General         Back

40000BP    Aboriginal people lived in harmony with the environment in this region. Kiarna is an Aboriginal word with a wide variety of translations including the place whew the " makes noise, plenty of food, good fishing ground, or fish caught off rocks. Another suggestion is that Kiama was derived from the word Kiarmai which meant "fertile district".

1770 Captain Cook sailed up this coastline. Passed Kiama April 23.

1797 George Bass on voyage of exploration anchors whaleboat in Kiama. Blowhole discovered

1802 Colonial Government forbids the cutting down of Cedar Trees

1813 Shipments of cedar continue to arrive at Sydney wharf.

1817 Small sailing vessel Hawkesbury Packet wrecked 

1805 Drought in the city of Cumberland. Charles Throsby, with the help of Aborigines explored a route to the coast, and brought cattle down to the Illawarra.

1816 First land grants in the Illawarra.

1819 Surveyor-General John Oxley carried out a survey of the Kiama coast.

1820 Governor Macquarie withdrew his recommendation for a settlement at Jervis Bay.

          Alexander Berry asked for and received a grant of 10,1000 acres of land in Berry area. Intension to harvest cedar.

1821 First White settler  David Smith

         Governor Macquarie toured the Illawarra.

1820-48  Initially boats on arriving at the port anchored in the open bay and passengers and cargo where then carried ashore in dinghies. However in heavy seas and strong winds the harbour became very dangerous and on some occasions boats had to wait two or three weeks before entering or leaving.

1825 Law passed to further protect cedar - written permission now required.

1826 Cedar being exported.

        Military, 40th Regiment plus two constables, sent to Illawarra to maintain law and order.

1826  The area for the township of Kiama was reserved.

           Michael Hindmarsh took up grant in the Kiama region, 'Alne Bank'.

1827 Surveyor Elliott instructed to draw up plans for a village by Governor Darling.

1828 Robert Hoddle, Surveyor, contracted to find an access road from Bong Bong to the Illawarra - a bridle path only.

1829 Barracks erected in Kiama to service a military prescence.

1830 Land grants given to selected settlers in this decade.

         Surveyor Jacques surveyed for a town..

1833 Kiama boasted nine permanent residences.

1839 Township proclaimed

1848  Mooring chains laid across the bay

1829 First Surveyor Knapp followed by 1830 Hoddle  1831 Jacques

1828 First Postmaster George Hindmarsh

1830 Hoddle Track reaches Kiama

1833-36 First C. of E. services held by Rev. F. Wilkinson 

1837 First Inn  - Gum Tree Inn Home of David Smith (Beehive

1838 First Postmaster      George Hindmarsh 

1838 town plan was drawn up 1839 proclaimed

1840 First sale of land in Kiama

1841 Postal services commenced. Mails brought twice weeks from Sydney by horseback rider.

1845-49 Toll bar operates - Jamberoo Rd

1847 First steamer to visit Kiama     Tamar

First Local Magistrates James M. Gray  Dr. Robert Menzies 

1848 Waugh-Hope cottage built.

1848 First Kiama Agricultural and Horticultural Society formed. Show President James McArthur

          Presbyterian Church opened.

1849 Town Jetty built. Later destroyed by large seas.

          First Kiama Agricultural and Horticultural Society Show.

          Wesleyan Chapel opened.

1851 Wreck of Twin Sisters. Ketch carrying wheat

1853 The Kiama Steam Navigation Company formed by locals.

          Private schools emerging

1854 Presbyterian Church, Kiama. Built

1855 Paddle steamer 'Kiama' arrives

1856 First C. of E res. Minister after church built Rev. Beamish 

         Butter exdhibited at the Kiama Agricultural Show.

          Burbank Steam Flour Mill built.

1856 Wreck of ketch Neptune

1855 First Wesleyan Sun. School Supt. David McDonald

First Wesleyan Res. Minister, Rev. Hans Mack

1857 onwards Stone fence builder Thomas Newing

1858 Kiama Examiner (the first local paper) commences publication

1859-61 First Mayor  James Colley

1859-61 First Town Clerk  James Po'ulton

              The first 9 Alderman

James Colley John Sharpe Joseph Pike John Hukins John Colley John Hanrahan Joseph Blow Robert Miller James Robinson

1860 Horse racing Bombo Beach.

1863 Kiama INdependent commence publication on 7th July with Joseph Weston as editor.

1864 A milking machine, Alfa Laval, introduced to a farm  and experiment not popular with farmers.

          A flour mill opened in Terralong Street.

          Petition to the government for the expansion of harbour works

1865 Wreck of schooner Spec,

1860's late   Pike's Hill cutting was completed.

1870 Samples of blue metal sent to Sydney in hope it could be used for road construction.

          Kiama Independent gave support to the issue of a federation of states.

           Henry Parks nominated to represent Kiama electorate.

           First bridge over Minnamurra River.

1870  Rangoon driven ashore at Minnamurra

1872 Timber bridge Minnamurra opened

1874 Mt. Vernon, built

1876 Robinson Basin (harbour) opened

1876  Temperance Hall now Masonic Lodge

1877 Ladies baths built

1877 Monkey Flat Races commence

1879 Norfolk Island Pines planted.

1883 Wreck of  Nile. Carrying blue metal

First Soldier killed in action Robert Weir

1887 The Cottage Hospital.

1888 Men's Baths- Rock Pool completed.

         Direct railway line from Bombo (Kiama) ro Sydney opened

1892 Tennis commences at Blowhole Point

1893 December 26th Minnamurra River Tragedy

1898 Presbyterian Church, Kiama Spire added

1899 Terralong Street fires destroy most of the main street.

1915 Council Chambers

1929 Thomas Newing Died: 

1929 Dion's Bus Service - first passengers.