Skip to content

KIAMA, NEW SOUTH WALES (PHOTOS)

January 12, 2015

KIAMA, NEW SOUTH WALES (PHOTOS)

Kiama is a township 120 kilometers south of Sydney in the Illawarra, New South Wales, Australia in the Municipality of Kiama. At the 2006 census, Kiama had a population of 12,286 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.

Kiama 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.

During the colonisation of Australia, the Kiama area was settled by wheat farmers as the soil was volcanic and rain-swept unlike most of Australia. Early Jamberoo was the population centre from about 1830 to the 1860s and when the wheat died, the farmers switched to dairying. During this period Kiama became the best example of ‘chain migration’ in Australia as many assisted migrants came from Northern Ireland on clearing leases and eventually half the marriages in the Kiama Anglican Church in a hundred years had Northern Irish Protestant ancestry. Kiama was one of the birthplaces of the Australian dairy industry with the first Dairy Factory (The Kiama Pioneer Factory) and first Dairy Co-operative in Australia. There were three original major land grants, Thomas Surfleet Kendall (son of lapsed missionary Reverend Thomas Kendall), Michael Hindmarsh and Matthew Cignarella, all of which married sisters of the Rutter family. The Kendalls were cousins of Henry Kendall, the famous Australian poet. The Kendall name is remembered today in several places such as the spooky Kendall Cemetery in Kiama Heights and Kendalls Beach. The Hindmarshs are remembered in Kiama’s main park, Hindmarsh Park, and after 10 generations still live on their original land.

Kiama’s next real population boom was powered by its quarries. Many Irish Catholics worked in the Kiama quarries. The basalt formed by two volcanic eruptions 240 million years and 66 million years ago was a valuable commodity for a growing colony, with the blue metal used to pave Sydney’s roads and as ballast for its railways. It was very similar to the basalt found in Northern Ireland, where the Giant’s Causeway is a famous example. There are still active quarries in the Kiama area, including the N.S.W. Railway Quarry, and the remnants of earlier quarries are easily visible throughout the town and often have facilities built inside them such as the Kiama Leisure Centre. One particular quarry, the Bombo Headland, is of scientific importance as it is the site of the discovery (in 1926) of the longest known geomagnetic polarity interval called the Kiaman Reverse Superchron.

When Kiama Harbour was hollowed out, after 17 years hard work, and flooded in 1876, larger steamers such as from the Illawarra Steam Navigation Company could enter and a flourishing sea trade followed. The Kiama Pilot’s Cottage was finished in 1881 and the Kiama Lighthouse in 1887. Kiama really hit its boom time in this period, from 1890 until the Great Depression in 1927, when nearly all the quarries closed. It was a prosperous and happy time well recorded in the local newspaper, the Kiama Independent and the photographs of the Cocks Photographic Studio, two valuable resources which tell most of the Kiama story.

Over time tourism and housing growth turned Kiama into a dormitory suburb (where people travelled away to work) and summer tourist spot. Kiama is a tourism haven in summer, during which its population triples. The Kiama Pilot’s Cottage is now a local history museum.

The name “Kiama” is derived from the Aboriginal word “kiarama“, which means “Place where the sea makes a noise”. Kiama is also known as the place where the mountains touch the sea.This is in reference to the Kiama Blowhole which attracts a large number of visitors each year. The “Little Blowhole” is a lesser known blowhole as it does not share the same central location or the scale associated with the larger Kiama Blowhole. The Little Blowhole is on a headland south of the central part of Kiama between Easts and Kendalls Beaches.

WELCOME TO KIAMA  - KIAMA RAILWAY STATION

WELCOME TO KIAMA – KIAMA RAILWAY STATION

BLOWHOLE POINT

BLOWHOLE POINT

KIAMA BLOWHOLE

KIAMA BLOWHOLE

KIAMA BLOWHOLE

KIAMA BLOWHOLE

KIAMA

KIAMA

KIAMA

KIAMA

KIAMA

KIAMA

KIAMA

KIAMA

KIAMA  -  WATER RUSHING INTO THE BLOWHOLE

KIAMA – WATER RUSHING INTO THE BLOWHOLE

KIAMA BLOWHOLE

KIAMA BLOWHOLE

KIAMA BLOWHOLE

KIAMA BLOWHOL

KIAMA BLOWHOLE

KIAMA BLOWHOLE

KIAMA BLOWHOLE

KIAMA BLOWHOLE

KIAMA LIGHTHOUSE  -  Kiama Lighthouse, on Blowhole Point, was built in 1887and is situated close to the Kiama Blowhole. The point also contains a heritage pilot's cottage and a tourist information center. North West of the Blowhole is Kiama Harbour, home to fishing boats and seafood market where you can buy local fish. The point also contains seaside cabins and a wonderful rock pool.

KIAMA LIGHTHOUSE – Kiama Lighthouse, on Blowhole Point, was built in 1887and is situated close to the Kiama Blowhole. The point also contains a heritage pilot’s cottage and a tourist information center. North West of the Blowhole is Kiama Harbour, home to fishing boats and seafood market where you can buy local fish. The point also contains seaside cabins and a wonderful rock pool.

KIAMA WAR MEMORIAL  -  Commemorates Captain C. M. Stevenson who served in the South African (Boer) War

KIAMA WAR MEMORIAL – Commemorates Captain C. M. Stevenson who served in the South African (Boer) War

KIAMA POST OFFICE  -   The Italianate post office building was completed in 1878, it was designed by then-colonial architect James Barnet. A Victorian Classical Revival structure, its colonnades and tall, square clock tower contribute significantly to the townscape.

KIAMA POST OFFICE –
The Italianate post office building was completed in 1878, it was designed by then-colonial architect James Barnet. A Victorian Classical Revival structure, its colonnades and tall, square clock tower contribute significantly to the townscape.

KIAMA POST OFFICE  -   The Italianate post office building was completed in 1878, it was designed by then-colonial architect James Barnet. A Victorian Classical Revival structure, its colonnades and tall, square clock tower contribute significantly to the townscape.

KIAMA POST OFFICE –
The Italianate post office building was completed in 1878, it was designed by then-colonial architect James Barnet. A Victorian Classical Revival structure, its colonnades and tall, square clock tower contribute significantly to the townscape.

COUNCIL CHAMBERS  -   The Council Chambers on Manning St, Kiama was officially opened in 1915. Prior to this the Kiama Council met in a building on Terralong Street.

COUNCIL CHAMBERS –
The Council Chambers on Manning St, Kiama was officially opened in 1915. Prior to this the Kiama Council met in a building on Terralong Street.

PLAQUE IN FRONT OF THE COUNCIL CHAMBERS

PLAQUE IN FRONT OF THE COUNCIL CHAMBERS

WESTPAC BANK KIAMA  -  Westpac Bank, a two-storey stuccoed stone and brick building with wrought-iron railings and gate. Of the Victorian Classical Revival it opened in 1887 as the City Bank of Sydney.

WESTPAC BANK KIAMA – Westpac Bank, a two-storey stuccoed stone and brick building with wrought-iron railings and gate. Of the Victorian Classical Revival it opened in 1887 as the City Bank of Sydney.

KIAMA UNITING CHURCH  -  BUILT APPROXIMATELY IN 1850

KIAMA UNITING CHURCH – BUILT APPROXIMATELY IN 1850

 

 

NEXT TO THE KIAMA RAILWAY STATION YOU CAN SEE THIS OUTDOOR WALL MURAL

NEXT TO THE KIAMA RAILWAY STATION YOU CAN SEE THIS OUTDOOR WALL MURAL

 

 

PHOTOS:

LEONARD EPSTEIN

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: