Friday, December 31, 2021

INDEX

THAILAND

Ao Sadet from Silver Cliff's restaurant - east coast of Ko Phangan

INTRODUCTION - WHICH ISLAND OR BEACH?
ADANG
ANG THONG NATIONAL MARINE PARK
BU BU
BULON LAE
CHANG (big Chang eastern Gulf)
Little Ko CHANG, Andaman side
CORAL ISLAND
JUM
KANCHANABURI
KRADAN
KRABI, RAILAY, TON SAI
KHANOM
KHAO LAK
KHAO SOK NATIONAL PARK
KHO KHAO
KUT (KOOD, KUD)
LANTA
LAO LIANG
LIBONG, HAT YAO
LIPE
MAK (MAC, MAAK)
MAYA BAY/THE BEACH/PHI PHI LEY
MUK (MOOK)
NANGYUAN
NGAI (HAI)
KO PANYI/PANYEE
PATTAYA
PHANGAN
PHANGAN PART 2
PHANG NGA BAY
PHAYAM
PHRA THONG
PHUKET
PHI PHI
PHI PHI NEWSPAPER ARTICLE BY TEZZA
RAILAY, TON SAI AND KRABI TOWN
RAYA/RACHA
ROK
SAMET
SAMUI
SIBOYA
SICHON
SIMILAN ISLANDS
SIMILAN ISLANDS LIVE-ABOARD 
SUKORN
SURIN ISLANDS
TARUTAO
TAO
WAI (WHAI)
YAO NOI
YAO YAI



General Thailand Information

SOME TIPS ON NOT DROWNING
WET WEATHER INFORMATION
SNORKELLING IN THAILAND
THAILAND'S NICER BEACHES


INDONESIA:
Approaching Gili Trawangan, Lombok on Perama's direct boat from Bali

BALI
BALI'S BEST BEACHES - incl THE BUKIT PENINSULA
BALI - AMED
BALI - BEDUGUL AND LAKE BRATAN
BALI - CANGGU
BALI - JATILUWIH RICE TERRACES
BALI - JIMBARAN
BALI - NUSA LEMBONGAN
BALI - NUSA PENIDA
BALI - NUSA DUA, TANJUNG BENOA AND GEGER BEACH
EAST BALI - PADANGBAI AND CANDIDASA
BALI - LOVINA
BALI - MEDEWI
BALI - MUNDUK
BALI - PEMUTERAN AND MENJANGAN ISLAND
BALI RICE TERRACES EAST - SIDEMAN
BALI RICE TERRACES CENTRAL - TEGALLALANG
BALI RICE TERRACES WEST - KEBUN VILLAS
BALI RICE TERRACES TIRTAGANGGA + WATER PALACE

BINTAN

LOMBOK - THE NOTH WEST GILI ISLANDS
LOMBOK - THE SOUTH WEST GILI ISLANDS
LOMBOK - THE KUTA LOMBOK AREA

PERAMA SLOWBOAT - FLORES/KOMODO/LOMBOK

SERAYA & KANAWA ISLANDS + LABUANBAJO - FLORES



MALAYSIA
Taking it easy on Tioman Island, Malaysia

GORGEOUS TIOMAN ISLAND
CHERATING BEACH
KAPAS ISLAND
LANGKAWI
LANG TENGAH
PERHENTIAN ISLANDS
REDANG ISLAND
SIBU ISLAND



AUSTRALIA


Cruising down Whitsunday Island

CRUISING TROPICAL ISLANDS ON A BUDGET
BUDGET RESORTING ON THE WHITSUNDAY ISLANDS NTH QLD
SPENDING TIME AT AIRLIE BEACH - NTH QLD
CAPE TRIBULATION - NTH QLD
DUNK ISLAND - NTH QLD
FITZROY ISLAND - CAIRNS -  NTHE QLD
CRUISING THE SOUTH WEST PACIFIC ON LINERS
BYRON BAY - BEACH PARADISE
NOOSA HEADS - MY ALL TIME FAVOURITE
MAGNETIC ISLAND NTH QLD
TOP END - DARWIN
TOP END - DARWIN BEACHES
TOP END - KAKADU NATIONAL PARK
TOP END - LITCHFIELD NATIONAL PARK
TOP END - NITMILUK (KATHERINE) GORGE and KATHERINE TOWN
TOP END - MANDORAH and WAGAIT BEACH
TOP END - MATARANKA THERMAL POOLS
TOP END - THE TIWI ISLANDS



GREECE
Cute church - Naxos

GREEK ISLAND HOPPING


TURKEY

Beach, forest-clad medieval ruins and up-valley budget accommodation at Olympos in Turkey
BUDGET CRUISING AND PARAGLIDING THE TURQUOISE COAST
THE NORTH AEGEAN COAST
THE SOUTH AEGEAN COAST



SPAIN
Looking south to Tossa de Mar
INTRODUCTION
BARCELONA
IBIZA
L'HOSPITALET DE L'INFANT
MALLORCA/MAJORCA
MONTSERRAT

