Kiama: a scenic coastal village with plenty to see and do!
Located 120km south of Sydney, nestled in the Illawarra, New South Wales, Australia is the gorgeous village of Kiama. One of the main tourist attractions is the Kiama Blowhole, but there is so much more to this gorgeous little town than the blowhole!
The village, located on the coast has a few surfing beaches, caravan parks, a little restaurants and within a short drive other popular tourist attractions such as the little blowhole (yes, there is more than one!), Bombo Quarry, Cathedral Rocks and Saddleback Mountain lookout.
We decided to make a long weekend of it and spend two nights in Kiama, which is plenty of time to see everything and leaves time for relaxation as well.
The Kiama blowhole is the most famous attractions in Kiama. We read numerous reviews about the blowhole being hit and miss and some even saying you have to be lucky to see it in blow. It is dependent on the winds coming from the South East, which in turn allow the waves to enter the mouth of the blowhole and compress with air within the inside. When the air escapes, it makes a really loud “oomph” sound along with the water spout.
We initially thought it had to do with the tide and swell, but it turns out it only has to do with the winds, so if you head down on a weekend where the winds aren’t coming from the south east then you might not be so lucky!
Check out our video for some footage of the blowhole.
After visiting the big blowhole, we weren’t expecting anything super exciting from the little blowhole… Boy were we wrong! We punched in Kiama little blowhole into Google Maps, and off we went. It is around 3km south of Kiama village and situated just off Tingira Crescent. There is a small car park at the entry to the blowhole, or plenty of street parking.
The little blowhole was equally as impressive as the big blowhole, if not more impressive simply because we had the place virtually to ourselves and the blowhole was extremely active. There is a viewing platform there, otherwise you can sit on the grassy area and just enjoy the view! The blowhole is at its best when the seas are from the North East.
Check out of video for some footage of the little blowhole.
Located around 4km north of Kiama, you will find Cathedral Rocks, an awesome rugged coastal rock formation. To read more about this amazing place, check out our full blog on Cathedral Rocks here: Visiting Cathedral Rocks: What you need to know
This would probably be one of my favourite stops on our trip to Kiama. Bombo Quarry is located a little south of Cathedral Rocks. Going back around 70 years, Bombo Quarry was once an active quarry but today is one of Australia’s most famous seascape locations. To read more about this spectacular spot, take a look at our full blog on Bombo Quarry here: What you need to know about Bombo Quarry, New South Wales
Saddleback Mountain Lookout
Just a 15 minute drive from Kiama village, you will find yourself in a completely different world filled with farms and stock! Saddleback Mountain Lookout provides you with uninterrupted views over the New South Wales South Coast. It is definitely worth a drive up to take in the view!
On the way back down, we stopped in to say hello to the local stock on the farms!
If there is one thing in Kiama town you need to do, it’s spend some time at the Historic Terrace Houses on Collins Street.
The houses were built back in 1886 for the local quarry workers. Today, they house cafes, clothing stores, crafts and collectables.
Coronation Park is also a nice spot to spend a few hours, pick up some fish and chips or in the summer time have a swim!
Kendalls beach is a lovely stretch of beach and happened to be virtually empty when we visited!
Kiama Harbourside is the perfect spot for a stroll along the harbour, relaxing in the park and just doing nothing but enjoying the scenery!
Kiama Lighthouse is at the Kiama Blowhole and the area surrounding the blowhole is incredible! It is definitely worth taking your time and enjoying the scenery.
When you wonder through the village of Kiama, you will such gorgeous quaint buildings. It does make you feel like you’re in a small European coastal town!
Kiama Markets are held at the harbourside are held on the third Sunday of each month. There are some great stalls there and you can expect to spend an hour or so just walking through!
Where to stay
We stayed at the Sebel Kiama Harbourside Hotel. The location was perfect for our stay in Kiama.
To read more about this hotel, please click here for our full hotel review.
Where to eat
Amaki Cottage Cafe: We stopped in at Amaki Cottage Cafe for some afternoon tea, a scone with jam and cream! The cafe is located in one of the famous Historic Terrace Houses and worth a visit, the staff and atmosphere are great!
The Hungry Monkey: The Hungry Monkey is also located in one of the Historic Terrace Houses and are most famous for their burgers! You know a place is good when people are waiting outside for a free table, or ordering take away to eat on the surrounding grounds.
Jenna ordered the colonel burger with chips and I had the acai bowl. The service was really good and the food came out pretty quickly. I would definitely recommend a lunch stop in at the Hungry Monkey.
Blue Diamond Bar & Bistro: Our first evening we decided to dine at the Blue Diamond Bar & Bistro. The Bistro is part of the Sebel Harbourside Hotel, so we thought we’d give it a go. To be honest, we were hoping for more of a restaurant feel from the hotel, but the bistro is a sports bar / bistro and far from a restaurant. This is fine if you know what you’re expecting! I ordered the steak sandwich and Jenna the beef burger. I probably wouldn’t rush back to eat here, but it would be great if you’re meeting up with a bunch of mates and wanting to watch the football. I would also recommend the bistro during the day as you will be able to enjoy the views over the harbour. To read more about the Blue Diamond Bar & Bistro, check out our blog on the Sebel Kiama Harbourside.
Olive and Vine: We were deciding where to have dinner on our last evening and came across Olive and Vine on Trip Advisor, rated the number 1 restaurant in Kiama. Since we love Italian, we thought we’d give it a go! It was fully booked on the Saturday so we booked ahead for the Sunday night. Upon arrival, we were given two slices of olive tapenade pizza. We then ordered the bruschetta, a margarita pizza and a lamb pizza. The service was pretty good at the start, although it did slow down after we received our main and we had to walk up to the front to be able to pay our bill.
“No place is ever as bad as they tell you it’s going to be.” – Chuck Thompson