Don’t Miss The Spectacular Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk, Sydney

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I grew up only about an hour north of Sydney and have spent a lot of time in the city and surrounding areas. However, it has taken me 35 years to embark on the Bondi to Coogee Beach Walk.

I am kicking myself for all those years I could have spent swimming in the tropical coloured waters of the rocky headland beaches along this coastal walk.

Bondi to Bronte coastal walk, Sydney, Australia

Absolutely stunning is about all I can say.

At times I felt I was exploring the Portuguese Algarve or the The US Big Sur Coastal Drive. My parents grew up in this area and have always raved about the beauty of the beaches around here. I finally listened to them and took the walk.

It was a last minute decision to go and we raced out of our house for the train totally unprepared and a little late in the morning. That harried departure meant we left without a camera or swimming costumes. Go figure!

It was a great test for the quality of our Android camera and videoing skills.

I would definitely recommending planning the day in advance, getting your butt out of bed early to start your walk and to make a whole day of it. You can start the walk either from Coogee or Bondi Beach.

There are boardwalks for most of the 6km trail, but can be quite hilly in parts with plenty of stairs-kind of awkward with a pram, a pregnant momma and a daddy with a bad back! But we made it and had a great day.

Here’s a little about the stops along the way…

Bondi Beach

Visit Bondi Beach, Sydney's most famous beach
Bondi Beach, Sydney’s most famous beach. Image: Shutterstock.com

Probably the most famous beach in Australia, a title which has me pleading with travelers visiting Australia,

“Please, whatever you do, don’t just hang out in Bondi and think that is our only and best beach. There are so many more beautiful beaches in Australia worthy of your time.”

Having said that though, Bondi is a beautiful beach. The water is crystal clear, the surf is usually battering away for some good body surfing, the lifesavers are famous for being on a reality TV show, and there are thousands of  beautiful people enjoying all it has to offer.

It is worth having a look-see, but move on quickly further south on your walk. You are going to find quieter, less pretentious and far prettier coves and rocky beaches.

Tamarama Beach

Tamarama Beach

Tamarama Beach is very pretty snow white sandy and rocky cove.

For surfers, there were some really small, yet clean breaks out the back. There were nowhere near as many surfers haggling for the wave as you would find at Bondi. It is known as Sydney’s most dangerous beach for its rips.

Overhanging rocks provided plenty of areas for shade, the turquoise water beckons you from the coastal path to sidetrack for a little while for a cool dip and break from your warm walk.

This would be the perfect spot for some morning tea and a swim. If you have children there is a small children’s park here as well.

Bronte Beach

Bronte Beach in Sydney, Australia

“Do you want to know why this is the best beach in the Eastern Suburbs for families?”

The children’s train driver asked us as Kalyra and I alighted from the small kiddies train opposite Bronte beach.

“The wide open grass area for picnics and games of touch footy and cricket?”

“No.”

“There’s plenty of barbecues, covered picnic tables, and a great children’s playground?”

“It is good, but not the reason.”

“The Bronte Baths and natural rock pool which makes for safer swimming?”

“No. This is the only area that does not have a pub. That means no one drinking and swimming and getting out of control. We never have a problem at Bronte Beach, everyone is well behaved.”

I walked around the bend of the path to discover Bronte.

The fresh salty air, invigorating breeze, crystal clear water and pounding surf made me pining for my forgotten cozzies.

This was the place for us to stop and have lunch–a delicious vegetarian hamburger for only $8 from the surf club kiosk and a $2.50 cheese sandwich for Kalyra under the shade of the trees.

Kalyra had a play in the park and then stripped down to her undies for a swim in the rock pool and Bronte Baths.

The surf at Bronte can be quite rough and dangerous. If this is a bit daunting for you then head around a few bends until you reach….

Clovelly Beach

Clovelly beach
Clovelly looking out to the ocean pool

What a delightful surprise this area was. The walk to get here takes you past the massive Waverly cemetery that takes up acres of prime headland real estate. It was a real bizarre sight and I am quite surprised that they have not yet moved all the bodies to build mansions here.

