Kiama Coast Walk
- Distance and time: 22km one-way, 6-7 hours. It is also broken up into three shorter sections of 5km-8km each.
- Level: Easy/Moderate. The track is well maintained and suitable for most fitness levels with a mix of sealed paths, grass tracks, beach walking and some gentle hills.
- Top attractions: Kiama Blowhole, Cathedral Rocks, Bombo Headland, Minnamurra River, Werri Beach.
- Dogs are allowed on-leash for most of the walk, excluding some sections of beach. There are also a number of off-leash areas along the way.
- Public toilets, drinking fountains, barbecues and other facilities are available at many points along the walk.
- Explore the Kiama Coast Walk map.
Coastal drama awaits on this wild and wonderful 22km trail, stretching from the Minnamurra River in the north to Werri Beach, in the town of Gerringong, in the south. Along the way lie ancient rock formations, record-breaking blowholes, windswept headlands and postcard-perfect beaches, not to mention plenty of places to refuel. If you’re visiting between May and November, keep watch for humpback whales; 25,000 of them steam along the east coast of Australia on their annual migration.
Rise early if you want to tackle the entire trail in a day – it’s possible, but many choose to break it up and complete just one of its three sections at a time. Whatever your plan, pack some good shoes, a refillable water bottle, sunscreen, a hat and your swimsuit; plenty of places to cool off appear en route.
North Section: Minnamurra River to Blowhole Point (8.4 kilometres, 3 hours)
Get your bearings at the Minnamurra Railway Station, where a handy map details your route south, with highlights along the way. You’ll begin walking around the headland, where a whale-watching platform offers views over Mystics and Killalea beaches. Continue along the gentle sweep of Jones Beach, backdropped by the sculptural forms of the volcanic Cathedral Rocks.
Feel like a break? Pebbly Boneyard beach offers a sheltered place to swim or sea-gaze, before you resume your walk around the Bombo Headland, its eerie basalt columns resembling a Game of Thrones set. Passing Bombo Beach you’ll soon reach Spring Creek Wetlands (birdwatchers will want to linger), from where it’s a short stroll in to Kiama Harbour, and that blowhole, among the largest of its kind in the world, with water shooting 30 metres into the sky – your photographic backdrop is heritage-listed Kiama Lighthouse. If this is where your journey ends, you might want to head to the Kiama Golf Club for a round on the 18-hole course.
Mid Section: Blowhole Point to Loves Bay (5 kilometres, 1.5 hours)
Before you begin, visit the 1881-built Pilot’s Cottage Museum to brush up on the region’s history. From here, your journey south takes in beaches and bays aplenty. First up is Surf Beach, where wave-riders tackle ‘The Wedge’ break (it’s safely patrolled from October to April); then calm Kendalls Beach, great for swimming; then sheltered Easts Beach.
Just before you arrive, you’ll pass the Little Blowhole – the spray may not be as sky-high as its bigger sister, but it’s more consistent thanks to regular swells. You’ll soon descend on Loves Bay, where the Illawarra cliffs tumble into the sea.
South Section: Loves Bay to Werri Beach (6 kilometres, 2 hours)
This is the least peopled section of the trail, but not because of any disappointing scenery. The hilly coastal trail includes markers detailing the region’s history and geology, and points you in the direction of tidal Werri Lagoon and, finally, Werri Beach. Consistent with its waves, this is a paradise for surfers, but also offers a lagoon and ocean pool at either end, for those wanting to take a more serene dip. At the southern headland you’ll also find a whale-watching platform, for spotting gentle giants out at sea during the season.