Along the rocky outcrops of Kiama in New South Wales, Australia, there is a natural phenomenon waiting to erupt. No, it’s not a volcano—it’s a blowhole. Located near the famous Kiama Lighthouse, Blowhole Point garners a lot of attention from tourists, nearly 600,000 annually. Though you might not always get to see the Kiama Blowhole go off, when you do, you will want to talk about it for years afterwards. When traveling through NSW, be sure to make Kiama a destination for the abundance natural beauty and attractions.
Naturally, the magnet that brings many travelers to Kiama is the coastline. Riddled with volcanic rock and choppy seas, it is a splendid sight. The occurrence of blowholes makes it all the more appealing. What is a blowhole, you ask? Geologically speaking, a blowhole is likely to occur in porous rock. There is often a channel that has a vertical outlet. When water rushes into this shaft at a high speed, it gets pressurized as it’s pushed upwards. You will hear the whoosh of air first then witness a blast of water that shoots high into the sky.
The locals are more than happy to give advice when it comes to seeing the Kiama blowhole perform at its very best. Apparently, the best time to see the blowhole is during low tide, because there’s more of a spray. Another useful tip is that the strength of the burst depends greatly on the wind direction and speed (a southerly gale being the best condition). You need a rather windy day to produce the best blow. Sunny days are great to enjoy the scenery, but you won’t see as big a spout. Yet, you can return multiple times throughout the day to see how the blowhole changes hour by hour. Since Blowhole Point is also illuminated until 1AM, nighttime is an ideal time to experience the eruption.
There’s also the “Little Blowhole” near the Kiama blowhole. It’s best to take the 10 minute drive instead of walking, though that’s also doable. Head south from the main spectacle towards Tingira Crescent. Should the big one be faulty on the day you go, chances are the little one will fire off instead. It might not be as miraculous, but it’s far more consistent and looks really cool.
The best time to see the Kiama blowhole is, undoubtedly, off-season. During the peak tourist times there are so many people teeming around the vicinity that even if the blowhole goes off, you might not see anything at all. Most visitors agree that mid-March is a decent time to see the water spout. For the thrill seekers, heading out during a thunderstorm might satisfy your need for a rush.
For those who enjoy hiking the coastline, Blowhole Point is just one of the many waypoints along the Kiama Coast Walk. Kiama is quite sylvan. Norfolk pines blanket the rolling land, and waves lap at the pristine beaches. The world seems boundless here when standing on the cliffs. Through May to November, Kiama becomes a focal point for whale watching. You can walk the coast and see the majestic creatures as they surface and clear their own blowholes, or you can enjoy a leisurely cruise. Due to the popularity, if you intend to go whale-watching, make your reservations way in advance.
Proud of its history, Kiama also has the Pilots Cottage Museum, near the visitor information center. The Cottage was originally constructed in 1881 when lumber and basalt were Kiama’s main exports. Other yearly events to consider heading to this colorful location for include the Folk by the Sea festival in September. Step into a two-day artistic display or music, poetry and dance. Or experience a crucial piece of NSW’s wine country.
Kiama is also home to delectable food:
Amaki Cottage Café – hailed as a go-to for breakfast and lunch, this cozy eatery offers fresh salads, homemade desserts and splendid views of Hindmarsh Park. Locals rave about the coffee.
The Blue Swimmer Restaurant – Friendly staff, relaxing atmosphere and culinary delights. Though the Blue Swimmer Restaurant only serves dinner on Friday and Saturday, the seafood entrees are not to be missed. They also offer an impressive array of craft beers.
The Hungry Monkey – Up for some vegetarian? Despite the name, this location doesn’t monkey around when it comes to their service and food. Locals and tourists alike find themselves addicted to the staff and the quality of the meals.
Though you might find yourself headed to Kiama in New South Wales for the explosiveness of the blowholes, there is plenty of adventure to be had. Not only are the views gorgeous, the region is alive with events year around. Kiama, come for the blowholes, leaving glowing like the lighthouse.