Bondi to Coogee coastal walk

8 December 2013

Having grown up interstate and spent time working overseas in the UK, our place at times has a fair turnover of dossers using our spare bed, the fold out couch and on one busy night even a swag.

Many guests ask what they should do whilst in Sydney, top of the responses is always the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk. On a nice warm sunny day there are few better options to take in what Sydney is all about.

The scenery changes over the 6km, the walk (or run – if you are super keen & fit) can be challenging with some stairs and hilly sections. It winds through bays, beaches and around cliff tops, there are seven beaches along the way, all different in their own right. You could do it in a little over an hour if you rushed through it, but I’d recommend a few swim, snorkel, sun-tan, drink & food breaks along the way to truly enjoy the experience. Go at your own pace, stop when you like and try what looks good along the way.

The people watching is entertaining, from checking out the fitness fanatics decked out in lycra pounding the pavement, grommets scaling rocks to find a quiet surf break, yummy mummies clucking after their kids on the beach with a coffee in hand and plenty of bronzed & buffed sun worshippers of both sexes with not a lot on.

My fave things along the route are:

-Checking out the volleyball at the north end of Coogee Beach close to The Palace. The players are pretty competitive, you have great views over the beach and they all do the hand bump after every point, Top Gun style.

-Clovelly is my favourite beach; it’s by far the ugliest of the beaches along the walk. The narrow beach is lined with concrete and has a huge car park at the South end. Its beauty lies beneath the water. Due to its width, the water is very protected from rough seas, it’s popular for swimmers and is a haven for fish. It isn’t a tropical reef but on a nice, clear day you feel like you have dived into an aquarium. There is a family of gropers that call it a home, they have been called the Labradors of the sea as they are so friendly. This image sums up the place well.

Underwater at Clovelly

Underwater at Clovelly, Image Credit Mark Seabury Photography

-The Clovelly Hotel is a couple of hundred metres back from the beach, great for a feed, full of atmosphere and a refreshing drink.Just before Bronte, the walk goes through Waverly cemetery. It’s not morbid and I always think it provides a good chance for reflection. There are amazing cliff top views people would kill for… Sorry had to throw it in there.

-Stopping at Bronte for a bite, ice cream or milkshake depending on the time of day & the night before. There is some pretty good surf through this section and the coastline views open up through to Bondi’s north head. Like Coogee, there is a big grass area normally busy with BBQ’s and parties going on with plumes of smoke.

-Sculpture by the Sea runs for a few weeks during October and November each year, the art is always good, but for 3 weeks a year it transforms the section between Tamarama and Bondi into one of the most picturesque galleries you’ll see.

-Eating and drinking anywhere along the route with a view of the water. There are plenty of great options and it means you don’t need to prepare for the walk.


Looking for more walks in Sydney? Check out these lists: