Sydney’s eastern suburbs are less than half an hour from the CBD, but feels like a world away. This is where you’ll find Australia’s most famous beach, wonderful coastal walks and hidden harbour beaches beloved by locals. It is also a dining hub, with lots of restaurants, cafes and bars to choose from.
Bondi Beach is brimming with activity from sunrise to well-past sunset. This is the hub of the eastern suburbs. People come for that curved stretch of sand and to do the exhilarating Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk, a 6km trail that meanders by charming Tamarama, Bronte and Clovelly while hugging sandstone cliffs and looks out over the vast Pacific Ocean.
Other splendid walking trails in Sydney’s east include:
- Federation Cliff Walk
- South Head Heritage Trail
- Hermitage Foreshore Track
- Western Escarpment Walking Track
Bondi and Coogee Beach may get all the attention, but the smaller harbour beaches around Watsons Bay, Vaucluse and Double Bay are well worth exploring. Enjoy the shade of fig trees at Nielsen Park, swim surrounded by bushland in Parsely Bay and take in city views from Redleaf Beach.
Sport and recreation
Watch a thrilling match at the Sydney Cricket Ground or cheer on one of the world’s great ocean-racing events - the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race on Boxing Day – from the harbour entrance at South Head. Punters won’t want to miss the glamour of Royal Randwick and Centennial Park is where to go for horseriding.
Watersports by the beach is a given. Let’s Go surf school has branches at Bondi and Maroubra, two beaches that are recognised in the National Surfing Reserves as places of intrinsic value. For stand-up paddleboarding, head for the calm waters of Watsons Bay where you can also hire equipment.
Things to do
Captain Arthur Phillip’s First Fleet initially landed at La Perouse in 1788 before deciding on Sydney Cove. The Aboriginal connection to the area, named after a French explorer, dates back thousands of years and you can explore this connection to country with the Aboriginal-led Kadoo Tours.
Eat and drink
Some of Sydney’s best restaurants can be found in the east. Icebergs Dining Room Bondi Beach looks out over the iconic Bondi Baths and beach, serving up food to match their views. There’s a wealth of casual cafes in Bondi, such as Porch and Parlour, serving healthy juices, great coffees and brunches to help locals keep their beach body year round.
Iggy’s Bread in Bronte serves some of the best sourdough in Sydney, so pick up a loaf to take home after having lunch at Three Blue Ducks a few doors down. Coogee Pavilion is a multi-level eatery with a rooftop bar right on the water and Coogee Wine Room is a European-style wine bar boasting over 400 bottles on the wine list.