From exploring its rugged coastline, to treetop walks in the hinterland, and adrenalin-fuelled adventure parks, the list of family-friendly things to do in Kiama is endless.
Although Kiama is well-known as a romantic location for couples, it is also full of unforgettable experiences that families will carry with them for a lifetime. Those with teens who prefer an active holiday will find plenty to do in the seaside village, while younger children will love playing the role of explorer and having a change of scene.
From beach-based activities to wilderness experiences and adventure parks that parents are bound to enjoy as much as the kids, Kiama is a sweet spot for families to stay and play. Here’s the ultimate list of things to do in Kiama for families that will show off this smart corner of the NSW South Coast and keep everyone happy.
Learn to surf
The hot ticket for families craving a seaside holiday is to sign up for a surf lesson. Create some magic moments with a private group lesson with Gerroa Surf School, Lands Edge Surf School or Gerringong Surf School where you will get tuition from accredited surf instructors who will teach you how to paddle for a wave and spring to your feet during a private group lesson.
For theme park thrills, go to Jamberoo Action Park, Australia’s largest family owned and operated water theme park. Located in the hinterland, between the mountains and the sea, the watery wonderland has slides and rivers to wow kids and adults of every age. Don’t miss the Taipan, a high-intensity waterslide that plunges you into darkness and is very fast.
Take the tension off the throttle and visit a few of the local markets such as Kiama Makers & Growers, Kiama Farmers’ Market, Gerringong Rotary Markets, Kiama Seaside Markets, and Jamberoo Village Market where you can purchase everything from artisan produce to arts, crafts and new and upcycled clothing.
Even if your idea of a perfect weekend in Kiama is to drop and flop, a recipe for holiday heaven is to take your children somewhere that will grab their attention. Kiama Blowhole is that place. The name Kiama has long been translated as “where the sea makes a noise”; wait for the ‘whoosh’ as the blowhole spits and blasts wide-eyed onlookers with salty sea spray. The attraction, which was formed from basalt lava some 260 million years ago, has grown in popularity over the years and part of the fun is definitely timing your visit with a southeast swell when the water spout can shoot up to 25 metres in the air.
Ping from Kiama Blowhole to Kiama Pilots Cottage Museum and the Lighthouse, which are all located in the same zone. Cave in to that nostalgic feeling that you must have fish and chips beside the seaside and find your fix at Diggie’s, one of the most family-friendly places to eat in Kiama.
Kiama Coastal walk
Continue to stretch your legs and head north along the Kiama Coast walk from the Blowhole to Minnamurra River, where you can stop off at Minnamurra Café to refuel on banana mixed berry muffins and cappuccinos.
Workshops for kids
There are a lot of creative ideas for little people in Kiama as a new breed of artists have added another layer of interest to the list of things to do. Hand your children a pen or a paintbrush, join a one-off pottery wheel-throwing experience, and learn to make jewellery at a range of different workshops held throughout the year. The hands-on classes are designed to get your creative juices flowing: check the Destination Kiama website to see the schedule of workshops for budding writers, potters, painters and candlemakers. The Bead Shack also has a regular roster of kiddie-friendly classes from bead-stringing to macramé.
Get an insight into the creative scene in Kiama by visiting The Collective Beat, which provides artists, makers, creators, designers, innovators and entrepreneurs the opportunity to sell direct to the public. The collective acts like a giant canvas, providing each artist with the opportunity to add their own bit of colour.
Writers and illustrators will also be inspired with a wander through The Bookshop Kiama, which stocks a carefully curated selection of books. Purchase some art supplies and sit and sketch Cathedral Rocks, one of the region’s most impressive geological formations.
The Illawarra Fly Treetop Walk is also popular with families up for an adventurous hike, and is one of the best things to do near Kiama. Introduce the family to the practice of shinrin-yoku (forest bathing) as you wander along the walkway above a riot of sage green, jade and viridescent rainforest that shifts with the light.
Lastly, if you and your kids want to experience the very best of Kiama, purchase a copy of the Kiama Passport for Kids, which features seven itineraries, such as Boneyard, Minnamurra Rainforest, Easts Beach and Blackhead Reserve, and encourages passport-holders to tick off one adventure at a time as part of a treasure hunt. As well as inspiring your children to look out for various birds and identify native flora, the passport will prompt little explorers to request a return visit.
To plan your visit to Kiama read our Ultimate travel guide to Kiama