Fun Things to do in Sydney
You can walk from Coogee to Bondi along the coastal track in any season, as long as the weather is pleasant. It will take you between 2 and 5 hours depending on how long the stopovers are. If the weather is suitable, bring swimming gear as there are a number of great spots to swim along the way.
Prams and Pushers are OK, but with difficulty as there are plenty of stairs.
Starting the tour
Coogee Beach gains much notoriety from the famous “Shark Arm” murder case of 1935 where a locally captured tiger shark regurgitated the arm of missing person, James Smith and it was identified by a tattoo. Because the arm had clearly been cut from the torso a murder case ensued and although nobody was ever convicted many locals still have their suspicions.
As a budget traveller you will no doubt be well versed in all the cheap beers and wines available and you could easily just spend the entire day sitting on the grass with a few drinks and good company – saying that there is heck of a lot to see on this tour so now that lunch is out of the way, let’s get moving.
From Coogee head north towards the white gateway on the hill to your left.
We have only walked a hundred metres at most and we are already stopping. However, this stop is well worth it as the white gateway you are standing at leads down to Giles Baths. Giles Baths is simply a rock pool near the entrance to the bay that is sheltered from the pounding waves. It is great for a quick swim and at the foot of the stairs is a shady spot that can provide some welcome relief from the constant stream of UV rays scorching your skin a nice brown/beetroot colour.
Right, now that we’ve had a swim and have got a bit of shade, it’s back up the stairs towards the sculpture to your right.
Spend a couple of minutes viewing the sculpture that is a memorial to the Australians from the local area who died in the Bali bombings of 2002. It is also a good spot from which to look back and see Coogee Beach from a different angle and also see where you’re going next.
Another five minutes along the path.
You can turn right down a grassy lane to the cliffs where you can admire the views and laugh at the teenagers who have carved into the rocks their undying/temporary love for whatever member of the opposite sex/same sex said “hi” to them in the school corridor the other day.
Head back to the path and then head down the road following the signs for Gordon’s Bay. Remember to throw a jealous look at anyone out pottering in their garden since their front room has a direct view over the stunning bay.
Gordon’s Bay isn’t really for swimming but is very picturesque. The locals like to do a spot of fishing from the bay, as you will notice from all the dinghies and the overpowering smell of fish. Nice spot but don’t stop for too long because this tour gets even better!
Continue on up the wooden steps.
You can stop about halfway up the steps to read about the wild flowers of the area if it takes your fancy or you just need an excuse to stop and take a rest – it is quite a few steps huh?. Perhaps more interestingly, you can read about the locally famous Cliffbrook Mansion that used to dominate the bay.
Now that we have finally made it up the stairs and have managed to get some oxygen back into our lungs we are rewarded with a car park. Head through the car park and follow the path down to Clovelly beach.
As you round the path into the bay you can stop and enjoy some refreshments at the Clovelly Lifesaving Club. Clovelly Beach is not the most picturesque due to the several tonnes of concrete that have been dumped into the bay, but it doesn’t seem to put off the locals who frequent this spot. If you have snorkelling equipment then I definitely suggest you get in there as there is some interesting marine life to see. If you don’t, then I guess you will have to make do with a leisurely swim – because Clovelly is a sheltered bay it is pretty safe for swimming. If none of that takes your fancy then I suppose you could just find a nice seat and stare at all the gorgeous people wandering past!
As you leave the bay and continue on the path there are further opportunities to shoot jealous looks at homeowners who command impressive views over the bay. Continue along the path until you get to Randwick Park.
Now if you fancy a game then this is the place to do so. Just past the park there is another grassy lane where you can head over to the cliffs for a stone-throwing competition.
Back on the path and cover some ground. Head right past the bowling club. Once past the bowling club you will be able to see Bondi Beach off in the distance. Yes it really is that far away! The other beach you can see is Tamarama beach which we will also pass through. Don’t stop yet as we’ve have a long way to go.
This may be one of the most idyllic locations for a graveyard on the planet. Many famous Australians are buried here so take your time wandering through it and appreciate the history and of course, those magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean. Once you have reached the other side of the graveyard you may like to stop and read the plaque about the plants that grow in this area or you may just want to get cracking on.
As you head along the path you will arrive at a road. Now you can continue down the road but as long as you are not scared of heights and you’re steady on your feet then I advise you to take the path onto the cliffs. If not then head down the road and stop once the bay comes into view.
Once on the cliffs, head over to look down at the bay. Marvel at the surfers who look like they are about to whack their heads off on the rocks in the bay. Check out the waves nearest to this side of the bay and you may be able to see the dolphins riding the waves. If you have opted to head down the road instead then you can get a similar view once you manage to get past the cliffs.
The beach is beckoning you. Head down the path to the bay (where all the sand is).
Bronte beach is another popular beach with the locals. If you are feeling particular childlike then for a couple of dollars you can sit on the miniature train and go round in circles.
Now if that constant Australian sunlight is getting a bit too much then pick up a refreshing drink and head off to the far end of the beach where there is a nice big shady spot to sit and chill for a while. You will also probably notice a series of rock pools called the Bogey Hole. This is a good spot for taking a refreshing dip or spending some time hunting down various different sea creatures in the shallower rock pools.