PYRENEES
SAN SEBASTIAN
SITGES
TOSSA DE MAR


USA - SOUTH WEST

THE BEACHES

THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY

GRAND CANYON TREKKING

YOSEMITE TREKKING



USA - HAWAII

OAHU'S BEST BEACHES
OAHU - PEARL HARBOR
OAHU - OTHER NEAT PLACES:SOUTH EAST COAST
OAHU - TREKKING THE HONOLULU MOUNTAINS
OAHU WEST - THE KAIELIA TRAIL and adjoining trails

MAUI'S BEST BEACHES
MAUI: THE ROAD TO HANA
MAUI - HALEAKALA VOLCANO
MAUI - THE IAO VALLEY
MAUI BEST DAYTRIP - LANAI ISLAND
MAUI - OTHER NEAT PLACES



USA - NORTH EAST
NYC BEACHES
UPPER AND CENTRAL LONG ISLAND BEACHES
NEW JERSEY BEACHES
MASSACHUSETTS - CAPE COD, NANTUCKET, MARTHAS VINEYARD
NE - THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY
MANHATTAN ISLAND
GOVERNORS ISLAND
ROOSEVELT ISLAND
LAST TREK EVER - MT TAURUS COLD SPRING.
ROAD TRIP - NYC to NIAGARA to WASHINGTON DC to PHILADELPHIA to NYC


SOUTH WEST PACIFIC ISLAND BEACHES

KAIBOLA BEACH - KIRIWINA ISL - PAPUA NEW GUINEA
MYSTERY ISLAND - VANUATU
CHAMPAGE BEACH - VANUATU
YEJELE BEACH - MARE ISLAND - NEW CALEDONIA
ISLE OF PINES - NEW CALEDONIA
NOUMEA BEACHES - NEW CALEDONIA
EASO BEACH - LIFOU ISLAND - NEW CALEDONIA
DRAVUNI ISLAND - FIJI
TOURING THE SOUTH WEST PACIFIC ON LINERS

READERS' TRIP REPORTS
Trip reporter Rachael and Andy on Ko Muk

Read the trip reports or submit your own


THE FORUM


Yon Cassie has a lean and hungry look (image Deco Dermots)

Questions, comments, shoot the bull.


GENERAL

Sammy BinLiner steps out to the hot-tub seminar in The Worry Collective

JUST FOR LARFS - PART 1
JUST FOR LARFS - PART 2: STONES FROM THE JOKER IN THE GLASS HOUSE (1 thru 11)
JUST FOR LARFS - PART 3: THE WORRY COLLECTIVE

ABOUT THIS SITE


THE RANT


LADY TEZZA'S TRAVELLING JAPAN

Sumo grand champion Hakuho.

The basics - Osaka - Kyoto - Hiroshima & Himeji - Takayama - Tokyo - Kyushu - Daytrip to Mt Fuji National Park - Accessing your money - Other helpful stuff







Tuesday, May 26, 2020

KIAMA

ATTENTION - THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS. IF YOU SHOULD COME ACROSS IT. IT SHOULD BE FINISHED IN A WEEK OR SO - tezza MAY 26 2020




Rock and ocean (plus a beach nearby) - no shortage of places around KIAMA to jump into the water on a hot day.



There are many good day trip destinations out of Sydney. KIAMA is one. It has great beaches, a  beaut little harbour, a popular coastal walk, no shortage of eats/drinks joints, a full range of accommodation, scenic viewpoints, a nice hinterland yada. And we haven't mentioned its most famous attraction - THE BLOWHOLE (actually, there are 2). Day-trip wise it has the advantage of being a 90 minute drive from central Sydney (just when many drivers are figuring it's time to take a break), and a scenic 2.5 hour train trip.
This is a hilly town, meaning seaside places aren't the only ones with great views.





BEACHES 
KIAMA has 4 good beaches within walking distance of the main street and another 2 a short drive further north.

4 CLOSE BEACHES
1-SURF BCH   2-KENDALLS BCH   3-EASTS BCH   4-BOMBO BCH

SURF BEACH
This is the main beach. The shopping center is only a 5 minute walk north - the rail station 3. 
The building mid shot is the surf lifesaving club. This is backed by a nice park area (CORONATION PARK) which is a big destination for visiting picknickers and others particularly weekends. So too is the grassed area in foreground. Behind it is a council run holiday village with some very neat cabins with killer ocean/beach views. Note too the tents and caravans far right background. This is the showground #2 playing field which the council opens to visitors Christmas and Easter.
This beach faces SE, so picks up southerly/south-east swells (which tend to be the biggest swells on this coast) so it is not a bad surfing beach. At the same time the big showground-blowhole headland extending out of shot to the right protects it from north-east winds which are the most common here. So it is not bad north-east wind beach protection-wise.

Some of those Christmas holiday makers at showground #2. Showground #1 nearby is also used at busy times.

KIAMA SURF BEACH has lifeguards 7/365.

KENDALL'S BEACH
To the south of SURF BEACH (yellow arrow) is KENDALLS. It is protected on the south  (camera) side by long KALEULA HEADLAND so it is usually pretty benign surf wise. But I have seen a few big storm surfs here over the years.
Pastel purple arrow points at the council run holiday cabins behind SURF BEACH mentioned up page. Indigo arrow for similar cabins behind KENDALLS BEACH. There are also spaces for about 25 tents and caravans here. Orange points at more tents and caravans allowed by council at XMAS and EASTER on a big sports field between the beaches.


