I’m not much a beach person, but when I heard about the Coogee to Bondi Coastal Walk I knew it was a must while in Sydney. The walk itself passes by six beaches in total. Most full of surfers and sunbathers. One has been completed done up as it is a swimming pool. And one looks a little run down, but I think you can rent out little boats. The walk all in took me three hours, though it says it can be done in two. I guess it just depends on how many times you stop and for how long for. Every chance I got, I sat down and watched the water. There is something to peaceful about just zoning out and watching the crashing waves. I have decided that it is my new (unattainable) dream to get a house on a cliff, looking out over the ocean. This post will more or less just be a lot of photos of the ocean, with some commentary in between. Enjoy.
I chose to start at Coogee Beach as I had already been to Bondi and wanted to see something new. Plus I knew how to get home from Bondi Beach without using Google Maps, in case my phone ran out of battery. Coogee Beach was a lovely, reasonabley quiet and small beach. It was a Saturday so there were lots of families out. I always forget that the waters in Australia aren’t the safest, so you had the flags on the beach that marked the safe areas to swim, as well are quite a large team of lifeguards camped on the beach.
As soon as you get away from the main beach area, the trail becomes a thin path lined with brush. I didn’t expect this, but also kind of loved it. It made it feel more secluded and peaceful.
The next beach, if you can call it that, is Gordon’s Bay. It looks pretty rustic with boats lining the coast. There was also a little beach hut, which I guess you could rent out the boats? Gordon’s Bay has had many names, one of which Fish Hoek, suggesting that it was once known as a place where fish could be found. The name ‘Gordon’s Bay’ commemorates Robert Jacob Gordon, who was a Commandant of the Dutch Troops. I don’t know why that is relevant but I didn’thave uch else to say about Gordon’s Bay.
Now this was interesting. A beach, yes. But they have completely changed the coastline to make the bay look like a massive swimming pool. The ‘poolside’ was concrete, covered with people bathing in the sun. It was actually really cool, and if I had any sort of tolerance for freezing ocean water I would have jumped in!
It was so confusing to the mind. Looked with a swimming pool. People were seemingly doing laps. But it had the lapping waves of the ocean. What a cool idea! As you walk further down you reach a children’s pool that they have built, probably with heated water, and a bit further down is the actual beach. I had never seen anything like it before.
My favourite part of the Coogee to Bondi Coastal Walk was Shark Point. The Rocky cliff point offers some amazing views of the walk so far and also, if you are brave enough to look, of the crashing waves below. I have quite a bad fear of heights, but determined to see the waves I crawled to the edge to have a peek and snap some pictures. I sat there for about 30 minutes just watching the waves. The colours, the different tones of blue. It was stunning.
After Shark Point, the coastal walk was damaged in a storm in 2016 so there is a detour through the Waverly Cemetery. It was a bit weird to cut through a cemetery but everyone was doing it, and to walk around it would have taken about half an hour so what can you do.
Finally , I got to see some surfers do their thing. On one side of the beach you had the guys who were probably just out for their daily surf. On the other side you had a class of 20 or so learning how to surf. And who were actually pretty good.
There was a cool little ocean pool at Bronte Beach as well. I love these ocean pools. I was totally unaware that they were a thing before coming to Australia. It totally seems like my cup of tea. Get to swim and look at the ocean, but not have to be in the freezing ocean water. Maybe, coming from Scotland, I have a misconception of how cold the water is. Maybe it’s warmer in Australia. But I’m not that fussed about finding out. I’ll wait until I’m in a tropical paradise with ocean water warmer than body temperature.
There was also a little stand just off the beach that served refreshments and snacks. I almost bought a little box of chips, but remembered I was now trying to be healthy so stuck to my grapes and baby cucumbers in my bag.
This is where the weather started to act up. It was getting windier, cloudier and colder. So the waves were getting wilder. Walking along the coast was actually really amazing. It was a nice kind of ‘Australia’ cold though. Walking in the sun all afternoon, it was refreshing to have a bit of breeze.
The waves seemed to be prime surfing conditions, though the rocks were giving me a bit of the fear. There was a group of teenagers jumping into the waves and getting washed up on the rocks over and over again. My grandmother brain couldn’t help but think that they were going to get hurt. All it would take is one powerful wave and they could crack their heads on the rocks. But who knows, maybe it was okay.
And I made it. Three hours later I reached Mackenzies Point. I had been there a couple of weeks before so it was nice to see a familiar place and know I could sit down and fill my belly soon. 6km in three hours doesn’t sound like much but it took it’s toll on my legs. It’s like my body knew that I was almost at the end and impatiently, my leg started cramping up. So I hobbled the last little bit of the trail.
I had such a great time doing the Coogee to Bondi Coastal Walk. Walking through nature, exploring new places is my favourite thing to do. It felt amazing to get out of the city for a day. It felt like I was in another world! Now it’s time to look into any other coastal walks similar to this one that I can try out!