Sydney, Australia’s claim to fame is the architectural marvel Opera House, and after taking in its splendour many visitors spend the rest of their time hoofing it around the beautiful city trying to soak in as many other sights possible. Well, there’s another spot that’s just as memorable as far as views go, yet is overlooked by many: the Coastal Walk from Bondi Beach to Coogee.
The 5.5 kilometre pathway winds along a spectacular coastline in the city’s eastern suburbs, rewarding those who make the trek with dramatic views of the churning turquoise ocean crashing into the cliffs below. A popular route for runners who proudly display their tanned skin and enviable abs, the pathway passes by five beaches, a marine reserve, countless surf spots and parks. Here are some of the highlights, which make it easy to see why the Coastal Walk should be on everyone’s itinerary.
The most famous of the bunch, Bondi Beach is where most visitors start the journey (unless they get caught up in the action and can’t bear to tear themselves away). Arguably one of the most famous beaches in the entire world, the sparkling golden sand lures thousands of sunbathers to its shores, who spend the day soaking up the sun or grabbing their boards and hitting the famous surf.
The art-lined promenade is the gateway to Bondi, stretching along the beach all the way from the huge homes that overlook the ocean to the can’t-miss Bondi Icebergs Club.
It would be easy to spend an entire day just at the club, whose piece de resistance is an unbelievable infinity pool where fierce waves tumble over the rocks and crash right onto swimmers—making it critical to time your breaths appropriately if you plan on doing laps in the far lane!
The pool area boasts facilities such as showers, a sauna, towel rental, wheelchair access and a lounge area. Even better, it’s open to the public for just $6.50 per day.
Bondi Icebergs Club also has a lounge and restaurant, and if you’re lucky enough to score a seat on the patio you’ll enjoy epic views of the beach stretching out below.
Once you manage to tear yourself away from Bondi, you’ll head up the stairs to Notts Avenue and follow the winding pathway which flows past sandstone rock faces, luscious tropical green foliage and azure water washing over untouched, shimmering sand. Best of all, there is no shortage of solitary spots to take in the view.
Next up is Tamarama Beach (which I like to think is named after me…no?), a small spot that packs a punch. The area is known for having strong waves, making it popular with surfers and not-so-popular with swimmers, given the beach itself is quite narrow.
It also used to be home to an amusement park which included a roller coaster that went over the water, and was nicknamed ‘Glamarama’ after becoming a popular spot for the gay crowd.
After following the Coastal Walk for another 10 minutes, you’ll arrive at Bronte Beach, a beautiful spot that gives Bondi a run for its money. Thanks to its wide swath of white sand and equally amazing infinity pool called Bogey Hole, Bronte is like a more chilled out version of Bondi. There are lifeguards on duty, along with shower facilities, a picnic area, park and nearby cafes, making it popular with families.
The next landmark south of Bronte is a rather unexpected one: the sprawling Waverly Cemetery. It’s easy to see why it has been coined the “most scenic burial ground in the world,” as the white crosses and monuments popping out of a green hillside are framed by an expansive view of the deep blue ocean below. Definitely not too shabby as far as final resting places go.
Clovelly Beach and Gordons Bay
A wooden boardwalk winds past the cemetery, twisting and turning around the steep cliffside past Clovelly Beach, which despite being lined with concrete is also a family favourite. But just around the corner is one of the most gorgeous areas on the Coastal Walk—Gordons Bay.
One of Sydney’s most popular dive spots, Gordons Bay is a protected marine reserve area which has rightfully been given the moniker of “the underwater nature trail.” Its rocky reefs are home to Blue groupers, stingrays, sea urchins and Spotted Wobbegong sharks to name a few, and as it that weren’t enough the water itself is a pristine turquoise hue, creating a picture-perfect scene from the cliffs above.
Finally, Coogee Beach is a welcome sight for those who have been trekking through the searing Sydney sun without stopping to cool off in the surf. The final pit stop on the Coastal Walk, Coogee Beach is a vast, white sand beach surrounded by huge homes perched precariously on the surrounding cliffs.
About 14-thousand people live in the area making it a popular spot, thanks in part to the nearby ocean baths, parks, greenspaces and playground. That, combined with serene, beautiful views of the Sydney coastline, make Coogee one of the city’s most popular beaches, and the perfect place to wrap up the memorable Sydney Coastal Walk.
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