Kiama NSW Australia

Wondering how and where to spend your vacations? Want to experience a new location and also get the comforts of a luxurious and cozy place to stay? Then Kiama should be on the top of your list.

Kiama is a settlement along the rushing sea, south of Wollongong, that provides different possibilities for anyone to enjoy wholeheartedly as we found out during our stay there this summer. Being a township South of Sydney in the Illawarra region, we found Kiama to be located perfectly in a strategic central position, enough to aid us in enjoying many different sites over a short weekend. Only seven km southwest of the town is the mighty 600 m high Mount Saddleback which offers a splendid view of the valley and plains below. Looking at the lush greenery surrounding us with the huge mountain sheltering from behind we were filled with wonder and awe. Even my younger sister, the chatter box of our group was relaxed! Saddleback, along with other mountains in the region, provide a striking backdrop to the city. Looking at the scenic beauty of the region made us marvel about the world we live in. It was like being a million miles away from the city.
Our next stop was the Jamberoo Action Park where we were thrilled by the variety and potential of all the water rides. Getting stuck in Banjo’s Billabong with darkness descending and dramatic gadgets increasing the fun constantly was the most fun experience we had. The Funnel Web was no less and we even went for the zero gravity moments which made us as dizzy with too much joy and became the reason for our many return visits there.

Next we went on for the sea shore as the urban town of Kiama is surrounded by vast beaches, stunning forests and beautiful meadows full of natural beauty that you could stare at forever. Such was the beauty that surrounded the area and we made full use of it specifically by taking selfies and doing yoga. The many attractive tourist spots Kiama has to offer are definitely worthy of the praise they receive, and the best way to go through all of them is on foot while looking at the scenic beauty that surrounds the area. Body surfing on waves as high as 1.5 m was the best moment I spent while others kept on the sightseeing of the beaches and parks near them.

Finding the Blowhole point was an adventure in itself. We delighted in viewing the Blowhole with its natural rock formation. Water sprouted for more than even 20m in the air and splashed all that came in its way. It got even more spectacular to look at when the sea ran from Southeast filling it in and then PLOP! It was like magic and the water fights it offered us will remain in our memories for ever.

Later we visited the historical Kiama Lighthouse that was mostly abandoned yet preserved in an archaeological manner along with the other heritage artifacts like pilot’s cottage etc.

Kiama Harbor is the hub of fishing boats and seafood market. The taste of local fish from restaurants was like heaven on earth-simply amazing. We stayed there in the seaside cabins provided and splashed  around having more fun in the rock pools around the seashore.

Many different festivals and events including a surfing competition which we were lucky enough to catch and enjoyed a lot. Visiting such a place was definitely one of the best decisions we ever made.

South Coast Jazz Festival

Jazz music shares deep roots in Australia and with the passage of time, jazz has held and enjoyed a marvelous success and profile in different music venues, local clubs and festivals. Many of the Australian jazz bands have had international recognition and are enjoying high profile.

During my last visit to Kiama, I got the opportunity to enjoy a local jazz festival there. Believe it or not I was on cloud nine because it has always a dream to listen and enjoy famous jazz artists playing live in front of me. Kiama with its beautiful serene premises was making it an irresistible event for jazz lovers. The choice of Kiama as a venue clearly reveals the long-lasting relationship between jazz and Australia. This festival made hype on social networks and was providing an outstanding opportunity to the country’s artists to make their talent heard all over the world.

This 2-day festival was featuring the top local, international and national jazz artists, bands, diverse performances, including ensembles and quartets. Food and beverage vendors were also there offering awesome enjoyment opportunity for family and friends. The festival was just a day ahead and I already had butterflies in my stomach because jazz music makes me crazy every time I hear it.

Festival was due to start in the evening but the crowd started gathering since afternoon. After taking my nap, I took shower immediately and dressed up in the most beautiful dress I have. I took a final look in the mirror and made my way to the venue. As I reached there, everything was properly organized and for few seconds I was completely numb seeing so many renowned jazz ensembles including crossfire, Bennetts Lane Big Band, Galapagos Duck and the most thrilling treat of the evening was the jazz quartets. I can’t get my eyes off the artists playing with different quartets and producing enchanting music and singing songs for the crowd.

