Everyone’s familiar with Kiama’s iconic ocean blowhole which is easily the most impressive in NSW. You may have already visited it on a school or family trip in which case you’re well aware of why it’s so popular. But you may not know that it’s also the largest ocean blowhole in the world. One of many geological wonders sprinkled around NSW, this popular spot in Kiama attracts over 1 million people every year and under the right conditions the blowhole can spray 50 litres of water up to 30 metres in the air. It’s also conveniently located near Kiama Lighthouse and the rock pool so you can see all the local favourites simultaneously.
The quaint coastal town of Kiama only has a single main street and the famous blowhole in terms of touristy attractions, but despite that, it’s increasingly becoming a coveted spot in and around NSW, even coming out victorious as the most liveable town in Australia in 2023.
According to the placard at the location, ocean waves surge through the tunnels, building pressure in the underground chamber and eventually erupting in an enthralling spray into the sky. As the name suggests, blowholes can move air rapidly. The sheer size and force of the blowhole is a sight to behold but it also carries a huge amount of geological significance. The foundations of the blowhole were formed from basalt volcanic lava flows about 260 million years ago and was originally discovered by local Aboriginals who called it “Khanterinte.”
If you’re planning to visit, there’s also a smaller, lesser-known blowhole simply called Little Blowhole because our penchant for naming things is second to none. While not as impressive as its popular sibling, it’s known to be a lot more consistent and can be seen from a viewing platform or on the rocky foreshore.
How to get there
The blowhole is a short 15-minute walk from Kiama station and has picnic and parking areas and a rock pool nearby to splash around in. It’s located around a 2-hour drive from Sydney and you can also get a direct train from Central to Kiama in roughly the same amount of time.
The town of Kiama sits right on the water and features many cosy cafes and eateries along the main road. It’s also home to a number of beaches and ocean pools with Surf Beach being the closest to the main street and shops.