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Kiama: Town of 9 Beaches, and Much More
Just as famous for its beaches as it is for its lush green hinterland, Kiama is situated on New South Wales' South Coast. The holiday hotspot meshes natural attractions and a vibrant 'urban' scene, so you can easily spend a day surfing or swimming, then relax with a cocktail in town. The next day, put on your walking shoes and discover inland trails underneath rainforest canopies. The day after that, stroll through town to see Kiama's heritage buildings before checking out a local art gallery. A destination that combines big city comforts with the charms of natural beauty, Kiama's diverse holiday rentals range from sleek beachfront condos to spacious family homes slightly removed from the action.
Kiama’s Surf and Swimming Beaches
The beaches in Kiama are known primarily for their good surf. In fact, there are surf beaches for every skill level, from beginners to pros. The main surf beach, simply referred to as Surf Beach by locals, is patrolled throughout the year (on weekends only) and is a popular spot for families, with picnic areas on the foreshore. If you would like to learn to surf, hit the waves at Seven Mile Beach. Rent equipment and take part in an introductory surf class. If you are a more experienced surfer, you may wish to spend some time at Bombo Beach, which features stronger undercurrents. Perhaps you don’t wish to surf and would prefer calmer, sheltered waters. In that case, Easts Beach will suit your needs.
Kiama Walking Trails: On the Coast and Beyond
Along the shore and further inland, Kiama’s numerous walking trails allow visitors to discover the region’s natural beauty on foot. Make a day out of the Kiama Coast walk, which is divided into 3 sections and takes you past Kiama’s iconic lighthouse and blowholes, as well as long stretches of pristine beaches. The track runs from Minnamurra to Easts Beach and takes approximately 7 hours to complete from one end to the other. Further inland, the Bonaira Native Gardens offers a network of trails amidst rainforest vegetation, where you'll have the opportunity to spot local flora and fauna. If you're up for a hike, take the 7 km-long Hoddles Track to Mount Noorinan. This trail is a favourite spot for local birdwatchers, so keep an eye out for crimson rosellas and golden whislers, among many other species.
History and Heritage in Kiama
Kiama has been a stage for human activity across the centuries, from Aboriginal times to European settlement, and those interested in local history and heritage can visit a number of sites across town that commemorate Kiama of yesteryear. Start off by visiting the Wobi Wobi monument within the Bonaira Native Gardens commemorating local Aboriginal people. If you're interested in Kiama's quarying days of the late 1800s, go to the Bombo Headlands, where you'll be able to see remaining basalt towers. For a glimpse of nineteenth century life in town, stroll past the Kiama Post Office, the Kiama Public School or the Kiama Roman Catholic Church. If you are interested in the region's maritime history, you can head to the Pilot's Cottage Museum.
Shopping and Dining in Kiama
Kiama's centre hosts an ever-increasing number of restaurants, cafes and shops. From family-friendly brunch spots to trendy bars, there is an eatery for your group. For some ocean ambiance, dine at one of the restaurants by the water, where you'll likely be able to sample local seafood. Alternately, grab something to take away from one of the more casual eateries and have a picnic in one of Kiama's parks. When it comes to retail therapy, Kiama has everything from big brands to galleries featuring works by the area's artists. For a unique shopping experience entrenched in local heritage, visit the Historic Terrace Houses, dating back to Kiama's mining days, which are now used as boutiques selling arts and crafts, souvenirs and clothing.
Getting to Kiama
Only 120 km from Sydney, Kiama is close enough to New South Wales' capital for a weekend getaway, although many visitors stay much longer. Kiama is easily accessible by car but also by train, if you don't have a vehicle. There is a direct train from Sydney to Kiama, departing frequently throughout the day, 7 days a week, and taking about 2.5 hours.