Just 90 minutes south of Sydney is the bustling seaside town of Kiama and that is where we are started our next hiking adventure! I headed to Loves Beach to start the Kiama Coast Walk – a 12km return hike along the coastline.
The full walk is a 20km stretch of unbroken coastline starting at the Minnamurra River, passing by Kiama’s famous blowholes and ending in the stunning seaside town of Gerringong. The walk is broken into three sections and today we are hiking the southern section (for the full rundown on the entire walk, visit Kiama’s website).
Starting at Loves Beach we take advantage of the facilities (the only restroom on this section of the walk) and then make our way to the track, following along the edge of the beach before trekking up the steep hillside ahead of us. Atop the first hill we begin to see markers, a nice reminder of how many kilometres we have ahead of us, and also a set of totem poles acknowledging the traditional custodians of this land, the Wodi-Wodi and Dharawal people.
The pathway is lush green grass, is well maintained and makes for very easy walking, the difficulty rating on this walk comes from its many hills that we continue to traverse as we continue on the path along the coastline.
Sandwiched between green rolling hills and dramatic rugged coastlines there is basically no shelter along this walk so make sure you come prepared! I ended up going home with some serious sunburn and a lovely midriff stripe!
Walking behind large sections of farmland you can feel completely isolated from the rest of the world here and the feeling is absolutely freeing! We watched Magpies and Nankeen Kestrels sailing in the sea breeze, and also met the occasional cow along our way.
Rounding each point brings a new sweeping view of cliff faces and crashing waves, often intersected by a passing train as commuters are whisked through the tunnels that run under each hillside, popping out for only a brief moment before disappearing into the opposite hill. There is so much history here and there are signs all along the way that explain about the area in the early colonial days.
The hills began to feel harder and steeper the longer we went on and finally we came in sight of Dovecote house perched high up on the hill overlooking Gerringong and Werri Lagoon. From here it was only a short walk down hill to the end point of this section of the walk to Werri Beach.
At the end of the 6km mark we sat down in the grass, took in the beautiful scenery, and enjoyed a bite to eat. Now all that is left to do is to return back the way we came!
The walk back felt much easier, less uphill sections and the wind was in our backs pushing us along. The walk south had been into the headwind the entire time, so this was a very welcome relief. I would even suggest to anyone looking to do the full walk to start in the south, it really made that big of a difference.
The walk is dog friendly, and we passed many groups of people out enjoying the sunshine, including large groups of school kids as we went on a weekday. The weekends I imagine this place would be packed!
Heading back to Loves Beach we stopped and took our shoes off for a dip in the cool water before heading back to the cars. I’d highly recommend this walk to anyone, the hardest part is endurance, and any experienced hiker will have no troubles with this at all.
I’m hoping to come back another day and complete the full 20km section but for now this was a great sample of the incredible stretch of coastline between Kiama and Gerringong.