If you fancy a bit of lawn bowls, then – in what has to be the best lawn bowls location I have ever seen – on top of the headlands is Clovelly Lawn Bowls.

Clovelly beach is really strange, but perfect for swimming if you are concerned about rough water.

The beach sits at the end of a narrow bay. Concrete and natural rock retaining walls and sitting areas are on the edges of water making it look like a large swimming pool.

Swimmers were happily snorkelling around in the calm waters exploring the rocky areas and their own body parts that were clearly visible beneath them.

Gordon’s Bay

Bronte Beach

Gordon's Bay
Perfect for snorkelling and diving

Gordons Bay is the place that most resembled the Portuguese Algarve for me.

Again it is a really narrow rocky bay, with crystal clear cyan water just perfect for snorkelling. The bay is protected by an offshore reef which makes it the perfect place to explore the undersea world. It is known as the best area for diving in Sydney and has an underwater nature trail.

This secluded, tiny beach is taken mostly up by small dinghies and seaweed. Most people seem to spread themselves out on the nearby rocks.

Coogee Beach

Coogee Beach Sydney

Just a short, yet slow and difficult walk up a steep hill you reach the headland of Coogee Beach and the end of the Coastal walk. Coogee would be the next biggest and busiest beach after Bondi, and I think more funky and fresh.

Many Irish and backpackers can be found here as is evident by the accents heard on the beach volleyball courts, the Brazilian jujitsu demonstrations on the open parklands, and the plethora of places offering Irish breakfasts.

We recommend an end to the walk with a late afternoon beer in the beer garden of the Coogee Bay Hotel, a legendary establishment in Sydney. In my early twenties it was the place to come watch and stage dive to live bands.

There is no doubt that Sydney is an expensive place to visit.

Why not reduce your costs and spend a day or even more exploring the Bondi Beach to Coogee Bay Coastal Walk and relaxing at its beautiful beaches?

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Have you done the Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal walk in Sydney? Which beach would you like to spend the most time in along the way?

48 thoughts on “Don’t Miss The Spectacular Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk, Sydney”

  1. We did this walk when we were in Sydney just over a year ago. Great walk. the weather didn’t cooperate and we were there in July, so no swimming and sun bathing. But beautiful walk nevertheless!
    Is that dude still living on the side of the cliff overlooking Bondi? Kind of a makeshift shack with all kinds of “artwork” hanging in the trees?

  2. jamie - cloud people adventures

    never been to bondi, but have watched bondi rescue a few times. i like what you say about it not being australia’s only and best beach. so, so, so true.
    i like that in sydney you can surf by the city itself. something that us melbourne crew miss out on!

    1. I was thinking that as I was walking along- how lucky the city surfers are. And then I thought about how this just might make Sydney a little better than Melbourne. You can’t beat those city beaches- they are superb.

    1. It does have something unique about it. Did you surf at the beaches in this area? I think you would have like the waves around near Tamarama- very clean and well formed

  3. I really enjoyed this post and the beautiful pictures you included. My friends daughter has moved to Sydney for 2 years and just relocated to an area right at Bondi Beach. It was great to see how very pretty this beach is.

    I can definitely see why Gordon’s Beach reminds you of the Algarve.

  4. Great post guys. It’s a beautiful part of the world, and very happy to say I live there (North Maroubra).
    I emigrated 5 yrs ago and fell in love with the area, and often do that walk as there’s nothing quite like it in Sydney, especially when the whales are migrating north 🙂

    Living by or being by the ocean is just great for the soul! So any one who reads this but is yet to do the walk, it’s a must!

    1. Thanks Guy. Craig and I kept saying the whole time on the walk “How great would it be to live here and be able to this walk everyday if you liked.” i would love to see the whales and will put that on our list for this winter. Great tip!!