For an hour or so I was completely lost hearing and watching my favorite artists and bands playing live. I was enjoying my fantasies becoming flesh and blood. After digesting enough of the Jazz and capturing the beautiful moments on my Canon camera, I decided to have a round of the stalls specially designed for the festival. As a part of this festival, there were many local food stalls offering food tastings, markets and local wineries from the NSW South Coast region selling wine by the glass and offering tastings.

I witnessed a huge crowed on the stalls and people were enjoying free tasting of their favorite wines and foods while vendors were receiving appreciation and definitely an increase in their businesses afterwards. I decided to taste some Turkish food and a delicious South Australian wine as I was feeling tired and hungry and no doubt, it taste heaven and helped me gaining my energy back.

The festival was on the whole night and I don’t want to leave literally, but at 5am in the morning my body refused to stay any longer. So, I went into my room, put on my PJs, and started recalling the memories of today until I fell asleep.

Jamberoo Valley Park

Jamberoo Valley Park, the most thrill experiencing place that any age person can enjoy, has had me captivated with its exhilarating stories for a long time. However, it was only last summer that I got to go there and encounter the excitement of a fun park.

The rides and various activities it contains proved too much even for my younger brother who (as he claims) is the most exciting fun park ever created! The plan to visit this exotic place of fun was almost cancelled until, (I really do not want to know how) my dad managed to pull some strings and arranged for all six of us including the children, to go and experience the exuberance. We started off with Banjo’s Billabong, then the adventure of zooming down the long water ride Funnel Web, the zero-gravity exhilarating instants in Clover leaf and even the slow and dizzy relaxations the Outback Bay provides.

Our stay had been booked at Jamberoo Valley Lodge which is a lovely place with a gurgling brook running by one of the sides of the property. It has properly furnished rooms with lovely furniture and great services all in a single package that could also be taken as cost effective. The rooms were modernized with the basic gadgets for any family to stay such as coffee/tea makers and fridges. Furthermore, the presence of the grand swimming pool and the tennis court made for a resort like feel. It really had us hooked and none of us wanted to return home, as all the comforts were too good to leave. In fact the only issue we found with the hotel was its lack of maintaining a few small things.

Living up to the holiday spirit, we spent most of our days down in the Jamberoo water park going over its amazing rides and relaxing facilities like the raft floating on waves, availing advantages of the vast golf course and rock jumping with daring hearts. The Funnel Web, being the longest and elating water ride ever, built in the world was a whoosh down the tunnel in complete darkness at almost 30km per hour speed with many bumps and jumps along the way. By the time we emerged at the other end our hearts were beating hard because of the intense level of fun.

Banjo’s Billabong was our next target to go through. It is an impressive four storey building built according to the basic Australian idealistic theme which is equipped with amusing aqua gear that keeps the ride interesting by introducing new dilemmas like water buckets emptying  on all, water cannons, spray facets now and then. It is the utmost family fun one can have together dripping in water and playing around.

Fooling around in the Cloverleaf by hovering in air due to negligible gravity present and being sucked in the burrow, orbiting around in darkness, screaming with exhilaration and then finally being dumped in the landing pool was extreme fun!

Our last challenge was to wrestle with the 1.5m high waves in the Outback Bay while surfing or floating and feeling the thrill in life water sports can provide. Also the place had a breathtaking view over the valley and food was out of the world with appetizing flavors.

All in all our experience in that the Jamberoo water park was amazing with superb fun and everlasting family memories that we will cherish forever.

Christening of Baby Jenson

I can vividly remember the panic I felt when the nurse announced Jenson’s birth in the maternity ward. He was my first born and the unlimited questions his birth brought to my mind kept me awake for days. One of the basic and most important questions was of getting him christened. How? Why? I had no clue but since the ceremony had to take place and so it did with a rough start but smooth end that left my charming little guy baptized with blessings from all.

My first step to organize this event was internet and to meet with all my religious friends and relatives. It was then that I truly understood the meaning of the ritual. Christening is done to welcome the newborn in to this world, your home and your hearts. Naming of the baby takes place during this function and blessings are poured upon his/her arrival in this world for then and the time to come.

