THE FAB Four! – Kiama, Gerringong, Gerroa and Berry. A DAY AWAY OR A WEEKEND STAY
Continuing on from our previous post Thrilling Wollongong, we continued our Southern getaway visiting the coastal towns of Kiama, Gerringong, Gerroa and the lovely village of Berry, all part of the Shoalhaven region of the New South Wales South Coast. Navigating around these picturesque towns is easy by car and all can be visited in one day. But really to appreciate them, we highly recommend an overnight stay. Accommodation in the Fab Four is plentiful from high end boutique hotels to motels, caravan parks, farm-stays and Airbnb. Every town has plenty of shops, restaurants, cafes, public parks, amenities and parking so the only decision is where to stay.
Getting there from Sydney: Less than a two hour drive on the M1or Princes Highway or train it from Central Station at Sydney (T4 Illawarra Line) to Kiama then change trains for the final leg from Kiama to Berry. It makes for quite a long trip but it is a spectacular journey in itself.
KIAMA – (First stop). Is derived from the Aboriginal word “kiarama”, which means “place where the sea makes a noise”. It is known for the Kiama Blowhole and Little Blowhole, 2 cliffside caverns where the seawater blasts through with a whooshing noise into the air as high as 20 metres or more. Time it right and you will be thrilled by these spectacular sights, so get ready with your camera for that picture perfect snap, groupie or selfie. Expect to get wet when it’s windy if you stand close to the blowhole. A working Lighthouse is located nearby to help with the navigation of these often treacherous seas and coastline. There are plenty of picnic areas around the park, you can bring your own food and enjoy it alongside the spectacular views. If walking is on your to do list then the Kiama Coastal Walk is a great option, taking you around the harbour and if you fancy a dip, the rock pool located at the end of the park is ideal. Kiama is also famous for various water sports and fishing.
Terralong and Manning Streets are the main strips in Kiama. Here you’ll find plenty of restaurants, shops, pubs, and cafes. Hindmarsh Park is a charming park perfect for a break. There is a major grocery store and a bottle shop located in the Kiama Village Shopping Mall with ample parking.
GERRINGONG – (Second stop 10 minutes from South of Kiama). The picturesque town of Gerringong, derived from the Aboriginal word meaning “fearful place”. The drive will take your breath away, a travellers trifecta of dramatic headlands, blue water and winding roads. It’s a smaller town compared to Kiama but delightful its own right. Dotted with lovely cafes, restaurants, shops and a pub, the heart of town is peaceful with a laidback feel. Open on the weekend is the Gerringong Museum and Historical Society, a must visit to check out the history of this town.
Sitting high overlooking the beautiful Gerringong Beach and Werri Beach, famous for surfing and and sun soaking. For safe swimming there is a large rock pool at the Boat Harbour park. Water activities can be sampled at the Werri Lagoon such as fishing and kayaking. Plenty of parking and public amenities. For whale watchers, the Gerringong Headland is the ideal place to see the whales migrating from late May through to July.
GERROA – (Third stop 10 minutes from Gerringong). Is the southernmost town in the Illawarra region located at the northern end of Seven Mile Beach (featured image) at the mouth of the Crooked River. Nature at her best, the scenic road leading into the heart of Gerroa is simply breathtaking with lush green fields and rolling hills. Seven Mile Beach is one of the top attractions, very spacious with wide golden sands, popular with surfers from beginners to pro. It’s also famous for bird watching, fishing, sun baking and long walks (7 – miles of it). Gerroa Park offers secluded picnic areas with ample parking and amenities.
BERRY – (Final Stop 15 minutes from Gerroa). A pleasant drive will deliver you to Berry, famous for its weekend market on the first Sunday of each month. You will also find antique shops, restaurants, cafes, tree lined streets and beautiful gardens. This quaint town was named after the explorer Alexander Berry who took up a land grant, becoming one of the first white settlers in the Shoalhaven area. Not to be missed here is the The Treat Factory, for all your sweet tooth desires, located on historic Old Creamery Lane. Another place which we never fail to visit is the famous Donut Van, their cinnamon donut is simply out of this world, especially when eaten fresh and piping hot!
Planning is important if you wish to visit these four towns in one day. Leave Sydney or your point of origin early and plan your trip in advance, taking into account where and what you would like to see and do. Restaurants and shops can close early in smaller towns so have some roadie supplies at the ready. Factor in breaks to avoid fatigue and remember NSW Health imposes strict COVID safety regulations, all establishments limit the number of patronage at any given time and weekends can be very busy, hence an overnighter is highly recommended!