We’re planning on leaving Sydney in the next year or so, due to starting a family and needing a 4-bedroom house. But where to move to? The choice is overwhelming. In this series of posts, I explore a plethora of possible places – many of which we’ve visited – in an attempt to reach some sort of conclusion. Next up – Kiama.
Kiama is a reasonably large coastal town about 1 hour 40 minutes south of Sydney. It’s famous for its blowhole – a hole in the rocks where the sea crashes through, sending spray high into the air. (It’s been known to claim a few unfortunate souls who stood too close to it!)
In theory, Kiama should be the perfect place for us. It’s not too far from our friends and the attractions of Sydney; it’s by the sea, and has some reasonably nice beaches; it’s a decent size. But there’s something about Kiama that doesn’t quite gel for us. It feels very suburban and, indeed, is almost a suburb of Wollongong these days. The shops and cafes don’t seem particularly nice or welcoming, and the town seems to have a bit of a down-at-heel vibe to it somehow. People don’t seem as friendly as they do in many other small towns in New South Wales. It doesn’t seem to have much of a sense of community. Maybe this is just subjective stuff – who knows?
It’s also pushing our budget somewhat; we’d have to wait a while to find a 4-bed house in our price range. We did actually look at a house that we could afford – I think it was $430,000 – and it seemed OK, but not many come up at that price. It was also suspiciously near the main highway, so I suspect trucks at night could have been a problem. (Always worth visiting potential houses late at night if they’re near big roads, just to check!)
On the plus side, Kiama is pleasant enough as a place to visit, with attractions such as the blowhole, feeding pelicans, a lighthouse, and lovely scenery to the west. I’m just not sure it’s the right place for us to settle down.