This group of happy campers on the sports field have a great shaded spot to enjoy a beer. Their tents are left out of image. Structure behind is the council-run campers' facilities. There is a really nice pool to its right.

Same beach from the north end. This is about as much sand as I've seen here - pretty typical actually because the beach is so protected. But occasionally (maybe averaging once a year) after a big storm there is only half the sand on most of the beach, with wave-wet silica and debris right onto the grass behind. The area between those nearby rocks and camera becomes a lagoon with plenty of exposed smaller rocks. The beach can rebuild itself surprisingly quickly given a week of calmer weather.
The far end of the beach is a real sun trap in winds from the southerly quadrant - the place to head for on those colder days when the sun is strong. Even in winter.
This beach has lifeguards XMAS and EASTER.

FISHING AT KENDALLS
Beach fishing is popular with visitors. But over many years I have never seen one catch a decent fish. I used to swim the length of the beach frequently - saw few fish (once saw a big ray and once swam into a huge Portuguese Man of War stinger). The near beach rocks far end above are also popular and if you want to catch some of those bony, foul tasting muddy rock cods this is the place. However some local kids who are very good snorkellers catch some excellent fish near a bombora (treacherous shallow reef) off the end of the point - at least 300m from the beach.

SURFING AT KENDALLS 
The protected nature of this beach means surfable waves of any size are not all that common. Great for families. However BODYBOARDERS work over a fun-kamikazi break at the north end when the southerly swell gets to a reasonable size and when it gets huge there is a rubbishy board/bodyboard break half way along the far rocks - the kind of wave surfers ride because it is rarely there, not because it is good.

BOMBO BEACH
Maybe 10 minutes north of the main street, this 1400m long strip of silica is where you want to go to avoid crowds and to get good surf (this beach picks up good swell and the far end is nicely sheltered from the prevailing north-easterlies).
The council provides a life guard at the north (far) end in the XMAS holidays. Not sure abt EASTER. There is also a parking area and change sheds at the north end.


BOMBO from a slightly different angle - you can see why the north end is so protected from prevailing NE winds with the lengthy BOMBO HEADLAND. There is shuttered bluestone (mostly basalt) quarry there - the area is best known for seekers of rock-encased fossils. 
A big wave surfing spot, the BONEYARD, is abt 3 mins walk north, and KIAMA's 4th easily accessible beach (KIAMA DOWNS BCH/JONES BEACH) another 10 minutes.
BOMBO RAIL STATION (abt mid-beach), the penultimate stop before KIAMA, must be one of the closest to the sand in Oz. 
BOMBO STATION - from platform to ocean 100m. Less to high tide mark.

EASTS BEACH
This beach is about 10 minutes walk south of KENDALLS and 35 minutes walk south of the main street. You can drive it in 6. It's very protected with long headlands each side - as a result big surf is rare, making it an ideal family beach. No coincidence therefore that the area behind has one of NSW's bigger caravan/cabin/camping places, BIG 4 EASTS BEACH HOLIDAY PARK.
Although a private operation, I notice the council has set up a lifeguard operation at XMAS and EASTER the past few years.


I'm a bit short of EAST BEACH pix, so I pinched this one off the BIG 4 website.
The length of each headland shows why this beach is so well protected from swell and wind.


A 5TH CLOSE TO TOWN BEACH - BLACK BEACH
Technically inner KIAMA has a 5th beach, BLACK BEACH above, between the CONTINENTAL POOL and the HARBOUR. This is a BOULDER BEACH (although the boulders are more smallish rounded stones). Attracts fossikirs of all ages. There is a narrow park which is a popular spot between the path and the main street 


BLACK BEACH BAY stretches between the CONTINENTAL POOL (YELLOW ARROW) and the HARBOUR which is out of image near right. BLACK ARROW indicates PHEASANT'S POINT which has some magic views both this way and north over BOMBO BEACH. PASTEL PURPLE points at the old primary school which has been redeveloped into a pretty nice high end  hotel/resort. WHITE indicates the path-side stalls of the SEASIDE/GROWERS MARKET.
The MAIN STREET is close behind the nearer half of this bay.
It is possible to walk the rock platform near YELLOW ARROW around to BOMBO BEACH in the lower half of the tide if they swell is not huge.
YELLOW X shows the position of a surf break which only works in huge swells - another rubbishy wave only ridden because it is rarely there.
FISHING WISE - the only place I regularly see fishermen is around the YELLOW ARROW area. Ditto SNORKELLERS.


1- CONTINENTAL POOL   2-THE FLAT   3 BLACK BEACH BAY   4-BLACK BEACH   5-MAIN ST.
My inadequate cropping tool couldn't exclude BLOWHOLE POINT so THE HARBOUR, LIGHTHOUSE and STORM BAY also feature well. For scale, it's 500m between the place-markers for 1 and STORM BAY.
NORTH of course is straight up.


THE FLAT.
This is an ex playing field which stretches between the OLD PRIMARY SCHOOL (now THE SEBEL KIAMA HARBOURSIDE - an upscale hotel/resort) and the CONTINENTAL POOL. These days it attracts joggers, picknickers and casual sports like a scratch game of footy/cricket. It is also the site of several MARKETS a month (see down page), a fun fair around XMAS and several car show and shines each year.


