Sunday, 24 April 2016

# 2 - Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk

So, we finally get to number 2.  The runner up.  The second best thing to do in Sydney, according to the TripAdvisor community.  It's painfully close to being named the best thing to do in Sydney, but the Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk just falls short.  In fairness, it has finished ahead of both the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  That's not a bad recommendation. It's also the top rated walk in Sydney on TripAdvisor.

Bondi Beach on a sunny day - get rid of the people and it is paradise

The home of the Bondi Rescue lifeguards - they have their own awesome reality TV show
Now, it's very difficult to compare different walks.  They all have different highlights.  They go through different terrain and offer different types of views.  There are so many different variables that it is very hard to compare.  Especially in Sydney, where there are so many quality walks.  In fact only an absolute imbecile would make any attempt to compare the different walks available in Sydney.

The waves smashing into the rocks
In my view, the Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach Coastal walk is deserving of its place as the highest rated walk in Sydney.  It doesn't contain my favourite views in Sydney.  I prefer the views from North Head, which is part of the Manly Scenic Walkway, and from the Gap Park, near the South Head.  However, the key reason I rate this walk as the best walk, is that there are open views for the majority of the walk.  Many of the other walks involve large portions in thick bush, with no real views.  The Bondi to Coogee walk however, has open ocean views for the majority of the route.

Tamarama Beach - complete with some random artworks for 'Sculptures by the Sea'

Yes, that's a giant frying pan.  What about it?
The walk can be started at either Bondi or Coogee, but when we did it, we started at Bondi.  You walk around a well maintained coastal path to Tamarama Beach.  It takes about 25 minutes for this section, which includes lots of cliffside views of waves crashing into the rocks below.  There are some steep steps in this section.  From Tamarama, it is just another 5 minutes on to Bronte Beach.  Both are excellent beaches and have areas to stop and have a picnic.  Tamarama has a kiosk for food and drinks, while Bronte has a number of cafes and restaurants nearby, should you find that half an hour is too long to walk without a refreshment.

Going wild at Clovelly Beach
Once you've topped up with some snacks, you are ready to take on the longest individual section on the walk.  From Bronte to Clovelly Beach is about a 50 minute walk.  It's more of the same really on this section, but assuming you like clifftop views of the ocean and coastline, then this is no bad thing. Again, there are some steep steps along this section, as well as a boardwalk section.  Clovelly Beach itself is an interesting and relatively unique beach.  You can read a full review by clicking on the link above.

Gordon's Bay - the water looks good for snorkeling, even from a distance
The next section is only slightly shorter, and takes you from Clovelly to Coogee in about 45 minutes. There are more steep inclines and steps along this segment.  I really could have saved a bit of time by just saying that there are steep inclines and steps throughout the walk.  It's because of shoddy writing like this that I am writing this on a personal blog, instead of a feature length article for a best selling travel guide... Anyway, the walk takes you past the picturesque Gordon's Bay, which is a popular snorkeling spot, before finishing off at Coogee Beach.

The view back along the cliffs towards Bondi

Coogee Beach, a fine stretch of sand
Coogee is a great spot to finish the walk, with a big, wide expanse of sand, lots of grass areas, and all the facilities and amenities you might need after the two hour walk.  There is an option to continue on to Maroubra Beach, which we did not take up.  This would add approximately another 70 minutes on to the walk.

I really wish they would stop following me around with that sign
There are many great walks in Sydney, but this walk is really fantastic.  It takes in 6 great beaches, and endless clifftop views along the spectacular coastline.  There are some steep sections, and some parts with steps, but the quality of underfoot conditions is generally very good.  It can be split into smaller sections, and you are rarely too far away from civilisation if you get tired and want to stop for a refreshment.

One of the many beachside pools, great for kids

So many rules
There is plenty of entertainment at both ends, and along the way.  In addition, there is an annual 'Sculpture by the Sea' event along the first part of the walk, for those who like to add a bit of surreal art to their coastal walks (who doesn't?).  This is a fun and interesting event, but be aware that it can get extremely busy during this event.

Giant faceless babies crawling away from Bondi Beach?  That would be 'Sculptures by the Sea'
How do you think the Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach walk compares to the other walks in Sydney? Have you done the extension to Maroubra Beach?  Please make use of the comments box, and ask any questions or share any thoughts of your own.

No comments:

Post a Comment