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Kiama - Cities, Towns and Localities
Located 119 km south of Sydney via the Princes Highway, is the very popular coastal holiday town of Kiama. With dramatic rocky coastline, beaches, harbour and a hinterland dominated by lush green dairy pastures.

The original inhabitants of the area were the Wodi Wodi Aborigines, who are said to have called the place ‘Kiarama-a’ or ‘Kiar-mai’, which is said to mean ‘where the sea makes a noise’, although other meanings include ‘fertile area’, ‘mysterious spirit’ and ‘plenty food: good fishing ground’. The reference to the noise is from the blowhole, allegedly known as ‘Khanterintee’ (meaning ‘mysterious noise’) by the local Aborigines.

Kiama Blowhole

The first European to sight the blowhole was George Bass when he anchored offshore in his 28 ft whaleboat in the bay (now known as Kiama Harbour) in December 1797. He wrote about the ‘tremendous noise’ this ‘subterraneous passage’ produced.

It was the cedar that attracted the first Europeans to the area, among those was David Smith, who became the first permanent white settler when he built a residence in Kiama in 1832. By 1815, timber was being shipped from the main beach in Kiama, Black Beach, to supply the majority of the Sydney cedar market.

Kiama Lighthouse

In 1819 the surveyor James Meehan surveyed the district by land and the surveyor-general Oxley explored the area, which he called ‘Kiarami’. Several years later, he reserved the land adjacent to the harbour for the development of a township, with surveys being carried out in 1830 and 1831. Proclaimed in 1836, Kiama was declared a Municipality in 1859.

Today there are still many historical buildings to be enjoyed, pick up the heritage walks leaflet from the visitor centre.

With the direct link to Sydney, improvements in the roads, as well as the many other local tourist attractions, Kiama draws visitors from all over New South Wales and Australia, catering for the day tripper and those staying longer.

Check out our listing of Kiama accommodation and South Coast accommodation. In addition to our listed online travel guide information, contact the local tourism visitor centre for your destination for more attractions, tours, local maps and other information.

Information Centre

Tourism Kiama Visitor's Centre
Blowhole Point
Ph: +61 2 4232 3322
Tollfree: 1300 654 262

Shoalhaven Information Centre - Nowra

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Kiama Attractions

Black Beach
Kiama developed as a shipping and service centre for the local industries and in the 1840s, mooring chains were fixed to the rocks on either side of Black Beach, providing secure moorings. These iron post that functioned as anchor pins for the securing chain are Kiama’s oldest surviving historic artefact. They can still be seen driven into the rocks with some remnants of chains, from the walkway on the north-western side of the harbour.

Kiama BlowholeKiama Blowhole
The main Kiama Blow Hole was discovered by George Bass after anchoring his whaleboat in the sheltered bay which became Kiama Harbour. He was however, not the first to discover the Kiama Blow Hole, as the local Aboriginals had for generations referred to it as ‘Khanterintee’.

In January 1889, a performer by the name of Charles Jackson attracted large crowds to see his crossings of the mouth of the Blow Hole on a tightrope.

A smaller ‘’little Blow Hole’ is located a few minutes south of the main Blow Hole, performing best under moderate seas. For some images of the blow hole, check out the Kiama Tourism site.

Kiama Blowhole         Kiama Blowhole
Kiama Lighthouse
Located just on the eastern side of the Kiama. For some information about the lighthouse, click here.
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Kiama Other Links

• Kiama Community/Local Government Links
• Kiama Related Links
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