YELLOW ARROW - the Sebel:  INDIGO - the Flat:  PASTEL PURPLE - Continental Pool 
I modified this shot from one I pinched off DESTINATION KIAMA.

Not all that shiny for the show and shine. But cool.


That's more like it shine wise.


The XMAS fun fair begins to arrive


No shortage of market stalls from both KIAMA SEASIDE MARKET and GROWERS' AND MAKERS' MARKET


MAIN STREET
KIAMA has abt 7000 permanent residents + at least that many day-trippers each week. So the main street features what you would expect from a town of 7000 PLUS a lot of tourist-oriented joints. There is no shortage of food outlets (everything from fast food to fancy restaurants), boutiques and accommodation booking places. There is the obligatory pub and a leagues club.



The main street is TERRALONG STREET which starts in the east at the POST OFFICE ROUNDABOUT (A), runs 3 blocks to the MAIN ROUNDABOUT at COLLINS ST (B) where traffic from the north comes into town, and then runs another 700m further west where it dives under the KIAMA BYPASS and departs KIAMA for JAMBAROO. You can access the BYPASS for SYDNEY, but not to go south towards NOWRA.

Blocks 2 (B2)  and 3 (B3) are the busiest although there are other clusters of businesses (5 and  C[Miners Cottages]) plus a medium size WOOLWORTHS SUPERMARKET [and soon an ALDI] plus some mall-type stores (6) about 250m west of the main COLLINS ST roundabout.

Other map features: Akuna St carparks (7),  Rail Station (8). The popular park area across TERRALONG ST from B3 businesses is HINDMARSH PARK. BLACK BEACH and BAY show nicely around the NORTH indicator. THE FLAT can be seen to their north - although the CONTINENTAL POOL at its north end (just right of the Y of SYDNEY) is not real clear. 
KIAMA HARBOUR far right certainly is, STORM BAY far bottom right less so. 

MISTAKES - the "to Nowra" ARROW should be on parallel MANNING ST below the #5 place marker....
...the "to Jambaroo" arrow top left gives the impression the road curves. Not so, it is a straight shot past the BYPASS except for a roundabout just out of frame which leads to the QUARRY LEISURE CENTER (see down page). Once out of town, this road becomes JAMBAROO RD and is indeed very twisty. And hilly. Oh yeah, JAMBAROO is spelled wrong - it is JAMBEROO.
....and I forgot to put in a distance scale - it is 500m in a straight line between the place markers for "from Sydney" and "to Nowra"


Blocks 2 and 3 tend to get pretty busy on weekends. Even weekdays sees quite a few visitors.

KIAMA gets a lot of day cruisers bike-wise, cycle-wise and car-wise. They tend to lap the main street and park. There are also several hot rod/street machine show and shines on the FLATS and the SHOWGROUND each year. A car nerd since the 1950s, I loved this '63 IMPALA.

PARKING - vacant streetside spots are limited on weekends. There is a free lot behind south side shops of block 3, accessed off AKUNA ST - this tends to fill too but there is a little known lot across the road which usually has plenty spaces.
Bus access is weird - there are no public bus stops in blocks 1, 2 or 3. You need to go up near WOOLWORTHS. But bus transport in and to KIAMA is not a big deal.
THE RAILWAY STATION is very convenient - only 200m south of the start of block 2 (and another 30m to BLACK BEACH). 



MINERS' COTTAGES
Leading off the main street, the main entrance road into town, COLLINS ST, has a row of old miners' cottages (KIAMA was a major supplier of bluestone back in the day - still has a quarry a bit north at BOMBO). The miners' cottages have all been refurbished into touristy shops and eats joints. A very popular area with visitors.
If you are doing the COAST WALK and have come over the top of PHEASANTS POINT from BOMBO BCH, best turn left immediately behind camera to reach THE FLAT/BLACK BEACH. But you can also walk down past these shops, turn left into MAIN ST and access BLACK BEACH and the continuation of the COASTAL WALKING TRACK anywhere along it.



One of the more popular eats joints - HUNGRY MONKEY. I've seen people waiting for a seat in busy times.

One of several places selling touristy stuff in this strip.




OTHER KIAMA BEACHES

TOO FAR TO WALK EASILY FROM MAIN ST
BOMBO BCH already mentioned is bottom of image - JONES BCH immediately north across the rather big headland. You are looking at maybe an hour walk from KIAMA MAIN ST to central JONES BEACH - another 25 minutes to the south end of MINNAMURRA BCH. So these beaches are a bit of a stretch walking - better to access by car. Local buses go near, but are not real frequent. The train can get you within 500m of MINNAMURRA BCH, but you will have to swim/paddle/row the last few hundred meters. There is no train station near JONES BEACH.

JONES BEACH KIAMA DOWNS
KIAMA DOWNS is a suburb of KIAMA but this beach is a bit far to walk to from town. By car it is 5km/3mi.
I've never had much to do with this beach, so can't tell you about surfing, fishing or swimming. But it faces east and would pick up swell (the near corner would be most sheltered from the prevailing north-easterlies) and has an active surf-lifesaving club and a board-riders' club.
Not short at just under 1km. YELLOW ARROW points at CATHEDRAL ROCKS (see down page) not far short of popular big wave surfing spot THE BONEYARD. BOMBO BEACH is the other side of that far headland.


