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Kiama family weekend

Thursday, September 17, 2009
Kiama is just two hours south of Sydney and is a terrific destination if you want a fun family break but time allows just a couple of days. There are lots of great things to do and it's been a popular place with generations of families. There are many surfing beaches and Seven Mile Beach is a protected reserve. Dermott Brereton took the easy drive south from Sydney for his first visit to the area.

Kiama is on the coast, south of the Minnamurra River and the foothills of Saddleback Mountain lie to the west. The town has been well looked after and restored buildings keep the charm and character of Kiama in place.

Kiama Harbour Cabins

Once a caravan and camping park, the Kiama Harbour Cabins' site has had a major makeover. There are one-, two- and three-bedroom cabins with the very descriptive names of Sea Breeze, Harbour Lights, Pearl Shells, Moonlight Sands, Ocean Breeze and Crystal Water.

There's no roughing it in the luxury cabins. They have full kitchens, electric blankets, air-conditioning, spa baths, televisions, DVD and CD players, washing machines and dryers and private balconies with barbecue and outdoor settings. The beautiful harbour is right at your doorstep.

The cabins are walking distance to shops and restaurants and the famous Kiama Blowhole. It's said Kiama is an Aboriginal term for "where the sea makes a loud noise" and a visit to the blowhole will convince you that it's probably correct. Generations of Aboriginals have called the blowhole "Khanterintee". When the sea is running from the south-east, water shoots from a naturally formed hole. It brings great delight to children, and there are rock pools and a picnic area nearby.

Ritzy Gritz New Mexican Grill

Kiama has some great dining options, but this one will please everyone. Visitors and locals love Ritzy Glitz for its location (it's in a terrace house built in 1886) and the generous servings of fantastic food without an enormous bill.

They cater for all age groups and tastes and their meals are what is referred to as "Californian style". The food is all freshly cooked and mildly spiced, but for those who like a bit of heat, they do have Poppy's hot chilli sauce.

There's a special menu for children under 12, who'll love the quesadilla, baby tacos, nachos, hot dogs, chips, desserts and drinks. They even have a "Bored Husbands Lounge" where men can relax with a cold drink while the women hit the shops.

Jamberoo Action Park

Everyone's bound to love a visit to New South Wales' biggest water-theme park. It has non-stop entertainment with all the thrills and spills you can handle.

The Taipan is a water thrill-ride in the dark. Outback Bay is a 2.5 megalitre wave pool and the chairlift soars 300m up the mountain. Mountain Toboggan has two snaking tracks and high speeds can be reached. Surf Hill is a wave-like slide with an 18m drop and The Rock has a 5m launching pad into deep water. You need to be brave for that one!

On Rapid River you can relax on rubber rafts, and racing cars will have you whizzing around a 600m track. Splash-Out Slides take you twisting and turning down the mountain into a pool. For something gentle, try your hand on the mini-golf course.

There are six food outlets and plenty of picnic areas if you prefer to take your own food.

The town at Jamberoo is worth a wander through. It has attractive historic buildings and dry stone walls, which are not seen very often these days.

Location

Kiama and Jamberoo, two hours south of Sydney.

Cost

Kiama Harbour Cabins start at $195 a night for a fully self-contained cabin. Two-bedroom cabins cost $210 and three–bedroom cabins are $270.

Ritzy Gritz New Mexican Grill is open for lunch from Friday to Sunday between 11.30am and 2pm. They serve dinner from 5.30pm from Tuesday to Sunday. They do take reservations.

Jamberoo Action Park entry is $37 for adults and $29 for children. Cost includes all rides, all day. It is open on weekends during September and daily from September 26, 2009 and April 26, 2010.

Prices correct at September 17, 2009.

For further information

Kiama Harbour Cabins
Kiama Lighthouse Road
Kiama 2533
Ph: (02) 4232 2707 or 1800 823 824
www.kiamacoast.com.au/kiama_harbour
blowhole@kiamacoast.com.au

Jamberoo Action Park
1215 Jamberoo Road
Jamberoo 3534
Ph: (02) 4236 0114
www.jamberoo.net

Ritzy Gritz New Mexican Grill
Terrace Houses
40 Collins Street
Kiama 2533
Ph: (02) 4232 1853
www.ritzygritz.com.au
information@ritzygritz.com.au

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