Start: Icebergs, Bondi Beach
End: Maroubra Beach
Time taken: 3 hours
USP: Urban, ocean views, cliffs, sea pools
For most people visiting or living in Sydney, one of the best known, must-do walks is the Bondi to Coogee classic. It’s around 6km of snaking path that hugs the cliffs and beaches heading south from Bondi Beach, past the bustling sands of Tamarama and Bronte, skirting the sunbaked concrete of Clovelley (great snorkelling) and into the less developed Gordon’s Bay (also great snorkelling). For the vast majority of people the walk then ends at Coogee, normally with a beer. But that’s not the end of the coastal path.
With half a day to kill and not quite enough time to get to the Blue Mountains, we decided to head out from Bondi, this time heading for Maroubra, 11km south of Bondi on the coastal path
The walk is fairly easy going. Each new beach requires a short climb up and over a headland, before descending to yet another gorgeous beach and crashing waves. For the first few kilometres there are a number of places to take a break and grab a coffee. Bondi, Tamarama and Bronte all have kiosks or cafes selling the black stuff.
Beyond Bronte the original coastal path has recently reopened after heavy storms undermined the cliff several years ago. Rather than being diverted through Waverley Cemetery, walkers are now able to continue along the true route. A wide wooden boardwalk clings to the cliffs, offering some great views back towards Bondi Beach.
We continued keeping the pace high to make sure we could fit the extra distance in. Reaching Coogee it felt strange to keep going straight past the usual stopping point and up into the southern corner of the beach. It’s worth taking a short break here to explore Wylie Baths on your way past. The pool was first established in 1907, making it one of Sydney’s oldest sea pools. Much of the historic charm has been maintained through the years and it’s well worth a look, or even a dip.
Past Wylie’s Baths the path again turns into well maintained wooden boardwalk and skirts past a ‘wetland’ area with many brightly coloured flowers and birdlife. We ticked off Superb Fairy Wren, White Browed Scrubwren, Little Wattle Bird and a Nankeen Kestrel all in a short stretch.
We soon arrived at another sea pool, Rob Walker Rock Pool, roughly carved out of the rock platform. At this point we had to head inland via Palmer Street and navigate through some back streets, rejoining the cliffs again at the end of Liguria Street to walk around the base of the cliffs.
Sea pools seem to be a big theme on this walk and it wasn’t long before we reached Mahon Pool, signifying the northern end of Maroubra. On a stormy day this pool is really exposed and big waves regularly crash over the walls, throwing around any brave swimmers.
We continued on to Maroubra beach itself and setting foot on the sand and claimed the Bondi to Maroubra route done. We headed back to Mahon Pool and had a much needed late lunch at the superb Pool Cafe. Brilliant for breakfast, lunch or just a snack if you’re in the area.
So next time you think of doing Bondi to Coogee, consider going a little further. It’s well worth it the extra kilometres.