I was a bit short on pix of JONES BCH so I pinched this one off FIRST NATIONAL's website.
This is more a locals' beach - gets few tourists so is a good one for lack of crowds.


MINNAMURRA BEACH
This is a short distance further north - JONES BEACH can be seen from the top of the big headland the camera is on.
The inlet at left is where the MINNAMURRA RIVER empties to the sea. MINNAMURRA INLET is a popular swimming and fishing spot. 
MINNAMURRA BEACH at right is difficult to access - you need to swim/boat the river. Thus it is virtually deserted. The far end is a popular surfing spot called MYSTICS which picks up big southerly swell and is sheltered from the prevailing north-easterlies.
A small island called STACK ISLAND is offshore from the river mouth just out of  frame right.



KIAMA HARBOUR - BLOWHOLE POINT AREA
Labels may be clearer if you can click-expand image.

Looking across at the HARBOUR/BLOWHOLE POINT AREA from the hill behind the CONTINENTAL POOL (YELLOW ARROW)  This is a 50m rock pool popular with lap swimmers and tourists. Visitors take in the sun on the grass near INDIGO ARROW which is the north end of THE FLAT.
WHITE ARROW indicates the popular BLOWHOLE POINT ROCK POOL (see down page). CHARCOAL is at the approx position of THE BLOWHOLE which s slightly the other side of the headland. The nearby LIGHTHOUSE is lurking behind those trees to its right. The council run KIAMA HARBOUR CABINS line the sea-facing area below. ORANGE shows harbourside CARGO FISH AND CHIPS - the HARBOUR itself is to its left.

A slightly different aspect. CARGO FISH AND CHIPS (YELLOW)   HARBOUR BOATS (WHITE)   ROCK POOL CAR PARK (CHARCOAL) and LIGHTHOUSE lurking behind the Norfolk Pines (INDIGO)

CARGO FISH AND CHIPS
This place has a great position at the north-west corner of the harbour. In busy times there are at least a dozen outside tables near the birds. Those birds surprise me - there are usually more - all going "CHEEPS! CHEEPS!! CHEEPS!!!" Seagulls speak English?? 
Gets better - the local PELICANS often engage in the begging stakes. And some are BIG dudes.
You can get better value greasies up MAIN ST, but those joints don't have this outlook + the avian entertainment.

MOVING EAST ALONG THE HARBOUR
Lotsa private boats and commercial craft. 
The COASTAL WALK goes right along the harbourside. 

KIAMA HARBOUR from the east. CARGO FISH AND CHIPS is prominent in the middle-background.
 Abt 25% of those boats are CHARTER FISHING BOATS - these pick up customers particularly on weekends for a few hours of offshore drinking, telling lies and ..... occasionally fishing. Sounds like a fun time to me.


Local kids do the jump into the harbour thing on a hot day, near one of those CHARTER FISHING BOATS.

There are a few trawlers out of KIAMA but this is no commercial fishing fleet port. The few provide fresh fish to the FISH MARKET at the north-east corner of the harbour area.

The harbour has a good boat ramp which attracts private boaties from far and wide. These people are making use of the WASHING BAY a bit uphill from the ramp. Plenty of car and trailer parking adjacent this area.

FISHING AT KIAMA HARBOUR 
I see a lot of people dipping a line here. But I have never seen anyone haul a fish in. So I can't really say if this is a gun place to wet a line.


KIAMA ROCK POOL
Immediately east of KIAMA HARBOUR is this small but rather nice rock pool - very popular with locals and visitors. Has a fairly big parking area and change sheds.


Looking north across to BOMBO (north) HEADLAND - BASS POINT beyond. 
In big seas, waves break into the ROCK POOL, making things a bit exciting. In the same conditions the wave you can see mid-left becomes surfable - but once again it is fairly rubbishy, only ridden because it is rarely there.

You are not far from KIAMA LIGHTHOUSE here. The (BIG) BLOWHOLE is just out of frame to its left. 
The COASTAL WALKING TRACK goes up there.

KIAMA HARBOUR CABINS overlook the pool area, ocean,  and along the road at right THE HARBOUR. I'm gonna stay here one day.


KIAMA LIGHTHOUSE
This is right at the top of the headland. There is a fair bit of lot and street parking around but in busy times the council opens up the adjacent reserve for extra spots. 
The lighthouse is not open to visitors.


THE (BIG) BLOWHOLE
The BLOWHOLE is pretty adjacent the LIGHTHOUSE and really attracts the visitors. 

Ideal conditions are a big southerly swell and higher tide levels. Pretty benign on this day, but I have seen it pumping water higher than the LIGHTHOUSE. All people in these shots would get real wet.
Over the years, the bore has increased, meaning bigger swells required. 

Back in my surfing days we would amuse ourselves when no waves were around by jumping into the entrance cut - abt a 12m drop. Seemed like a fun idea at the time, but recently a 16yo girl badly injured her back doing same.


I had no pix of the BLOWHOLE in angry seas so I pinched this great one from DESTINATION KIAMA. You wouldn't want to be jumping into the entrance cut in these conditions.


