If you’ve been checking out things to do in Sydney, you’ll have heard about the Bondi to Coogee walk. This 2hr urban hike is a 6km coastal trail which shows off 6 of Sydney’s best beaches. Now although it is considered an urban walk, many sections have steep inclines, uneven surfaces and stairs. It’s not an easy stroll, but the cardio work-out will do you well, especially if you’ve been indulging in some of Sydney’s most instagrammable eats. Your effort will be rewarded so read on to see what you can expect from the beaches on your Bondi to Coogee walk.
Probably the most famous of Sydney’s beaches, you’ll be hard pressed to ever find this beach deserted. From dawn until dusk, surfers are out chasing waves and holiday makers and locals alike are sprawled out on the white sand. There are more cafes and restaurants than you’ll ever be able to visit. The shops that line the beach sell all the essentials in case you’ve forgotten something. On the south of Bondi beach is the iconic Icebergs restaurant. You’ll no doubt recognise the pool, sandwiched between the cliff face and the thundering ocean. Entry to the pool is $6.50, but we have an insider tip for you. Start the walk to Coogee and you’ll find other such pools, for free.
The cliffside walk from Bondi to Tamarama will spoil you with breath-taking views across the ocean. The rock formations on this stretch of the path are pretty special too; the colours, striations and shapes indicate the power of the ocean as the water carved these rocks over the years. Just before you reach Tamarama, you’ll see Mackenzie’s Bay. A small beach is visible at low tide, but mostly you’ll just see a rocky outcrop which surfers use as an entry point into the water. You will find free electric barbeques here so it’s a good place for a picnic.
The next beach along the walk is just a short 700m on from Tamarama. Bronte beach is one of the larger ones, popular with families and children for its’ sheltered Bogey Hole. The affectionately named rock pool is a shallow area, protected from waves and perfect for younger ones to paddle in. This is also where you’ll find my aforementioned saltwater pool. Access to this pool is free, and in my opinion it is even better than the one at Bondi. There is a park behind the beach with extensive picnic facilities and a large playground with swings, jungle gyms and rope courses. The beachside café has an excellent selection of refreshing drinks and snacks.
Climbing the stairs away from Bronte beach, leads you along a 2km stretch at the top of sandstone cliffs and towards the historic Waverly cemetery. The boardwalk is still closed following major storm damage, but the diversion through the cemetery makes the walk even more interesting. If you’re interested, a guide can be arranged to talk you through some of the history of the cemetery. People buried there include poets, politicians, sports personalities and members of influential families. The Clovelly beach is another one that is fairly sheltered, with a seaside pool, open and free for public use.
The next bit of the walk is probably the most difficult, with steep staircases up and inclines down to the small aquatic reserve of Gordon’s Bay. This is where you’ll find the underwater nature trail; markers under the water forming a dot-to-dot for divers. On clear, calm days, it is possible to snorkel the trail, which aims to show off some of the best things to see in this nature reserve. Commonly spotted are grouper, bream and goatfish. If you’re lucky, you might see the blue-ringed octopus, wobbegong shark or stingrays. Show respect for marine life and observe from a distance. Seeing these animals in the wild is an incredible and memorable experience.
A large, inviting expanse of soft, white sand is the reward indicating the completion of the Bondi to Coogee walk. You might notice a shrine at Dolphin Point, which stands in memory of the 20 people from this area who died in the 2002 Bali bombings. Lining the beach, you will find a large selection of cafes and restaurants where you can sit and enjoy the scenery and a spot of people-watching.
If you’re not done yet, you can continue further south on the Coogee to Maroubra walk. This is an additional 1.5hrs of walking, taking you past yet more scenic viewpoints, sandy beaches and quiet bays. We haven’t done it yet, so if you’ve been, get in touch and let us know what you think!