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Kiama

(4.5/5 based on 1,400+ reviews for 7 attractions)
Things to do: nature, shopping
Kiama is a township 120 kilometres south of Sydney in the Illawarra, New South Wales, Australia in the Municipality of Kiama. At the 2011 census, Kiama had a population of 12,817 people. One of the main tourist attractions is the Kiama Blowhole. The seaside town features several popular surfing beaches, caravan parks and numerous alfresco cafes and restaurants. Its proximity to the south of Sydney makes it an attractive destination for a large number of day trippers.HistoryKiama was the site of two strong volcanic flows, called the Gerringong Volcanics, which came out of Saddleback Mountain, now a collapsed volcanic vent. The Kiama Blowhole is part of an erosion process on the more recent rock, formed into columnar basalt, or latite. Before the cedar-getters (a rowdy mob of ex-convicts, convicts and runaways, some with cedar licences and many without) had even arrived in the area, around 1810, the local Indigenous Australians, Wodi Wodi of the language group Dharawal, had been using the land for thousands of years, moving every six weeks or so in family groups. This is supported by a midden of shells at nearby Bass Point used for more than 17,000 years. During this time the whole coastal hills was covered in rainforest and cedar brush. There is evidence of a flourishing culture with intricate possum cloaks, a developed song and story cycle and a deep understanding of the many plants of the rainforest. Only a few remnants of rainforest survive along the escarpment in places like the Minnamurra Rainforest Centre. There is strong evidence of recent sea debris showing a mega-tsunami hit this coast around 1487 A.D according to Dr Ted Bryant of Wollongong University. The first European to explore the area was Kiarnay Smith who stopped there on 6 December 1797.
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