Wow!


BLOWHOLE POINT extends a lot further out to sea than the BLOWHOLE itself. You can spend a 30+ minutes wandering around - longer if you are fishing (I counted 10 fishermen on the original - you may be able to see them if you can click-expand image). Whether wandering or fishing please be careful - and read my section on ROCK SAFETY below.

ROCK SAFETY
Dozens of rock-explorers and rock fishermen are swept to their DEATHS in Australia each year. Sadly KIAMA is not exempt. Some years back a dozen Asians were swept off those rocks above. Most couldn't swim. And there have been many other instances in different parts of the municipality. 
Some tips:
- if rock fishing always wear the compulsory life jacket
- beware of ROGUE WAVES which come along every now and then and can be TWICE the size of the average swell. This is what got the Asians.
- if swept into the water don't try to climb back onto the rocks - most deaths occur when people are smashed against the rocks, knocked cold and drown. Instead swim out away from the rocks. tread water (a minimal effort activity even the poorest swimmer can do for hours - if you can't swim at all you shouldn't have been on the rocks) and raise a hand in the air (the universal HELP signal). A surfer or competent nearby rough water swimmer will soon pick you up. KIAMA SLSC dudes and dudettes have been training for years to do this sort of thing and are itching for a chance to help. The club has a JET POWERED RESCUE BOAT, several OUTBOARD POWERED RUBBER DUCKIES and even more RESCUE BOARDS. Latest additions - several JET SKIS towing a RESCUE SLED. A RESCUE HELICOPTER is stationed at nearby ALBION PARK AIRFIELD and there are often NAVY 'COPTERS passing.
Even simpler, someone on the rocks may throw you one of the many FLOATATION DEVICES the council installed in tricky rock areas around the municipality after the Asian tragedy.
Don't freak about SHARKS when in the water - you have more chance of being struck by lightning than nibbled by a noah. I surfed for 40 years, often in the sharkiest places, and never had trouble.
HYPOTHERMIA shouldn't be a problem - even in KIAMA'S coldest winter water this will take several hours to kick in - you should be out and dry long before. 


SLSC dudette searches for a potential CPR partner. 
It is not a real good idea to ask if she needs a CPR practice-partner unless you are a sun-bronzed surfer-grommet (which I haven't been since the early  1960s) - these ladies are taught some effective chop-sockie moves to disengage panicking swimmers who grab them during a rescue. Don't ask how I know this.


SLSC dudes practice rough water rescue skills


Council supplied rock rescue device. I can see one top of the headland 3 pix up page.


LIGHTHOUSE TO STORM BAY

The BLOWHOLE HEADLAND
 - has quite a few activity zones.
1-council run KIAMA HARBOUR CABINS   2 -council tennis courts   3-MILK AND HONEY/DIGGIES cafe+TOURIST OFFICE    4-PILOTS COTTAGE MUSEUM    5-southern lawn area for picknicking etc. The COASTAL WALKING TRACK goes right along here to STORM BAY/
My inadequate cropping tool shows BLACK BEACH BAY far left and the BLOWHOLE far bottom right. The HARBOUR AREA also comes out well.

MILK AND HONEY CAFE (now DIGGIES)
When I last visited, MILK AND HONEY was still operating. But later DIGGIES from WOLLONGONG took over. They have the same great position with many outside tables and outlooks in several directions, but the fit-out of course is new. Go to the website.
This place is less than 100m downhill to the west of the LIGHTHOUSE and is a very pleasant place to spend time.

Given the position, cafe understandably popular.

KIAMA VISITORS' TOURIST INFORMATION OFFICE
This shares the same building as DIGGIES (nearer the road). Has a bunch of touristy stuff for sale plus can book you into accommodation, functions etc not only in the KIAMA area but just about anywhere in NSW. Lotsa maps, brochures and the ladies are a font of verbal information.

PILOTS COTTAGE MUSEUM
Immediately west of DIGGIES, this place is the usual time bandit in that you allocate it maybe 20 minutes and stagger our several hours later overwhelmed with info and the displays of regional history, particularly in relation to timber-getting, fishing and the basalt quarrying industry.\


The PILOT'S COTTAGE back in the day when the pilot did live there (lotsa bluestone ships loaded at the harbour, needed a pilot - a railway line from one of the quarries ran down the middle of the main street to those loading gantries).

STORM BAY
STORM BAY is back towards town and abt. 300m west of the LIGHTHOUSE which is lurking behind those far trees. It indeed can get real stormy - if you look at the aerial shot of THE BLOWHOLE 12 images up page, it is a turmoil of white water. But more often it looks like above.
I have seen a fair few SCUBA DIVERS here - I think a local scuba school uses this as home base.
 Snorkelling is also popular, and kids....


....like to play jump in the water off the rock platform middle-right in the pic above this.

THE SHOWGROUND
This is immediately south of STORM BAY.


Actually there are TWO showgrounds - #1 nearest STORM BAY, and #2 adjacent the north end of SURF BEACH. The COASTAL WALKING TRACK goes around the sea-side of both - it's actually quite a drop from #1 to the ocean. Some good rocks there but mainly the domain of fishermen. Some rock jumpers closer to SURF BEACH.
It's 360m in a straight line between the place markers for STORM BAY and SURF BEACH.


