Thursday, February 23, 2017

Kiama / A Date Day

We travelled north about 90 minutes to Kiama to meet up with friends of mine who were holidaying there with their daughter and her twins (visiting from New York) and one of their sons.
I have known them for 50 years.
On the way we stopped off in Nowra (two quilt/fabric stores) and Berry (two quilt/fabric stores, one book shop and one of our favorite coffee stops). I somehow resisted a visit to the eclectic wine store in that town.
They always have a great range of little known New Zealand Pinot Noirs to choose from.
Kiama was always a favourite holiday destination for those living in southern Sydney. Easts Beach which was overlooked by our host's rental house was the place to go. Back then it was a camping and caravan park. Now it seems to be filled with cabins.

Better roads and an electrified train link has turned the town into a easy day trip from Sydney and even a dormitory suburb of Wollongong and probably, for some, Sydney.
The main tourist attraction has always been the blow hole.
It turns on a spectacular display when the sea conditions are right.
But Kiama has a interesting history as well.
In the early 1800s cedar getters arrived to harvest timber from the dense temperate rain forests that covered rolling hills. When this was gone settlers tried their hand at wheat farming on the 'denuded' landscape which failed. Dairying then became the mainstay. Some dairy farms remain to this day.

Kiama sits on a bed of basalt formed by two volcanic eruptions 240 million years and 66 million years ago and was a valuable commodity for a growing colony with the blue metal used to pave Sydney's roads and as ballast for its railways.
In the early 20th century it became a rollicking mining town with the basalt being shipped north to Sydney from its man made harbour.
There are still active quarries in the region.
It was a lovely day sitting on the balcony overlooking the ocean eating seafood and steak and drinking good Margan wine.

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