From cliffs to coast: Four must-do nature walks
National Parks and Wildlife’s Joanne Issaverdis shares her favourite nature walks in the Kiama area – suitable for all ages.
“What I really like about the Kiama area is that you can go from the rainforest to beautiful waterfalls to an escarpment lookout and then to the beautiful coastline, all in such a short distance,” says Joanne Issaverdis. And she should know: as team leader for Visitor Experience at the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service on the South Coast, she is passionate about introducing visitors to the incredible natural wonders of the region.
What better way to experience the abundant landscape than lacing up your walking shoes and heading out to explore? Here are Jo’s top suggestions for stunning walks in the Kiama region.
Spot a lyrebird in the Minnamurra Rainforest
The Minnamurra Rainforest in Budderoo National Park is a mecca for visitors, where you can meander through the lush rainforest along a 1.6-kilometre loop of elevated boardwalks. Along the way, you will be able to spy beautiful strangler figs, an abundance of ferns, mossy rocks, orchids and the infamous lyrebird, which is known for mimicking the calls of other birds. “It is a family-friendly walk so you can get your kids out into the rainforest, too,” says Jo.
There is also The Falls Walk (4.2 kilometres) which includes some steeper sections that bring you to the top of the waterfall for beautiful views looking back down onto rainforest canopy. “I love the peace of the rainforest, the sounds of running water, the lyrebirds foraging in the soft soils on the edge of the walking tracks and the view from the Upper Falls Lookout down the canyon,” says Jo.
Meet local birdlife at Seven Mile Beach National Park
One of Jo’s favourite places to spot a variety of birdlife up close is Seven Mile Beach National Park. “There is the short Sand Track Walk, which takes you through blackbutt, bangalay forests and rainforest, and these areas are home to a variety of bird species,” she says.
Discover the magic of Carrington Falls
Also in Budderoo National Park, the breathtaking Carrington Falls are surrounded by a variety of walking tracks that each give you slightly different views out over the magnificent falls. “Izzards Lookout Track is a short walk to another spectacular vantage point of the falls,” says Jo. “For longer walks, head to the nearby Nellies Glen picnic area where you can choose from Warris Chair Lookout Track or Missingham Lookout Track for views over Carrington Falls Gorge.”
Admire panoramic views from Barren Grounds Nature Reserve
For dramatic views across the cliffs of Kangaroo Valley, the Griffiths Walking Track in Barren Grounds Nature Reserve can’t be beaten, according to Jo. “The track is a two- to three-hour loop walk with outstanding views, where you will walk through heathlands and woodlands,” she says. Feeling like something a little less demanding? Jo suggests the shorter and easier Illawarra Lookout Walking Track, which has panoramic vistas across Illawarra Lake, all the way to the mouth of the ocean.
Header Image: Peter Izzard Photography