AFTER CROSSING SURF BEACH and KENDALLS BEACH to its south, you then come to....


....LITTLE BLOWHOLE BAY (or DOLPHIN COVE as one overlooking airbnb place calls it).
This bay is between KENDALLS BEACH and EASTS BEACH. The camera is on KALUA HEAD which is KENDALLS' southern headland - and is looking south across the bay at THE LITTLE BLOWHOLE (see below) and MARSDEN HEAD which is the big northern headland of EASTS BCH.
The COAST WALKING TRACK comes via the camera's headland - then moves out to BOANYO AVE. to go south (those rocks are impassable - there is a big gorge (close right) leading into FRYERS CAVE which goes in so far I have never had the courage to swim up there even in the calmest seas. Some say it goes thru to just short of KENDALLS). 
The gorge is a favourite spot for ....

....thrill seeking cliff jumpers. There have been a few good rescues of these maniacs (the 15m drop's a little north of my comfort zone - even when I was young and stupid) over the years. Rock fishermen tend to get into trouble here too.

This bay gets a lot of rock fishermen - they seem to do akay particularly when the Jewfish are running (usually after a storm when waves are big, chopping up the plentiful weed near the rocks).
The bay is also good for snorkelling and scuba diving. There are also ABALONE although they are a bit deep for snorkellers (strict bag limits -scuba divers are not allowed to get them. Licensed abalone divers use air lines from compressors in boats - stay down for ages and take hundreds - but they always leave enough to regenerate). 
Abalone are delicious on the BBQ. 
I used to put in a lobster pot each night - often got zero, sometimes over a dozen. When they were around (less often than not) I knew several good cracks where I could grab them when snorkelling.


LITTLE BLOWHOLE
Waves move up a gutter in the rock platform (CHARCOAL ARROW) and explode up thru a vent in the rock (YELLOW) from the cave underneath. Best conditions are in the higher part of the tide when there is a good north-easterly swell working. Pretty benign here - I have seen it blowing higher than the houses behind.

One time a couple of school teachers decided to amuse their excursion class by placing over the vent one of those big metal ice cream containers the shops take delivery of bulk stuff from the factory. The blow sent it 30m in the air - kids diving every which way to dodge its landing. 
Jeez - those fun school teachers!
Another time I lost a lobster pot after an overnight storm - thought it might be in the blowhole cave so waited 'til the swell diminished and swam in for a look. Zero visibility - the cave was filled with finely chopped up sea weed - was like swimming in a huge tea pot. Never found the pot.
When waves break in the cave, vibrations often spread around the surrounding neighbourhood. One resident had to uninstall a brass door knocker because it knocked in response to the vibrations.

The COASTAL WALING TRACK goes right by the LITTLE BLOWHOLE then heads east (left above) around MARSDEN HEAD to EASTS BEACH.



VIEWPOINTS

With so many headlands and hills KIAMA isn't lacking in good viewpoints. I personally think the view north across to BLOWHOLE POINT, the SHOWGROUND, SURF BEACH etc. from KALEULA HEADLAND immediately south of KENDALLS BEACH takes some beating. As does that from BLOWHOLE POINT both north and south. Not to mention the top of PHEASANT'S POINT north over BOMBO BCH or from the top of  MINNAMURRA ST just west of the MINERS' COTTAGES to the east over the HARBOUR and BLOWHOLE POINT.
But for most people the area's undisputed top viewpoint is.....

....SADDLEBACK MOUNTAIN LOOKOUT
SADDLEBACK is a genuine mountain (at least in Australian terms where mountains ain't high) - at 600m (2000ft) it's a outlier of the ILLAWARRA ESCARPMENT, the heavily dissected plateau backing this area.
The road up here varies from moderate to steep - gets REAL steep the last 500m which we see above. I have come up here often on a bicycle, but the only time I have ridden all the way was early in my triathlon period when I was younger and real fit. But I had to zig-zag this last 500m.


Not flat.


The top has walkways to several viewpoint area.

This one looks south towards 7 MILE BEACH which stetches from GEROA (12km south of KIAMA) to SHOALHAVERN HEADS. That's MOUNT COOLANGATTA mid-background right.

Just before the top, a path to the right leads to this north-east looking viewpoint. It was a bit hazy on the day of the pic - things might be clearer if you can click-expand image. YELLOW shows the position of BASS POINT near SHELLHARBOUR - INDIGO the cliffs of the ROYAL NATIONAL PARK just south of SYDNEY.
Note the lovely hilly countryside close to the camera. Classic dairy farming country although some farms are now hobby farms for retirees and rich dudes from SYDNEY.


One of the closer farm homesteads.


A western facing viewpoint looks towards NOORINAN MTN which is slightly higher than the lookout area at 662m. A track starts near camera and leads across the lower saddle and then up on top of the distant area. From there you can join the trekking tracks of BARREN GROUNDS PLATEAU which go for miles.

LOWER VIEWPOINTS
There are several good outlooks on the way down the mountain. This one is only 1500m short of the HIGH SCHOOL, just where the road steepens in its descent into town. YELLOW points at BLOWHOLE POINT/KIAMA LIGHTHOUSE.