Having learned that, I moved on to the next step of organizing the ceremony, with help of course. This required extra care so everything was organized perfectly. Booking of the priest to carry out the ritual was made by my husband, and the issue of venue was discussed as to where should we celebrate Jenson’s naming. After many ‘yes’ and ‘no’ the scenario of a little place we love down in Jamberoo Valley was decided. We chose the function centre at Jamberoo Valley Lodge.

All guests were invited carefully and early so they could enjoy the ritual and still get the time to carry out their designated roles. Next came the part of choosing the God parents for the child. Mostly people go with the ones who have strongest Christian religious beliefs or people closest to you, who can help guide the child in deciding what is right and what is not. We chose my father-in-law to be the lucky one as I have never seen a man so pious and kind hearted than him.

Once this was decided the priest began the service by calling upon us, the parents and God parents of Jenson to stand in front. Remaining participants were handed some books/cards to read their lines from. All were really excited to see my baby be pronounced as a Christian officially and to see him join the family’s tours to Sunday school every week. Jenson was dressed in a long creamy white colored christening gown that had been passed down generations for every Ackles to wear and so there it was now on Jenson Ackle’s little body waiting to be christened with its occupant, yet again.

The clergy man then explained to all how christening one’s child brings him closer to Jesus and refrain him/her from committing any sins. Furthermore (s) he is blessed by sanctions from all the invitees along with other materialistic gifts, as is the tradition. The service took less than 30 minutes with the priest saying a thank you note in the end and then all the guests were requested to hang on a bit for the tea party where refreshments were served.

All in all the function did not go as bad as I was afraid it would be, thanks to the support everyone showed me considering my first time.

Catering to Expectant Mothers

Becoming a mum is always a special experience for every lady, though women face infinite numbers of challenges throughout these months. They experience an enormous amount of physical and emotional changes, so staying at home for 9 months sound boring and ridiculous especially for travellers like me. For me, nine months is a long time to be at home, during my 5th month I can’t wait any longer so I asked my husband to plan a small tour to an exuberant place to get rid of my frustration. He agreed without taking a minute and we decided to visit Kiama NSW with our two cute daughters Anna and Marry.

It was a very fine Saturday evening, after taking lunch I started packing the essentials and within an hour we are on our way to Kiama. We reached there within 2 hours and the weather was beyond pleasant. Jeorge booked rooms for us in a marvelous hotel; believe it or not, it was an ultimate combination of comfort with compassionate and expert care facilities. The room, my husband booked for two of us provides the special touches that not only made our solo time comfortable and memorable but was a great deal for expectant ladies. The bed mattress was comfortable and soft. They even had a maternity pillow ready for me to ensure I enjoyed a sound sleep because Jeorge told them I was pregnant. The interior of the room was appealing and seductive that hardly took me an hour to dive deep in the ocean of dreams.

The next morning after taking breakfast, Anna and Marry requested to see around the beauty of Kiama. I decided to stay at hotel and Jeorge took them. I thought to go out of the room onto the lawn and enjoy the beautiful weather outside. I realized this hotel was so beautifully constructed; the hotel floor was sleek, neat and is so perfect for expectant ladies to walk around. While making my way to the lawn, I came across a spa in a corner and went in. I started talking to the girl supervising there; she witnessed my baby bump and immediately introduced her services for expectant women. I saw the expectant mothers were positioned on entirely comfortable cushions during the treatment to help them alleviate the pains and aches that a baby can bring. I can’t resist myself and positioned myself for a proper body massage. The girl started delivering a relaxing massage to my back, hips and belly smoothly and diligently. She then give a soothing massage to my feet, legs, hands and arms with Organic mango and cocoa butter for healthy soft skin.

After finishing my body massage, I moved to the lawn feeling relaxed, revived and energized. The view was breathtaking, green grass and beautiful pools filled with clean blue water for kids and adults around were filling me with pleasure and love. Meanwhile, I saw Jeorge, Anna and Marry coming towards me with a full teeth smile on their faces. Marry insisted on swimming in the pool, Anna, me and Jeorge agreed to have a cup of cappuccino. We sat there for an hour seeing kids and toddlers enjoying swimming in a safe environment while their parents were watching them sitting on comfortable seats.

