The traditional country of the Wodi Wodi people, Kiama a beach-side town in the Illawarra 120 kilometres south of Sydney, is a must do destination for the budget traveller. In this travel guide we highlight the outstanding free things to do in Kiama including the famous Kiama Blowhole, stunning beaches and less known but just as impressive attractions.

As a family when our children were growing up and more recently on travels in our caravan, Kiama has been a favourite place to visit. The beautiful seaside scenery, wonderful natural features, pleasing park lands and relaxed feel make it a great place to be. We hope you love it as much as we do.

Dog friendly activities and attractions are marked with 🐾.

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Little Blowhole Kiama

Kiama Free Things To Do

The Blowholes

Kiama Blowhole 🐾

Khanterinte is the Aboriginal name for the Kiama Blowhole. George Bass and his crew were the first foreigners to spot the blowhole in December 1797 when they anchored their whale boat in what is now Kiama Harbour.

It is the largest in the world. Formed from volcanic lava flows over 250 million years ago and erosion carved out the tube in the rock over millions of years, it is now a spectacular natural feature. In the right conditions the ‘blowhole’ will erupt in a large spray of water from the 2.5 metre opening at the top of the tube. 

Best seen at or near high tide and when there is a south-east wind. In these ideal conditions 50 litres of water can shoot up to 25 metres into the air wetting bystanders. It is viewed from a platform with disabled access. There is free parking nearby.

Address: Blowhole Point Rd, Kiama

Little Blowhole 🐾

Little Blowhole is away from the main tourist area and a little harder to find.  Due to its narrow shape it is more active, more reliable to put on a show than the bigger blowhole. The Little Blowhole is viewed from a platform or for the adventurous you can climb down on the rocks around it. There are also views back towards town to enjoy. 

Address: Tingira Cres, Kiama

Things To Do In Kiama
Kiama Ocean Pool

Ocean and Rock Pools

Blowhole Point Rock Pool

On the north side of Blowhole Point is the stunning ocean rock pools. The rock pool has been in use since the 1880’s and has spectacular views to along the coastline both north and south.

The pool is an irregular shape and has an uneven rocky bottom and varies in-depth. There is a shallow area great for small children and those who want to just sit in the saltwater.

There are times and conditions where the waves come over the edges of the pool in great big splashes. These can knock people over so be careful and follow the age-old rule “never turn your back on the ocean.”

Address: Blowhole Point Road, Kiama

The Continental Pool, Black Beach Reserve

An Olympic Swimming Pool built on the edge of the ocean! Located at the north end of Black Beach Reserve with change rooms, showers and toilets this is a fantastic place to swim in the sea water and out of the waves of a surf beach.

There are steps and a ramp for getting in into the pool however it is fairly deep the entire length of the pool so there is not really a shallow end or area. The best time to swim here is when the weather is warm and the tide is high with the waves lapping over the edge of the pool.

Address: 4/8 Pheasant Point Drive, Kiama

Kiama Landmarks

Kiama Light (Lighthouse) 🐾

An active lighthouse Kiama Light painted a vibrant white, stands on Blowhole Point surrounded by a hexagonal fence.

Built in 1887, a cylindrical tower standing 15 metres tall to the top of its weather vane, the lighthouse is a dominate landmark on the harbour. Originally there were two houses construction for the principal and assistant lighthouse keepers however the main house was demolished by vandals in the 1920’s. The assistance lighthouse cottage is now museum.

Address: Blowhole Point Road, Kiama

Kiama Harbour 🐾

Kiama Harbour completed in 1876 by a break wall the harbour gives safe mooring for boats. It is a lovely place to walk or sit and enjoy the sea views. Stingrays are often seen swimming in the harbour water so keep an eye out for them too. 

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Bombo Headland Quarry

Natural Landmarks

Bombo Headland Quarry 🐾

A landscape of hexagonal basalt columns and towering rock formations, the Bombo Headland Quarry in the 1880’s and 1900’s quarried for its blue metal. Today it is a protected area recognised for its geological features.

