There are several towns and villages that make up the Kiama region.
The Minnamurra River meets the Pacific Ocean at this small coastal village and the river estuary creates the perfect spot for sea kayaking or snorkelling. Row or kayak across the river to Mystics, a secluded beach named by surfing magazines as one of the best in the world. Or paddle upstream, winding through the picturesque Jamberoo Valley towards Minnamurra Falls.
The Minnamurra Headland is scenic and has great walking track access south to Jones Beach, past Cathedral Rocks, the Bombo Headland, then onto the dog-friendly Bombo Beach before you head up the hill and into Kiama for a well-deserved coffee.
Kiama is the largest town in this region. It boasts a famous white Lighthouse and big and small Blowholes where spectacular plumes of water noisily erupt through natural holes in the coastal rock. The name Kiama is from its Wodi Wodi Indigenous name Kiaram-a, to which some sources give the meaning "Where the sea makes a noise"- a reference to the famous Kiama Blowhole. For a history of Aborigines in Kiama visit the Kiama Library web site.
The first recorded reference to the district was by George Bass who anchored his 28ft whaleboat in the sheltered bay (now known as Kiama Harbour) in December 1797.
Cedar getters were the first to the area, among those was David Smith, who became the first permanent white settler when he built a residence in Kiama in 1832.
The site of Kiama Township was reserved by the Government in 1826 and proclaimed in 1836. Kiama was proclaimed a Municipality in 1859.
In the 1870's the dairying industry was supplemented by basalt (blue metal) quarrying, now one of the district's major income earners alongside tourism. Many of the historical buildings can be viewed and a heritage walks leaflet is available at the Kiama Visitor's Centre on Blowhole Point.
The romantic Harbour is especially beautiful during summer when the Norfolk pine trees are lit up. It's also impossible to miss near the harbour the bright pink Italianate Post Office, completed in 1878 or the 1861 stuccoed brick Court House, one of the oldest buildings on the south coast of NSW. The Pilot's Cottage Museum on Blowhole Point near the Kiama Visitors Centre is a great place to discover the region's history.
Great cafes, restaurants and shops will keep you entertained here for days.
A train connects Sydney with Kiama where you then change to a smaller train for Gerringong.
Jamberoo Valley was settled in the 1820's when it abounded in dense vegetation and rainforest. Clearing of the land over the years gave way to grazing runs and dairying and it is reputed to be the home of the Australian Dairy Industry, and the famous "Illawarra Shorthorn" dairy breed of cattle. Some seven cemeteries are to be found throughout the village which still retains many of its old buildings including Churches, country pubs and schoolhouse.
A map depicting heritage sites is available from Jamberoo Newsagency in Allowrie Street. It will help you find your way around.
The valley boasts some outstanding attractions including the multi award winning Minnamurra Rainforest, Jamberoo Recreation Park, lookouts and waterfalls, with the Barren Grounds Nature Reserve overlooking the valley from the escarpment.
A good range of accommodation is available including resort, guest house, bed & breakfast properties, motel and a pub and is located just fifteen minutes drive west of Kiama.
Jamberoo is a friendly rural village with lots to offer - a unique pub, antique shops, a bakery, newsagency and general store. The local bowling and golf clubs, sports oval and swimming pool offer a range of activities for the visitor to enjoy.
Just up the road is Jamberoo Action Park for the kids (and young at heart), Minnamurra Rainforest for walkers, bird and nature lovers. Further up the picturesque Jamberoo Mountain Road is the Illawarra Fly Tree Top Walk where you walk through the canopy of the "rainforest" along the Illawarra escarpment.
The scenic village of Gerringong is located just 10 minutes south of Kiama. Scenic Drive Number 3 takes you along this route through Gerringong and Gerroa and should not be missed whilst visiting our area. A variety of good quality accommodation is available and the busy little shopping centre will cater to all your needs with boutique stores, substantial supermarket and a choice of restaurants and cafes.
A heritage walk leaflet available from MAS Homewares, in Fern St, will help identify the historic landmarks in the town and the Gerringong Heritage Museum in Blackwood Street which is open on weekends, provides some fascinating displays on our pioneers and other historic highlights.
Drink in views of the surrounding area from Mount Pleasant or watch whales and dolphins cavort off the coast from this hilltop village. With a backdrop of lush farmlands and the escarpment to the west and gorgeous rolling waves and pristine sand at Werri Beach, Gerringong attracts surfers, swimmers, families, sweethearts, sun bathers & anglers alike.
After your swim, head up town to the many cafu00e9s and restaurants or roam through the surf and boutique shops to find something special. Visit the Gerringong Heritage Museum to get information about the area's cedar logging and dairy farm past.
Gerroa is a charming village with complete views of Seven Mile Beach and on to Coolangatta Mountain. Seven Mile Beach, a grand sweep of golden sand and Nature Reserve dunes, stretches out to the south of this headland settlement. The coastal rock platform here is one of the best fossil sites in the state.
Take a walk in the Seven Mile Beach National Park before a large lunch at the Gerroa Boat Fisherman's Club with fantastic views or visit the award winning cafu00e9, Seahaven. Gerroa has a park with swings and barbecue facilities with a gazebo on Crooked River, up the top of the hill you will also find a park dedicated to Sir Charles Kingsford Smith who used this beach in 1933 for his historic flight to New Zealand.