We spent two days in the hotel and I didn’t want to leave that magnificent place because it seemed like designed especially for expectant ladies, it was an out of the world tour for me.

Our Hotel Rooms

People travel far and wide for so many different reasons, but mostly, it is either for business or for pleasure. Whatever the case is, most travellers seek a hotel room that can be a total sanctuary to nurse the jet lag, to unwind after a long day of meetings, or to just relax after walking around and taking photos of a new place and meeting new people. Believe it or not, it is not always the hotel’s name that people look for.

  • It could be the serenity of space and the mood that a room presents. A room with views of the beach for instance, is what others would call, “Breathtaking.”
  • It could also be the comfort and cozy feeling of a hotel room with a fireplace, warm coloured interiors, plush furniture, and exotic rugs.
  • Or it can also be the opulence of a grand bath in which they can soak and relax.
  • For others, it is the hotel’s ability to cater to their specific requests like lavender scents, wake-up calls, additional beds for children, and even a little place for their pets.
  • In some cases, the distance of the hotel from shopping spots, tourist attractions, and even the airport plays a factor.

All these are amazing amenities that make people happy. But probably none of which compares to the luxury of sleep and rest which is something that almost everyone looks forward to. Retreating to our hotel room and resting your tired body on 1000 Thread Count Sheets is the kind of pure bliss, you would probably not expect from a quaint, country style accommodation. But it is just the right kind of experience you will not soon forget and probably want to go back to over and over again.

As most who have had the pleasurable time would say, it feels just like home, only better.

Jamberoo Pub A Historic Location in the Jamberoo Valley

Jamberoo Pub Jamberoo Valley Lodge

Historic Jamberoo Pub  is a well known landmark in the Jamberoo Valley. It was established in 1857 and is still an integral part of the Jamberoo community. Boasting a heritage style front in a very distinct European style. With it’s gorgeous white walls and dark timber features, there is no missing the pub on your way through town.

Jamberoo Pub offers icy cold beer, with many of your favourite flavours on tap. With it’s cozy interior atmosphere, locals flock here to meet after a long hard. Blessed with a cold beer and good conversation that comes only from such a close knit community, you never know who you will meet here at Jamberoo Pub.

The hosts and staff Jamberoo Pub are as friendly as they come and very much support us here at Jamberoo Valley Lodge. Even a stranger in town is made to feel most welcome when setting foot inside. It is your typical, quiet, country pub. There an old style lounge area showcasing historical photos of the pub and surrounding area. With cosy seating and a lovely atmosphere, you won’t find it difficult to while away the afternoon. Also, don’t forget to say hi to a local and find out what the local area is all about.

Along with beautiful country pubs comes amazing pub grub. Jamberoo Pub has some of the tastiest food around. With a solid menu that will suit all tastes, you will leave totally satisfied with a full belly. The bistro covers all types of food from steaks to seafood, and chicken to vegetarian meals. Delicious salads and side dishes complement each of the meals perfectly. Your kids are also well catered to with a fantastic kids menu to suit the fussiest little one.

So, if you are looking for a real country pub experience, don’t forget to make some time to check out Jamberoo Pub when you stay at Jamberoo Valley Lodge.

Jamberoo Lookout

The point of view from Jamberoo lookout offers fresh meaning to the words picture perfect.

Driving down Jamberoo Mountain Road you will need to watch for a little sign preparing you to one of the most magnificent outlooks on the south coast of New South Wales. Don’t miss stopping here it is absolutely worth it. It is also the perfect vantage point for a picnic.

Jamberoo lookout is suspended on the rim of the coastal escarpment. The standing on the viewing area gives you the vision of a outstanding landscape. You will overlook gentle hills and farmland and be able to see right out to the Pacific Ocean.

If you are a enthusiastic photographer, Jamberoo lookout must be added to your trip list. On a sunny clear day, you will have a view right to Lake Illawarra, Kiama and Five Islands in the ocean off Wollongong. You will be blessed to take images from this magnificent location. When you finish your photography session, enjoy a wander or take a bicycle ride along Budderoo track. Another place that is a must see on your way back down the mountain is the Minnamurra Rainforest Centre.