mount Pleasant Lookout – a welcome pit stop that offers dramatic views over the delightful coastal village of Gerringong, as well as Werri Beach and beyond to Seven Mile Beach and Mount Coolangatta at the head of Shoalhaven River. 

Signposted when travelling south, this lookout offers picnic tables, so take your time whilst sitting on top of the world and taking in the million-dollar view of the town, coastline and gently undulating landscape of fertile pastoral hinterland rolling towards Nowra.

Kiama Lighthouse – Blowhole Point Headland, Kiama 

Sitting above the equally iconic blowhole, Kiama Lighthouse was built in 1887, 10 years after the construction of Robertson Basin, a manmade harbour created to service Kiama’s shipping industry. Standing 36 metres above sea level, its beams can be seen from over 30 kilometres away. 

Today, Kiama Harbour is only used by fishing boats, but it remains an active lighthouse, so there are no tours inside. The assistant Keeper’s House still stands nearby and has been converted into a museum where you can learn more about the Kiama region’s fascinating maritime history.

Bombo Headland Quarry Image credit: VisitNSW
Bombo Headland Quarry Image credit: VisitNSW

Bombo Headland Quarry – Cliff Drive, Bombo 

Another must-see coastal wonder, the Bombo Headland Quarry is one of the most significant geological sites in Australia. Located 1.5 kilometres north of Kiama, take a lovely walk through this headland and you will soon find yourself surrounded by spectacular rock formations. 

The legacy of blue metal quarrying used for railway and road construction, a moonscape of hexagonal basalt columns offers an amazing visual experience popular with landscape photographers. 

You will want to take some great photos here of the ocean crashing with all its power against the rocks and sending spray way far into the air, and there are also fantastic views over to Kiama.

Kiama Surf Beach – Kiama

With world-class waves, loads of surf schools, and a beach to suit any condition, the Kiama region is destination surf. From the amazing swells at Mystics Beach in the north to the legendary breaks at Seven Mile Beach to the south, it’s an area not short on fantastic places to catch a wave that has been responsible for breeding a generation of professional surf athletes. 

The most consistent surfing conditions can be found at Kiama Surf Beach, the main beach of Kiama. Popular since holidaymakers started visiting the area, while there are many inviting beaches up and down the coast, this one is still regarded as a perfect surfing spot.

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The Weekender's travel guides are independently written by real travellers. We do not receive any money from, or have a sponsorship arrangement with, any of the entities listed in or referred to in this article.