The dramatic towering cliffs, crashing waves that send spectacular sprays of sea water into the air and views across the Pacific Ocean makes the old quarry a great place to visit. The ground is uneven under foot so wear decent walking shoes. Also remember your camera, this is a popular spot for photography.

Address: Princes Highway, Bombo

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Cathedral Rocks Kiama

Cathedral Rocks 🐾

Cathedral Rocks is a volcanic rock formation at the southern end of Jones Beach. The rock formation is another popular spot for photography particularly at sun rise and sunset when the colours of the sky are the most vivid and give th best contrast against the rocks.

It is an easy walk to the Cathedral Rocks and the adventurous can climb and explore the rocky outcrops. There is even a sea cave to check out at low tide. Next to the Cathedral Rocks is Boneyard Reserve a nice place for a picnic and a swim.

Address: 36 Cliff Dr, Kiama Downs

Arts and Culture

Daisy the Decorated Dairy Cow 🐾

Daisy is a full size model of a dairy cow adorn in various artworks and designs by local artists. Originally created by sculptor Ernesto Murgo in 1991, Daisy is a ‘canvas’ for local artists who regularly repainted her throughout each year. She stands outside the Old Fire Station.

Address: Old Fire Station

Old Fire Station Exhibitions

Old Fire Station is home of the local public art gallery. It is a space for local artists to exhibit their original or handmade art, photography or crafts.

Exhibitions are open Friday to Wednesday 10am – 3pm.

Address: 40 Shoalhaven St, Kiama

Heritage Walks 🐾

Take a self guided walking tour to out local points of interest and learn about the local indigenous and European settlement by either:

Address: Visitor Information Centre, Blowhole Point Road, Kiama

Seaside Markets 🐾

A seaside market with 100 stalls held on the third Sunday of each month 9am – 3pm. Check here for upcoming dates.

Address: Black Beach, Kiama

Walks and Views

Mount Pleasant Lookout

With uninterrupted views towards the townships of Gerringong and Werri Beach and surrounded by lush beautiful countryside it is a great place to take panoramic photos as well as sit and relax. There are picnic tables available.

The lookout is off the Princes Highway and is only accessible when heading south.

Address: Princes Highway, Kiama

Kiama Coastal Walk 🐾

The coastal walk is about 20 kilometres long from Minnamurra River to to Gerrigong. The walk takes in many of the attractions already mentioned in this guide including the lighthouse, the blowholes, Cathedral Rocks, the old Bombo Headland Quarry and many beaches.

The walk can be completed in its entirety or done in shorter sections.

Kiama Beaches

There are many beaches to enjoy during a visit to Kiama. Below we let you which are patrolled as well as those best for swimming, surfing, snorkelling or paddleboarding.

Jones Beach (Boyds Beach) 🐾

Jones Beach also known as Boyds Beach is a 900 metre long beach between the Minnamurra Headland and the Cathedral Rocks. It is a popular swimming and surfing beach, patrolled on weekends and public holidays from October to April. Be mindful that rips often occur so be sure to swim between the flags.

The south end of Jones Beach is a dog off leash swimming area.

The Boneyard Beach

The Boneyard Beach is quiet, sheltered beach with conditions usually suitable for swimming, snorkeling and paddleboarding. There is some sand but mostly the shoreline is rocks and the beach is reached by a short walk through bushland.

Bombo Beach 🐾

Bombo Beach is a 1.2 kilometre long surf beachbetween Cathedral Rocks and Pheasant Point. Swimming is not encouraged due to strong rips.

This is a dog friendly beach.

Black Beach

Black Beach gets its name (and colour) from the black basalt sand and stones. At each end of this beach are the two ocean pools and the Seaside Markets are held here. Black Beach is also a popular snorkeling spot.

Surf Beach (Main Beach)

Surf Beach is the main local surf and swimming beach. It is only 250 metres long surrounded by parks and with amenities. Patrolled October to Easter and be careful to stay between the flags because there are permanent rips.

Kendall’s Beach

Kendalls Beach is a 380 metre long beach and while conditions are often calmer than Surf Beach it is usually has less people. Patrolled over the summer months.

