Blessed with beautiful beaches and home to the world’s largest blowhole, the pretty town of Kiama has long been a family favourite on the South Coast of NSW. It centres around a bustling main street lined with cafes and shops, while being on the doorstep of award-winning wineries, sustainable farms and thrilling outdoor adventure parks. If you’re planning a getaway with the kids to this coastal paradise, here are 10 of the top things to do.
1. Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures
Boasting the highest zipline in Australia, Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures is just a short drive inland from Kiama. Fly high above the forest floor through a magnificent tract of rainforest or take a walk through the treetops on the 500m-long steel bridge. You can soak up the spectacular views from the spiralled Knights Tower or perch on the springboard cantilevers overlooking the escarpment.
2. Kids workshops at Terra Art Gallery
Located in the heart of Kiama, the Terra Art Gallery provides a space for exhibitions by South Coast artists, as well as hosting regular events and workshops. Browse their collection of paintings, sculptures, ceramics and jewellery or coincide your visit with one of their weekly kids’ classes. Led by expert tutors, these hands-on experiences include fun activities like paper making and driftwood art.
3. Crooked River Wines
With stunning views over vineyards and on to the ocean, Gerringong’s Crooked River Wines is a family-owned winery that’s won multiple awards. Aside from visiting the cellar door, where you can taste their premium reds and whites, the onsite restaurant serves up delicious meals, drawing on local produce, while the grounds provide ample space for the kids to run around or meet some of the resident farm animals. If you time your visit right, you can participate in the Stomping of the Grapes in February, the annual Winter Wine Festival, or celebrate the start of spring with a memorable day spent sipping wine and listening to live music.
4. The Bead Shack
Kids can learn to make jewellery, sun catchers, key charms, bookmarks and more during a one-hour workshop at The Bead Shack in Gerringong. Participants choose from a bowl of glitzy or wooden beads and put together their own creation, with guidance from the team of teachers. Family and group workshops are also offered.
5. Learn to surf, kayak or paddleboard
The South Coast has nurtured professional surfers including Ali Day and Sally Fitzgibbons, with reliable waves both north and south of Kiama. But if you’re just starting out, it’s also a great place to learn, with several surf schools offering tuition with experienced professionals. The kids can ride their first waves with former pro surfer Rusty Moran at the Gerringong Surf School, or book a lesson with Surf Camp Australia at Seven Mile Beach. Surfing not your thing? Why not join Land’s Edge Foundation’s Coastal Explorer, and try your hand at kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding or snorkelling in Kiama Harbour?
6. Jamberoo Action Park
Jamberoo is the largest family-owned and operated water park in NSW, with a giant wave pool, waterslides and play areas to suit all ages. Older kids can brave the Taipan and the Funnel Web while younger ones will love the giant water bucket and gentle slides of Banjo’s Billabong. If you prefer to stay dry, you can soak up the South Coast views from the chairlift or enjoy a game of mini-golf, with the Jamberoo Express train making it easy to get around the park. It’s open from October to April – stay tuned for Velocity Falls, which will start development in 2021.
7. Kiama Farmers’ Market
Every Wednesday, the Kiama Farmers’ Market takes place in Coronation Park overlooking the sands of Kiama Surf Beach. It’s held from 3-6pm during daylight saving and 2-5pm the rest of the year, with locally grown produce, freshly caught seafood and a variety of street food for sale. Listen to the bell ringing to signal the start of trade, then grab a bite to eat and relax on the grass with an early dinner. There’s even a playground for kids!
8. Kiama Coast Walk
Stretching approximately 20km alongside the Pacific Ocean, the Kiama Coast Walk connects the Minnamurra River with Werri Beach. It combines sealed paths with grassy tracks and beach strolls, and there are public toilets, drinking fountains and barbecues dotting the route. It’s possible to complete the entire walk in a single day (around 6 to 7 hours) or you can embark on one of three shorter sections. Highlights include the famous Kiama Blowhole and photogenic Cathedral Rocks, as well as the striking basalt columns of Bombo Headland, and not to mention the rolling green cliff top walking track that gets you on to Gerringong.
9. Buena Vista Farm
For a hands-on farm-to-table experience, head to this sustainably run property to the south of Gerringong. You can learn how to make everything from sourdough bread to natural yoghurt, jams and pickles, followed by a long-table lunch in the sunshine. Their Bean to Barista workshop delves into the art of making coffee and there are dedicated cheesemaking and fermenting courses on offer. Kids will particularly love the farm tours, which include encounters with the resident hens, ducks and dairy goats.
10. Cafe Kiama & Scoops Ice Creamery
Whether you’re after a much-needed afternoon coffee or ice cream fix, Cafe Kiama (in the heart of town) ticks all the right boxes. The staff are super friendly and fun, as demonstrated by the pink flamingo uniforms they wear. The menu also features creamy milkshakes and healthy smoothies, hotdogs, waffles and pancakes, all just a stone’s throw from the playground and Kiama Harbour.
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH DESTINATION KIAMA