Spectacular scenery, sweeping views, sumptuous sunsets and the great Australian tradition of sun, sand and surf await hikers on the Kiama Coastal Walk, on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia.
The stunning hike meanders through beautiful bays and beaches and offers the moderately fit hiker a perfect escape from city life, as well as a fantastic opportunity for contemplation, nature appreciation, wildlife viewing and photography.
Hikers can walk from north to south or south to north along a selection of different, connecting trails on a relatively easy, undulating path. There are some uphill sections, but the path is not too strenuous and the stunning scenery will encourage breaks for rests and photographs.
Furthermore, hikers can reward themselves with a refreshing dip in the ocean, or an exciting bodysurf, at one of the many stunning beaches which dot the route and are rarely crowded.
Hikers can choose from various routes.
Minnamurra to Gerringong – about 20km in total.
If you’re feeling fit, try the long hike. Start early in the morning to avoid the heat. Feel the sun on your back as you wander through Jones Beach, Cathedral Rocks, Bombo Beach and the suburbs of Kiama, where you can stop for a coffee or a snack. Continue towards the lighthouse and Kiama’s famous Blowhole.
If you have time, take a detour to the Boneyard and Spring Creek Wetlands or linger at Bombo headland for some great photo opportunities.
Kiama Blowhole to Gerringong – about 11km
The next section of the walk takes you through the suburbs and beaches of the town of Kiama, where you can cool off with a refreshing dip in the ocean. Keep in mind, a dip in the ocean here will be VERY fresh in winter – at least you’ll know you’re alive.
Kiama Heights to Gerringong – 6km
Quaint and friendly Easts Beach marks the end of suburbia and the beginning of the most beautiful section of the hike. Beachside houses make way for rolling green hills and rugged cliff faces which overlook the rocky bays of the coast and provide the perfect vantage point to watch whales as they migrate to breeding grounds between May and October. It’s amazing how close they swim to shore.
Stop to explore many of the bays and hidden caves, as well as the small patch of rainforest which serves as a reminder of the vegetation which covered the area before it was cleared for agriculture.
This section of the hike must be savoured. Enjoy it at your own pace before you descend to Werri Lagoon and the final beach of the hike, Werri Beach. You may have to remove your shoes to wade across the mouth of Werri Lagoon, but you can leave them off and feel the sand between your toes as you stroll to the southern end of the beach. Reward yourself with a swim before climbing the headland for more amazing views and a short stroll into the town of Gerringong, where eateries await.
Reflect on a beautiful experience before hopping on the train from Gerringong for the short trip back to Kiama.
Transport: Trains run from Central Station, in Sydney, to Kiama. Kiama is the last stop on this line. To start the long walk from Minnamurra, get off the train at Minnamaurra (north of Kiama) and follow the signs to the Coastal Walk (start early in the morning).
To start at Kiama, get off the train at Kiama, walk down the street to the small harbour and turn right- you have started.
Trains also run between Gerringong and Kiama, but not very often. Check the timetable at http://www.transportnsw.info for the timetable.