Driving down the New South Wales South Coast along the Princes Highway, Australia's circumferential Highway 1, you reach the turnoff to the seaside town of Kiama, fewer than 40 kilometres south of the city of Wollongong.
For most New South Welshmen, Kiama is the place to which they bring visitors to see the Kiama Blowhole propel seawater several storeys high into the air, coming down in drenching spray.
Fenced viewing places surround the blowhole to bring people safely close to the natural spectacle along its rocky edges.
Stopover town and holiday place
Many who travel the Princes Highway from Sydney to destinations further south leave the Princes Highway to enter Kiama township, finding it a convenient stopover town.
A variety of shops welcomes the visitor right at the edge of the town and cafes and restaurants and an ice cream shop provide food and refreshment. More shops line Terralong St fronting the park and Kiama Harbour.
From being a stopover town or daytrip destination, Kiama also is very much a holiday place to stay for more than a day.
What to see and do in Kiama
On the way to the Kiama Blowhole, on the road that leads to the lighthouse at the point, the Kiama visitor centre is a source of detailed local information on what to see and do in this coastal town.
There are a number of beaches around town, many with good surfing breaks. Surf Beach, Kiama's main surfing beach, is surrounded by parkland and close to the shopping district.
The beach is patrolled on summer weekends and facilities include car park areas, toilets, barbecue sites, picnic tables, changing sheds, and child-friendly playground in the park.
Among other attractions in town are Cathedral Rocks, distinctive and mysterious rock formations; native gardens with picnic areas and rainforest walks; historic dry stone walls, most discovered more than a century ago; and yes, there's another blowhole in Kiama known as Little Blowhole located some three kilometres south of the township with water gushing to remarkable heights.
Nearby out-of-town attractions
Two popular attractions just out of Kiama are the Minnamurra Rainforest 15 kilometres west of Kiama and Jamberoo Action Park 13.3 kilometres northwest of town.
From the Minnamurra Rainforest Centre, which is within Budderoo National Park, go on a network of elevated walkways and paved tracks through rainforest up to Minnamurra Falls. The centre has a shop and cafe and picnic and barbecue facilities are available nearby.
Jamberoo Action Park features a variety of water-based rides, restaurants and cafes, mini golf course, and chairlift rides for bird's-eye views of the area.