Start: Bondi Beach
End: Coogee Beach
Time taken: 2 hours ; with lots of stops to take photos along the way
USP: Stunning coastal views, and one of Sydney’s most iconic walks
Distance: 6km each way
Get a map of our route
This is probably one of the most famous walks in the area, alongside the Spit to Manly walk, and the one that’s on every tourist’s To Do list whilst they’re in town. The coastal path starts at the southern end of the world famous Bondi Beach and finishes on the more subdued Coogee Beach.
With the walk starting in our backyard we’ve done it a fair few times, but the beauty is it’s always different… The weather, the waves, the flowers, the wildlife, the crowds. They all ebb and flow and change over time, meaning it’s always worth taking half a day to stroll 6km of the Eastern Suburbs’ best views.
The coastal path starts at Bondi Icebergs. A man-made swimming pool right on the edge of the ocean. No matter the time of the year, dedicated (some may say crazy…) locals will be there. Sporting their best speedos and braving the un-heated, saltwater. On warm, sunny days the pool is surrounded by bronzed sun worshippers, flopping around like a colony of seals, while surfers take off on waves just the other side of the outer wall.
A top tip is to walk slightly uphill to Bondi Massive before you begin to grab a very tasty coffee and slice of Banana Bread.
From Bondi Icebergs, the paved path hugs the coast heading due south, skirting sandy crescent beaches and wind scoured sandstone cliffs. Mackenzies Bay, Tamarama and Bronte follow one after the other. Each one with it’s own character and collection of locals surfing, playing volleyball, slacklining or just taking in the views.
Leaving Bronte you start to gain height and head up onto the cliff tops where the next half a kilometer or so comes into view. A decked walkway skirts Waverly Cemetery. Hundreds of cracked stone crosses and salt battered headstones stare blankly out to sea. It’s an eerie sight but not a bad spot to wait out the end of time.
It’s always worth keeping an eye on the horizon here. Although you never feel far from civilisation on this route, you’re also never far from wildlife. Peregrine Falcons patrol the cliff tops, spooking pigeons and starlings. Storms can bring Albatross in from the wild Southern Ocean and Humpback Whales cruise past a kilometer or so offshore. Easiest to spot at sunrise, look for the spume as they surface and exhale. If the wind is up and you get lucky, you might get treated to a few minutes of breaching, before they dive for the deeps and continue their migration.
Leaving the cemetery behind you arrive at Clovelley and Gordon’s Bay. Both are protected from most swells by offshore reefs, making them ideal for a mid walk swim or snorkel. Gordon’s Bay is popular with divers. The waters full of rainbow coloured fish and the odd Blue Groper, waiting to take people by surprise with their bulk.
Climbing the path out of Gordon’s Bay, the view to the South opens up and Coogee Beach and Wedding Cake Island just offshore start to appear. The added height gives you one last opportunity to scan for whales, before heading downhill into the town. Coogee has a few decent pubs that serve a very welcome schooner of Pale Ale after 6km in the sun.
From here it’s a short bus ride back to Bondi Junction and the Sydney rail network, or it’s easy to grab a drink and some food, before retracing your steps back to Bondi Beach.
Blazing sunshine, threatening rain clouds or cold and crisp, it’s always worth going for a walk.