Do you need a dose of the freshest air to blow the cobwebs and negative thoughts out of your brain?
Do you need breathtaking scenery with beauty at every turn and rise?
Do you want to fall in love with ‘your’ new architecturally-designed coast shack with sweeping sea views?
If you said ‘Yes’ to even only one of those questions, you need to tie on your walking shoes and get yourself to Kiama on the New South Wales South Coast.
It is a stunner…
The Kiama Coast Walk hugs the coastline from just above Kiama, in a little place called Minnamurra, stretching all the way down to Gerringong. The walk is divided into three stages although two stages made more sense to us and the time we had available.
So here are the nuts and bolts about a very beautiful stroll along the Australian coastline.
Stage 1: Minnamurra to Kiama (heading North to South)
- Distance: 8.4km (out of 19.4km)
- Rating: Medium – probably due to a couple of short, steep ascents.
- Getting There/Away: Check the train timetable to catch a train from Kiama to Minnamurra. It is an incredibly easy transport option. The trip lasts all of seven minutes and costs the princely sum of $3.61. Too easy.
- Time: We started at 715am and finished around 1000am. That was a very leisurely pace with plenty of time standing around ooohhing and aaahhing.
- Maps & Signage: Collect a Coast Walk map from the Kiama Visitor Information Centre or download it from their website. Or simply keep the water on your left hand side. There are some directional and historical signs, but they are not plentiful.
- Terrain: Generally, the surface underfoot is very good with concrete paths, urban footpaths, mowed grass or beach sand. The beach sand is hard going, but comes with the territory if you are walking on the coast. There are quite a few stiff, steep climbs up and over ridges, but if you have a basic level of fitness, it is all doable if you just take your time.
- What to Wear:
- Footwear: Sneakers/joggers or those walking-type sandals would do the job.
- Hat: There is little shade and the sun is extra strong on the coast.
- Swimmers: Perhaps wear your swimmers under your walking clothes. You cross a number of gorgeous beaches (Jones Beach and Bombo Beach) and pass by ocean swimming pools, and they all looked very tempting in the heat.
- What to Bring:
- Water Bottle: There are some cafes along the route, but they are few and far between. It is important to stay hydrated.
- Camera: The views are spectacular, so bring your camera/phone to take home some memories of your stroll.
- Start Early: Catch an early train and walk as the sun is rising. You avoid the worst of the heat and you get the best of the day.
- Finish Your Walk at the Kiama Visitor Information Centre: The Centre is located near the Blowhole which will hopefully be putting on a show. The staff at the Centre will be able to tell you if the Werri Lagoon is open or closed for Day 2 of your walk and there is a very nice café behind the Centre (Diggies) to reward yourself with coffee and cake.
- Look Backwards: Don’t forget to pause and look behind, back where you have walked from. Some of the best views are in the rear view mirror.
- Something restorative and good for the soul happens when you combine walking with salty air and sea views. You can almost feel your body responding (in between the puffs and pants) and you know you are doing something good for body, mind and spirit.
- Friendly Locals: It was nice to chat with the locals as we walked past. They were all very happy and friendly and who can blame them when they live in such a beautiful part of the World.
- Happy Dogs: The dogs sprinting along the beaches in pursuit of elusive balls filled my heart with joy. Even better when they loped up to me to say good morning and get a quick pat before dashing off to mobe along a few pesky seagulls.
- Tempting Real Estate: Not only are the ocean views breathtaking, there is some equally magnificent real estate perched on cliff tops with, no doubt, eye-watering price tags. These homes are the stuff of dreams with their floor-to-ceiling plate-glass walls although I am quietly pleased that I don’t have to clean them! All that sea spray is the downside of the sea!
- Geology: If you are interested in rocks, this walk will be extra interesting. Many of the cliffs are ‘columnar’ formations made up of latite rock. The presence of this stone led to a booming quarrying industry with the excavated rock crushed and shipped to Sydney to be used in road construction. Or you can just admire the rock formations for their statuesque beauty.
What are you waiting for? Get yourself to Kiama ASAP!
Do you have a favourite coast walk?
What: The Kiama Coast Walk is 19.4km of crashing surf, soaring cliffs and gorgeousness.
Where: It starts 8.4km north of Kiama and officially finishes at Gerringong in the South. I understand that you can also extend your walk to Gerroa. I will have to look for a map.
When: If you are walking in Summer, I would recommend starting early in the morning to make the most of the cooler temperatures. As an alternative you may also be able to see the annual north-south humpback whale migration from early June through to late October.
Why: For a darn fine walk.
How: For an easy option connect to the start, or return to Kiama, by train. Just check the timetable so you are not hanging around too long waiting for a train.
Who: You would need a basic level of fitness for this walk. There are some stiff climbs and some heavy going across sandy beaches, however it is all doable if you pace yourself.
Related Posts: If you feel the need for more memorable coast walks, then check out the path that starts at Bondi Beach and ends at Manly Beach. What a walking pedigree!
Related Blogs: For an amazing selection of diverse walks and beautiful photos, have a look at Jo’s Monday Walks as she explores a whole range of coastal and inland paths in Portugal.
Read About It: Feel like a stroll in Australia? Lonely Planet are releasing a brand new guidebook next month to celebrate their pick of the 60 best day walks in Australia. Grab a copy from Book Depository.
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