KIAMA COASTAL WALKING PATH
This has become very popular with local and particularly visitors since the council negotiated with southern landowners and improved the track about 10 years ago. Prior to that it did exist - I walked tje southern section with a friend abt 20 years ago (and have used the northern and central sections for more than 40 years): had to ignore crossing private farm property, climbing seaside cliffs and charging thru a railway tunnel back then.
There are 3 parts to the track: THE NORTHERN MINNAMURRA TO KIAMA section; THE MID SECTION THRU TOWN; and THE SOUTHERN LOVES BAY TO WERRI BEACH section.

THE NORTHERN MINNAMURRA TO KIAMA SECTION.


If you have your bicycle, the paved part starts a little uphill from the spot in the pix below, off CARSON PLACE. You can ride all the way into KIAMA on good paved surfaces except at JONES BCH and BOMBO BCH where you should take the roads immediately behind.
If walking, you can start a few hundred meters downhill to the north at....



....JAMES OATS RESERVE at the southern end of MINNAMURRA INLET where the river enters the sea just out of frame left. The track goes over the headland in background, where at the top....


....you get a great view of JONES BEACH (KIAMA DOWNS). The best bet is to head along the beach (first INDIGO ARROW) and then take the road at the far end which goes up and along the headland (left INDIGO ARROW) where in the vicinity of the YELLOW ARROW (which also is the approx location of CATHEDRAL ROCKS (see next pic) it changes to a concrete path which goes past the big wave surfing spot (THE BONEYARD) to bring you out above BOMBO BEACH 2 pix down.

CATHEDRAL ROCKS
The YELLOW ARROW in the previous shot is near where the coastal track route takes you past CATHEDRAL ROCKS - one of the most painted and photographed sections of the KIAMA coast.
CATHEDRAL ROCKS from the south - JONES BEACH and the headland between JONES and MINNAMURRA behind. That's BASS POINT just south of SHELLHARBOUR far background.



No shortage of route signs - this one at the north end of BOMBO BEACH

BOMBO BEACH. Once again walk along the sand. At the far end you can usually walk around the seaside rocks below the top half of the tide unless the swell is big. If so, take the road UP OVER the headland (YELLOW) which will dump you into KIAMA at the MINERS COTTAGES and close to BLACK BEACH.



THE MID SECTION THRU TOWN. 
Take the path in back of BLACK BEACH, stop for a feed of greasies at CARGO FISH AND CHIPS, walk along the harbourside to the ROCK POOL, go uphill to the BLOWHOLE. Then go down the headland to STORM BAY, around the SHOWGROUND PERIMETER to SURF BEACH and then over to and along KENDALL'S BEACH. From there make your way to THE LITTLE BLOWHOLE, then head around the headland to and across EASTS BEACH, and finally make your way around the southern headland to the beginning of the 3rd section of the track at LOVES BAY. You may find the final few hundred meters easier to do on the roads adjacent the reserve.


THE SOUTHERN LOVES BAY TO WERRI SECTION
The council improved track starts at a parking area at the end of ELANORA RD KIAMA HEIGHTS. 

It's pretty clear where the track goes. I confess I haven't walked this section since it has been improved. But I remember lovely dairy country, some great seaside cliffs and rock platforms and various gradients up to pretty steep.


CAVEAT - the walk ends at WERRI BEACH and to access the beach and get to parking areas, bus stops (services are not very frequent) or to continue your walk to GERRINGONG STATION you need to cross the entrance to WERRI LAGOON. Normally this is no problem - 95% of the time the entrance is shut. 4% shallow because of minimal flow, but in rare times after heavy rain it is impassable. You have no real option but to retrace your steps north to LOVES BAY.

There are rest rooms adjacent the small beach parking area at the end of the walk.
If you are hungry, there is a fish and chip shop about 900m along the beach road if you are feeling peckish.
There is a bus stop opposite the FISH AND CHIPS SHOP - the #126 goes to KIAMA STATION.
GERRIGONG RAIL STATION is a hell of a distance from the end of the COASTAL TRACK - abt 3.6km. Best walk along lengthy WERRI BEACH, turn inland and walk up the hill to GERRINGONG MAIN ST, walk down it and turn right at BELINDA ST, off which you will find the station after 900m. You may be able to catch a bus from the beach road to here but I will leave that to your research - I know that a south going 126 goes thru to GEROA BEACH which is the north end of 7 MILE BEACH and is a destination worth exploring in itself.
GERRINGONG MAIN ST is a kinda mini KIAMA MAIN ST - quite touristy with several good places to graze. It is fairly high above sea level so some places have great views from outside tables. 





MARKETS
KIAMA MAKERS AND GROWERS MARKETS - run the 4th Saturday of the month at BLACK BEACH RESERVE/THE FLATS.
So too does KIAMA SEASIDE MARKETS on the 3rd Sunday of the month.




Crowds vary - my visit was at a pretty quiet time but on busy weekends the stalls can cover half the flat and line most of BLACK BEACH's path. This shows better on a shot below I stole from the official website.



KIAMA FARMERS' MARKETS runs in CORONATION PARK behind SURF BEACH each Wednesday.
Apples behind the sand. Sweet.