The Coogee to Bondi coastal walk was one of my favourite things to do during my time in Sydney. Considering its absolutely free, its value is un-quantifiable Not a particularly difficult walk, but at 6km and allowing for stop offs it could take around 3 hours. Be prepared for a few steps and hilly parts, but he walk is so worth while and something I advise everyone I know who is Sydney bound to do it.
One such person is my good mate Lauren (@Laurenwigmore and aroundtheworldthewigglesway) who left me in the cold of an English winter to go sun herself (and work a bit) in the land down under last week. As my nandos buddy she will be sorely missed, but in trying not to cry whilst saying goodbye on Wednesday I started to think of my own time in Oz, how I landed in Sydney at the back end of 2006 with no mates, no contacts and little or no plans.
I’ve got a few diary entries on this site from my time in Oz, but these were from an old blog which primarily was to keep my friends and family updated on what I’d been up to. They’re slightly embarrassing to read back now, but they’re essentially what started this blog.
The Coogee to Bondi coastal walk
So the Coogee to Bondi coastal walk. Well this is where it all started for me really. Jet lagged and with no real idea of what to do in Sydney I simply signed up for my hostels coastal walk one day, and the rest as they say is history. I met all sorts of people, some who I stayed with in Sydney for months, some who I traveled up the east coast with and some who I still keep in contact with to to this day. Here’s the low down on why I loved the Coogee to Bondi coastal walk such much and why you should defiantly do it if you’re ever in Sydney.
So there’s your route on the map above, from which point you want to start, Coogee or Bondi, is up to you but I would recommend Coogee. Getting to either from central sydney is easy enough, just hop on the bus. It pretty obvious where to get off, but if you ask the driver nicely I’m sure they’ll give you a heads up. The journeys to either beach are roughly 30-45 mins depending on traffic.
- Buses from Pitt Street to Coogee – 372 or 373
- Buses from Circular Quay or Oxford St to Bondi – 333 or 380
Coogee is my favourite Sydney beach by far! I spent the Xmas of 2006 down in Coogee at an absolute hell-hole of a hostel, but the area and the beach itself is just magnificent. I spent days on end sitting under a tree on a hill high above the beach and quaint parade of shops just enjoying the sun, drinking a few stubbies and chatting with mates. Of an evening the place comes alive, with more than a few bars staying open late into the night. The Coogee Bay Hotel was a pretty popular destination for a drink.
The beach itself isnt the biggest along the route, but is probably the cleanest. Be warned the water is freezing.
Upon walking away from the beach and towards Dolphin point and ultimately Bondi, you’ll struggle to miss the four-metre high bronze sculpture which serves as a memorial to twenty of the Australian victims of the 2002 Bali bombing.
An amazing little bay just around the corner from Coogee. It a great spot for snorkeling! There’s no beach as such to lie out on though. The water colour reminds me more of the Med than of Oz.
If I ever moved to Sydney, got old, had a family etc, this would be the beach I’d bring everyone to. At first glance it looks a bit of a strange set up, there are large sections of flat concrete surrounding the water, which look to make for an uncomfortable area to lie down and worship the sun. But it doesn’t seem to stop people, and there its not like there isnt a beach, there is. Its nicely shielded from any harsh waves by the coastline and salt water pool. This means its a bit more of a child friendly lagoon if you will. There is also a park for kids and a small green which has trees offering shade and a couple of small BBQ areas.
Firstly, the most important thing you need to know about Bronte is that they sell slush puppies there! There is also ample space to have a BBQ as the area surrounding the beach is very green. The beach itself is pretty big and fairly open to waves so be just a little careful, a safer alternative could be the neat little natural rock pools.
Upon making your way to Bronte you’re guaranteed to past Waverley cemetery which is vast and makes for a great photo at sundown.
Rocky is how I would describe Tamarama. Located between two prominent headlands, the deep water and small size are said to make for some dangerous swimming conditions. I myself didnt ever swim at Tamarama, but would heed this advice. Tamarama is considered the most dangerous patrolled beach in New South Wales, with more rescues per thousand bathers than any other of Sydney’s beaches. The guys at the Tamarama Surf Life Saving Club are kept pretty busy!
The area surround the beach is pretty nice. To live in the area you need to have a few bucks in your back pocket. The houses are amazing! Its not unusual to hear Tamarama refered to as Glamarama or Glamourama.
Without fail the most popular and well known beach in Sydney … and my least favorite to be honest. Don’t hate me!
I just don’t get it. I appreciate that the skate park and graffiti are all really cool, but the beach in my opinion doesn’t deserve the hype it gets. Whilst the beach is huge, I found it to be not all that well kept. The surrounding shops and bars weren’t quite as glamorous as I was expecting.
On the up side, Bondi can be relied on for a bit of surf, so if you’re looking to ride some waves, head to Bondi and take a surf lesson.
So there you have it, that’s the The Coogee to Bondi coastal walk. If you’re on a budget its the perfect activity to undertake in Sydney, and even if you’re not on a budget its an amazing way to spend your day. Take a comfy pair of shoes, some water, some cash for the bus and a slush puppy, a camera plus your beach gear and you’re all set.
If you dont have time to do the entire walk (ahem, make time!), and are looking for something specific in the beach you visit, here’s my little breakdown for you.
- Best beach: Cooggee
- Best for families: Clovelly
- Best for swimming: Clovelly
- Best for surf: Bondi
- Best all round beach experience – Bronti