Photographer's Note

The Kiama blowhole is a very popular tourist attraction at the small town of Kiama, around 100km south of Sydney.
The blowhole is only active during periods of rough seas with a strong southerly swell; perhaps only a dozen times a year. The waves travel though a natural subterranean tunnel (collapsed basalt) for around 20m, before the wave is forced vertically with explosive force through a 10m hole in the basalt flow. An animation of the working blowhole can be found here.

The blowhole was first discovered by Europeans in 1797 when the explorer George Bass stopped for the night in what is now Kiama Harbour. The blowhole had of course been known for centuries by the local aboriginals, who call it Khanterintee.
I was lucky enough to be in Kiama in March when the sea conditions were right and the blowhole was putting on a good show, perhaps 20m into the air. You can see from the left image that the spray is being blown north only a second or so after being ejected from the hole. This was one of the best shows I have seen in the 40 odd years Iíve lived in the area. The people on the other side of the blowhole provide a sense of scale.

Images were cropped and levels adjusted, the one on the right is a bit overexposed by the afternoon sunshine, but I thought it was worthy of posting.

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Additional Photos by Chris Chafer (sandpiper) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 767 W: 87 N: 1198] (6788)
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