There’s so much more to the Kiama region than just its famous blowhole. Impressive dining and shopping, pretty wineries and world-class breweries all combine with natural attractions to make it the classic coastal escape.
Looking to plan your own gorgeous seaside getaway? We went looking for the best Kiama has to offer; here, our top five.
1. Dining and shopping
Kiama’s high street has seen an influx of deliciously cosy cafes, restaurants and delightful boutiques pop up, transforming this once-humble setting into a bustling shopping precinct.
One hidden gem is Bouquiniste, an independent, curated bookstore and cafe in a little arcade off Terralong Street. With a welcoming vibe and cool interiors, you’ll want to linger longer over a Brewtown coffee and a good book. Stay in town on a Friday night and you’ll witness its transformation into a wine bar, where you can welcome the weekend with a glass of red and a cheese platter.
For Kiama’s take on fine dining head to Silica, a modern Australian restaurant, boasting spectacular views of Surf Beach. Showcasing locally sourced and home-grown produce – some of which is from the community’s local farm – its dining options include an a la carte menu, casual bar menu and even a ‘Silica to go’ menu if you want to take your fresh fish and chips to the beach.
Spot the stripy awning on Manning Street and you’ve found Parfait Patisserie, Kiama’s local dessert haven. You’ll be glutted by the selection of pastries, cakes and other inventive creations, all made fresh daily – we recommend the matcha nutella praline crunch.
Heading to Seven Mile Beach? Visit Gerroa gem, The Blue Swimmer on the way. Promising a friendly and relaxed dining experience, their menu will take you from Baghdad eggs for breakfast through to freshly shucked oysters for dinner.
Pick up the Kiama Boutique Shopping Guide from Pretty Shore Boutique and use its handy self-guided map for the ultimate retail therapy by the sea. Local favourites include Deer Willow and Beachside Emporium for homewares with a relaxed beachy aesthetic, as well as unique art and designer threads.
Little Blowhole Art Bar, the creation of Kiama locals Jamie and Bruce, plays host to all things edible, drinkable, danceable and collectable in Kiama. The intimate venue features monthly art exhibitions, delicious tapas and Sunday sessions showcasing local musicians in a convivial space.
Home to some of the South Coast’s best beach breaks including Surf Beach, Boneyards and Seven Mile Beach, and some of the region’s greatest talent, like professional surfer Sally Fitzgibbons, Kiama’s culture is in the water.
The town plays backdrop to a variety of high-profile surfing events including the World Surf League Junior World Championships and the Kiama Bodyboard King Pro, which sees the world’s best bodyboarders descend on the South Coast during the APB World Tour.
Unsurprisingly, learning to surf is a must-try in Kiama. Whether you’re an absolute beginner or you’ve ridden a wave or two before, there’s a surf school to suit any skill level. Check out Gerringong Surf School, Lands Edge Surf School, and Surf Camp Australia – an overnight school camp – to find the right fit for you.
3. Village festivals
The Kiama region plays host to a packed calendar of events featuring fabulous and family-friendly arts, entertainment and sporting events.
More than 100 artists descend on the picturesque village of nearby Jamberoo for the Jamberoo Music Festival – a blues, roots, rock and indie extravaganza held annually each July. For something quirkier, the KISS Arts Fest is a seaside celebration of the arts: think circus troupes, music, mischief and mayhem.
Keeping with the coastal theme, SurfLife promises a weekend of surfing, music and good times in the beautiful seaside town of Gerringong. The festival brings together music, film, legendary surfers and classic surf cars for a two-day immersive experience celebrating the best in beach culture.
4. Breweries and wine with a view
To fast-track those holiday vibes, head to The Hill Bar and Kitchen for an afternoon drink with a view. Located in Gerringong, the venue boasts sweeping views of the coastline and Werri Beach. Nearby, you’ll also find Stoic Brewing – a family-owned brewery serving beer and cider on tap alongside tasting paddles, tours and, on Sundays, food trucks and live music.
If wine is more your style, Crooked River Wines occupies a picturesque spot overlooking the vineyard and rolling hills of Gerringong. Indulge in lunch with paired wines, or make a beeline in June during the Winter Wine Festival for a family-friendly weekend of wine tasting, live music, kids’ face painting and more.
5. Nature and adventure
While relaxation is almost inevitable, Kiama’s nature-based activities and attractions also keep people coming back – whether visitors are looking for tranquil coastal walks or adrenaline-pumping adventure.
Set off on the Kiama Coast Walk to explore a mix of sealed paths, grassed tracks and beach walks stretching 22 kilometres from Minnamurra River, south of Kiama, to Gerringong’s spectacular Werri Beach.
Feeling even more adventurous? Head to Illawarra Fly Tree Top Adventures and take the Treetop Walk – a 1.5-kilometre walkway nestled in the treetop canopy – or soar through the trees on the highest zipline tour in Australia.
Want to know more? Read our ultimate travel guide to the NSW South Coast.