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Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach Cliff Top Walk

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Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach Cliff top walk – a must do!

As a local Sydneysider, one of my all time favourite activities that I am always keen to recommend to guests is the coastal cliff walk along Sydney’s Eastern Beaches.

As well as being free from cost and hoards of loud tourists; it is a perfect way to pass a few hours discovering Sydney’s natural magnificence at anytime of day and at anytime of year. There are many things that attract locals and visitors to these magnificent cliffs; exercise, relaxation, detox, or sometimes just to find headspace away from the hectic rhythm of Sydney’s pulsating metropolitan lifestyle. Best of all it’s free, and only a short twenty-minute ride away from Sydney’s Famous Jolly Swagman Backpacker’s Hostel.

The walk is an ideal activity at anytime no matter what the conditions; take your togs along on a scorching summer day and stop for a swim at every beach you come to, or discover the more secluded swimming holes such as Gaerloch Reserve (near Tamarama) and Gordon’s Bay (near Clovelly- really awesome snorkelling in summer) as well our historic public baths at Bronte and Coogee (women’s, Wylie’s etc.).

Bondi Beach cliff top walk

Bondi Beach cliff top walk

The big, evocative Australian sky is definitely feature of the walk- it is particularly attractive at dawn when you can watch the sun rise up from the horizon before grabbing a great Aussie breakfast from a beachside café, or watch it set in the evening and continue walking into the dark of night (just don’t go too close to the edge!). Personally, my favourite time is during thunderstorms when you can watch the lightening flashing over the dark ocean with the violent surf crashing up against the rocks- very romantic (and I wonder why I’m single…).

This itinerary describes the most popular route from Bondi to Coogee. You should generally allow about two hours to do it comfortably (obviously time varies according to walking pace). Although long, much of the path is flat and isn’t too physically strenuous- remember it is possible to start and end your walk wherever you want along the way, buses operate on or near most parts of the route (most beaches have a bus route to Oxford St and/ or the city).

The Famous Jolly Swagman Backpackers Sydney Hostel’s central location in East Sydney provides for very easy access to Bondi Beach. The most convenient way is to walk down Darlinghurst Rd to Oxford St from where you can catch any bus to Bondi Beach (380, 333-prepay, both operate frequently during the day). Alternatively, you can get a train from King’s Cross Station to Bondi Junction and then transfer to a bus.

Bondi Beach Surfing

Bondi Beach Surfing

From Bondi Beach, head southwards down along the promenade of Campbell Parade or the beach itself. Veer left towards the cliffs- you will pass the famous Iceberg’s swimming club and its (very expensive) restaurant. Follow the path all the way along up the stone steps and you will be on top of the southern head. The path continues above the cliffs and around the point to Mackenzie Bay (a FANTASTIC place for surfing/body boarding but very rocky and not patrolled- be very careful) and Tamarama Beach. The path then continues from Tamarama winding around to Bronte Beach, another popular hangout great for swimming and picnicking on the large grass reserves with free barbeques (B.Y.O. snags and slab!).
From Bronte, the path goes up a steady incline to the top of another point affording more fantastic views. Continue through Waverly Cemetery (known for its shark sightings!) and you will join another well-marked footpath at the Clovelly Bowling Club. This section (Burrow’s Park) is particularly impressive with its sheer, clean drops and sections in the rocks where you can climb down to the rock pools at the bottom. You will then find yourself at Clovelly Beach, a flat watered inlet often referred to as ‘European’ (and if you ever see the amount of rubbish in the water after a storm, you would understand why). This is ideal for snorkelling and has several (apparently famous) species of rare fish such as the Blue Eyed Cod native to its waters. The Kiosk Seasalt does a great and reasonably priced lunch.

Bondi To Coogee Beach Walk

Bondi To Coogee Beach Walk

Continue past the surf club and through the parking lot to the footpath at Gordon’s Bay, which will take you round to the park at the north head of Coogee. At this head you will notice the Kuta memorial, a monument to the Australian victims who died in the 2002 Bali bombings, which stands above the public baths (free).
Catholics also flock to this point to pay homage to Mary, a special marking next to the Bali memorial commemorates the place where several people have claimed to have had ‘visions’.
By the end of the walk you’ll have certainly developed a craving for another quick dip in the ocean, or more likely a nice long beer (or three) at the Coogee Bay Hotel.

In returning to the Jolly Swagman Backpackers Sydney, the 373 bus (to the city) will take you back to Taylor Square, alternatively the 314 to Bondi Junction Train Station from where you can get a train to Kings Cross.

For more information or details about onward routes from Bondi to Dover Heights and Diamond bay, contact our friendly 24-hour reception.

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