The NSW South Coast town of Kiama might be most famous for its natural attractions, but these days there’s a whole lot more for day trippers and weekenders to love beyond the blowholes.
Blessed with a picturesque harbour, glittering coastline and bucolic country setting, there’s more to seaside town Kiama than its famous blowhole – the largest in the world.
A resurgence of charming cafes, gorgeous homeware stores and luxury lodgings has transformed this NSW coastal getaway to a sea change destination worth revisiting.
Wild Patch Cafe
Wild Patch Cafe serves Byron Bay coffee to kick start your day alongside a menu of paleo and healthy eats with plenty of vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free options. Order the Field of Greens – seasonal greens, seeds, kraut, sautéed Huskisson mushrooms and avocado served with local pastured poached eggs to feel well nourished.
Address: 14 Manning St, Kiama
Newcomer Silica burst onto the dining scene in mid-2018, filling a void of quality upscale restaurants in Kiama and offering honest food to a backdrop of glistening ocean views. Silica’s menu is based around locally sourced, sustainable and homegrown ingredients via its very own organic vegetable patch at Dapto Community Farm.
Whether it’s bar bites, takeaway fish and chips or the impressive à la carte menu, there’s something for everyone at Silica.
Address: 72 Manning St, Kiama
Baker/pastry chef Troy Hindmarch and his wife Sam made the sea change to Kiama from the Southern Highlands to open French cafe Parfait Patisserie also in mid -2018. Award-winning pastry chef Troy starts his day around midnight, baking all the breads, pastries and sweet treats onsite from scratch.
The results are mini works of art, and from the classic fresh fruit tarts to the more modern matcha and Nutella tarts, you’ll be coming back for more.
Address: 38-40 Manning St, Kiama
The Little Earth Café
The Little Earth Café is an out-of-town surprise near the Little Blowhole. With a focus on sustainability, local Swell coffee is served in stylish sustainable cups and saucers made from coffee husks which would otherwise be a wasted byproduct of coffee production.
The organic cafe and general store serves wholesome dishes like waffle toasties packed with grilled haloumi from local micro-dairy The Pines, honey, harissa, tomato and rocket.
Address: 10 Tingira Cres, Kiama
Flour Water Salt
Some local favourites still prevail in Kiama like Flour Water Salt a bakery, cafe and food store just off the main drag on Shoalhaven Street, known for its organic handcrafted artisan sourdough. The tiny store is packed with produce and the treats cabinet of pastries and cakes is mighty tempting.
Address: 49 Shoalhaven St, Kiama
Little Blowhole Art Bar
Ex-Sydney couple Jamie Cole and Bruce Ferguson opened their colourful tapas and cocktail bar in a quiet corner of Kiama’s coastal suburbia, bringing a new level of sophistication to the sleepy seaside town. Little Blowhole Art Bar is a boutique gallery and eatery featuring monthly exhibitions, regular events and local musicians every Sunday afternoon.
Address: Shop 6/4 Tingira Cres, Kiama
There are some superb unique accommodation options in the Kiama region including Terragong 1858, a hidden gem in the village of Jamberoo.
This exquisite B&B hosted by interior designer Darryl Gordon and his partner Simon Milner is warm and welcoming as well as impeccably styled. You won’t want to leave the book-lined drawing room where guests can enjoy complimentary afternoon wine and nibbles daily at 4.30pm.
Address: 467 Jamberoo Rd, Jamberoo
For larger groups, check out Dovecote, two luxury holiday houses set on a working farm a short drive from Kiama, where guests will share the property with a herd of dairy cows. The Headland is a four bedroom architect-designed residence with an expansive living wing to entertain friends and family.
While The Range is a spectacular two-bedroom retreat ideal for small gatherings and boasting a plunge pool overlooking Werri Beach.
Address: 27 Princes Hwy, Gerringong
Soul of Gerrigong
Nearby Soul of Gerringong offers a coastal cool collection of self-contained spaces allowing large groups to stay together with the privacy of their own en-suite room, blurring the lines between boutique hotel and holiday home.
Address: 143 Belinda St, Gerringong
Seek out independent bookstore/cosy cafe Bouquiniste in the little arcade off Terralong Street. This hidden gem stocks a curated collection of the latest books and serves up impressive Brewtown coffee in a super-cute setting with shelves lined with books, a cool feature wall and a leather banquette; it’s the perfect place to while away the afternoon.
Come Friday evening, the store transforms into a wine bar with cheese platters and quality drops from local Two Figs Winery to help ease you into the weekend. How civilised!
Address: Centrepoint, Shop 1, Kiama, 106 Terralong St, Kiama
Owner Kathryn O’Brien made the sea change from Sydney to the South Coast and brings the coastal vibes to her beautiful art and design store Beachside Emporium. The high street store focuses on local designers and Australian-made products and proudly promotes local emerging and established artists.
Address: Shop 15/106 Terralong St, Kiama
The Inside Story
For more retail therapy by the sea, check out The Inside Story, this boutique offers a curated collection of clothing and homewares based on its interior designer owner Kathleen Bowen’s love of travel, providing a globally-inspired selection including Mela Purdie and Rue Stiic.
Address: Shop 11/106 Terralong St, Kiama
For some boho style, check out Deer Willow, a lifestyle store with a treasure trove of global homewares, fashion and accessories. Set over two floors, the coastal chic collection of items ranges from natural braided raffia sandals from Spain to antique Turkish copper trays and everything in between.
Address: 12 Manning St, Kiama
It’s also worth checking out Wildflower Studio across the road from Surf Beach, a cute little flower shop with some beautiful gifts including Bohemian Rose ‘Kiama’ candles so you can take that holiday fragrance home with you.
Address: 2/89 Manning St, Kiama
Planning a trip to the South Coast? Read our comprehensive guide to everything you need to know for the ultimate South Coast NSW weekend away.