Bronte Beach & Clovelly
Bronte and Clovelly are hidden treasures. Nestled between famous Bondi and Coogee beaches in Sydney’s east, they’re often overlooked by these little gems have a lot to offer. The sandy havens are beautiful, with seaside parks for picnics, ocean pools for protected swimming and a crystal-clear aquatic reserve for snorkelling and diving.
A lovely green park with barbecue facilities and picnic tables makes this a great spot to spend the day if you don’t want to bake out on the sand. The beach itself is small but known for a strong swell, making it popular with surfers. If you'd prefer something calmer go to the southern headland you’ll find Bronte Baths, an ocean pool constructed in 1887.
This is a sheltered bay with an ocean pool cut into the rocks on the southern headland. Concrete platforms and promenades on either side of the bay give it a European feel, with many choosing to lay their towels on the warmth of the concrete rather than risk getting sand in their swimmers.
Things to do
Clovelly Bay is part of the Bronte-Coogee Aquatic Reserve and makes for a tranquil snorkelling spot. You’ll discover an underwater haven teeming with colourful marine life such as blue groper, which locals nickname Bluey.
Head further south to discover Gordons Bay. This secluded oasis is part of the aquatic reserve and protected by an offshore reef, making it a great diving spot with rocky reefs, sandflats and kelp forests. It’s pedestrian-only access via the coastal walk.
An easy way to explore Bronte and Clovelly is on the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk, a trail that will take in both beaches and their beautiful surrounds. Waverley Cemetery is on the section between Bronte and Clovelly. Many eminent Australians are buried on top of the cliffs, including literary figures Henry Lawson and Dorothea Mackellar and aviation pioneer Lawrence Hargrave.
Eat & drink
You’ll find a delicious selection of cafes and restaurants just up the hill from the Bronte beach, which offer great views plus food. The acclaimed Three Blue Ducks in Bronte is just a few doors down from some of the best sourdough in Sydney at Iggy’s Bread and The Bogey Hole Cafe is a local institution.
The Clovelly Hotel is a beautifully restored pub with a fantastic beer garden, Darley Street Bistro is a relaxed neighbourhood gem and Sea Salt Clovelly is the closest cafe to the water; pick up a takeaway fish and chips and eat it on the sand.
These beaches are a little further south than Bondi, but they’re still easily accessible from the CBD by public transport from Central Station in the city centre. Most of the buses from here will stop off at Clovelly first before going onto Bronte. From Bondi, you can also follow the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk to get to there.