Easts Beach

East Beach is Kiama’s most southern beach. Similar to Kendall’s Beach it often has calmer conditions than Surf Beach. In the right conditions there are no rips. This beach is also patrolled over the summer months.

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Views from Saddleback Mountain

Free Things To Do Nearby

Jamberoo Village 🐾

Take a short picturesque drive out to the small rural town of Jamberoo. Once you pass the sprawl of medium density housing you will see lush open countryside, green rolling hills and dairy farms. In Jamberoo take a stroll along the main street. On the last Sunday of each month the Jamberoo Markets are held at Kevin Walsh Oval 8 am – 3pm.

Address: Allowrie Street, Jamberoo

Distance from Kiama: 10 kilometres

Saddleback Mountain

Saddleback Mountain named for its distinctive saddle-shaped peak stands 600 metres high. The short drive up the mountain is steep but also very scenic.

On the mountain there are toilets and picnic tables.

Saddleback Mountain Lookout

There are 3 lookout viewing platforms. Two of the platforms are each 270 metres return and the third is 460 metres return. Each lookout has panoramic views of coastline, farmland, valley and surrounding mountains.

Hoddles Track

The Hoddles Track is a 7 kilometre return trail that starts at Saddleback Mountain Lookout. The track was originally used to transport produce to Kiama for shipping in the 1800s and goes westward to Barren Grounds Nature Reserve.

The track is moderately steep in places and surrounded by cool rainforest. The summit has breath-taking views to enjoy as reward for walking the track.

Address: Saddleback Mountain Road, Saddleback Mountain

Distance from Kiama: 8 kilometres

Jerrara Dam 🐾

Jerrara Dam was once Kiama’s water supply. Check out the dam and the easy 1.5 kilometre walking trail. There are also picnic tables and toilets.

Address: 29 Mount Brandon Rd, Jerrara

Distance from Kiama: 9 kilometres

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Big Blowhole Kiama

Minnamurra Rainforest Centre

Straight up there is a visitors fee of $12 per car to visit the Minnamurra Rainforest Centre but we think it is worth the money and worthy of this list even though it strictly speaking isn’t free.

Minnamurra Rainforest is part of the Budderoo National Park. There is a picnic area and two walks to enjoy. The Rainforest Loop takes an hour to complete. The Falls Walk takes 1 – 2 hours through lush rainforest, over a suspension bridge to the Minnamurra Falls.

Address: 345 Minnamurra Falls Road, Jamberoo

Distance from Kiama: 18 kilometres

Free Camping Kiama
Jamberoo Free Camping

Camping at Kiama

Free Options

Wirriwin Rest Area (North Bound Only) 🐾

General Description: This is a roadside rest stop accessible to north bound traffic only. Mosquitoes can sometimes be an issue.

Time Limit: 24 hours

Facilities: Toilets, drinking water, tables, bins, mobile phone and TV reception.

Address: Princes Highway, Kiama

Distance from Kiama: 5.5 kilometres north

Nungarry Rest Area (South Bound Only) 🐾

General Description: This is also a roadside rest stop accessible to north bound traffic only. Mosquitoes maybe an issue.

Time Limit: 24 hours

Facilities: Toilets, drinking water, tables, bins, mobile phone and TV reception.

Address: Princes Hwy, Dunmore

Distance from Kiama: 17 kilometres north

Kevin Walsh Oval, Jamberoo 🐾

General Description: Camping is on the sides of a driveway area overlooking a creek, sports field and park area. There is limited space for four fully self contained vehicles only. Terrific spot for exploring the Illawarra. Jamberoo Village is lovely.

This is our choice of where to stay when visiting Kiama.

Time Limit: 48 hours

Facilities: Toilets, drinking water, tables, bins, mobile phone and TV reception.

Address: Churchill St, (Jamberoo Rd), Jamberoo

Distance from Kiama: 11 kilometres west

Low Cost Option

Our research has found there is no low-cost camping in Kiama. There are four caravan parks and each have fees that vary depending on what time of the year you stay. Kiama Showgrounds opens for camping for December/January busy period to take the caravan park overflow.

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