  5. oh this is making me miss Sydney so much! 🙁
    I was hoping to of been there in February!! Fingers crossed I’ll be there in April and it will still be nice and warm!
    I’ve been to Sydney so many times and I have yet to do the Bondi to Coogee walk but it is definitely on my list too! 🙂

    1. April is usually a beautiful month. You will definitely have some warm days. You have to do the walk this time. You will love it!

  6. How funny…I was doing that walk on the day you posted this : ) I was in Australia for 2 weeks. Spent the first week in Coolangata (at Komune partly based on your blog post) taking in the Quiksilver Pro surf competition, then moved on to Melbourne and Sydney. I’ve done this walk many times before but it was first thing on my to-do list when I arrived in Sydney. It makes me so envious that people can live in such a metropolitan city and be within 20 minutes of amazing beaches.

    1. It is such a great walk isn’t it? Cant’ believe it took me so long to do the walk. So stoked you stayed at Komune. Did you enjoy it? The Quiksilver Pro must have been awesome. I so want to do that.

  7. The Bondi to Coogee walk was one of the best things I did while in Australia last year. I recommend starting the walk in Coogee, however, and ending it with a people-watching lunch in Bondi.

    1. That is a great suggestion. My parents said they thought the walk was slightly easier starting at Coogee too. You could start with Brekkie in Coogee and then finish with lunch in Bondi!

  8. Thanks so much for sharing ur coastal walk experience with us! I just returned from Australia and absolutely loved it! Can’t wait to go back! One week was just too short:) I spent some time in Bondi, but did not get a chance to do the walk. Looks like I missed out! Bummer! I was actually quite surprised by some of the pretentiousness in Bondi Beach, but I’m still drawn to the area for some odd reason lol Though there were some friendly locals here and there:) Omgosh, the Bronte Baths pool looks amazing!

    What a great family outing! Thanks again for sharing and I will definitely bookmark this page for future use!

    1. Yeah, Bondi is really pretentious but definitely a place that draws you in. You will have to do the walk next time you come over. You will love the other beach areas a lot more. Glad you enjoyed your time here in Oz. We’d love to have you back 🙂

  9. I am lucky enough to have family over in Australia and get to go for three months every year. I have done some fantastic coastal walks along the east coast from Brisbane down to Sydney, but will certainly add this to the list when i am next in the area. Many thanks for this post

  10. Hey guys,

    Nice post. I grew up in Randwick and know the area very well. My old stomping ground so to speak. I’ve done it a few times, even ran it way back when I was unbreakable! If you go at the right time of the year, there is a funky art exhibition that happens around the Bondi side of the walk and continues to Tamarama if my memory serves me right. http://www.journeywithjessjones is paying me a visit in a couple of weeks and the walk will be top of the list for things to show off our beautiful city.

    1. i would love to be that fit to run the walk. Maybe after the baby is born and I whip myself into shape once and for all! Enjoy your walk with Jess. I’m sure she will love it

  11. Nice post! I guess you people have covered almost all the beaches there. I love bondi beach. Unfortunately, I could not have much time to stopover there when I visited Sydney last time. It looks like a real experience in life. I also like some other places in Australia like Gold coast, Melbourne, Brisbane, etc. I actually visited all these places in one visit to Australia and that was really amazing to spend time there. I pre-booked all the tickets from my place, so there wasn’t any tension of accommodation and time management except we have to plan all the places to visit before we go there; that’s also an advantage.

  12. I’m headed to Sydney for the first time on Thursday. This is now at the top of my list. Thank you. Any chance you could tell me which train to take to get to the beginning of the walk? Thank you.

  13. Would love to do the walk when I’m in Sydney starting October 22.
    How do I get from Coogee back to Erskineville?
    Thank you for this great Blog!

  14. Love heading to Sydney in the summer time! Coogee Beach has to be my personal favourite. It’s been a while since I have been there though, however reading these blogs takes me back to the many trips there. Well done.

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